Judged About Their Lack Of Jewishness

Non-Orthodox Jews frequently seem concerned that Orthodox Jews are judging them about their lack of Jewishness.

On JewishJournal.com, Jason Lipeles writes: "Although he had a long beard, I wasn’t nervous or thinking that maybe he was judging my lack of Jewishness."

Why would they care? If non-Orthodox Jews were secure in their Jewish identity, they would not be the least concerned about Orthodox Jews judging them.

I don’t think the problem here is Orthodox Jews supposedly judging the lack of Jewishness of non-Orthodox Jews. It is the lack of secure identity of non-Orthodox Jews.

One good thing about living Orthodox Judaism is that you know who you are. Evidently, many if not most non-Orthodox Jews do not know who they are and they worry about it. Deep down, they are not sure sure that their non-Orthodox ways of living are Jewishly legitimate and all the erudite arguments for why they are legitimate don’t settle them down at the soul level.

I live and breathe among Orthodox Jews. I rarely hear any of them discuss the lack of Jewishness of non-Orthodox Jews or the lack of observance. Overwhelmingly, Orthodox Jews don’t care about non-Orthodox Jews and goyim. We don’t fear for their salvation. We feel obligations to fellow Jews that we don’t have for non-Jews, but Orthodoxy keeps you so busy with its many rituals and requirements, there’s simply not much time in the day to worry about those outside the Torah corral. Like everyone else, we care about ourselves and our institutions.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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