OTD Musings: On Religious Experiences

From a conversation with fellow OTDers:

I used to think I was so connected to god when “Jewish” music made me happy. Been OTD for a few years, and I still enjoy it (well only some of it…) How many religious experiences are just regular human experiences repackaged to seem extra holy?

Part of my response:

Shulem Deen talks about getting that spiritual feeling he got from chasidish farbrengen – at a hippy sing-along… In other words – yes – there is something deeply emotional about certain kinds of music, about certain experiences. Call it spiritual, call it your pintele yid, call it human connection or whatever – it’s universal that we react to things in ways like that, even though what exactly we react to can be culturally specific. Chasidish music moves me to tears sometimes. Doesn’t mean my pintele yid is stirring.

Dancing in big groups, going out to look up at the stars, sitting in a big open field – I used to think they made me feel connected to god, exactly as you say. Now I know better.

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