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Chabad Lubavitch has been getting a lot of press recently since the tragic murders of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg (z”l), the Chabad shlichim (emissaries) in Mumbai, India who were killed by terrorists. Their story underscores the important mission of these Chabadnik leaders willing to relocate their families to far-flung corners of the earth for kiruv (Jewish outreach). I’ve heard from several young people who stopped at the Chabad-Lubavitch Nariman House while backpacking through India only to be treated so warmly by Rabbi Holtzberg and his wife. I experienced similarly warm hospitality when I visited a Chabad House in Sumy, Ukraine a few years ago with students from the University of Michigan.

I have always been amazed and impressed by Chabad’s devotion to the Jewish people. Their marketing machine and political savvy are the envy of Jewish leaders everywhere. But I have also been skeptical at times about their approach and their agenda, especially on college campuses where the Jewish students are hyper-impressionable.

Due to their belief that Rebbe Menachem Schneerson (left) is the mashiach (messiah), many have cynically described Chabad Lubavitch as the closest religion to Judaism. Regardless of this belief, which is often denied by Chabadniks in large metropolitan Jewish communities where such a messianic tenet would not be well received, Chabad is doing important work throughout the globe.

In many Jewish communities, Chabad has taken on the important job of training young people to work with the developmentally disabled through The Friendship Circle. The program, now with over sixty chapters, matches teenage volunteers who become friends and mentors to children with special needs. Chabad has also pioneered important programs in the Former Soviet Union, including in the devastated community of Chernobyl.

If you’re interested in a fair and in-depth study of Chabad Lubavitch, I would highly recommend Sue Fishkoff’s The Rebbe’s Army.

The most daring, insightful coverage of Chabad however can be found in last month’s issue of New Voices magazine. The young columnists of the New Voices journal demystify Chabad, answering questions like: Why, unlike most ultra-Orthodox, do the Lubavitch reach out to rather than reject secular Jews? What do they get when you put on tefillin? Are they Zionist or anti-Zionist? What do they think of mainstream Jewish movements and what do those movements think of them? Do all Lubavitchers even share the same views on these issues?

A blogger on the Moment Magazine blog writes: “Takedown or not, New Voices has done what no other serious Jewish publication has dared do: subject Chabad to the same journalistic scrutiny every powerful, religious movement deserves.”

The New Voices issue includes Chabad-related stories about the Agriprocessors Kosher meat scandal, an interview with a Reform rabbi about the place of Chabad in the religious life of secular Jews, a critique of non-Orthodox support for Chabad, and an exploration of the contemporary meaning of the Chabad headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway.

The interview with the Reform rabbi who shares his thoughts on Chabad is very interesting. The rabbi is Rabbi Rick Jacobs (left), Senior Rabbi of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, New York. I met Rabbi Jacobs last year at a STAR Foundation PEER Alumni retreat and was extremely impressed. Rabbi Jacobs tells a funny story in the New Voices interview:

I was in midtown Manhattan, and I’m walking down the street and this wonderful friendly warm Chabadnik stops me and says, ‘Are you Jewish?’ I’m walking along, I’m wearing a grey suit. I don’t know, maybe I have curly Jewish hair. I said, ‘Yes, are you?’ And he looked at me and started to laugh and he pointed to his tzitzit and to his beard. I said, ‘You know, appearances are not always reality.

Rick’s story reminds me of another story: Two Jewish Theological Seminary rabbinical students (a man and a woman) were walking by the main gate of Columbia in New York’s Upper West Side when a Chabadnik asked the man if he put on tefillin that morning. His response? “No, but she did!”

I’m not sure what the ultimate attraction to Chabad is for so many — not just the impressionable Jewish college students who flock to Chabad houses for the Rebbetzin’s homemade chicken soup and challah, whiskey shots with the rabbi, or hot cholent on Shabbat afternoon. For some college students it may well be that the Chabad rabbi looks, well, more authentically Jewish than his or her Reform or Conservative rabbi back home — which means more Eastern European and more pious.

