We’re All In This Together

I watched Jim Jeffries new Netflix special. He was talking about a bit he had done about why parents christened babies, pointing out the hypocrisy of religion. 

That made me think of a person who used to be my best friend, who is mentioned in my bio. He'd gone to Isreal, worked in a kibbutz, and converted to Judaism. Despite my loathing for organized religion, I do not ever tell people not to be a part of it. It's their life. Their participation doesn't affect mine as long as they don't try and recruit me. It won't be a good experience. For them.

My friend moved back to the Bay Area, but he found it difficult living here. He called himself a modern Orthodox Jew. I call myself a human. To each their own. A modern Orthodox Jew is a person who observes the traditional ways of Judaism, but doesn't go as far as wear traditional Jewish clothes, keep their hair as they wish, and avoids iPhones. OK...Orthodox Jews use iPhones. I think.

His newfound faith made it difficult for us to hang out on weekends because of Shabbat. There weren't many places that served kosher food. Particular to the Bay, there weren't many female modern Orthodox Jews. He wanted to marry one and make modern Orthodox Jewish babies. So he moved to New York where the Jewish population had been more prevalent. He found a wife. Had two kids.

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An example of this traditional way of life showed itself when I met his wife. I greeted my friend with a hug. When he introduced me to her, I leaned in to hug her. She stood as still as a marble statue. Reading the cue from many first kiss failed attempts, I leaned back. Lean back. A betrothed wife cannot touch another man not her husband. A husband cannot touch a woman not chained to his ankle. I’m sure their own siblings are fine. Hey. I didn’t make the rules.

They eventually moved to Florida where he lives in a frum community. That was the end of our twenty-year friendship.

Though, I had seen the signs of the end. Outside of his faith, his life was changing with a full blown family. Me. I was still living the single life, free of tending to children born from my loins. Actually, that would have been from my wife's loins.

The thing that gets me is that he wanted to live in a frum community. That somehow the rest of the world wasn't good enough for him and his family. In the twenty years that we've been friends, he'd never mentioned isolating himself in a religious community.

How do I know he doesn't want anything to do with the non-frum world? Several of us had wished him a happy birthday on Facebook. We all wrote heartfelt greetings. And none of us received a thank you. Or any acknowledgement. That was last year.

Now, I'm not sure if that's the religion talking or not. But the fact that most religions require that you convert otherwise you can expect Hell to be your forever home in the afterlife is stupid. The big three—Christianity, Catholicism, Muslim—all state they are the one true religion.

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If that is true, then the people belonging to the other two will meet Satan and be his housemate. Forever. And ever! Buahahahaa.

So when I watched Jeffries' bit about dead babies, I was delighted. Not because of the dead babies. But it showed the hypocrisy of religion.

In a world where tribalism runs rampant, we are all humans. As far as we know, there are no other species of humans. Yes, we're all different. I mean, no one would mistake a chihuahua for a mastiff. Still. They dawgs, bruh. They want the same things. To be loved. To hump legs. To sniff butts. To sleep on comfy mats. That's the thing a lot of people don't realize. We all want those things. Love. Pleasure. Community. Security.

I'm not saying we need to get rid of tribalism. But if we can peek through the curtain and see past the superficial differences, we'll all come to the same conclusion. We're all in this together.