And the winner for most suited to help modern man is….Judaism!

Take that skateborder dudes!

Individuality, according to Saul Singer, has become the religion of the modern society. Jews certainly being no exception, “Judaism must meet the test of everything that we do: What’s in it for me and my family?”

The challenge of religion, not just Judaism, in the modern world is that religion is based on recognition of a higher authority, while modernity inculcates the idea that the individual is the final, and perhaps only, arbiter of his own fate. Even religion has been subsumed into this framework, in that “God says so” has little resonance. If religion once had subjects, or adherents, now it has consumers, who will simply drop the product if it no longer seems to have any utility….

While Christianity may have an easier “sell” (it’s hard to compete with instant eternal salvation, that’s, like, better than Boxing Day at Macy’s) “yet ironically” Saul Singer asserts, “Judaism is more suited to the modern mind than Christianity” precisely because of what modern mad most lacks: meaning, community and connectedness. All of which Judaism is designed to provide.

Singers article is a little all over the place, but really interesting nonetheless. Check out the whole thing here.

About the author

Laya Millman

7 Comments

  • This piece would be a lot more interesting if it was written by a Christian writer on a non-Jewish website. However, the article is bang-on in reference to what modern living can/can’t give us. And due to the incredible rise in anti-anxiety/anti-depression medication, one has to wonder if:

    a) we’re just better at prediciting/medicating emotional pain than in the past
    b) sick societies produce sick people (for more on this, and if you’re patient enough to wade through neo-Freudian/psychiatric writing, check out this incredible, amazing book: http://tinyurl.com/4lcbn)

  • Do you the xians believe in instant salvation? Don’t think so.

    I always thought that we had it easier. Just do tshuva (actually it’s an ongoing thing) and you have a reserved ticket at the ‘finals’.

  • my understanding is you basically say a payer, then are essentially scott free, as long as you maintan some very basic ethics and an internal belief.

    Judaism actually has rules and requires action. But in so doing, the artical was stateing it is a much more “this-world, do-it-yourself approach” and doesn’t even have a concept of “salvation” in the christian sense of the word.

  • I agree with Singer with one modification–it’s the postmodern mind, not the modern mind, that Judaism suits best. Along with meaning, community, and connectedness, Judaism is also historically less heirarchic than Christianity, and more open to giving legitimacy to a variety of different voices.

  • “I agree with Singer with one modification–it’s the postmodern mind, not the modern mind, that Judaism suits best.”

    I hope not. The postmodern mind has always seemed a formless, nihilist, and destructive thing to me. Postmoderns are too likely to reject everything, Judaism included.

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