Posts Tagged With: K’vod HaBriyot

Taiku! Israeli Masorti Movement Opens Door to Gay Rabbis

Taiku! This is the word the Talmud uses when a debate simply can’t be resolved. Rather than pick one solution the Talmud cries Taiku! Tie! Let it stand! and the parties go onto other issues. We like to think that there is one right way and if people work hard enough they will find it. In reality there were many many times when the Talmud could find no way to resolve a dispute. Forcing a solution only divides a community. Calling “Taiku!” allows the community to stay together even without exact agreement on every issue.

Two Contradictory Opinions

The Conservative movement’s handling of gay unions and ordinations is a modern day example of “Taiku!”. In 2006 the Conservative Movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (CJLS) took up the issue of the status of homosexuality within Conservative Jewish Halachah. Given the strong feelings on all sides, there was no way to come to a single answer, so the committee accepted two contradictory rulings.

The first of these opinions ( EH 24.2006a ) , by Joel Roth, argued against gay unions and ordinations. Roth was concerned that wholesale rejection of rabbinic bans against homosexual relatinships would put the Conservative movement too far outside the bounds of the halachic community which includes orthodox Jews and not just conservative Jews. Continue reading

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Categories: Building a Better Judaism, Building a Just Israel | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

The Problem With Body Part Centric Modesty

This January, Marc Angel from the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals posted his own attempt to reclaim the Jewish notion of modesty from the extremists. Sadly the entire essay, although clearly well meaning, is fatally flawed.

His first argument appeals to the issue of women being sometimes treated as sex objects. He writes:

Non-tseniut behavior signals a person’s desire to be seen as an object of sexual attraction. … Why would people willingly dress or act in a manner as to make themselves into objects?

Perhaps because they aren’t making themselves into objects? Continue reading

Categories: Building a Better Judaism | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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