Monday, March 20, 2006


In lieu of Ki Thessa blogging

The Conservative Jewish Movement is all abuzz lately over the question of ordination of homosexual Rabbis. A wise Rabbi adapted a Blu Greenberg quotation first stated regarding the role of women in Judaism -- "where there is a Rabbinic will, there is a Halachic way" (how does this sort of judicial activism relate to the problem of avoiding responsibility by merely obeying the law? and isn't concern about this sort of problem the main place where even liberal Judaism parts ways with Kant?) -- to the current schtuss amongst Conservative Jews (not to be confused with Jewish conservatives -- methinks the vast majority of Conservative Jews are Democrats even if not 100% doctrinare liberals). So the question is whether there is a Rabbinic will to finally adapt the writ of Halacha in a direction which (IMHO) appropriately applies the prohibitions found in Leviticus to the modern day (after all, the prohibitions do not seem to be about what we would consider today as homosexuality) and allows for full integration of homosexuals into the Conservative movement? Certainly, judging by the current crop of seminarians, such a will is going to exist in the next generation, but does it exist in this one? My girlfriend thinks so. I am not so sanguine.

Of course, as that same wise Rabbi pointed out along with Conservative Rabbis on all sides of this issue (yes -- in the Conservative movement of Judaism, it's possible to take any issue and have at least 5 or 6 different sides! perhaps the "he said/she said" newsmedia could learn a thing or two about what it means to represent all points of view? there are more points of view in the political world than thos of John McCain vs. the DINO Joe twins): even if you are not willing to bend or change your understanding of the writ of Halacha, it still should not prevent Conservative synagogues from fully accepting gay members -- after all, how many of us who attend Conservative synagogues really properly observe the Sabbath? And that's one of the "big 10"!

At the very least the whole debate is interesting: never have I heard so many liberal Conservative Jews quoting Hegel by speaking of dialectic instead of alluding to Kant!

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