Anger At Orthodox Judaism

One thing I love about Orthodox Judaism is that it provokes strong feelings in me.

A while ago, I was seeing a woman who was raised Orthodox but now hates it. That didn’t bother me. There’s plenty I hate in Orthodox Judaism too. I’d say my ratio of love-to-hate vis-a-vis Orthodox Judaism is about two-to-one. Unfortunately for me, this woman had feelings of hate-to-love for Orthodoxy that were about ten-to-one.

Orthodox Judaism provokes strong feelings because it has so many demands and it attributes the source of those demands to the Creator of the Universe. From a secular point of view, these claims that God gave the Torah are nonsense. So there’s no apparent reason to put up with Orthodoxy’s demands unless you part ways with the academic consensus and live against the facts.

What’s in it for you if you part ways with the secular consensus and separate yourself from the easy-going American way? You get to be a part of something where everyone else in the project has a similarly high commitment. Orthodox Judaism demands a lot from its adherents and as a consequence they sacrifice a lot for each other. It’s high intensity religion. Conservative and Reform Judaism are low intensity religion and its adherents don’t sacrifice nearly as much for each other and for their faith as do their Orthodox counterparts.

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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