Episode 229: Primary Experience - Dan and Lex


Support for this episode of Judaism unbound comes from the Osman Family JCC in Palo Alto. California whose vision is to be the architects of the Jewish Future. The Schmidt Family JCC's is an incubator for new expressions of Jewish identity. It creates innovative learning celebrations, arts programs that inspire personal connections to people and ideas from across the Jewish world learn more at www dot. Palo Alto JCC DOT Org. This is Judaism unbound episode two hundred twenty nine primary experience. Welcome back everyone I'm Dan Lee Benson and I'm. Let's Roessberg and we are here to do a recap episode as we as we do. After a bunch of interviews, I feel like we're trying to get Judaism unbound sort of back on track in a way after the last three months in which we've done these somewhat similar, somewhat different things. Relating to the situation we've had a lot of previous guests talking about things that related directly to Covid, and now we're starting this process of moving back towards what we've been doing all along on Judaism unbound, which is looking at all the things that we should be thinking about in terms of the Jewish future and I. Think it's interesting to think about how that fits with Cova could clearly this is now a new element in the Jewish future that we have to keep in mind while it's going on after it ends, I mean there's a lot you know everything has changed. Changed and yet you I also have this feeling that I want to go back to our conversations that don't always only have to deal with covert or things that are related to that I'm not sure if that's the right answer. Not, but that's kind of where I'm sitting right now before we jump into it I to put out there the the word, the requests that we usually do in these kinds of wrap up episodes, which is that if you're someone who listens to Judaism, inbound regularly and or somebody who's been really appreciating what we've been putting out there through Jewish live. The thing that we really need from folks is financial support just a little bit. It adds that there's a lot of people out there. That are using this stuff. I unfortunately they're not all of sending in their donations, but we imagine a time when when people really will and wanted to and I know. At least a lot of people are sitting at home these. These days, maybe they have a few extra seconds to head over to our website. Which is www dot judaism unbound dot com slash, donate and make a small donation. We really aren't asking for thousands of dollars. We're really saying that if everybody out there was listening was giving a dollar for every episode that you listen to so if you listen to every episode. Episode, you know something like fifty dollars a year that would be a really great way to support a Jewish nonprofit, and these days as things are all changing and a lot of the big nonprofits are really struggling, you know because some of these other business models that are not about being supported by the people who are most actively using what you're what you're doing. Doing are running into some challenges these days, and and so maybe a different business model is really called for now, and we're trying to put that into the world, so let's jump into our conversation. I know that this is a little bit in country. Diction to what I just said about not wanting to talk about covert so much, but we're good contradictions. But I think that it actually it's something on my mind. We talked about it a little. You push back at me a little bit, but I want to put it out there because I think it actually connects to some of what we've been talking about. In particular are amazing conversation with Casper Kyle about his much more amazing book, the power of ritual, which by the way I keep emphasizing I mostly listen to audio books in my life and. The real frustrations for me in wanting to read all these Jewish books is that they often don't come out audio books. I I should note also by the way for for fans out there that the orchard Baio He Brandis, which I translated is going to come out with as an audio book finally after. A couple of years, and that's GonNa becoming this spring, so that's super exciting to me because I love audiobooks and cats, audio comes from the Hebrew words in Ya, which means until God's, so it takes you towards holiness. That's why you love audiobooks so much. That is there is an and so Casper's book is read by Him and if you listen to. The episode a few weeks ago that we did with him. You will know why that is a major selling point of the book so anyway. Kasper's book talks about. About this idea among others that we should be treating the things that we do every day as rituals or as potential rituals that we can make meaning out of the things that we do every day I've actually been thinking about a variant of that. That has to do with things that we may not do every day, but that we ought to do every day, and that may be having them. Become. ritualized is a way to make sure that we do them every day, and perhaps a way that we can influence others. Others and what I'm specifically talking about is wearing a mask because these days as I walk around the streets in my neighborhood I see people that are walking around without masks, and it's not people that are like on a walk on a solo. Walk through the park, and they're not near anybody, and so you could argue you know that's a legitimate you. You just put a mask near near near people and you're not able to socially distanced, but I'm talking about unlike a busy street and a busy pedestrian street and I walk. Walk around and I see a lot of people wearing masks that I also see a lot of people, not wearing masks and I'm thinking that you know you and I have talked about different ways to think about the should, and ought in Judaism, but I kind of aspired to a world in which no Jew could not wear a mask, the idea that that what it means to be a Jew is to wear a mask and I think that the the way I draw some of that that thinking is you know from. Firm pieces of Jewish. Wisdom that are very ancient like the idea that one who