It is a good thing that our family is moving to France as I won’t have to do something unpleasant. I won’t have to tell the rabbi of our congregation that we are leaving the temple because of the rabbi.
Now, with less than two months to go until we board a plane for Paris, I can simply tell our rabbi that we are severing our ties with the temple because the commute will be a bitch.
Yes, it would be more satisfying to tell our rabbi that we are leaving the temple because of the new ways of thinking the rabbi has put in place since becoming our rabbi a year ago, but with my eldest son’s Bar Mitzvah coming up in less than a month, I find it more prudent not to rock the boat.
So what has my fringed tallit in a twist?
To start off with, our rabbi, during Shabbat services, has started to introduce mysticism (Kabbalah, numerology, and even astrology) into the sermons. Sorry, I was raised in a Conservative temple and shamanistic beliefs do not fly with my understanding of Judaism.
Secondly, during one of our family’s conversations with the rabbi for Christopher’s Bar Mitzvah, my son asked the rabbi if the Exodus actually happened. The rabbi said “No, it probably didn’t, but it makes for a good story”.
It’s one thing for my no-goodnik of an ex-college roommate to espouse such utter nonsense, but it is quite another when the head of a Jewish congregation expresses doubt about the veracity of one of the tenets of the whole Jewish faith – that of the freeing of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt by the Almighty.
The last straw came during another of our meetings with the rabbi about Chris’s Bar Mitzvah. Chris had written his speech and had used the male pronoun (He, Him) when refering to the Lord. The rabbi actually suggested that all the male references be replaced with more gender-neutral language.
He is a He. Our prayers speak of the Lord as Father and Sheild. He is a He.
So, I’m done with the rabbi. Consider me old-fashioned and hanging on to tradition, but as a wise man once sung, “Without tradition, we would be like a fiddler on the roof”