Virtual_Aardvark wrote:Considering how hard I have to restrain myself from slapping Hasidim whenever I encounter them, I'd have to say that's a rather measured and reasonable response.
Seriously. Next idiot in a stupid hat to tell me I'm not a real Jew gets a solid kick to the nuts. Or a pork chop to the face. Whichever's more satisfying.
That's never been my experience of Hasidic Jews. I know there's a different culture of Judaism depending on your region, levels of religiosity, local media and such, but that's really surprising to me, to the extent that I had to reread the sentence and go, "Hasidim, are you sure?" Of course, I grew up with Chabad Hasidim, a group that's very passionate about kindness, outreach and nonjudgment. They're usually the ones handing out candles on Friday nights and matzah on Passover eve. I do know of other groups of Hasidim that have some pretty exclusionary attitudes toward people who don't do exactly what they believe, but honestly, I would hate for any of my Hasidic friends to be judged based on the actions of those groups.
It can be hard dealing with the interplay of bad experiences with religious people or precepts and Jewish identity. There's a weird mental disconnect, because on the one hand, I want to support people who have felt victimised or insulted by aspects of religion, because yes, some people are assholes about religion, and in some cases there is assholery woven into the fabric of the religion itself. But on the other hand, I'm a Jew (even though I'm agnostic, Jewish culture and history is still meaningful to me, and Jewish religion was instrumental in forming my ethical system even though I frequently disagree with Jewish teachings on morality), some of my closest childhood friends are very religious, and I don't like it when good people get tarred with the brush of crappy people.
One of my favourite high school teachers was a Chasidic rabbi, and he knows all about my attitudes to the world (because the community gossips), knows my boyfriend isn't Jewish, and still treats me with respect and camaraderie. And the idea of someone hitting him in the face with a pork chop because of their crappy experiences with orthodoxy makes me really upset and kind of furious. I can understand wanting to criticise religion or a certain kind of religious person who tries to force their views on you and judges you unfairly, especially as someone who frequently used to criticise it from the inside (when people were trying to convince me I needed to live by the halachic laws, or gave bullshit reasoning for certain principles), much to the chagrin of my religious education teachers. But I felt like that comment went kind of beyond the pale, especially since I know we have religious and/or practicing Jews right here on this very board who are perfectly lovely.
So yeah, could we maybe not do that?