Last week, New Jersey governor Chris Christie got involved in a whole melee over bridge traffic. Rabbi Avi Weiss and his “kind” were discredited by Israel’s rabbinate. Before that, the colorful Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein went on a tirade against zumba (some of my best friends go to zumba!). Before that, there was Elan Gale’s mythical notorious/laudable/infamous/hilarious email exchange with a disgruntled passenger on that fateful Thanksgiving flight.
There are many, many more Things and the list can go on and on. But I will skip to this week, where two more Really Important Things occurred. Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks was accused of being a nutbag (some of my best friends are nutbags!) for, among other reasons, being vocal about MAKING THE PLAY OF HIS CAREER mere seconds after it happened. And also, another story which obviously has not been beaten to death in the religio-modern-open-conserva-ultra-reformadox social media world/sphere about two girls who recently received permission to wear Tefillin (phylacteries) at a very well known modern orthodox high school. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
People like to harp. Hell, I am harping. But I try to be selective about things. I am not better than anyone else, but I DO fervently believe in “judge not lest ye be judged,” unless of course, you are God or my wife/mother/father. Richard Sherman – stay real. You’ve got every right to trash talk. You blocked the pass that could have brought the Niners to the Super Bowl. If you are a professional athlete, you BETTER believe you are the best in the game. But people harp. And they write about how ridiculous you are. You know what? Maybe you are ridiculous. Yes, if you say or do something in public you deserve to be judged or ridiculed. But enough is enough! What ever happened to good old-fashioned news cycles?
And those poor girls from SAR. This is where God comes into play and the whole “judge not lest ye be judged” bit. Girls – DO WHAT YOU WANT. Ignore the baseless scrutiny. Yes, I am a believer in Jewish law. Yes I try to observe Jewish law to the best of my abilities (sometimes successfully and sometimes failing miserably). And yes, you know what? If SAR had chosen to serve pork in their cafeteria I would be disturbed by it. But all the opposition I am hearing against woman wearing Tefillin is so unbelievably obtuse and closed-minded, I just need to scream shut up. So here it is – STFU!!! And yes, the uber-liberal views voraciously supporting women wearing Tefillin without taking Jewish law into consideration in any manner whatsoever is just as bad. So you know what? You should also SHUT UP!!! Ultimately – and because I personally believe there is no blanket prohibition against it – just let them be and let the girls do what they want! How are they hurting you? Or Judaism? I am going to go out on a limb and say who the hell are we to judge something that is so clearly between man and God! You best check yo self before you wreck yo self.
My take-away from the past several years since the dawn of the social media era is that we are an insufferable group of people with God-complexes. We all think we are right. I know I take it really badly when I get into a heated argument and cannot, for the life of me, convince the other side that what I am saying is gold. But when the same arguments are being made over and over, where all that is different is context, it’s time to SHUT UP. S.T.F.U. Go grab some beer or some single-malt (but only the best, otherwise you’re just doing it wrong ;)!) and steak with your friends. Step away from the computer and take your spouse and/or children out for pizza and breathe some fresh air. There’s a whole world out there and it would be a damned shame to miss it, unless of course there is another Really Important Thing…