Writing in Ynet, Yitzhak Kakun complains about the 'secularization' of Shavuot that is becoming increasingly common in Israel. Secular Israelis gather in lecture halls and theaters to listen to and participate in discussions about Jewish history, Zionism, the origin of the universe, etc. Kakun does not like this because he considers these gatherings to be perversions of Judaism, and Orthodox rabbis who participate in them to be traitors:
…The Shavuot tikkun popular with the “enlightened” secular public is a desecration of what is holy, on the day of the receiving of the Torah. We sometimes see people with a kippah on their heads (and not necessarily Reform Jews) who attempt to give their stamp of approval by participating in discussions at an illusory tikkun.…
Of course, some of what bothers Kakun bothers me, as well – especially the admixture of Eastern polytheistic religious thought with Judaism, something that occurs at a minority of these gatherings, usually linked to the rave scene. But Kakun is upset with more than Zen Judaism:
So why do they find a reason to attack our Jewish roots at the lectures they give on this holy night in particular? Is the night of Shavuot intended to teach us Darwin’s doctrine of evolution? In fact, the opposite is true.
This is truly the heart of his argument. Evolution is treife because it appears to contradict the written Torah. Therefore, understanding the origins of life – a topic that takes up a good chunk of Genesis – is forbidden. That there are Jewish sources dating back almost 2000 years which speak of a world much older than 6000 years, and a history much more complex than a surface reading of Genesis gives, is lost on Kakun.
Kakun's view, which is shared by haredim (Rabbi Slifkin book bans, etc.), is closer to fundamentalist Christianity than to traditional Judaism. It is a view that asks us to abandon rational thought and simply believe. No mainstream Jewish movement has ever asked this. The idea of suspending rational thought is foreign to Judaism. Today, acceptance of that foreign concept has become a benchmark for Orthodox belief. How strange.