Schmooze

I guess you might describe me as a bit God-fearin’ if you weren’t really sure what it meant. We God-fearers get together from time to time and schmooze – good Yiddish word. We shoot the breeze, hang out, talk amongst ourselves and in the original, spread rumour…From time to time, a spectral reference is made to our activities on Fridays. Sometimes helpful, sometimes less so. There is an unspoken perception that we all actually believe the same thing – after all, we say the Creed, don’t we? It came as something of a surprise when I was jolted out of this cosy, bonhomous naivete by remarks made at one of the multitudes of Christmas soirees to which I have recently been invited.
‘It’s absolute rubbish that God still cares about Israel. The Church has taken its place.’
‘Israelis? – Nazis, all of them!’
What was surprising was not the remarks themselves – let the reader understand – people have every right to believe that butterflies can swim if they so choose and let’s lay aside reason and intellect, but the forcefulness of delivery was what caught my attention. Poor theology and political rhetoric notwithstanding, debate on such matters isn’t really interesting enough to open here, but when received teaching hardens into doctrine and doctrine solidifies into principle which people – even quite clever people –  then become prepared to defend, the tinklings of Kristallnacht become uncomfortably strident. H’m.
The Shoah Memorial in San Francisco is frequently defaced, as shown.

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One thought on “Schmooze

  1. Having come through a “solidified doctrine” type phase in my younger years, I hope never to return to the place where volume, implacability, and unassailable righteousness underpin anything I might think or worse…say.
    This is one time where I am happy to say that my advancing age makes those “younger years” a long time in the past. Thank God.

    Like

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