Feb 3, 2010

History in the Past, Facts and Passion on the Ground

History in the Past, Facts and Passion on the Ground
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Meeting with Matthew Wagner from the Jerusalem Post, and confronting
the recent move by the charedim to create gender segregated buses...
Examining the notion of a (durkheimian) 'civil religion' which isn't
the active choice of israelis but rather the emerging set of national
symbols, including the chief rabbinate and charedi monopoly on
religious certification and ritual... Connect this with the winery
which, in order to have rabbinate kashrut certification, requires that
the owner who we met ysterday (a deeply spiritual israeli man) not
even TOUCH his grapes and machinery and casks, since he's not Shomer
Shabbat (completely political, in order to employ untold numbers of
charedim at the expense of jewish/human dignity for many, not to
mention alienation from Jewish tradition).

Couple this with our participation yesterday in the dedication of the
very FIRST dedicated space in Tel Aviv for NOA0M, the masorti israeli
youth movement. The first? This is, as a dynamic rabbi in Jerusalem,
Rabbi Chaya Rowen-Baker, put it just now, the new "pioneer' demand.
The Jewish nature of Israel is at stale in a very immediate way.
Rabbis of all kinds are not allowed into 'secular' israeli schools,
further separating Israelis from their Jewish identity, and many more
Masorti shuls with funded rabbis. Woud change the israeli world (who
are, lately, losing their jobs because their communities receive no
funding from the government, and only with this trip have my eyes been
opened to the urgency and the passion that requires only funding).

And here's the kicker, which I'm commited to help change, throught the
passionate, skilled leadership of the Masorti Foundation (led by David
Lissy) and the Masorti Movement (led by Yizhar Hess and countless
other israelis):

At the end of Rabbi Rowen-Baker's presentation, I turned to Yizhar and
said that what we need is an itimized bill so that we can fund these
vital communities who are doing the best outreach I've ever
experienced to their largely-secular Israeli communities. And he
said: I can tell you the number - about 70,000 dollars.

So the question isn't how important this is - whe the call for funding
a healthy Jewish identity for Israelis through seeding Masorti
communities for 70,000 dollars, how many of us will step up and change
the world.

Please God, may we make the pitch well.
And may we all answer that call, which is well within our means.

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Announcing ShefaJournal 5770:1 - "The Relationship Between
Conservative Judaism and the Conservative Movement"
Rabbi Menachem Creditor
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