Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Upsetting but true--for many Jews, Judaism is a cult of the dead :(

 This afternoon, we ran into another member of our synagogue, and they were very upset about the fact that we still haven't gone back to praying in our synagogue building.  They won't use Zoom (for reasons that they did not explain), and complained bitterly that they'd been unable to say the Mourner's Kaddish prayer for over a year.  "You know that I'm only a member of the synagogue because I need to say kaddish for my loved ones."  They wouldn't accept anything we said about our sanctuary being too small (and poorly-ventilated) for us to be able to safely separate those who'd been vaccinated from the few "anti-vaxxers" in our synagogue.  Nor would they have been interested in knowing that one of our "regulars," a health-care professional who wears a mask for at least eight hours every workday, refuses to return to in-person services until they can pray in synagogue without a mask.  This congregant wouldn't accept anything other than the resumption of in-person services in our synagogue building at the earliest possible date--so that they could drop in once every few months to say kaddish.  They seemed to be blissfully unconcerned about the needs of the congregation as a whole, whether those needs were to try to ensure the health and safety of all or to make sure that there'd be a minyan for the *rest* of the congregation.

How is one supposed to respond to Jews whose only connection to Jewish ritual observance is to recite prayers commemorating the deceased?


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