saves a single life saves the entire world or the idea of the stranger you know, and the mask is less about protecting yourself and worry about protecting others from you so love. The Stranger feels feels apt to that and I'm thinking about like with there be a way in which a mask could kind of be the new. You know the symbol of being Jew and one that. Wouldn't have religious connotations the way that I perceive keep, it'd be a no. You have a different take on it, but I'm thinking like. Could we somehow create a mask that you would wear it? As kind of an active Judaism and it would be like a lot of the ritual garb that Judaism tends to have like. If we're talking about Kifah or tireless or the the tallest, it goes under your shirt, the the sort of a small version of that many Orthodox Jews where and a lot of times. It's meant to be kind of a reminder to you about these kind of obligations that you've taken on. On and also assigned to others outside that I am Ju- and what it means to be a Jew ideally is that that means I have these values and I and I care about There's etc and I don't actually think necessarily that the ritual garb that we have in Judaism today actually accomplish that, but I think that like a GE mask would, but I am intrigued by the notion of saying. Are there new Jewish rituals that we could create out of things that we ought to do every day even though we may not actually do them every day. That's a little different from what Casper is talking about. So, you're right that I feel mixed about this, but I feel i. feel some things that are very positive about it. So what I agree with is I. Think we have an issue with Jewish clothes or signifier 's where those clothes are signifies, do not mean to people like. Ethical commitments. Like I I don't think I. I mean they might indirectly I i. don't think that they're entirely independently from me wearing the. Does serve certain kinds of ethical reminder, but like I think for most people wearing star of David or a high necklace or Anything that is like a common Jewish article of clothing or jewelry, or whatever it doesn't lake, say anything about how you act or what you think which. I think see that as less of a problem than you do, but I still acknowledged that. It is a problem I'm with you that I would like an I. actually wear some some kinds of Jewish, things that do signify ideological commitments. Some of my potent you know I I have like an if not now Yarmulke of from the Organization of that now that I've been actively involved in that does all sorts of work for justice, and specifically focuses on and Jackie patient work, which is exceedingly important right now as annexation of Roaches, but. I think that we should be flexing that muscle and I think that what's under the surface for why we don't have more of that is a kind of insecurity or lack this this historical thing where like sure the Evangelical Christian not deceiving Doug like Christians can have their big signs on the street with quotes from the Bible, or whatever, but like we sort of. We don't want to be to pub-. We don't want to be too loud and public and we don't. Like it draws attention like what if that leads to people who don't like the quotes that were saying are the logical saying like doing terrible things to us from our perspective I am not denying any of that's real, but I think we need to really state that like there are things in this world that matter more than. The fears we have about Jewish safety. There are actually those things now. My question is to go to your specific with the mask like. By definition even as you and I are aligned that covert is GonNa be a long time and that we all should be wearing masks for a while. It's not a long term I. mean you and I talk about schemes of hundreds and thousands of years like it's not at all the case I don't think that that wearing a mask will be the same kind of ethical commitment in even five years I mean. Maybe at like that would be awful. I hope it's not like that's part of my concern about the mask, but the other piece is practically. I'm not sure how much you could read out a mask. And how close people look at them? And then there is for me the question of whatever some people talk about virtue signaling. That's not really the the right term, but look just sort of the the way in which it would just be sort of like that it could be if not done thoughtfully just sort of a shorthand way to feel like you're doing action that stands in for for broader action and like right now in a moment where I especially think that there's a real obligation for all of us especially those who are white to be participating in racial justice struggles. Struggles if I were to have a mask I would want it to send a message along those lines, and and start to send the message that Jewish act is is to stand in solidarity with black lives. I don't want to spend time with the Jews who are out there screaming all lives matter, or who are not actively not wearing masks and endangering people like that's not my group of people, and I feel more in common with somebody who's not Jewish but but shares more values than those people to go to like Arbor neighboring tests that we always talk about but. I still think that that there's some like obstacles with the the mask, and so I've been thinking about like tattoos, which I think especially. If you put them in someplace that you could easily show to the world and I also thought about this is you know an appropriate of act, but from a powerful like hegemonic culture thought about the Jesus Bracelets, the what would Jesus do bracelets like for a long time I actually wore a bracelet every single day it broke at it. Nothing changed, but like the broken I didn't replace it with the same one I wore one from a nonprofit that I hold very dear. It. It was very important to me and nobody else knew this. They probably didn't even know it. Meant said C champions on it, which is now an organization called connecting champions, but it was this Rainbow Blade Bracelet and for me. It was a reminder of some of my. Commitments to better, the world, and also because it was a