The Return Of Chavi The Convert

From my live cam chat:

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YourMoralLeader:  what’s new in your jewish journey chavi? reading anything good?
YourMoralLeader:  saw your new blog posts
Chavi:  Thanks πŸ™‚ Where is ElShaddai, anyhow?
YourMoralLeader:  wherever you invite him in
Chavi:  Ha ha …
Chavi:  Nothing new on the reading. Still trying to get through Constatine’s Sword
YourMoralLeader:  if you had the faith of a mustard seed
Chavi:  Thing’s like trying to read Torah in one sitting
YourMoralLeader:  yeah, i couldn’t make it thru that
Chavi:  You know, they should publish it in volumes
Chavi:  It’d make more sense
YourMoralLeader:  what are you reading these days emma?
Chavi:  For the commuter (like me) it’s just ridiculous
Chavi:  Indeed! Emma, what’s on the bookshelf?
YourMoralLeader:  good door stop
Emma:  Books on horses.. for my course
Emma:  Thats it for now
Chavi:  One of my best friends is a horse lover, owns her own out in Washington state
Emma:  Cool..
Chavi:  Well, not best friend anymore, unfortunately
Chavi:  She’s a little drama-filled
Emma:  I see
Chavi:  How are things where are you Emma?
Chavi:  Weather good?
Emma:  Fine and you?
Emma:  Not bad
Chavi:  Cool, actually. Chilly. Which is weird considering it was nearly 80 a week ago
YourMoralLeader:  do you have your classes for the fall?
Emma:  That is weird
Chavi:  YML — Emma or me?
YourMoralLeader:  chavi
Chavi:  Nada
Chavi:  I actually should figure out how to go about arranging all that …
Chavi:  I’m dealing with health requirements and financial aid stuff, which is obnoxious
Chavi:  Had to get two shots yesterday πŸ™
Chavi:  One in each arm, and today it feels like I have a horrible sunburn on both arms
YourMoralLeader:  oy ve
YourMoralLeader:  did you lose friends/family when you converted? people drift away?
YourMoralLeader:  what do you think, chavi, of jeremiah wright?
Chavi:  People gave me funny looks and I definitely got some "what the heck are you doing?" and "aren’t you a christian?" kind of statements from long-time friends who I don’t speak to that much anymore
Chavi:  Jeremiah Wright is his own man, and though I don’t agree with much that he says, he has a right to his opinion
Chavi:  I just wish he’d back off — he says he’s not hurting the Obama campaign, but that means he’s delusional
YourMoralLeader:  I think you’re going to end up Orthodox, not because it is more true, but because it is practical community, not many observant Conservative jews
Chavi:  I think the same thing about 92 percent of the time
Chavi:  The Conservative movement has the problem of the elite vs. the mass, yes.
Chavi:  I sometimes wonder how Conservative rabbis can be Conservative rabbis
YourMoralLeader:  the more religious you go on the jewish spectrum, the more elitist it becomes
Chavi:  since really they’re mostly Orthodox, just preaching to a Conservative crowd and living without an observant community
Chavi:  Oh I don’t know that that is always true
YourMoralLeader:  Conservativism is elite in theory
YourMoralLeader:  In reform/conservative, anyone can pop off with an opinion on the parsha
YourMoralLeader:  that dont fly in most ortho shuls
Emma:  I’m off
YourMoralLeader:  IMHO, conservative judaism meant well, it just dont work.
Chavi:  True
Emma:  Bye bye xx
YourMoralLeader:  bye
Chavi:  Ta ta Emma
YourMoralLeader:  xoxox
Chavi:  YML — that could be said for Reform as well
User Emma left the room.
YourMoralLeader:  No chavi, I think Reform works practically
Chavi:  Practically in a secular society
Chavi:  Impractical in a Jewish society
YourMoralLeader:  eventually conser will be subsumed by reform
Chavi:  It splits both ways, actually. I think the divide is just about even
Chavi:  The kids who go to the Conservative camp, though I can’t remember the name, usually end up leading the minyans, which are more Orthodox than Conservative
YourMoralLeader:  how do you feel about same sex marriage?
Chavi:  I read a book about the whole movement
Chavi:  It was fascinating
YourMoralLeader:  which book?
Chavi:  Same sex marriage? I say if the GLBT community wants to be as miserable as the rest of the world πŸ˜€ so be it!
Chavi:  I believe it was called The Conservative Movement in Judaism
Chavi:  I blogged about it here:
Chavi:  I hate that I can’t copy paste here!
Chavi:  But it’s interesting how people liken the Conservative movement to the Masorati movement, when they’re not really that alike
QuixoticLass:  how are they not alike?
Chavi:  Because there’s a difference between "Conservative" and "Traditional"
Chavi:  there are Traditional Jews who are not Conservative
Chavi:  Masorti is Traditional, not necessarily Conservative
YourMoralLeader:  chavi, lass was married to a conservative rabbi american
Chavi:  Traditional in practice (and thus theology) is not the same as Conservative, Traditional Jews tend to be more like Conservative Rabbis, in that they adhere more to the mitzvoth
QuixoticLass:  uh…still no definition
QuixoticLass:  and since I lived with a Conservative rabbi, was I more traditional?
Chavi:  You’re asking a Jew to define something Jewish!?
QuixoticLass:  yes
Chavi:  Insanity!
QuixoticLass:  you just said that traditional jews are like conservative jews
Chavi:  No …
Chavi:  There is Traditional and there is Conservative
Chavi:  In the Conservative movement, there is the elite (the rabbis) and the mass (the congregation)
QuixoticLass:  yes the vast majority of lay people in the conservative movement don’t give a flying fig about observance…but this is not "the movement" position
Chavi:  Yah … but if the community of the movement doesn’t represent the movement, then doesn’t the movement take on the facade of its community?
QuixoticLass:  oooo I was elite!
Chavi:  Like YML said, the Conservative mass will likely fade into Reform
Chavi:  Thus, the elite will fade into Traditional or Mod. Orthodox, likely
Chavi:  The Consv. movement is too confused about what it’s trying to be. Those with a good sense usually fall out into Mod. Orthodox or Traditional (where there’s a lot of Orthodox, but egalitarian — so confusing!)

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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