“Who am I To Tell You How What Dreams to Have or How to Manifest them Tangibly?”

This is a beautiful question that I read on hevria.com.  It was addressed to the issue of kiruv, or “outreach” — a program in which orthodox Jews reach out to get other Jews to become orthodox.

I think orthodox Judaism is a mistaken approach.  But I think this is a beautiful question.

Who are you to tell other people how to dream and how to make their dreams tangible?

The answer can only be: you.

Although I don’t want other people to tell me what to dream, I deeply want them to share their dreams with me, and influence my dream life, so we have a shared dream life.

And I will kiss the hand of anyone who will show me how to make my dreams tangible.


9 thoughts on ““Who am I To Tell You How What Dreams to Have or How to Manifest them Tangibly?”

  1. I think that Orthodox Judaism is a mistaken approach *for you*. The mistake in Orthodoxy is in its belief that it’s the correct approach for all Jews. Some people find great comfort in the structure of Orthodoxy; others find it suffocating.

    As for making your dreams tangible, I can’t tell you anything that you don’t already know, but I’ll tell you anyway. “A laurel and hearty handshake” will suffice; no kissing is required.

    The secret is to identify your heart’s desire, make sure it’s a worthy goal that makes the world better (even if only in modest ways), and then COMMIT to it every day, in every moment, with every heartbeat. Either you will achieve it or you won’t. If you achieve it, then you will have done good things, had a good life, and made your dream tangible. If you don’t achieve it, then you will have done good things and had a good life, which is better than what you would have had if you hadn’t pursued your dream. My opinion.

  2. BTW on Orthodox Judaism. When human beings learned more about history and understood that the Bible was not literally true (ie during the Enlightenment) a group of Jews excommunicated other Jews for saying this. The excommunicators created contemporary orthodox Judaism. In other words although orthodox Judaism claims to be continuous with Judaism in the past it is a modern development — a reactionary rejection of the growth of learning that happened after the breakdown of the middle ages.
    Since orthodox Judaism is a reaction against the natural spread of knowledge I think it is a mistake for everybody, not just me. Ironically orthodoxy actually propels many Jews to atheism, because by identifying Judaism with a bunch of historical falsehoods those who are most committed to truth will say “Okay fine, not interested in Judaism.” That will mean those who remain are those who are not interested in truth cause of emotional reasons, commitment to the past, or wanting to hold on to their position of inherited power.

    • I agree with everything you said, with one reservation. Some people — not all — can compartmentalize their beliefs, treating “religious beliefs” and “scientific beliefs” both as true in their respective contexts for their respective purposes, but as false in the other context. Do any of us choke with disbelief when we recite the Passover story? No, but in other contexts do we think it really happened that way? No again.

      So you’ve got Modern Orthodox who think it’s religiously but not scientifically true, and Haredi Orthodox (including some very smart people) who just don’t know anything about science and don’t want to know. As long as it works for them, I think it’s fine. If it doesn’t, then they end up with tragic disillusionment as you described.

  3. I think rather like food, there’s an amount of dream that is needed for health. And there’s also an amount of dream that leads to fat and obesity. Of the spirit, if you like.

    And much like suger is pushed by corporations, corps are pushing dreams as well. Just do it. Believe in yourself.

    Dreams are a sometimes food.

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