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Invitation-Only Judaism: A New Religious Primer

Here is one more reason that excommunication is one of my goals: Once front-row tickets to shul are more expensive than court-side seats at a Laker's game, it's time to check out. I am not sure what it would take … Read More

By / September 14, 2007

Here is one more reason that excommunication is one of my goals: Once front-row tickets to shul are more expensive than court-side seats at a Laker's game, it's time to check out. I am not sure what it would take to get excommunicated, but I am pretty sure my buddy Eli deserves it for the the time he molested Anne Frank's statue in a stoned stupor in the streets of Amsterdam. As disturbing as that was, lucky for Eli, it didn't garner much media coverage, so he is still official. If you want to get kicked out of a religion like Judaism, you gotta make an ass of yourself in public. So here I am. As my first step toward excommunication, I will lay out in black and white, for the first time, what I consider to be the future of Judaism. I call it the "Doctrine of the Invitation Only Jews". I thought of the concepts several years ago when I was working out with my good friend, Dr. Dani Cohen. It was just before Rosh Hashanah, and he told me he would not be going to services. "Are you crazy?" I asked, still clinging to the superstition, not the strong belief, that compelled me to be just another High Holiday Jew. He told me that he stopped going years ago. He just didn't believe. "But don't you want to hedge your bets?" I asked. "What if the after-life is nothing but a big bureaucracy, and when you get there, they just have a checklist of things that you did or didn't do. And lets face it, you probably didn't swing a rooster around your head three times before Yom Kippur and chant, 'This is my substitute, this is my exchange. This is my atonement. This fowl will go to death, and I will enter upon a good and long life.', but at least you can get credit for putting on a tie and sitting through services. And that's something." Dani said something akin to,"You're an idiot." And then he told me he had actually become a happier person since he stopped pretending that going to shul twice a year was important to him. So I gave it a try. I skipped Rosh Hashanah services for the first time in my life. I waited for the lightning to strike. I was sure that I would hear the Book of Life slam shut. I imagined sadly looking into heaven from outside the gates while my dad realized his version of paradise at an all-you-can-eat chult and potato kugel buffet in return for the at least several hours he had spent in Kol Nidre services over the course of his life. Didn't happen. Instead, I felt free. When Yom Kippur rolled around, I took things a step further. I didn't fast. I didn't apologize for any of the crap I had done the year before. And I anticipated doing many of them again. Plus I didn't have to go to work. Pretty sweet deal really. After that, I realized that there was a sense of liberation with every rule, custom or superstition that I dropped. Why not eat pork? It is cheap and healthy and I am poor. Who needs a Mezuzzah? My grandfather warned me that the Jehovah's Witnesses would be at my doorstep in droves if I didn't hang one, but so far…nothing. And don't even get me started on the scam the Manischewitz people run on us every Passover. A Milky Way isn't cool, but somehow their corn-syrup free chocolate is? The bread didn't have time to rise. That's it. End of story. All of the ingredients were still in it though. Jesus. In short, I have come up with my own sect of Judaism that will end all the lies and hypocrisy. If the only time you go to shul is during the holidays, you should really consider joining up. We are the Invitation-Only Jews. The only time we hit shul is when we get an invitation in the mail for an event like a Bar Mitzvah or wedding. So far I don't have too many converts, but I haven't released any propaganda videos yet. I am going to wait and see what does and doesn't work in Osama's conversion drive before I do. My best friend told me that the whole concept was stupid. He is still convinced going to a 45 minute reformed service on Yom Kippur makes him much more respectful than a I.O. Jew like me. I say, for Christ's sake, if you're going to make the effort to go, can't you at least slap on a kippa? "You don't even have enough people to form a minyon," my buddy told me. "That's not really a problem seeing as we don't go to shul, shmuck," I said. "At this point, I'm not even sure we endorse believing in god." "You're an idiot," he said. I bet L. Ron Hubbard got that a lot too. So you people go get dressed up in your nicest suits, sway back and forth and pretend you know what the hell the prayers mean. I'll be hosting at the Laff Stop. I can't afford tickets to pray anyways. Happy New Year!

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