If any of y’all were missing me the last few days, know that it was for good reason: I was traveling back to Oregon, and stopping to visit family on the way. I had a splendid time, and no inclination to perform my online duties.
On one of my stops, I joined a relative as he volunteered for a food drive. We spent some time at a Deformed Jewish Temple (sometimes known as “Reformed”). A few decades ago, some progressive Jews decided that Judaism needed to be reformed, so that it could be more inline with modern practices and sensibilities. The result was a watered-down version of Judaism where congregations bore more of a resemblance to social clubs than places of worship, where the rabbis (often women) were sometimes atheists, and where the conversion of gentiles was little more than a formality. The backlash became known as Conservative Judaism.
As you may have guessed by now, I have little fondness for Deformed Judaism; it’s simply a form of Progressivism/Leftism with a mild Jewish flavor. However, I’ll give credit where credit is due. The congregants were generous, and we ended up with several crates of kosher food for the less-fortunate.
Every single one of the donors was a single older woman. Not one man was to be found, and not one young person – but there were plenty of dogs. I asked one lady if their congregation did bar-mitzvahs for dogs (“bark-mitzvahs”), and she replied that they do not. They do have events where the rabbi blesses pets.
The congregation is dying. The men have all left, and the congregants either did not produce any children to carry on, or their children have no interest in carrying on. Why should they? There are plenty of other, more attractive, venues to practice Leftism. Perhaps the dogs, if trained properly, can breath new life into Deformed Judaism. It would be ironic; they are, after all, Canine-ites.
In contrast, the Orthodox congregations have plenty of children, and their congregations seem to be thriving in that area.
Back in the Portland area, I’m pleased to see that prices haven’t risen to the levels I feared. Hunger doesn’t appear to be imminent. The homeless problem seems to have gotten worse since I left, and so has the graffiti.