Not for me – for the ultra-Orthodox.
I chose Judaism because of several things: a sense of community, a sense of acts being more important than words or appearances, ritual that made sense to me and spoke to me. I chose Reform Judaism because Reform Jews are open-minded and welcoming while still maintaining the important traditions of Judaism – the ones that matter.
Now. Given that, what I’m seeing from the ultra-Orthodox is that appearances are more important to them than actions, and that keeping up appearances is the most important thing. And in doing so, they are behaving in ways that are bigoted, small-minded, and even dishonest.
When you hire Latinos to dress up as Orthodox Jews to protest my rights as a gay man, that’s dishonest. They’re not your Shabbos goyim. They are people playing a part to keep up appearances.
When you try to block women from praying with the Torah at the Kotel and compare them to church arsonists, that’s small-minded and sexist. That’s not a mitzvah. It’s a sin. When you beat up a man who is brave enough to give them the Torah anyway, that’s not a mitzvah either. It’s a crime.
When you cancel bar mitzvah services organized by the Masorti stream of Judaism for disabled kids because they don’t meet your Orthodox standards, that’s just outright bullying. And to what purpose?
And although I could probably find another dozen examples of ultra-Orthodox small-mindedness, this takes the cake: When you say that Reform Jews aren’t Jews, well, why would I want to become part of your small-minded, bigoted, dishonest group called ultra-Orthodox Judaism?
Sorry. Not feeling it, dudes. When you can move beyond your dishonesty and your pursuit of appearances above all, maybe I’ll consider you Jews. For now, I don’t. I consider you a pox on the People. You’re no different than the Jews whose senseless hate led to the destruction of the Second Temple.
Oh, what’s that you say? I don’t have the authority to say you’re not Jews? Who says so?
Oh, because “sefer sheli,” huh? Because it’s YOUR Torah?
Sorry, guys. It’s my Torah too. And it’s the women’s Torah too. It’s everyone’s Torah.
When you can get beyond your circular arguments, do feel free to get back to me. And when you do get back to me, you can explain how Ruth, the great-grandmother of King David, who joined the People simply by saying “Your people shall be my people, and your God will be my God” is Jewish, but I’m somehow not, even though I’d be right there in the gas chambers with you if the pogroms came again.
Grow up, already. You’re an embarrassment to all of Judaism, and I doubt you even realize it.