The bigger question for me is the new fad of contemporary, progressive Jewish families joining Chabad congregations (in many communities called simply “The Shul”). I know this is driving many rabbis crazy. In some cases, rabbis are seeing their congregants attend Chabad congregations to complement their other synagogue membership. They may go to Chabad for a Shabbat service or even a holiday service (e.g., Simchat Torah), but wouldn’t think of not attending their ancestral synagogue for High Holiday services or to celebrate their child’s bar or bat mitzvah. But in other cases, Reform and Conservative congregations are seeing their membership numbers decrease to the benefit of the Chabad shul down the street. Again, this could be chalked up to the “authenticity factor” or it could be something deeper. Perhaps it is the warmth that the Chabad rabbis display in their outreach efforts much like the warmth that was a trademark of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, stationed in Mumbai and racking up all those “mitzvah points” through their generosity.

May their memories be for blessings.

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |
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JDate Rabbis

Like most rabbis I read a lot of sermons that other rabbis have delivered. After this past Yom Kippur someone sent me a particularly good sermon that was rather risky. Rabbi Donald Weber even prefaced his Yom Kippur sermon by admitting that it would be a gutsy sermon to give. The rabbi of Temple Rodeph Torah in Marlboro, New Jersey told his Reform congregation that in over twenty-five years (and over 100 High Holy Day sermons) he never spoke about interfaith marriage from the pulpit as it was considered to be the “third rail of the Reform rabbinate — you touch it and you die.”

JDateIn Rabbi Weber’s well-crafted sermon about interfaith marriage, he chooses his words carefully and explains that he does not want to hurt anyone with his remarks. The chidush (new idea) of his sermon was that he came up with a way to help curb the rising rates of intermarriage within his congregation. He announced in his sermon (MP3 version) that he and his wife, Shira Stern, would personally pay out of their own pocket for a six-month membership ($149) to JDate for any young singles in his congregation who asked. In his sermon, he told the single Jews in the pews that the survival of American Judaism in its current form depends on their decisions.

Rabbi Webber’s JDate generosity made national news. Six weeks after he delivered his Yom Kippur sermon at Temple Rodeph Torah, USA Today published an article about his idea to promote marrying within the Jewish faith through

In the January 21, 2008 issue of Newsweek magazine it was reported that Rabbi Weber and his wife have paid for 24 six-month subscriptions from their own personal funds. Two other rabbis, Rabbi Kenneth Emert of New Jersey and Rabbi Michael Cahana of Oregon, have begun funding the six-month JDate subscriptions for their single congregants from their rabbinic discretionary funds. The Newsweek article states that two rabbis have also negotiated a bulk rate discount for rabbis who want to buy membership accounts for their congregants (this was also covered in the JTA blog).

The rabbis say they felt compelled to act because of the gradual dilution of the faith through marriage. Almost half of American Jews marry non-Jews, a rate of exodus that has more than tripled since 1970. “This is about creating an opportunity,” says Cahana. Sometimes even Cupid needs a nudge.

JDate certainly works. Almost half of the weddings I have officiated have been for couples who met on JDate (including one eHarmony wedding). If a Jewish couple didn’t meet in high school or college, I have come to assume they met each other on JDate. It will be interesting to see how many weddings Rabbi Donald Weber performs from the individuals who received a free JDate subscription from him. If every rabbi provides free subscriptions I am certain the intermarriage statistics will change positively.

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |
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Hartman Institute

Many new rabbinical schools have opened in the past decade. The American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism) Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies ordained its first class of rabbis in 1999, the modern Orthodox Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) has been ordaining progressive Orthodox rabbis for a few years in New York, and the pluralistic Hebrew College will ordain its first rabbis this Spring.

Rabbi David HartmanNow, the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem has announced that it will open its own rabbinical school at its German Colony location. In a Jerusalem Post article titled “Hartman Institute to ordain women rabbis”, Matthew Wagner writes:

In a step that marks a major change in gender roles within modern Orthodoxy, women will be ordained as Orthodox rabbis. Jerusalem’s Shalom Hartman Institute, founded by Rabbi David Hartman (right), himself a modern Orthodox rabbi, will open a four-year program next year to prepare women and men of all denominations – Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and also Orthodox – for rabbinic ordination.

