Can Jewish Texts Expand Our Thinking?

January 29, 2015

Can Jewish Texts Expand Our Thinking,” the latest article from “Rabbis Uncensored,” the Philadelphia Board of Rabbis’ blog, includes a response by Rabbi Jill Maderer.  Do you find yourself in conversation with others who already share your opinion?  In what kinds of interactions do you find your thinking expands?  Comments welcome!

Shaping Judaism in the Jewish State: Vote for ARZA in WZO Elections

January 25, 2015

Learn here about voting for progressive Judaism in Israel in the WZO elections!

Since I was a child, I have heard the debate.  Do American Jews have the right to voice our opinions on Israel?  After all, we don’t send our children into the Israeli Army.  (Well, most of us don’t.) Do you think we have the right to speak out about Israel?  Are you unsure?

I suspect there are many in our congregation who are not certain what their relationship with Israel is, or should be.  So many are engaging in Israel study in our Sunday morning sessions; and yet, so few have registered for our congregational trip to Israel, we may need to cancel it.  (You can still sign up!) I know there are barriers of cost and safety concerns for some; but I wonder if there is also a barrier of emotional distance.  Perhaps we are not sure whether Israel is a place for our voice, our passions, for our concerns. We might feel alienated by the state’s sponsorship of Orthodoxy or feel estranged by the occupation of the West Bank.  Perhaps we just don’t know any Israelis, making it hard to relate beyond politics.  We are not sure if Israel is ours. Read the rest of this entry »