At Mrs. ViKi's today, a mother I should know better than to be irritated by somehow got launched on a rant about "fundamentalist" Jews.

She is Jewish herself, and openly, proudly non-practicing. She sprinkles her speech liberally with Jewish words but conveys absolutely nothing of it, that I can tell, to her children.

She was talking about the difficulty of renting space in her home to fundamentalist Christians, who apparently "don't want to talk to her" when they find out that she is not only Jewish, but not practicing. Frankly, if I was a proselytizing Christian, that would be the person I'd salivate over:

I suspect Jews who don't care are prime targets for the type of lovey-huggy welcoming spirituality that missionaries pretend to offer.

But anyway.

She then said that fundamentalist Jews are even worse than the Christian kind. She apparently had a woman come, a "born-again" Jew, who refused to live there unless she made the entire kitchen kosher.

Which, according to this mother, is not only so expensive it's ridiculous - "You need two of everything!" (and it had all better be Portmeirion or Wedgwood).

I didn't say a word. Just did not speak.
Took the kids and went outside to the playground.


Why did this bother me so much?
This is a mama I don't know well but have encountered many many times.
Every encounter is just that, an encounter. An experience. She pretty much, to me, seems to live her life as an "in your face" to the entire world. I don't know if that's really her attitude; I don't know her well enough to judge.

I think it's partly because this is Elul, almost erev Rosh Hashanah, when there is so much to cherish and look forward to about being a Jew. And she just hasn't got a clue. I guess if I was more kiruv-minded, I'd find a way to reach out.
Gotta work on that.


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