Sunday, December 27, 2009

In the beginning....

by Luke Skyhopper, with some JG

In the beginning, something created someone, and the rest was history.

After a while, a bunch of people decided that this something may or may not have created someone, by which I mean us. All the ways and means, which may or may not have been derived from something's creation of someone, were brought into question. Existence alone was all that could be taken for granted.

A Crisis set in.

Our heroes had broken with the established community, and the norms which were previously established. They were on their own, free to wreak havoc as they saw fit. Cast adrift in an ocean of ideas, or rather a hypothetical strip mall of such aforementioned concept, these gallant creatures realized that it was not a complete severance they sought. Rather they wanted to retain a connection to the past life and a semblance of community, if it could be salvaged.

While being free of previously assumed guidelines and rules, there was something holding them back. The norms, practices and routines of the culture which they had deconstructed in all essence remained, albeit in a relatively altered state of approach.

These individuals, held together by the banner of "Orthopraxy", live both within and outside that world which they previously called home. Their quest is to find the proper happy medium of practice and belief.

The world of Orthodox Judaism, from which we claim our origins, with all its strains and factions, was for many a relatively warm and cozy place to live. Like all things held dearly, some of us do not wish to, nor can we bear the burden, of casting off this community in its entirety. For others, Orthodoxy was not warm and cozy at all, but still holds some grasp on them, whether social, familial, or other.

However, half-assing such an all-inclusive life style carries its own burdens and often leaves us suffering from a large degree of isolation and loneliness. What would life be like with an openly Orthoprax community? A group of relatively like-minded individuals who enjoy a good pot of chulent, a vort and some zmiros, but frankly have a tough time believing in the various unfounded claims of our tradition. Is there room for an intellectual group with a sweet tooth for the flavor of Frumkeit?

IT IS THE GOAL OF THIS EXPERIMENT aka BLOG, to work through the issues of estrangement which arise from casting off many of the fundemental beliefs of Orthodox Judaism, while yet living a more or less Orthodox lifestyle. While certainly not the first to tackle orthopraxy in some way, we would like to discuss these issues in depth, and see to it that a community of sorts can possibly be created, examining:

Philosophy: Is there room for spirituality in life when you have already deconstructed spirituality?
Community: How do you live in an Orthodox community, or create an Orthoprax one? How do Orthopraxers raise kids, or date and marry?
Inner Lives: How do we deal with the ups and downs, manage the tradeoffs, handle the benefits and burdens?

It is not the goal as of this posting to immediately create a Orthoprax Synagogue or community within our geographic locale. However such an idea is indeed a hope of ours.

And now, without further ado, 21st Century Apikorsis presents to you THE PRAXY PROJECT (trumpets, kazoos and fireworks)

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