The decision to ordain women Orthodox rabbis will certainly be met with much criticism in the Orthodox community, especially since the rabbinical school will be in Jerusalem. Rabbi David Hartman’s son Rabbi Donniel Hartman is the co-director of the Hartman Institute. He said, “For too long now we have been robbing ourselves of 50 percent of our potential leaders; people who can shape and inspire others. The classic distinctions between men and women are no longer relevant.”

Each of these emerging rabbinical schools have had, and will continue to have, a major impact on the modern Jewish community. It will be interesting to see what role the first women rabbis to be ordained by the Hartman Institute will have in Israel and beyond. Best of luck to the Hartman Institute in this new endeavor.

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |
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The Mega-Shul

In my second year of Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary, my seminar leader (a congregational rabbi in New Jersey at the time) predicted the death of the large, high-church American synagogue. The 1,000-plus households synagogue with the vast, ornate sanctuary and a stadium-sized parking lot would soon see its demise he assured me.

I figured he was right. The trend, at least among the younger generation, was toward smaller, more intimate congregations. After all, in the larger cities young Jews were flocking to the do-it-yourself minyans rather than to the large, institutional congregations. At least that was true among Conservative Jews.

However, at the recent Reform Movement‘s Bienniel Convention in San Diego, the focus was on the Mega-Church. The JTA featured this in its article Reform finds inspiration in mega-church techniques”.

I first read of the Jewish interest in the mega-church philosophy back in 2006 when the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles reported that Pastor Rick Warren (right) spoke at Sinai Temple’s Friday Night Live. Jewschool then reprinted a press release from Jewish Women Watching about Pastor Rick Warren and Synagogue 3000 leader Dr. Ron Wolfson being strange bedfellows. Turns out that when Synagogue 3000 invited Rick Warren (author of “The Purpose Driven Life”) to speak about building a spiritual community, Jewish Women Watching was outraged because of Warren’s conservative views on abortion and homosexuality.

In November, the New York Times picked up on Synagogue 3000’s analysis of Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church with Samuel Freedman’s article “An Unlikely Megachurch Lesson”. Freedman writes:

One Sunday morning in 1995, Ron Wolfson and Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman braked to a halt in an oddly enlightening traffic jam. The line of cars was creeping toward Saddleback Church in Southern California, whose services were drawing thousands of worshipers. As two Jews, Mr. Wolfson and Rabbi Hoffman had crossed the sectarian divide to try to figure out how and why.

As they inched down the road, they spotted a sign marked “For First-Time Visitors.” It directed them to pull into a separate lane and put on emergency blinkers. Bypassing the backup, they soon reached a lot with spaces reserved for newcomers. When Mr. Wolfson and Rabbi Hoffman emerged from their car, an official Saddleback greeter led them into the church.

Those first moments on the perimeter of the church set into motion a dozen years of increasing interaction between a Jewish organization devoted to reinvigorating synagogues and one of the most successful evangelical megachurches in the nation, the Rev. Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.

This has not been a studiously balanced bit of ecumenicism. Synagogue 3000, the group led by Mr. Wolfson, an education professor, and Rabbi Hoffman, a scholar of liturgy, went to the church to figure out what evangelical Christians were doing right that Jews were doing wrong or not at all.

“To put it bluntly,” Mr. Wolfson said, “if there are thousands of people waiting to get in, I want to know what’s going on. I want to know what they’re doing that’s tapping those souls.”

Now after more than a decade of Ron Wolfson (left) studying Saddleback Church‘s success, the entire Reform Movement is looking to Rick Warren for answers. The JTA reports that at the Bienniel, “the mega-church influence was felt as well during Friday night prayers, where 6,000 worshipers gathered in a cavernous room on the convention center’s ground floor for a choreographed production of sight and sound. Multiple cameras projected the service on several enormous screens suspended over the hall. A live band buoyed a service that was conducted almost entirely in song.”

