I once thought levels of observance in Judaism were clearly marked. I envisioned observance as a tiered platform with all performers conscious on what step they are standing. If the tiered platform analogy is accurate, then players look down and take note only of the steps below them, oblivious to the many rows above their heads.
I’ve listened to people with a modern background claiming online their family was as frum as it gets. I assume they heard about black-hats before, but can’t think in that direction. Relative to their neighbors, classmates, or congregants, they were saints, and that’s all that matters. The ultras are just that: ultras; out of the equation.
The same is true within the many layers of Chreidim. The yeshiva guy thinks he reached heaven because he grows a beard and his wife wears the most rumpled wig in town. He is blissfully unaware that somewhere a sanctimonious coreligionist removes the wine off the table during Kiddush because the label contains Latin lettering.
Ego-centricism is at play here. The people below don’t have a sense of what it really means to be frum, and the people above take it to an extreme. This credo is held even by sliver splinter groups.
Oh, falsehood comes in so many flavors, but the cherished truth is only one. And only a handful of people know it, most of whom happen to be born into it.
The Pesach Story
2 weeks ago