Theological Underpinnings of Mimetic Judaism (Mimetic Tradition, Part III)

October 12, 2007

This is ostensibly the most serious and most frivolous post of the series (which will go on for so long as I have things to say about it – which seems like a while). Serious, since it deals with big issues like God and covenant and such. Frivolous, since whenever people talk about these big issues all they seem to be doing is avoiding Halakha and practice and going back to nonsense-talk. So I’ll be treading lightly and say little.

The basic gist of my mimetic theology is that the connection of most Jews to “Sinai” (i.e. Revelation) is through our parents and families. Not through ideas (like Muslims, for example) or through conviction and miracles (like BTs or Converts). We have no way of communing with God except through our parents. Now, obviously some of us will end up disagreeing with our parents and changing their mode of communion, which is fine – but the dialog and discourse about it has to return to the fact that without our traditions we have nothing but a big set of ideas floating around in the sky for people to take up for fun, no better than any other set of ideas out there. This could be the reason why Jewish-Buddhist syncretism, for example, abounds especially with people who have no meaningful connection to their parents and their traditions, and feel alienated from them.

The reason Jews choose to remain Jews is, by and large, since they don’t want to stop – not by opting in (although some gentiles opt-in, but that, again, is a different story). The only way to continue is to base yourself on the practice of your family and move from there. You can move both ways, but don’t lose your sights or your respect from your original point of departure – since that’s your connection to Sinai. (end theological rant).

2 Responses to “Theological Underpinnings of Mimetic Judaism (Mimetic Tradition, Part III)”

  1. Eitan said

    I found my ranting friend from high-school on the Interwebs. Now I just need to look up and find out what mimetic tradition means..

  2. Some uncle or other said

    It’s one thing to assert that “The reason Jews choose to remain Jews is … since they don’t want to stop,” which is fine as far as it goes. But that doesn’t mean that those Jews don’t feel a connection to Sinai except through their parents’ practice. I would argue that, in today’s world, most Jews look at lots of outside practices, among which may happen to be their parents’ practice, and choose ones that are meaningful to them.

    Maybe this is more prevalent in the US, but a lot of people turn to, say, ArtScroll because they believe there are definitive correct practices there, whereas their families’ practices are just some random collection of possibly erroneous ideas.

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