A False Image of a Real Jew

Kudos to Rabbi Michael Knopf. He writes in an essay published in Haretz:

In much the same way that many people (wrongly) see fundamentalist Muslims as the most genuine representation of Islam, many perceive Judaism to be at odds with modernity because they view Haredi-Fundamentalist Judaism as authentic…Jews and non-Jews need to know that the Haredi-Fundamentalist community does not represent true Judaism or hold a monopoly on Jewish authenticity. There are decidedly non-fundamentalist approaches to Judaism that are viable, vibrant, and valid. The Jewish future can only and must only be won by a Judaism that integrates religious and scientific truths, a Judaism that values both tradition and modernity.

Absolutely true, but what do we do about it? How do we make people more aware of a non-fundamentalist non-extremist Judaism? How do we help people feel confident that Jewish tradition is strongly supportive of humanistic values? What are the visual symbols of a viable, vibrant, valid Judaism around which we can rally? What do we need to stand in the place of the image of the devout man in a black hat?

Categories: To Be a Jew | Leave a comment

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