Thursday, May 06, 2004

Cosmopolitans & Provincials

Interesting thought on the train this morning:
Orthodox Jews, especially in the past twenty-something years live, almost exclusively in extremely cosmopolitan cities. Examples include New York, London, Toronto, Los Angeles, Jerusalem (though I do not know about Baltimore). I mean not that the Jews are sophisticated or educated, but that the city literally contains hundreds of different ethnic, cultural, and immigrant groups. Which I personally enjoy and celebrate. However, this is not the most condusive environment for building an insular fundamentalist community. It's the great irony of Orthodox Communities in the late 20th Century. They cannot survive but in massive cities. But massive cities are not the best place for Orthodox Jews.

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