Washington D.C. is some kinda weird place, because it appears that David Brooks has made it through his entire adult life without ever attending a Bar Mitvah. His wide-eyed astonishment at the most basic principles of Jewish thought is actually incredible. Has no one ever taken this guy to shul before?
When [many people] go in search of answers, they generally find people who offer them comfort and ways to ease their anxiety.Nothing against this Erica Brown character that Brooks has dredged up. She sounds like a nice lady. (Actually, with her late-seating policy, she sounds like my religious school teacher, Mrs. Eiseman.) But this is hardly The Guide for the Perplexed here. My own d'var Torah was on this very subject. When, you know, I was thirteen.
Brown tries to do the opposite. Jewish learning, she says, isn’t about achieving tranquility. It’s about the struggle.
This does, however, advance my general thesis. For all the talk about "Judeo-Christian" whathaveyou, Christians, for the most part, when they actually encounter Judaism, are shocked to find that it is not some old-fashioned version of Christianity, that it is, in fact, entirely alien from their own goofball synecretic post-pagan faith.
UPDATE: A commenter notes, and la wiki confirms, that Brooks is, in fact a Jew. Well, Jew-ish. At this point, I really don't know what to say. This is like a Catholic expressing surprise at the trinity.