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View Diary: Dvar Torah: Parshat Re'eh (24 comments)

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  •  Which rabbis did you have in mind? (3+ / 0-)

    There isn't one modern rabbinate that represents all of Judaism. In Israel, two new Chief Rabbis were just elected by 150 other authorities. But though Ashkenazi Jews and Sephardic Jews have their own Chief, there is no recognition of anything other than one particular brand of Orthodox Judaism represented by the Chief Rabbinate, and there are many Israelis, including many rabbis, who do not approve of this system, since they influence civil institutions as well as religious (such as marriage, citizenship of immigrants by defining who is "Jewish," which conversions done elsewhere are valid in Israel, and such).

    I would call this an unreasonable rabbinate, but it is a small portion of all rabbis who take these rulings as the only possible rulings.

    Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

    by ramara on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 08:57:19 PM PDT

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    •  For example, here in Baltimore (1+ / 0-)
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      We've had two rabbis who issued very far sighted rulings.  The late Rabbi Jacob Agus, in 1950, issued the ruling allowing for Jews to drive to synagogue on Shabbat, something that Orthodox rabbis still forbid.  He noted that the returning GI's were buying homes in the suburbs, where there were no synagogues in walking distance, and that the maintenance of Jewish faith required that families worship weekly and become otherwise involved in the synagogue.

      And in 2006, Rabbi Avram Reisner overturned a previous "don't ask don't tell" type of ruling by recognizing gay marriage and opening the rabbinate to LGBT's. I wrote about that ruling here.

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

      by Navy Vet Terp on Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 06:20:44 PM PDT

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