I gotta think about something other than the shutdown, so here are a few religion related items that have accumulated in the links list. I’m sure you’ve seen some of these floating around FB:
- Thanksgivukkah. Here’s a real interesting post with some great menu suggestions for Thanksgivukkah — which is what happens when the first night of Chanukah falls on Thanksgiving. I particularly like the roasted Brussel sprouts with pastrami and pickled onion. A number of other suggestions sound good as well. The main problem: too little is fried. The traditional theme for Chanukkah is fried food. I’d fix this by doing a deep-fried turkey, making a latke-stuffing (cooked outside the bird), and serving pumpkin donuts (in fact, I’d go for a pumpkin-flavored dough, filled with a cranberry jelly, for pumpkin sufganiot!).
- Cultural Judaism on the Rise. The notion of Thanksgivukkah is yet another example of cultural Judaism, which according to a recent survey is on the rise. You can see even more statistics from the survey here. All of this shows is that, except for the Orthodox, Jews are embracing the culture and discarding the spiritual side. This seems to be an argument for Rabbi Wine’s Society for Humanistic Judaism. However, I’ve seen attempts in Reform to combat this by trying to make existing congregations a spiritual home, but I’m not sure it will be successful. It takes a combination of the right clergy and the right congregants to happen, and I’m not sure it will fit with the modern society. Those who want the spirituality will go for the Orthodox side, which they view as authentic (even though Reform is equally authentic).
- Assimilation Fears. Time has an interesting article that perhaps Judaism is too fearful of assimilation. I can understand the fear, given what happened during WWII and with the pervasiveness of the Christian culture. But then again… we may just be seeing the same ethnicity-blending that mixed marriages produce moving to the religious side, and that people will be building a new blended culture.
- Overdoing Religion. Three other articles this week addressed the over-zealousness of some religions. In the first, the Wheel Inn diner along I-10 near Cabazon has closed. Some say it is because the newer owners overemphasized the biblical view of dinosaurs. In the second, a high-school theatre production of “Inherit the Wind” was squelched because of the subject matter — heavens forfend, it defended evolution! In the third, the owners of Hobby Lobby have come under fire because the Christian owner refuses to stock mechandise for Jewish holidays. All of these are demonstrations of intolerance of other views … of a close-mindedness that doesn’t move society forward.
And speaking of close-mindedness… but then again, enough on the shutdown.