Back to School Offer

Get 20% of Your First Order amount back in Reward Credits!

Get 20% of Your First Orderback in Rewards

All papers examples
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

The Conversion of the Jews, Research Paper Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1418

Research Paper

Introduction

To what extent should one question his religion? In a world where hundreds if not thousands of religions exist, it could not be denied that questioning one’s faith has become a common ground among several individuals. It could be analyzed that the process by which humans think about God and the different elements that prove his existence entail to create a distinctive condition on how religion is specifically understood by a person. This is the reason why I chose the Conversion of the Jews for my review. This written work by Philip Roth has captured my attention especially in consideration with the idea on why a person stays connected to his own faith even when doubts are evidently affecting their beliefs. Along with this, it also raises a question of whether or not religious leaders simply do take care of their “flock” or do they guard them fully so as to avoid the possibility of their members being taken along the flow of change. At some point, I personally see that the story does not only try to tackle the situation of the Jews; instead, it tries to show how the majority of religious groups around the globe try their best to keep their members within their grasp through imposing particular rules that they convene to be a sense of “protection” for the flock. The reality behind this matter could be better defined through the different scenarios that the main character of Roth’s story has been subjected to.

Analytical Criticisms of the Writing

In his written criticism of the work of Philip Roth, Theoharis (1999) tries to create a condition of explaining how one tries to seek further when it comes to religious belief. Pointing out how this approach to supposed ‘religious research’ is considered ‘taboo’ by several religious leaders, Theoharis indicates that such condition of control simply goes against the principles of freedom. Every person is free to follow his own will so long as it does not harm others. This is a common belief that the modern society believes at present. However, such manner of thinking would not work especially if the issue on Jewish conversion is being talked about. Going back to what Theoharis has written in his critique, he points out how the coming out of a person from a blinded way of fellowship becomes a supposed ‘religious crime’ that most fanatics look down upon. Making a direct approach on how one tries to question his own religion’s belief and foundation for traditions and culture is strongly being opposed in the Jewish religion. Leaders of the said religion believe that such consideration brings about a sense of contradiction that would not only ruin one’s own dependence on the faith but would also be the reason for his identity to be questioned.

In the story of Roth, he presents Judaism to be more than just a religion. It was specifically represented as a branch of the society that strongly upholds its personal relations with ‘god’ through creating a ‘fence of protection’ for its followers. Such fence is expected to act as a protection away from the teachings that are not in line with Judaism. The review of Theoharis specifically notes this process as a mere approach of covering the minds of the members from possibly finding out another ‘truth’ that is directly opposite from what they have originally believed as members of the church. Judaism, being a way of life and a religious group at the same time has created its own fence of protection. In the story, Ozee, the thirteen year old child who wants to ask further about his religion before his Bar Mitzvah receives a frown from his elders and the leaders of his religion. To them, this process of inquiry defines a sign of rebellion and should be stopped immediately.

However, on the part of Ozee, the way he questions is a mere representation of his interest and his desire to be convinced that what he believes in is the truth. Steven Goldleaf (2006) comments on the matter through saying that although it was not Ozee’s desire to humiliate the Rabbi or his elders, the inquiry he presented them with intended to question the faith that they have long been accustomed to, hence in a way questions their integrity as followers of the said religious group. Observably, when a person becomes attached to a belief, it becomes the foundation of who he becomes. This is the reason why when his belief becomes attacked by mere doubt from other members, a person may feel compelled to defend what he believes. However, at the failure of doing so, it is a common response among humans that their consideration over the inquiry become a distinction of possible rebellion on the part of the one asking the questions.

Ryan Poquette (2003) on the other hand indicates that in the process of inquiring about the truth, Poquette was stereotyped by his elders and the rabbi. Was it wrong for Ozee to ask? It is one’s right to know the answers to questions he thinks might be important especially in the process of acquiring maturity. At his age of 12, Ozee tries to consolidate the confusions he has had ever since he was young regarding some fundamental beliefs that his religion is founded upon. The comparison he used between Judaism and Christianity however challenged the ‘time tested’ traditions of his religion that basically shamed the pride of those who were older than him. This is the reason why instead of patiently answering his questions, the rabbi shuns him away just to be able to cease him from asking.

Nigel Rodenhurst (2011) on the other end creates a distinction on how Roth tried to write-out the conditions of living that Jews are conformed to stay in. The rules and the distinctive limitations that have been set for the members to recognize and follow are designed to keep the members from seeking further truth from outside sources of teachings. This strongly negates the idea of one being given the freedom to understand what he desires to know about.

