Raised like a veal: Shalom Auslander

I may have posted this before, but it’s still amazing.
“I was raised like a veal in the Orthodox Jewish town of Monsey, New York, where it was forbidden to eat veal together with dairy….”

One thought on “Raised like a veal: Shalom Auslander”

  1. Is auslander’s experience of religious crime and punishment really different from what happens with other religions? Maybe Buddhism doesn’t have this miasma of punishment and reward, but the Christian, Muslim, Norse, Greek, Hindu all seem to have things like this.

    Religions also have myths of a utopian past — the Garden of Eden. But this myth assumes that anxieties and fears are pathologies…consequences of the “fall.” But viewed from a Darwinian perspective, the fears and anxieties are essential survival mechanisms that are wired into our beings, and provide a selective advantage. The fearful (ie the alert, prepared, etc) have a greater chance of passing on their DNA. We share these fear-based survival mechanisms with all animals (probably plants too). The molecular biology of stress responses is conserved from yeast to man.
    The implication is that we create a “built” and cultural environment to protect us from fearsome threats, such as wolves. But we carry the fears with us. The fears may not be as intense: surveys indicate that rich people are “happier” than poor people, for example. But escaping from fear and the wrath of God can’t occur solely by controlling externalities such as avoiding pigs. You have to confront your innner bacon.


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