Rick Warren was a speaker at an evening plenary session at the annual Reform Movement convention. He explained how he grew Saddleback so large that he expects 42,000 worshipers to attend his 14 Christmas services next week. And two years ago he rented out Anaheim Stadium on the occasion of his church’s 25th anniversary so he could speak to his entire congregation at once.

I’m not sure that any baseball stadiums will be holding Kol Nidrei in the near future, but the idea of a mega-shul is intriguing.

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |
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Samuel Freedman on Hechsher Tzedek

In today’s Jerusalem Post, Samuel Freedman, the author of Jew Vs. Jew, wrote the best article about the new Hechsher Tzedek that I have yet to see. Freedman does a balanced job of explaining the rationale behind Rabbi Morris Allen’s idea for a “new form of kosher certification, which reflect[s] a commitment to justice on behalf of kosher food companies rather than solely their adherence to the laws of kashrut in food preparation.”

What I liked most about Freedman’s article is how he returned to the civil rights era and Martin Luther King, Jr. to portray the history of what we now call tikkun olam (social justice) in Judaism. The Jewish men and women who joined the Civil Rights Movement were passionate about their activism but, for the most part, dispassionate about the basis for their activism in their Jewish heritage. Freedman writes,

One of the whopping paradoxes of the civil rights movement was that the Jews who comprised a disproportionate share of white activists and volunteers were largely ignorant of the theological roots of their idealism. With some rare rabbinic exceptions like Abraham Joshua Heschel and Jack Rothschild, they had to learn their own Bible from the black Christians in the campaign.

As Freedman understands it, there has long been a disconnect among Jews between the social activism that is practiced and the textual tradition that promotes such activism.

In the parts of the Jewish spectrum with the strongest involvement in tikkun olam, particularly among the secular and unaffiliated, there is the least awareness of the Judaic foundations of that concept. (In fact, there is often an antipathy to religion itself as mere superstition.) In the parts with the deepest knowledge of text and tradition, particularly the Orthodox sector, a formidable apparatus of charities exists almost entirely to serve internal needs.

Freedman points to the American Jewish World Service, led by social justice trailblazer Ruth Messinger, which has become such a phenomenon because it has “overtly connected activism to a disciplined, ongoing study of Jewish texts.” I agree. I would also add the work of two Conservative rabbis in two other Jewish organizations that are both successfully connecting their passion for activism with their devotion to Torah. Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps, started by Rabbi David Rosenn (left), integrates work for social change, Jewish learning, and community building. Rabbi Jill Jacob’s work with Jewish Funds for Justice helps achieve social and economic security and opportunities for the poor in our country, but is deeply grounded in her scholarly and passionate Torah. Jill’s ability to mesh her Torah with her Jewish values of tzedek are often expressed on the jspot blog (although I disagree with her take on Thanksgiving).

The Conservative Movement, through the Hechsher Tzedek, is also bridging the divide between justice work and the Torah’s mandate to pursue justice (Deuteronomy 16:10). There is textual bases for the Hechsher Tzedek in our sifrei kodesh (the Jewish textual tradition from the Bible to the Talmud and through the rabbinic codes of law and modern-day commentaries). So rather than call Conservative Judaism a “wishy washy” branch on the American Jewish scene, I choose to look at it as the best of both worlds. We can have the commitment to social justice that is so prioritized in the Reform Movement while also having the commitment to Jewish law and lore (the Halakhic and Midrashic traditions), which is the primary focus of Orthodoxy.

Perhaps Samuel Freedman’s article serves as the best response to the comments posted to this blog regarding my thoughts on Rabbi Harold Kushner’s article in the recent Conservative Judaism journal.

How does the Conservative Judaism of today differ from an increasingly more traditional Reform Judaism? Conservative Judaism emphasizes a commitment to the system of mitzvot (Halakhah), while also emphasizing social justice and k’vod habriyot (human dignity). And while we’re at it, How does Conservative Judaism differ from Orthodox Judaism? Conservative Judaism wants its adherents to be committed to the 613 mitzvot and to engage in an ongoing ascension up the ladder of Jewish commitments (Shabbat and holy days, Kashrut, prayer, study, tzedakah, etc.) while still being able to brush their teeth on Shabbat without buying one of these.