Reflection and Learning

There is nothing wrong about inquiring. When one wants to know, it is but normal for him to ask. Shunning an individual from such course of research places his capacity to understand in a jeopardized position. This then would create a sense of void in him that later on would still need to be filled up. Ozee was presented in the story of Roth to be like any other individual who wants to seek the truth. It is normal to doubt especially when it comes to religious concerns. This is the reason why leaders of such groups should be able to withstand such inquiry through answering every point with strong foundation on what they know is the truth.

It has been learned through the critical analyses that have been presented herein that the story of Roth brings about a controversial issue among religious groups, their leaders and their members. Imposing the fact that some religions create specific rules that “guard” their members from accepting other explanations about God and other matters that relate to him and religion, the story represents a great deal of reality regarding the manner by which the modern society faces the challenge of understanding the value of religion in developing one’s being.

Conclusion

With too many existing religions, it is often confusing to choose which one says the truth. Utilizing evidences and the presentation of how the members behave then becomes one of the specific conditions that one could use to make sure that a particular religion conveys truthful beliefs. On the other end, inquiry should be valued highly in cases such as this. Without the answers given to such questions, the members might then better think twice of whether or not their religion imposes on the truth. This then should push them to continue being a member of the organization or leave to find the right one that defines the truth about God, his characteristics, his promises, and all other elemental factors connected to him and his existence.

References

Goldleaf, S. (2006). The Conversion of the Jews: Overview Short story, 1959. Literature Resource Center.

Poquette, R.D. (2003). Critical Essay on “The Conversion of the Jews”. Literature Resource Center.

Theoharis. T. (1999). ‘For with God All Things Are Possible’: Philip Roth’s ‘The Conversion of the Jews’. Journal of the Short Story in English .32 (Spring 1999): p69-75.

Rodenhurst, N. (2011). Philip Roth’s Postmodern American Romance: Critical Essays on Selected Works. http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/philip_roth_studies/v007/7.2.rodenhurst.pdf. (Retrieved on November 5, 2012).

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Research Paper Samples & Examples

The Effects of Spirituality and Grit Among Adults Aged 30 and Above

Abstract Spirituality and grit are two essential concepts in human life. A person’s religious or spiritual beliefs come from their components of culture, attitudes, and [...]

Pages: 9

Words: 2547

Research Paper

Media Account Analysis: National Geographic, Research Paper Example

National Geographic is an established Instagram account with over 241 million followers. In all its posts, National Geographic focuses on oceans, land, wildlife, human ingenuity, [...]

Pages: 2

Words: 567

Research Paper

Health Reasons for Abortion, Research Paper Example

Abortion remains one of the most controversial subjects in the world, as some people support that it should be freedom while others believe it is [...]

Pages: 3

Words: 720

Research Paper

Indigenous Caribbean Art, Research Paper Example

Introduction The portrayal of cultural characteristics that are important to the populations that are native to that location is a common feature of the indigenous [...]

Pages: 9

Words: 2341

Research Paper

Jean Lamarr, Research Paper Example

Introduction Different cultures have different ways of fostering creativity and imagination. However, since people might be impacted by values and norms from different cultures, artists [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1511

Research Paper

The Oppression of Indigenous People in Layli Long Soldier’s Whereas, Research Paper Example

Introduction Colonization perpetrated the oppression of indigenous communities. Also, the struggle against cultural imperialism lay at the heart of oppression as the culture of native [...]

Pages: 7

Words: 2029

Research Paper

The Effects of Spirituality and Grit Among Adults Aged 30 and Above

Abstract Spirituality and grit are two essential concepts in human life. A person’s religious or spiritual beliefs come from their components of culture, attitudes, and [...]

Pages: 9

Words: 2547

Research Paper

Media Account Analysis: National Geographic, Research Paper Example

National Geographic is an established Instagram account with over 241 million followers. In all its posts, National Geographic focuses on oceans, land, wildlife, human ingenuity, [...]

Pages: 2

Words: 567

Research Paper

Health Reasons for Abortion, Research Paper Example

Abortion remains one of the most controversial subjects in the world, as some people support that it should be freedom while others believe it is [...]

Pages: 3

Words: 720

Research Paper

Indigenous Caribbean Art, Research Paper Example

Introduction The portrayal of cultural characteristics that are important to the populations that are native to that location is a common feature of the indigenous [...]

Pages: 9

Words: 2341

Research Paper

Jean Lamarr, Research Paper Example

Introduction Different cultures have different ways of fostering creativity and imagination. However, since people might be impacted by values and norms from different cultures, artists [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1511

Research Paper

The Oppression of Indigenous People in Layli Long Soldier’s Whereas, Research Paper Example

Introduction Colonization perpetrated the oppression of indigenous communities. Also, the struggle against cultural imperialism lay at the heart of oppression as the culture of native [...]

Pages: 7

Words: 2029

Research Paper

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!