^ You're comparing Vulcan ritual to civil law. In fact, the culture as presented is much more based on orthodox religion. Under Nimoy's significant influence, the mentality of orthodox Judaism came to be embodied in the way the Vulcans were portrayed.
To go off on a tangent, I'll go a step further: Spock and family perfectly reflect the experience of Jews in America. Let's start with Sarek: though he is "old school" in many ways, having come from a prominent family and risen to a respected post , he is something of a rebel. As an ambassador he spends more time with other cultures than his own. He marries a shiksa. And yet he is supposed to represent the Vulcan people. Is it any wonder he was so cold toward and unapproving of his half-human son, who himself distanced the family even farther from their Vulcan roots?
In Sarek's eyes, Spock rejected his Vulcan upbringing to run off and join Starfleet. Even though this was a logical extension of Sarek's own strayed path, Sarek was clearly tortured by this. Spock, for his part, was fiercely proud of his Vulcan heritage - but was going to live it on his own terms.
T'Pau represented the old guard; the Orthodoxy. Is it any coincidence they cast an Eastern European, with a thick accent, in the part?