Wednesday, June 15, 2005

"Already There Judaism"

Note: In this posting addressing "Already There Judaism" I am not specifically referring to any one movement, Reconstructionist, Reform, Conservative, Modern Orthodox, or "Ultra-Orthodox".

There are people who practice Already There Judaism within each of these groups.

What is "Already There Judaism"?

A person who practices Already There Judaism believes that he has reached the pinnacle of his religious observance. If total observance of the mitzvos is rated as level 100, he is convinced that he is at 100. He is on top of the mountain and there is no where left to go.

The Already There Jew looks disparagingly at another person whose observance surpasses his own. He cannot fathom the idea that a person can do more than he does. He feels threatened to learn that perhaps he is not at 100, perhaps the rating scale goes from 0 to infinity and he has stopped off at a motel somewhere along the way.

The Already There Jew has forgotten that Judaism stresses maintaining a personal connection to G-d, and by increasing his observance of mitzvos he increases his own personal connection.

If the Already There Jew was truly "there", Moshiach would already be here.

(Cross Posted on A Simple Jew)


Anonymous said...

Better a "not yet" Jew than an "already there" Jew...

Eli7 said...

I know some people who had a discussion about labels within Judaism and decided that their label should be "hopefully holier than yesterday" and that's it. Because that's all there really is. It doesn't matter so much where you are it matters where you're going and there is always room to grow.

Stacey said...

Beautifully put, Eli7.