Saturday, December 10, 2005

Jewish Paganism

A writer for the Forward samples Jewish paganism and ponders its ethical emplications.

But, I asked the rabbi, how do we know that we're not in danger of precisely that which so many sacred texts warn about? The answer, he said, is ethics. "You know it's holy eros because it leads to ethics. People help each other, work with each other. That's the litmus test." And the opposite? "A KKK rally," Gafni answered. "Lots of bonfires, lots of energy. No ethics. That's the distinction between holy paganism and idolatry."

What we might be looking at here though is small-p paganism, a collection of embodied and place-centered religious practices, more than self-consciously polytheistic Paganism.

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