gershon hepner

Rookie - 10 Points (5 3 38 / leipzig)

Orthodox Mores - Poem by gershon hepner

Jews who’re orthodox make forays
into areas where mores
emphasize an education
where the Torah brings elation,
doing so far more than Jews
who feel that it’s OK to lose
the halakhah. They tend to marry
Jews and do not hari-kari
the Jewish gene pool choosing “others, ”
who don’t resemble sisters, brothers,
far more than Jews without this label,
and travel more, when they are able,
to Israel than the Jews who’re less
committed to what they profess,
and act as though their peoplehood
extends beyond the ghettoed hood.
To all Jews loyal to the core,
they don’t exclude ones who aren’t Or-
thodox, but try to bring them back
into the fold. They don’t attack
their mores, but believe that less
is not enough to share largesse
the Torah offers. More, they think,
works better, so they do not shrink
the halakhah that’s their tradition,
and of their mores first edition.

Of course we shouldn’t have schism
about the issue “Judaism.”
With such an issue we will lose
what we don’t want to lose, more Jews,
which we cannot afford to do
however we are labeled Jew.

Inspired by a letter in Forward, November 27,2009 by Neil W. Schluger of Millwood, NJ:

Ben Dreifus writes: “We need to eliminate the idea that Orthodox Judaism is more anything and liberal Judaism is less anything.” Of course he is correct, but for the liberal movements, the issue is not Judaism, but Jews. There are many important and meaningful ways in which Orthodox Jews are in fact “more.” They are more likely to devote time to serious study of Jewish texts, and to be able to rad them in Hebrew, they are more likely to provide a serious Jewish education to their children; they are more likely to visit Israel regularly, and even to move there; and they are more likely to marry other Jews. These are critical behaviors, and they should not be more characteristic of one denomination as opposed to the other, but the fact is that they are. All of these “mores” are challenges to the liberal denominations, which are numerically larger, but which have not managed to create the same depth of attachment to Jewish history, tradition, leaning and people hood among their members…


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 3, 2009

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