Can Liberal Judaism Survive?

If the decline of non-Orthodox Judaism is to be reversed, knowledge, ritual, and observance must become as central as social justice to Conservative and Reform Jews.

Read more at Washington Post

More about: Conservative Judaism, Jewish ritual, Reform Judaism, Tikkun Olam


Remembering a Victim—Not of “Terror,” but of Agents of Hate

Last week, the young Israeli scholar Eitam Henkin was murdered along with his wife Naama in front of their four children. His brother Yagil Henkin, a military historian, spoke at the funeral:

The Torah world lost one of the great rabbis and leaders of the next generation, and the academic world lost an excellent scholar. And I lost a brother, which, you can imagine, isn’t less important for me.

However, this is not the only reason you all came here [today]. The many people who are here, and the reason we eulogize during the Sukkot holiday [when halakhah normally forbids eulogizing the dead], is that it was not blind fate that took the lives of Eitam and Naama. They are harugei malkhut, the term used for those who died as part of the unceasing struggle of the Jewish people. . . .

Eitam and Naama are people slain by acts of hostility. They are not “terror victims.” Do not call them “terror victims,” and do not say that Israel is in a war on terror.

Israel has no war on terror. There was never a war on terror, and never will be such a war. . . . There is no such thing as a “terror of stones,” just as there is no “terror by individuals,” no “car terror,” nor is Jerusalem “plagued by stone throwing.” And similarly Eitam and Naama were not murdered—in contrast to a headline on a certain media site—by a passing car that fired at them. These are all methods. Not enemies. Terror is a tool. The one who uses terror is the enemy.

Do not fight terror, fight those who dictate it. I don’t mean, God forbid, to call for acts of vengeance against innocent Arabs. I’m also not implying that we should give up on the ethics of war and the laws of war. My intention is that we should not pretend that there is no hostility, hatred, ideology, or agencies who manage terror. Nor should we pretend that there is no widespread support for terror. We should not forget that there is a religious and national conflict that has laid and continues to lay the foundation for terrorism.

Read more at Mida

More about: Israel & Zionism, Judaism, Terrorism, War on Terror