Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Personal Introduction

Though there is much in Orthodox Judaism that I find deeply meaningful and appealing, I have come to realize, that, short of simply obliterating my own thoughts and feelings, I can no longer ignore the uncomfortable fact that Orthodoxy fails to corroborate many of its central claims - - historicity of the Flood, Bavel, the Exodus, numerous other historical anachronism, etc. Nor can I assuage my conscience, that is deeply pained by many of the tradition’s laws (cannot save a non jews life on Shabbos, etc) and attitudes (non jews referred to as animals, donkeys, etc) toward non (yehudim) jews.

More significant, I have become increasingly aware of how ubiquitous intellectual dishonesty is in the Kiruv world, how skilled many Kiruv (Jewish Outreach) pros are in deflecting difficult questions regarding the pitfalls of the Orthodox lifestyle, as well as the tradition's many disconfirming realities.

It is my hope that potential BT's, who are considering traveling along this path, can benefit from my experience and research so that they can make a more informed decision about whether or not to become Orthodox. I would have appreciated such. For that reason, I have created this blog, which culls together informative and relevant material from the Web, some of which is scholarly, some not, some based on my own reflections and some based on the musings of others who have also traveled this path.

I, by the way, have no malicious intent here. I'm not an anti-Orthodox crusading ideologue. I have no animus toward Kiruv Professionals, my alma mater Machon Shlomo (Machon Yaakov), it's dedicated Rebbein, or any other kiruv organization. I've nothing to gain personally from this exercise except the pleasure of sharing my personal experience and insights that I think need to be (told) disclosed to old friends and friends yet unknown.

*if you are considering attending any of the following institutions or programs listed below, you should, at a minimum, familiarize yourself with Letter to My Rabbi and Judaic sources on the attitude towards gentiles:

Machon Shlomo, Machon Yaakov, Sinai Retreats, Heritage Retreats , Moodus, Moreshet Learning Retreat,Aish Hatorah, Ohr Somayach, Maimonides Leaders Fellowship, Shearim, Neve Yerushalayim, Eyaht, etc