rainbow, it had like a little part that was blue, and so given that the Torah talks about having like a blue thread in your seat seat in year reminder. Shawl that's in your on your having a reminder on the threads of your outfit. Basically, that was like kind of my blue thread, and it did on occasion actually might look. I had the experience of looking at me like Oh yeah I like need to act a certain way. It works that ritual so so I. Agree with you that that it's a real issue that we need to like have. Commitments. In our fabric in our garments in our selves I'm not as convinced about how to go about it. In some ways I think that you and I often are saying the same thing, but meaning like. Wants to hang around with the Jews who were saying all lives matter any of that. Know, we're not wearing masks, not doing any of the things that like we think on an ethical level like people should do and. I think one difference is that I wanNA define Judaism as rose people whereas you are taking a much more. Historically don't want anybody else to have that power who don't want to. Do It, I wanted I wanted to happen. Naturally indefinitely meaning what I WANNA do is create a is and the way that I. think that this kind of thing happens right I'm not looking for some rabbinic authority to mandate that all Jews should wear masks. For example, I mean I'm trying to suggest that somehow we make it a norm by just doing it, but doing it in a in a very consciously Jewish manner, and then people who are into that will follow in. It'll grow and grow as a practice so now I don't I don't know if that's a mask I. I am intrigued by the idea of a mask only because like I wanna be able to you. I I'm troubled by the idea that that a Jew who takes Judaism seriously would go out without a mask like that feels very troubling to me and I. Don't know exactly how you know societal norms or societal rituals like hazards talking about how they come about I think they come about by people that you admire doing them, and you know one person does it in the present. That's cool. Where'd you get that mask? You know and. and and eventually it catches on what that could be a mask it could be t shirts like I'm actually intrigued by the idea that if you could wear a T. shirt every day for a year. How who's GonNa want to go out into the world again with a tight, and so I think there's an opportunity to design lines of t shirts that are maybe a little bit, a little bit more presentable or something like that, but that have like slogans on them, or you know or like little, but in a certain way that fits in the zoom screen or or whatever? Whatever you know, and and again I could imagine that like there's a Jewish line of t shirts. You know that like the expectation. Is that everybody by seven of them? You know they're sold in packages of seven now. You're trying to sell me on it and you know I love my seven. See what you, so we're trying to like. The expectation is that we want? Want people to wear these t shirts every single day, and they each have some kind of like phrase from the Jewish tradition that, either can be about like caring for the health of strangers or like you say black lives matter you know. Maybe they can have like double slogans because they can say something like you know. I think I've seen a sign that says something like. Like black lives, matter is Kuno Law or something like that you know, and and so you know whatever they might be, but the idea is that we could remind ourselves, and we could also I don't be in virtue signaling in the way that says to others like hey. I believe in this stuff, but actually I don't do anything about it, but that signals to others. Others like I do do things about this and I think it's an ethical imperative and I want you to also, but if you see me walking on the street when there's not a protest going on, you don't know that I'm a big supporter of black lives. Matter. If I wear a t shirt all the time that says black lives matter than than you do and so. So what I'm looking for is a way to both explicitly tie that to Judaism and by that I mean the Judaism that I'm hoping that will come about not necessarily the Judaism that has been in the past and that, and where you kind of are creating doing something that I think actually is a Jewish tradition has been a Jewish tradition. Right which is using our. Our clothing in a conscious way to signal to ourselves and others return, remind ourselves and signal to others who we are aspiring at least aspiring to be in the world and I'm intrigued by that. I've never been attracted to it. Because I personally have felt that a keeper wearing keep our yarmulke feels to me like it's overly religious like it feels to me like it's. It's about God and I. Don't I don't want to signal something about God and I know that that's not why you wear it. Keep on I think that other people could wear. Keep on different for different reasons, but for me it's always felt like not the symbol that I'm looking for and like a wearing a towel. Sir you know, tell us under my shirt. Just feel like they're too much about God, and that's not what I'm trying to get at what I'm trying to get as the other ethical. Practices of Judaism and so I I'm looking for different clothing that I actually would be willing to wear. You know in order to try to realize those beliefs. Positive peer pressure. What you're talking about is creating norms. I firmly agree with you that there are certain things that it repulses me. Not all Jews do or at the very least it repulses me that not all Jews that can. Do, so I I like for me. I, always bring up a have in the past precisely because of the point. I'm making that. I care about this so much. blood donation like it makes me angry. It makes me actually angry that most people who are who are eligible to give blood. Do not regularly. It doesn't make me more. Angry about the Jews than everybody else, but like because I'm part of the Jews and spend a lot of my efforts on making the best Jewish community I can. It bothers me that there isn't a positive peer pressure in place like it should be embarrassing. I'm sorry to say this