The Atheist at the Shul door

By Simon Rocker
October 22, 2010

A delightful nugget from Rabbi William Wolff - regional rabbi in North-East Germany - from his column in the latest issue of Manna magazine:

"Forget Golders Green or Stamford Hill and do not even think of Mea Shearim if you want to meet unbending 28-carat frummkeit. Go instead in search of a bunch of atheists.

"Those who take that faith seriously admit of no compromise. Invited to a shool or church wedding? Forget it. They'll come for the drinks afterwards. Go to a funeral taken by a priest or rabbi? They will, only to stand a decent distance away from the back of the crowd.

"One of the paid officials of my congregation, the one who looks after the money and accounts for the last cent with total rigour, is on hand for every service to help with the crowd control, the kiddush catering and any other practical problem that may pop up. He is willing to hand out the odd siddur, though he prefers people to help themselves.

"He stands by the sanctuary door till the last person has gone. He is halachically Jewish but will not cross the threshold, certainly not while I am leading the service. Igor is an atheist and will have nothing to do with God.

"At least not until he arrives in the world to come."



Tue, 10/26/2010 - 20:19

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"God" is not a referring expression ( read your kant young man but dont take him over seriously ) Theism and Atheism are just language traps. But then so is everything else.


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