Do you think Rick Warren, the author of the “Purpose Driven Life” and super duper mega-church leader, knew the joke about two Jews and three opinions when he sat down to consult Synagogue 3000 on how to attract more Jews to synagogues , maybe? Nonetheless, as they say, ignorance is bliss and most important, it’s nice to hear about an evangelical minister helping Jews to become more Jewish. We need more of that.
The idea of mega-synagogues with yoga workshops, banjo-playing Jewish rock stars leading mussaf service, and Rick Warren-styled rabbis preaching to 10,000 overworked, overeducated, and over-purpose-driven Jews would sure be a sight to see.
But more seriously, the idea of a mega-synagogue gets to the heart of a great new Jewish question: What is heresy in the 21st century? Is it apathy or deviancy?
Synagogue 3000 answers that question with an unequivocal chant of “apathy.” To be honest, for years now the Chabad movement of the Lubavitch Hasidic group has been giving that answer. While Chabad offers a good bowl of chulent and schnapps, Synagogue 3000 offers meditation, healing, and music. In response to the fear of no one coming to synagogue, Synagogue 3000 is offering a whole smorgasbord of different 21st-century programs to bring people back to the pews.
To be honest, I dread the day that a DJ overtakes the cantor and a cheerleader becomes the rabbi, but I am even more scared of the day that no one even shows up to synagogue.