to listeners who don't give I feel this very strongly but like. It should be frowned upon it should. It should receive the kinds of negative consequence that something stupid in trivial like Bacon and a synagogue would get in most synagogues like. We. Do have pressures injuries like we have tons of them, but we are allocating them in silly ways sometimes, and we should be directing them in life saving way so masks lifesaving done deal for me. I absolutely want there to be that positive professor. I want people and I'm not saying this to be an Asshole, but like the way society works is some people are motivated positively by I really WANNA. Do X. Y. or Z. Right thing. then. There's people who like they don't really want to do that thing or but they're motivated to not cross social lines. They don't want everybody to think that they suck, so they're not gonNA. They're not GONNA be blatantly publicly racist. You usually I mean we still have people who are blatantly racist? But like there's plenty of people who, if there's if the people they care about will frown on them for that thing even if they would do it otherwise, they won't so I WANNA. Create those norms with you I. I want absolutely to to do everything in our power. Power so that it is not comfortable in a Jewish space for somebody to walk in without a mask I. Do not WanNa. Treat it as like a libertarian individualist. Everybody's going to do what's right for them like I believe in collectives and I believe that there are things that actually people should feel are right or wrong, and not just customized to every person I also think there are some things that are customized every person, but like that's an overriding need for our Jewish world and for society, because when we don't create those norms. That's when Shit hits the fan. That like we're still wrestling and still seeing upticks in the number of cases of Covid, because sure we created a norm to some extent, but we never fully. Like succeeded as a society as a collective right, creating the level of normally needed to so there's life or death involved in all of this and I'm with you on that the what we disagree on his sort of what to call it, and like what it would mean for somebody who doesn't toe these Nordic I'm I'm not that interested in like the linguistic exercise of classifying people as okay so if you're doing the thing you're Jewish, if you're not doing, I'm more interested in like. Yeah, let's let's hammer home that norm and and. And make it so that what people are worried about isn't Oh I. Don't know the I don't know how to read the right words on the page and the doer, or I don't I don't know like the right acronyms to drop in conversation to show I'm part of Jewish life. Let's have that stuff. No longer matter to people and what mattered like Oh i. don't want it to look like I'm not wearing a mask. I don't want to look like I'm somebody who doesn't give a crap about saving lives through blood donation. That's what I'm interested. When when sort of connected point that we don't have to talk about at length if you don't want to, and then we can move on to other things, but it's been on my mind relating to cove it and I have to say to start this by saying like look the vast majority of Jewish. Institutions I think have actually done a reasonably good job of being responsible in terms of covert, but what's interesting. Is that how some of them have to do that? You know fighting against some of their members who are looking to reopen and bigger ways and I started thinking like what if we thought about Cova as an Anti Semite? meaning that Komen. That's. Over the last few months than any anti-semites they in you know the memory of. Light. The intersection. In real time, then, maybe maybe by and I, don't mean like a stupid way, but maybe thinking about covert as an anti Semite would also help people understand a little more deeply what we've been trying to say and others trying to say about the real fight being against white supremacy. Not this fight against you know one another you know within minority groups to say he was more oppressed. Know whatever you know, the point is that we. We. All have a common enemy which is white supremacy. You know and with covert. It's like so yeah. It's also killing non-jews you know, but it's going going out there and you know killing a lot of Jews, and if let's say, there was an actual anti-semites around anti-semitic group, and we there were, and also that there are people that are like just fears of rate has makes all these synagogues you know. Put in all these. Security measures by the way many of which end up being implemented in a racist way. But it's like Oh, well, of course we have to do that because there's anti-semites out there you know, but here's the biggest anti Semite of all and we ourselves are actually capable of making that. Anti Semite not able to do its antisemitic actions I, e killing Jews, by like putting on a mask, or by not having services, even socially distanced. You know whatever it's like. Let's just not have services for six months, and nobody should be trying to. To have services. Why because there's an anti Semite on the loose. I would go out on a limb and say I. Know You're right like if there was somebody we don't know how many Jews precisely have died from covert I, I I don't know and it's probably not as simple as looking at the number of cases and divided by fifty cents due to the two percent of the population. It's probably more complicated than that but like. Yet! Let's say even a few dozen. It's way more than a few dozen Jews of died from Kobe. But if there was any person or movement or group that directly on its own killed a few dozen Jews That would over. That would be bigger than Pittsburgh. which was around one dozen Jews and That would automatically be the biggest concern on everybody's communal agenda. You write like that would that feels. I can't state it as fact, but it feels to me like it's not even an argument like that like that that would so clearly unite everybody and everybody's facebook profile frame would be you know standing against that everybody's