I’ve been grappling with Judaism for many years, from about the age of five, when I realized I was probably an atheist, and a lot before I realized I was a lesbian. My hostility towards religion has not been particularly reasoned. I considered (and still do) faith in a higher power to be a far-fetched idea, and that was pretty much all I had to say about religion.
All that changed completely about two years ago, when I got to know a genuine haredi family through the Havruta project – a family that became my second home, and my great love. A mother, father and seven children living in a two and a half bedroom apartment on the suburbs of Bnei Brak. Over the past two years, I’ve been spending at least half of my time in Bnei Brak, feeling comfortable driving down its alleyways as if they were those of Tel Aviv, haggling over a price in its stores and feeling at home. How do you get from Hazon Ish Street to Ha-Rav Kook? Easy, through Rabi Akiva.
Naturally, my friendship with religious Jews has led to quite a few heated arguments. Other than throwing plates at one another, we’ve done it all. We yelled, slammed doors, pulled hair – but it all ended with half a smile. I make the argument that Judaism is a chauvinistic and arcane religion, they give me some Yiddishkeit about a compassionate, divine and eternal religion. All glorious is the king’s daughter within the palace? Women are invalid as Halachic witnesses? A conversation with a woman is a waste of time and she belongs at the back of the bus? Forget it, they say in tune, Judaism is protective over women and elevates them above all. The thing that stands out most when talking to haredim is their lack of willingness to admit that Halacha laws, and their public, need an update.
FK – Whatever ‘god’ is out there may be sick to death of ‘humans'(loosely defined) arguing over 3000-year-old tribal propaganda.
FK – The human race is still completely and thoroughly insane. We are a very primitive species and still exist in a very dark age…