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |
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Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu

Rabbi Mordechai EliyahuThe Jerusalem Post reported that the former Sephardi chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu explained in his book that “Reform and Conservative synagogues reek of hell and a Jew should not even come near their entrance.” I don’t think this rabbi will be invited to give a keynote address at any pluralism retreats any time soon.

Putting aside his deplorable comments, I found the story he recounts about having to enter a three-story building to attend a bris very comical. He describes the quandary he faced trying to get to an Orthodox synagogue on the third floor of a building in Israel where a Reform and Conservative synagogue occupy the first and second floor respectively. Hmmm… A three-story building with Reform, Conservative and Orthodox prayer services under one roof? Sounds like a campus Hillel building.

In response to his comments, the Masorti (Conservative) Movement in Israel said that it would sue Rabbi Eliyahu for slander.

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |
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PM Olmert gives Arnie Eisen Smicha

There was some controversy last year when the president of Israel refused to call Eric Yoffie “Rabbi” when the leader of the Reform movement visited his office. Now, in an effort not to repeat that controversy, the prime minister of Israel seems to be playing it safe and calling every religious leader “Rabbi” — whether they are or not. An article in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports that when Arnie Eisen of the Jewish Theological Seminary, David Hartman of the Shalom Hartman Institute, and David Ellenson of Hebrew Union College visited Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this past week, all three men were called “Rabbi” even though Eisen is not an ordained rabbi.

The beginning of the article is quoted below. The complete article is here.

Until ignorance divides us
By Yair Ettinger (

Last Friday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert received three guests in his office, all with the double-barreled title of rabbi and professor: They are well-known scholars among American Jews and fairly well-known in Israel: Rabbi David Hartman, who heads the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and is associated with liberal Orthodoxy; Rabbi Arnie Eisen, the chancellor of the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS); and Rabbi David Ellenson, the president of Hebrew Union College (HUC), the Reform Movement’s rabbinic seminary.

Far from the discriminating eyes of the ultra-Orthodox, the earth beneath the prime minister’s office did not tremble when Olmert addressed each of his conversants as “rabbi” and devoted time to those who would like to find loopholes in the wall put up by the rabbinic establishment.

The three found in Olmert a favorable view of initiatives to “increase Jewish identity among Jews” in Israel and abroad. They declined to elaborate on the content of the meeting, but a talk with Rabbi Ellenson, one of the most influential leaders among American Jewry, indicated which way the wind is blowing.

During his visit to Israel, Ellenson had a hard time getting over the depressing impression made by senior Israeli figures a few days before his departure from the United States at an international gathering of university presidents. On Saturday night, he related, a rabbi recited havdalahh [marking the conclusion of Shabbat] for all the participants, and Ellenson noticed the Israelis. “One of them, the president of a very large university in Israel, told me he had never seen such a service and never even heard of its existence.”

He was greatly saddened, said Ellenson. “I hate the word ignorance, I prefer to be more gentle, but I know that’s how it is. What does it mean that an intellectual doesn’t know what havdalah is? How would you describe it? And he is not the only one among the Israelis.”

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |
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Conservative Judaism – The Muddle in the Middle (Article by Rabbi Joshua Hammerman)

My colleague Rabbi Joshua Hammerman published this article in The NY Jewish Week. He is spot on with his analysis of the Conservative Movement.

Lately the Conservative movement has seemed less than concerned about conserving itself. The bad news has come in droves: budget woes at the Jewish Theological Seminary; the flap over gay marriage and ordination, highlighted by the unnecessary confrontation with Rabbi Ayelet Cohen of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah; all this topped off by declining demographics in the National Jewish Population Survey suggesting that nearly half of all those who grew up as Conservative Jews no longer identify as such.

These storm clouds have hidden from view significant events that could help return the movement to its historical centrality among American Jews. Over the past several weeks, the Rabbinical Assembly has for the first time made public on-line many of the key rulings of the fabled Law Committee. (You can find these responsa at

This landmark move coincides with the publication of a new book, “A Place in the Tent,” by a small group of rabbis and educators on the West Coast who call themselves “The Tiferet Project.” The book posits a bold, more inclusive approach toward intermarried families, bypassing the normal channels of rabbinic debate and placing the subject squarely on the table to stimulate grassroots discussion.