sermons would be about that, and it's Cetera, et, Cetera now what what the reason why I said like you're doing intersex nowadays like I think what you said is a broader principle. It's not just about covert like we as Jews constantly think of our Jewish interests as like a unique separable thing from the rest of the world and from the world's interests, and you could argue the biggest potential anti Semite right now. Is Climate Change like? It was like a it was a huge confusion moment to to society when two thousand sixteen. It's now more normal to say this, but in two thousand sixteen in the lead up to the election, there was a question in one of the debates about what's the greatest national security threat to the United States and people on the states at all sorts of things and Bernie Sanders was the only one who said climate change. What at any confused people, because like how climate change? That's not like a threat against the United States specifically. That's a threat against public. Guess what if the world ends the United? States ends so like we have to be able to think about and I hope the map I making clear, but like what I'm getting at with. That is you know? Defining nationalist interests as separable from global interests actually doesn't make any sense like there are ways in which both the nation and the world can be threatened simultaneously, just as there are ways in which Jews and everybody else can be threatened simultaneously by a disease. We need to be understanding. The universal not as like this threat to the particular for so long any idea of Jews, doing universal things was called a simulation and seen is oh my gosh, if people only focus on universal like they're gonNa Leave Judaism and Judaism is going to end so like we're gonNA focus on the particular and Jewish education teach it and that way. They won't be apathetic in connect to their people in, but like what if the thing that will connect to Judaism in this moment is the ways in which Jewish participation in the Movement for black lives. Like grows or doesn't if it doesn't by the way like there's plenty of people who that is gonNA. They're not gonNA. Do Jewish part like that is more of a threat than if Rosanno or Passover or Hannukah are particularly interesting or compelling things. This idea of Jewish exceptionalism is one of the greatest threats to Judaism both positive and negative side right because the idea that we should only care about Jewish is a positive way you know obviously nobody says that, but like the implication is that when we talk about Judaism, we're talking about these these like exclude these these these areas that are like secluded off that have to do with ritual behavior, and whatever that yeah. That's the biggest turnoff to Judaism for many Jews. And the idea that we should only have fears that are exclusively Jewish. Fears like I meaning like we should only be afraid of somebody who is only an anti only hates Jews. You know these are the most scary people the people that are specifically looking for synagogues to damage or to shoot or to. And of course we should be afraid of those people but. If whether it's climate, change or covid or white supremacy or A wide variety of forces are out there. That are likely to kill many more Jews than any particular, you know exclusive anti-semites mate, then it's absurd that you would spend all of your energy protecting against the kind of exclusive anti-semites and yet fundamentally. That's what we do and. I think it's a new way actually to think about this question of whether rabbis talk. Politics from the Bima. Partisan politics, but you know political issues from the beam of. Climate, change and whatever racism, if you framed a different way and said these are the greatest threats to Jews then, of course, the answer has to be as I mean otherwise what would. Be Right and nobody says that rabbi shouldn't talk about anti-semitism from the Bima yeah well. Yeah, so by the way going back to what you said before about the peer pressure I said peer pressure, but you were talking about in terms of everybody, wearing masks and lake, making it making a world where a Jew like who wouldn't wear a mask would be like really taking a social risk like the that would be like a huge statement, and they would be going against the entire rest of the Jewish population like I'm actually thinking about. Decide about what a rabbi from the. Bima. I feel like and I don't think you'll disagree with me. I care much more about what people say the pews, or or or if there's no pews in the in the kitchen, the in the smoothing afterwards like I think that. What's interesting? Is We so often see what the rabbi says from the front of the room as like the measure of where the Jews are at, but talk to a rabbi, and by the way I'm not saying this as a good thing. I'm saying you kinda cynically. Whatever the rabbi says at the front of most synagogues, not all there are courageous ramblers, but is often the end result of what that rabbi field. They can comfortably say so and whatever they think about whatever issue. A they have to discern whether that's an issue at all that they can talk about from from the Bima without consequences of some kind now I. Don't think most of the time they're going to fired for. It I think that sometimes how it's framed, but like there will be hard conversations and complicate whatever, and that's all peer pressure in the sense that I was talking about poorly, all does political work, and and really is a certain set of things like talkable in. In religious context, or in Jewish context on certain things as Trae F- for lack of a better term for the as you know not allowed, but we should be focused. On how like if if we're just a random person in a synagogue or inundated, see or a Jewish group? That's not an institutionally. What norms are we creating just in our schmoozing like what is taken for granted, and what isn't like this is why things like Pronoun. User so important late like. Okay, so somebody at the front of a room can can give a sermon about lgbtq inclusion, and maybe even that person at the front of the room is