Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tony Campolo on the Value of Tradition

In an address on visionaries and dreamers Tony Campolo speaks of the importance of tradition:

Indeed, religious experience is partly ritual, isn’t it? It’s partly ritual. That’s why, if you’re Jewish, you know there is such a thing called the Seder Feast.

I taught at the University of Pennsylvania, and the students who even were atheists would always come and want to borrow my children. If they were Jewish, they wanted to borrow my children for the Seder Feast. And dumb me — I would lend them out. I say “dumb” because I could have rented them.

And I would say to these students, “Students, you don’t even believe in God,” and they would say, “Yes, but we’re Jewish.” And the rituals kept them Jewish.

Tevya understood this. Remember in that wonderful musical, “Fiddler on the Roof” — he said, “Tradition — because of our traditions we know who we are, where we come from, and what our lives are all about.”

Tony Campolo, Visionaries and Dreamers, 30 Good Minutes, 30 December 1984.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: “you know there is such a thing called the Seder Feast.”