Monday, January 28, 2008

Nusach Kugel

To keeping silence I resigned
My friends would think I was a nut

Turning water into wine

Open doors would soon be shut


So I went from day to day

Though my life was in a rut

Till I thought of what Id say

Which connection I should cut


During the leining, I looked to my left and did a double take. There was a copy of Kugel's How to Read the Bible a couple of chairs away from me. I have to admit, that I was uncomfortable even with the thought of someone seeing me getting the book from the library, yet here it was right next to me. It was like something out of an Edgar Allen Poe story - The Telltale Book!

I didn't know the guy who was sitting there, but he was busily going back and forth between Kugel and the Stone Chumash and whispering in an excited and agitated way to the young man next to him who is a member of our shul.

At Kiddush I walked up to the young guy.

"Is that your dad?".
"No, my father-in-law."
"I noticed he was davening Nusach Kugel."
"Why, have you read this book? My father-in-law is completely obsessed with it and Biblical scholarship. Here, let me introduce him to you..."

Before I could say anything, I found myself in a discussion with this guy. He evidently just found religion. He was way into Kugel and Friedman and Finkelstein. He railed against the rabbis whom he spoke to about all the evidence and who refused to even have a conversation about it, and "intellectual honesty" and the "evidence".

I was somewhat uncomfortable. Shul just seemed like the wrong place to talk about this. So I said to him, "where do you think all this would lead? All these Orthodox rabbis that you confronted, what did you expect them to say to you?" He didn't have a good answer.

2 Comments:

Anonymous B. Spinoza said...

>he was busily going back and forth between Kugel and the Stone Chumash and whispering in an excited and agitated way to the young man next to him who is a member of our shul.

something tells em James Kugel would not approve

January 28, 2008 10:19 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

No, I don't think he would. It may lead to something dangerous...

January 28, 2008 10:45 AM  

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