6/16/2011

Yizkor

I'm flabbergasted that Ha'aretz can, with a straight face, argue based on "tradition" that we should keep it the way it was, and not the emendations of R. Goren in a "thrall of messianic fervor." If only the secular establishment had so much respect for tradition while they were pissing on it (pardon my French, but I see this as jarringly ironic).
This really goes back to the issue that Ha'aretz, as well as some other media and the High Court, are really the last bastions of secular Ashkenazi culture. As I noted on Lag B'Omer, secular Israeli civic religion is slowly eroding, and Judaism is making space for more civic observance. I find this to be a heartwarming trend. On the specific issue of Yizkor, see Menachem Mendel's excellent piece.
One of the great writers of early secular Zionism, Haim Hazaz, concluded his "The Sermon" with the line: "When a man can no longer be a Jew, he becomes a Zionist" (in this context, "Jew" meant the religious and passive Jew of the exile, and "Zionist" meant secular kibbutznik). Apparently the opposite also holds true, at least on the broader scale: When a man can no longer be a Zionist, he becomes a Jew.
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