wonderful, and no, and like understands how to really be a welcoming and empowering presence to Jews who are queer to people who are if there isn't a sense that like. Oh, my Gosh, if if I say she instead of they. On purpose for or if I forget frequently for somebody who is non binary, who's pronouns like my community member? Like everybody in the room is GonNa be upset with me like we. It's not that I want people to be angry all the time and upset, but we have those norms on something like it is understood and trust me if you're not Zionist, you feel. This incident got like it is understood that like it's not a safe thing to communicate that you oppose Zionism in most synagogues. That is not a safe. Safe thing to say now we could. That could be good. That could be bad like whatever it is. That's a norm that has been created in a variety of ways over time in most synagogues, and it's shifting right now, and it might not be a norm in a few decades who knows but like that's a norm, and if if we're going to have those norms and every social community has them, it's not that Jews have the more like we just we we often talk about them or and make policies about. Not Always, so we just need to think about how like it's actually not just about with an once again. This is not me disagreeing with you, but it's. It's not just about what the rabbi says. It's what. We as a community sort of. Say and do to pave the pathway for the authority figure then say x, Y or Z like my my whole theory of community organizing influenced by momentum and other kinds of ideas like what politicians do. Is is an end result like that vote that comes to the House floor on whatever let's say. The Civil Rights Act of sixty four. It's not like wow, what an amazing bunch! Congress people who like brought that to a vote and then voted the the way that the Civil Rights Act of sixty forward path like no, that is an end result of years and years and years of norm, changing weather the changing the weather, so that like I mean the reason you talk about and changing the weather. It's like sometimes of year. You wear a jacket because the weather is such that if you don't wear, a jacket will be, it will be deeply uncomfortable. If you if you want to create a like. If you want a world where people don't wear jackets, you could try to take everybody's jackets individually, or you could turn up the heat on the world, and then people will take off their jackets, and so what you do as an organizer as you try to, you try to create those kinds of changes where it's not that on an individual individual basis. You like change everybody's opinion. It's that you shift the entire weather of the world that affects everybody in moves. Everybody a little bit on the spectrum of their opinion, so we gotta do that. Jewish -ly. A I really appreciate the distinction that you're making about the rabbi from the Bima and the people in the pews, and I think that that's a good way into a conversation. A little bit of that connects in interesting ways. The conversations that we had over the last few weeks with Zach cabinets on the one hand. Who is the rabbi WHO's You know trying to establish a Jewish approaches to using psychedelics and James Caan. Who is the the rabbi that is working in a cannabis company? And it's interesting because I it's not necessarily only related to the fact that we it happens to be that we were talking about psychedelics and cannabis, so we're actually talking about. The use of certain substances. It's part of that is what I want to talk about. The other part that I find intriguing right is that. James is working as he's a rabbi, and he's actually very conscious about calling himself a rabbi, and he but he works in a company you know. And he believes that he is bringing his perspective as a rabbi has his ethics values to in a as a rabbi to accompany, and in particular to accompany where you know, society has questions about its ethics and May maybe maybe wrongly, but I mean it's I I'm not sure I, personally, of course as I've been saying all along I. Don't believe that a person has to be trained as a rabbi in call themselves go to. To rabbinical school and get ordained to do what James is doing, but I'm intrigued by the idea that at least some way some way in which you really immerse yourself deeply in Judaism, and then you go off, and you do something not not definitional Jewish as a profession I think that that's really interesting, and with Zach we may be in a society toward a society in which I have right of reasons and I know not everybody will even come close to agreeing with this, but perhaps in a safe way we actually are able to, or we'll be able to get something. Something closer to a prophetic experience, a primary religious experience that the prophets probably had whether because they were using substances, or because they were able to get to those places through meditation or other means but and by the way I would throw meditation in here as well, and there are other means that don't involve substance use that allow people to get to these really elevated states of consciousness and I think we're seeing a lot of that and I think that the idea of what religion is or again i. don't know if we want to call it religion, but whatever we know. Know what we're talking about. That is very different when you're talking about a small number of people in charge, who may or may not have had some kind of primary experience with God with the divine with substances with something and they they experienced something really really powerful, and they then try to translate that in some way so that regular people can have some version of that experience. It's actually a very different situation when the people can have the primary experienced themselves and again we're talking now because we just had these conversations about the primary experience being that that sort of psychedelic. Like radically spiritual experience, but I think it also connects to the idea that we've talked about all along throughout this podcast that most people are able to now have the primary intellectual experience that in the past only