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Sunday, 04 January 2004 at 01:18 pm

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Please can lots of my Jewish friends help me answer this question of pw201's? I have some ideas, but I think it would be better if he got a range of different views rather than just my own opinion.

It occurs to me actually that my flist does a rather good job of covering most of the spectrum of positions under the umbrella of 'Jewish'. Which is quite cool, in itself. It's probably useful to explain to pw201 where you're coming from, if you don't mind doing so.

In my opinion, the most useful way to define where you are Jewishly (for someone who might not know the ins and outs of communal politics, and to give a result that's comparable internationally) is by using a Political Compass-like diagram. I don't take credit for this idea; I heard it first from a guy who spoke in LG's Pluralism Group in Oxford years ago, but unfortunately all I can remember about him is that his first name is Johnny (pseudomonas, can you by any chance remember whom I ought to be crediting?)

Just to make sure everyone's using the same terms, I propose: beliefs on the X axis (with 1 being totally fundamentalist and -1 being completely skeptical), practice on the Y axis (-1 means don't do anything at all Jewish, +1 as frum as it's possible to be). And no, of course it's not scientific or meaningful; I think it's at least as informative to know where people would place themselves as any kind of 'objective' scale. Maybe if I find I need a lot of displacement I'll write a Political Compass style quiz, but I think that would need to be a collaborative effort or it'll just reflect my biases horribly.

Alternatively use a label if you think that's more helpful. I don't like labels, me. There's also (of course!) a rather tongue-in-cheek Jewish version of the geek code thingy, if you prefer that kind of thing.

Plus, I think the question of what do modern Jewish people think is the purpose of the Law? is an interesting question generally, so I thought I'd bring it to wider attention.

In other news, I'm catching up gradually with back reviews. So here are my thoughts on Jane Gardam's The Flight of the Maidens.

Moooood: curiouscurious
Tuuuuune: Bon Jovi: Bed of Roses
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