Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The minyanim of Studentville UAQ

Now that:

I feel an obligation to post this.

The catch-phrase of the Ig Nobel Prizes is that they "first make people laugh, and then make them think." I would hope that post did it.

Pseudonymous commenter Locke (not the political philosopher) wrote:

I like to think of the two major groups of people that inhabit Studentville as crowd 1: which takes itself very seriously and won't laugh at anything. and crowd 2: who have a tendency to laugh much too loudly, and at inappropriate times.


You can think of this post as being written by crowd 2 with an audience of crowd 1.

And now, to the UAQ:

Oh no! My minyan was misrepresented!

Of course it was! It's a parody. Certain elements were exaggerated for effect and humor value.

But my minyan was misrepresented even more than all the others!

No, it wasn't. And, I would find it hard to believe that you did not recognize at least some elements of the (short) characterization that rang true.

Why would you write something inflammatory like this? The community is fine.

Read the comments to the original post. See if you still believe that.

Was it all a ploy to get people to go to a specific minyan?

No.

Was it directed as a jab any specific minyan?

Not really. The impetus for the post was a specific minyan. But, the point is valid for the entire community.

So, why did you say that my minyan had no reason to come into existence?

Because its founding duplicated an institution that's already in existence, rather than adding something new to communal life.

What do you mean by adding something new?

Creating a group with differences in practice and/or religious ideology sufficient to differentiate your group from the pre-existing ones.

Do you really think that Metropolis should only have three shuls -- one Reform, one Conservative, and one Orthodox?

That's two separate questions! The answer to the first is: No. If the active community is large enough to support duplicate institutions, or if geographical constraints make duplication necessary, it's not problematic at all. One can argue that the challenge in some communities is to make the religious groupings smaller. To the second question: Differences in practice and religious ideology are not limited to, and are more confused by than enlightened by, denominational lines.

But my minyan has social action, learning programs, etc.

That's great! Kol hakavod! Why do you need a minyan?

Are you on drugs?

No.

Do you hate independent minyanim?

No. I think independent minyanim have an important place in the greater Jewish community, and have done a lot to bring uninvolved Jews into the fold, and keep Jews involved. There's a time and place for everything, says Kohelet. Also, if you read the post, you'll note that independent minyanim are not the only targets of barbs.

Did the Republicans put you up to this?

No.

Why didn't you list my minyan?

Is it really in Studentville? If so, it means I didn't know about it. If you have to ask this question, though, you should probably be asking yourself where your minyan fits in to the "taxonomy."

What's a UAQ, anyway?

A FAQ is a frequently asked questions list. A UAQ is an unasked questions list. My telepathy software told me you were thinking them. :-)

Are you just writing this post to get back on everyone's RSS aggregators?

Shhh...

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