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December 24, 2012 / conservadox

On the meaning of “religious”

I was looking at a SYAS (sawyouatsinai.com) profile and saw something that amused me (and upset me a little maybe, but amused me more).  Someone who appears to be a fairly observant Conservative Jew (keeps kosher home, avoids kosher meat in nonkosher restaurants) said she wasn’t “religious.”

This struck me as silly because even if you aren’t as religiously observant as your Orthodox neighbors you are still more religious than about 80 percent or so of American Jews.

I heard a more offensive (to me) version of this when me, a friend, and a friend of a friend were walking by the lone C shul in a O neighborhood, and the latter said “I wish it was a religious shul.”  The implication that only O Jews are “religious” made me want to give her a verbal butt-kicking (which, I hasten to add, I did not do).

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2 Comments

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  1. frum single female / Dec 30 2012 2:46 pm

    i have to agree with you. Even if one is not orthodox , but if one observes some of the mitzvos one is religious. There are so many who observe absolutely nothing.I have also heard people tell me they were perplexed that I call myself frum because I am orthodox but not yeshivish.

  2. Shira Salamone / Dec 31 2012 3:31 pm

    ” . . . even if you aren’t as religiously observant as your Orthodox neighbors you are still more religious than about 80 percent or so of American Jews.”

    Good grief, does that sound familiar! I’m not Orthodox, in terms of either observance or belief, and I’m not even strictly Conservative, if one goes by the official rules, but I’m more observant than almost all of my friends and most of the other members of our Conservative synagogue. So what does that make me? Oh yes, I forgot: I’m Conservaprax. 🙂

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