In the Mediteranean, the "relidious infrastructures" mirror the way most of the population identify religiously. There is no such thing as an Italian that isn't Roman Catholic, or would not get married by a priest, or follow any other "pulbic aspect" of that community that wasn't Catholic. Whether the person is devout is another matter, whether they go to Confession, or Recieve Mass is another issue. In Greece, too, its the same. In Islanic countries, we have leaned that even the most secular leaders are expected to follow some sort of pro forma Islam, though the level personal observance may not by in synch with their public statements. Only among us Jews where we have influnences from Galut, does "denominationalism" occur. Even in Western Europe, the Consistorial system unites the pro forma "Orthodox" with those Jews that may be called non-Halachically Observant Jews--no agendas, just Jews. Obvioously it puts some contraints on the non-Halachially observant Jews, and discomfort, to some extent among those Jews that are stringent, but it seems to work. The trouble begins when North American Jews come with their notions that a Jewish community is defined by a "synagogue" or "temple" and each Jew indentifies as an individual, rather than part of a collective. It might work in the States, but I fear there are more Mesorati Jews that are "not Conservative" than Mesorati-Conservative Jews in this country. The former accept the Rabbinate, even if they don't observe its dictates as strictly, while the latter imagines they are still in New Jersey, or Skokie, or . . .
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