- Sep 19, 2010
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In Israel, secular citizens and foreign visitors willing to fork over $20 to the tour company Israel-2Go can embark on a trip to an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood, where they’ll watch men in black hats and women in long skirts buying challah bread from a kosher bakery while a guide narrates the scene...
...Five years ago, Lau-Lavie founded New York’s Lab/Shul, which its website describes as a “God-optional” and “experimental community for sacred Jewish gatherings.” This non-Orthodox community offers public pop-up events featuring music, tapas, and drinks on Friday nights, where people are encouraged to put away their phones and connect with others as Shabbat begins. It also sells a Shabbat2Go DIY Kit, including placemats printed with liturgy options and conversation starters...
...“They are not concerned about whether or not something is ‘authentically’ Jewish, but rather that the individual practice has something to offer them,” Thurston said. “Authenticity is often measured vis-a-vis the effectiveness … Even when they are taken into new contexts, as long as they still feel meaningful, rituals maintain some aspect of authenticity.” In that sense, the “authenticity” is a function of consumer satisfaction, rather than of “ancientness” or of “official” approval.