Another Response to a Jewish Atheist

On why we should explore Judaism beyond what we learned in Religious School before our Bat or Bar Mitzvah, and how much more there is out there than what is read in the headlines about Judaism...

Not liking one philosophy class or professor doesn't make all philosophy classes or professors not to our taste. Pop culture headlines do not define a culture. I wouldn't trust my views alone, anymore than I would trust pop culture, anymore than I would dismiss a large set of ideas based on a small sample size. How much time have you spent looking at "progressive Judaism"? Jews NEVER read the Hebrew Scripture alone - we always have read it with commentary and interpretation. We never lived it literally (I mean really, executing people for Shabbat violations and for disobeying parents - we are a small group, and that would explain our extermination more than our small size). The Torah is meant to be the beginning of conversations not the end of them. The same with the Talmud. Judaism has undergone radical changes in the last 175 years - most of them from the side of radical reactionary movements, not progressive, secularist, reformers. The changes to the Judaism on the right have been far more dramatic than any on the left. How could anyone have afforded 6 sets of dishes (or two dishwashers!) in the shtetl?