Monday, May 4, 2015

"That's how we did it in Europe"

Pet peeve: When the Yeshivish community declares that we did this or we didn't do that "in Europe". As if "Europe" was one small shtetl populated by frum Jews with long beards.

Europe is a large continent with many countries. And Jews there came in many different stripes. Jews lived in Europe for well over 1000 years. When people talk about how things were done in Europe, what era and region are they referring to? They probably have a vague notion that's based on a romanticized version of some shtetl in Poland in the 1890's. That's not "Europe". That's just one small place at a particular moment in time.

This isn't' just semantics. It promotes ignorance about the beautiful and rich tapestry of a Judaism that spanned centuries and had many different practices across many different lands.

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