Questions For Schifrin

Questions For Schifrin

My answers to Daniel Schifrin’s questions are more questions (“Next Question…” Back Of The Book, April 22).

Why should the community have to earn yours or anyone’s commitment? The basic sin of the Wicked Son was he disassociated himself from the community. Everything Jewish is about community and belonging. It is absolutely the loss of the one who does not join the community, and not necessarily the other way around. Belonging is essential to the continuation of Judaism, and the community does not have to earn your place; you have to earn its acceptance.

Similarly, perhaps it should be Israel who is disappointed in the youth who criticize it. It is all too easy to comment thousands of miles away, without any real understanding of the situation there, and certainly without any commitment. The young men and women who serve in the Israel Defense Forces do not have the luxury of taking a year off from high school to “find themselves,” and then continue on to college. Finally, if the older generation did not observe and commit, why is that a reason for the younger one not to do so? All of Schifrin’s questions purport to a sense of arrogance and entitlement on the part of the group he speaks of. Why is that a good thing?

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