the leadership class has been able to have with with Jewish ideas and so I'm imagining a world. We talked about this a little bit offline the other day where I'll put it out there in a certain way which I'm. To a world in which either nobody is a rabbi. Rabbi for me. Basically it would amount to the same thing because I think the question isn't what the title is. The question is like I. Want a world in which not necessarily be everybody okay I want to be caught in a word, but huge numbers of people are capable of and sort of expected to deeply immerse in the primary substances of Judaism and don't mean drugs there I mean like. Like the material love it, and there's some expectation that like that's part of what it is to become a Jewish adult. Let's say and the expectation is not then that you then go and you. You become a professional Ju, the expectations that somehow you absorb these experiences, these values these virtues, these these positions moral ways of thinking, and then you go off into the world and bring that Jewish. Experience into the world, so that you make the world a better place, and if we only have like one percent of the population less being rabbis than you know, basically, they all have to be produced professionals because like we need. If you know twenty five percent of user quote, rabbis than we can imagine a world in which you know, everybody kind of goes out, and it brings Judaism into the world, which is just a profoundly different way to think about Judaism I think, and it goes to what you were talking about earlier in the sense that it's just saying it's like yeah Jew. Judaism is not a narrow Judaism is not just about Judaism. You caught where I was going to go. Which is like absolutely? It's an extension of what we said before so like. We can take James Marijuana. It's a big company like they're. They're big company and I don't know how many Jews versus others by holistic industries products I. I have no idea My honest question to people would be like okay. You have to hypothetical. Rabbis one of them serves a congregation of. Of One hundred and fifty people who are all Jews. Probably I mean there are some cool congregations that allow kinds of membership for those who are Jewish, but like what's most of them. They're probably all Jews or in the process of converting to Judaism. That's one kind of person who is a rabbi. Nobody questions that that person is doing rabbinic work. That's obviously seen by everyone is we're going to work now? Take that identical person or somebody comparable and say they're working for holistic industries and holistic industries is having an impact Let's say for her of argument. It's also one hundred and fifty Jews I think it may be much more likes. Let's say it's the same number, and it doesn't need to be holistic industries, but like let's say there's somebody working for a quote, Unquote Secular Company, or for even to secular nonprofit, an interfaith nonprofit I know people who are rabbis who serve like interfaith, these or are interfaith chaplains, or there's somebody who works for like a you. You Church. UNITARIAN universalist. Here's like I. Think if you said to somebody. This serves a hundred fifty Jews and four hundred others who aren't Jewish like all of a sudden. It's like. Well, is that person a rabbit like they're not really serving just Jews so like. Are they really doing rabbi work, or is it a different thing like when I tell people that I? Don't WanNa work in synagogue. Oh, so you won't really of be practicing as Ravin like no I'll be practising. Practising means like it's an imperative to me that we achieve what you're talking about where we recognize that because at the end of the day when you break it down, it's like an offensive. It's like you could be doing all of the work that the. You. Let's say once again. Represented argument, there is a rabbi who serves the same number of Jews as deeply I'm not claiming that holistic industries has the same kind of deep relationship with its customers that that senator does with a small minority of its members, but. Like, let's say that there was somebody who worked for an interfaith nonprofit. That is tanner, ten percent Jews and mostly others, and it's really big, and it's a rabbi who is the in who is in charge like it's offensive to me to to think that that is somehow like rabbi with an asterisk or like, because that implies that the role of Rabbi or the role of Rabbi as representative of Judaism is to like. Serve Jews I. Don't think that's what they don't think. That's the project like We could break this down to sater's. Fifteen people at your Seder at your Passover Seder. And they're all Jews for if you have fifty people at your Seder and fifteen of them are Jews and thirty five aren't like. Does the fact that you've shifted the percentage? Mean that your event is somehow like not really Jewish it's interface. No, it can still be Jewish while being other things so if we were create a world where like wow, you walk into a Jewish space and everybody's everybody's talking Oh. Thinking of David is a past guests on her show. He's a judge and and also rab. Where we'd have dozens upon dozens of those kinds of people where it's not at the rabbinic conferences. Oh, you work for a hill. You Work for a different Jewish nonprofit. You Work for a synagogue. It's like Oh, you work for a random. Random I want people to choose carefully and I wouldn't want like personally I would not want there to be a rabbi at like Amazon. I don't think is like a salvageable like I. Think it does problematic things for the world is there, but like in general for for there to be a norm where that's where the process I go to rabbinical school or I? Maybe it's different kinds of school in the future, but like I get some process of ordination, and then the the exercise, the meaning exercise is finding. Finding out where does that plug in specifically where there isn't a rabbi, like not which role of the four hundred roles that have rabbi relic, which ones opening up, and I'm going to then apply to those rules film like you'd actually all of a sudden you looking specifically for places that are not looking for rabbis, but you'd be enlivening those places with Jewish stuff. I'm hesitant to say Jewish values because I, think Jewish is more than just values and beliefs. Blake with Jewish teachings and texts and civilizational projects whatever. So the one thing that I want to add to it, you're saying or clarify in terms of what I was saying. It's like imagine that I. You know, imagine that are. GIG Heerden didn't continue and I went off to you. Know and I got a job at holistic industries. I'm not a rabbi I. WANNA be a rabbi but I think that I've absorbed enough about Judaism an enough about like all the kind of orientations that that James absorbed in rabbinical school that that I think that I could have a very analogous role at Listrik Industries that James Does, and so I'm imagining a world in which there's this whole world of non rabbis meaning I, don't Wanna I totally agree with you that I would love to see a future in which like the rabbinical convention includes people say. Oh, wait which marijuana distributors work for. You know anything but I also like to see a convention of people who work in any given industry, and you know they get together. At eleven o'clock at the bar. We're GONNA have a gathering for all the people who've gone through theschmidt school. Meaning like there's something else. That is not necessarily a rabbi, but it's a deeply immersive experience of Jewish. Christians I think tend to call it formation. You know that there's some kind of process that you go through where you're. You're just a lay your lay person on the other end of it, but you've kind of. Gotten a lot of like really deep spiritual ethical, whatever you know, and also knowledge, and so like I guess there have been some times when we've put out a call for for various ideas of our listeners. They're interested like what if we opened a Schmidt Pinnacle Fool? What if it was like a two year program? You know digital, and and you could sort of like deeply immersed in Jewish. Jewish study, and in like you know I don't know what it looks like exactly, but the various parts that are in rabbinical school that are not necessarily the the parts about the their rabbinic role of the beam. You know, bet like pastoral care and I don't know what the curriculum would be, but it would be this like deeply immersive. Serious thing like I'm not taking talking about taking like. A course once every three years. I'm talking about like a deeply serious. Not Rabbinical. It's not as smug articles like. Let's make the Jewish heretical school to me. It's like in order for this to work. We have to stake out. We are in a sense, really not only not the same, but like sort of. Contra certain for, and it's not that we have something against rabbis once again I'm in rabbinical school and going to be ordained, but like there are real deficiencies and gaps resulting from a Jewish world, where that is the major pathway to most of the lake, people who are seen as the highest level of leaders we need the people whose project is not preservation of this Jewish system. Are Jewish inheritance whatever we call it? We need people who trained specifically. To to end the thing in certain ways like we actually aren't okay in all and a lot of ways and we need desperately to change. We really need people who. Are trained and then go out into not specifically Jewish spaces into spaces that are still Jewish I'm saying specifically uniquely Jewish distinctly Jewish only Jewish. We need people that are in those, because that that is when the possibilities open expansively that James talked about at the end of his episode like he doesn't have any lines to toe. He close with the what I thought was a beautiful sentiment. That I've I've heard. Rabbis expressed privately, but not publicly for precisely for the reason he identified, which is, he is free to say what he wants publicly because he doesn't have like a Jewish constituencies specifically. That's GONNA. Push back and he said you know. Religions made up God's made up. Torres made up but that doesn't make it on holier not sacred. It means that we get to make it better. Yeah. I think you have to think that the thing is made up in order to have the permission to make it better like I as somebody who who holds Torah as a deeply important part of my life, somebody who holds? Judaism writ large to the extent. There is a Judaism Jewish stuff as like important lively. Yeah, I, think it's all made up, and that's not me dismissing it. That's me. Giving me like allowing it to have power. Because if it did if it wasn't made up, then it's like an. It's almost like an element on the periodic table with like a defined number of protons and neutrons and electrons and the Tomek mass, and like okay, so that's what it is, and it has these properties, and then when you use it in the world, it does this and I think that we actually are are moving in the right direction I can. I can actually end this episode in in an optimistic note. I think the rate at which we are making it up. Better needs to accelerate, but that's you know for for next time. A ticket place to wrap it up so Let's keep. Let's keep accelerating. Yeah cool. We are going to close out this episode and thank you for listening Thank you for listening. It was just this episode to this one. Thank you for listening to others in this unit. If you've listened to those thanks for whatever you know, time effort, you've put in, so we're going to close this episode out in the same way. We always do encouraging you to. To be in touch with us, and there are wide variety of ways to do that I. There is our facebook page Judaism unbound, and also Jewish live or other facebook page there are are websites Jewish live dot. Org and Judaism abound DOT COM. There's our twitter feed, which is at Judaism, inbound, and there are email addresses Dan at Judaism, amount, dot, com, or Alexa Judaism that. The last request would like to make in which Dan mentioned at the top is that we really do deeply appreciate any amount of financial nation that you can send our way. 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