The strength of Conservative Judaism lies in the creative tension that is at the core of its ideology. Given the choice, some people might prefer the “moral clarity” so in vogue, but like most of us, Conservative Judaism lives in a real world of tough questions. It thrives on the unresolved conflicts that force us to confront imperfection: Judaism’s, society’s and our own.

This muddle in the middle is an uncomfortable place to reside, but it is equally a dynamic one. So while other movements offer easy responses (which for Reform often is “Why not?” and for Orthodoxy, “No way!”), Conservatives look for the kind of dialectic that has been central to rabbinic Judaism since Talmudic times.

Synthesis doesn’t always mean compromise, but it always forces us to hear all views. There is no such thing as a knee-jerk Conservative response to anything. For those up to the intellectual challenge, it can be spiritually invigorating to wrestle with our traditions and texts rather than simply submitting to their authority or tossing them aside.

Amazingly, until very recently this enriching journey was not made easily available to most Conservative Jews. Clergy and educators had it, naturally, as did many attending Camp Ramah. But the text in the pews was the Hertz Chumash, which is about as reflective of the movement’s ideology as “Das Capital” is to the GOP. When the new Conservative Torah commentary, Etz Hayim, appeared in 2001, for the first time the laity began to “get it” and to engage en masse in that liberating grappling with Torah.

People suddenly felt free to ask when and how Exodus really happened. That produced oodles of bad press because the religious right was poised to attack and Conservative leaders weren’t prepared to fend it off. After all, grappling with the Exodus was nothing new to the movement’s elite; it’s something that had been done at the seminary for generations. But someone forgot to tell those outside the ivory tower who were busy swallowing Hertz’s spoon-fed apologetic in the pews.

And now, the next steps: the responsa Web site, public conversations about inclusivity and the demystification of the halachic process. At this site people will be fascinated to read about everything from the permissibility of stem cell research to the inclusion of the matriarchs in the Amidah prayer. They will become less intimidated by their rabbis, who no longer will be the sole possessors of these secrets — and rabbis will have less need to give dummied-down sermons. The focus will be less on ritual correctness and more on intense philosophical debate.

Readers might be surprised to discover that even minority opinions can be valid. There is a built-in elasticity to Conservative halacha, taking into account factors unique to each community and to every generation. This will be especially important as the Law Committee revisits the issues of gay and lesbian marriage and ordination. When that passionate dialogue becomes public, the media again will miss the point and harp on whether the center will hold. The center will hold precisely because it will shift, as it always does — most notably 20 years ago with the ordination of women. But with the leadership so concerned about unity and PR, the movement will miss yet another opportunity to revel in the creative tension that has spun off dynamic offspring for generations — everything from Kaplan’s Reconstructionism, Heschel’s activism and the Chavurah movement of the past century to the neo-Chasidic revivalism of today.

It is not surprising that Conservative Jews are the first to shun institutional labels, including their own. Labels are often prime indicators of stagnation, and there is nothing stagnant about those who routinely struggle with life’s most gripping questions. But the movement’s leadership too often finds itself preoccupied with putting out the fires rather than fanning these passionate flames that are its very soul.

Americans are craving an authentic spiritual alternative to “moral clarity.” It’s not just blue-staters who desire a few questions to go with all the pat answers.

Natan Sharansky, whom I deeply admire, has become the administration’s standard-bearer for clarity. What we now need is a poster child for nuance. We need someone like the sage Hillel, a leader humble enough to give credence to opposing views, one who can seek truth somewhere in the give-and-take, in the muddle of the middle. If and when Conservative Judaism realizes that there is passion in that delicious ambiguity and that most Jews want to live there, it will regain its institutional mojo. It may or may not be called Conservative when it does, but it will most certainly be Judaism. n

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman is spiritual leader of Temple Beth-El in Stamford, Conn.

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |