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So you think Israelis are alienated from Judaism

While I am sure that some Israelis are alienated from Judaism, just as many, if not more, are not. It is also important to distinguish between alienation from religious bureaucracy and alienation from religion. Haaretz has an article about the thousands of Israelis who participate in “Selichot Tours” leading up to the Yamim Noraim.

It may be the most booming business in Jerusalem these days, but despite its religious character, it caters – rather paradoxically – to a largely secular crowd. Welcome to the world of Selichot tours. It’s a phenomenon that draws tens of thousands to the capital each night during the weeks leading up to the High Holy Days – Israelis of all ages and from all walks of life who are eager to experience, or at least learn more about, this longstanding tradition of reciting penitential prayers and liturgy in the wee hours of the night.

The article describes the different types of tours, some that provide very little time to actually observe or participate in the recitation of Selichot and others that have more of an emphasis on the Selichot themselves.

One Response to “So you think Israelis are alienated from Judaism”

  1. 1

    I’d be careful abour anythin I read in Haaretz. That paper has such a visceral hatred of religion [and, parenthetically, Netanyahu] it’s turned into something of a joke.

    Having said that, you are right to distinguish between religion and religios bueracracy. Many make the same distinction between religion and organized religion. The only problem is, while it can no doubt be incredibly maddening, religion without the accompanying organization, bueracracy and all, is usually little more than vague platitudes about God and “doing good” and things like that.




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