desh ([personal profile] desh) wrote 2012-03-12 12:02 am (UTC)

Interesting points!

Regarding when we lived together: There was only one Shavuot during the time we lived together when the 2nd day wasn't on Shabbat. I'm sorry if that day was awkward for you, but I actually consider my memories of it, when I came home in my "work clothes" of shorts and a t-shirt while you and AH were sitting on the couch learning gemara in your Shabbos best, to be amusing and fond. Wouldn't mind having moments like that again at all.

Regarding Tikvah: There's no reason why we can't do Simchat Torah while still leaving it ambiguous whether we communally are considering it chag or not. But I don't think we're going to. It's at least to some extent a pluralistic community, and most of the people in it are 2DYT Jews in some form, so I expect Tikvah to continue that way.

Regarding seder and other similar things: It's generally possible to go to celebrations like that even if they're not yours. Yes, it's not appropriate for me to lead or even say kiddush at a 2nd seder, for example, and there are some other adjustments to be made, but there's no reason for me to not go. If I want to go somewhere, if I'll get something out of it socially or whatever, then I will! Otherwise I won't. And in any case, I'll have to be good at not checking my email every 10 minutes, yes. I was at a Heymish last night where at least 3 people (and probably more) had phones, and not one of them used it that I saw, all evening. It's possible to be discreet. (Plus, it's not like any of my friends will be posting on Facebook anyway; they'll all be at seders!)

Things like torah reading, on the other hand, are communal obligations, not individual ones. It's not at all incumbent on an individual to hear the "right" torah portions.

In general, it's true that I didn't emphasize the communal aspect of this decision, either to myself or in this post, as much as I might have. Someone else has also pointed this out to me. The general answer to that is that my approach to Judaism is as an individual, not as a member of a community. (In this regard, I believe I am operating more like a Reform Jew than a Reconstructionist one.) I make decisions that are right for me, and then I become parts of communities that fit well (or less well) with those aspects of my Judaism. It's not the other way around.

EDIT: Because I didn't link to Mah Rabu enough times in this comment, here's perhaps his most direct answer on community vs. individual on the 1DYT question.

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