What Conservative Judaism Can Learn from Chabad

Nov. 20 2019

On Yom Kippur this year, Elliot Cosgrove—rabbi of one of the world’s largest Conservative congregations—began his sermon by speaking of the final two rebbes of the Lubavitcher Ḥasidim, and their unlikely decision to encourage their followers to find secular and unaffiliated Jews and encourage them to do just one mitzvah: putting on t’filin, lighting Shabbat candles, or placing a mezuzah on their doorways. Praising this approach, Cosgrove recalls that in his youth, American Jewry assumed that the Holocaust, Israel, and anti-Semitism could serve as “the threefold mystic cord that we could always count on” to keep Jews bound to their tradition and heritage. Yet this triad has manifestly lost its power. Only doing mitzvot, Jewish deeds, can be counted on to maintain Judaism. (Audio and video are available at the link below.)

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Read more at Park Avenue Synagogue

More about: Chabad, Conservative Judaism, Judaism, Mitzvot

 

Benny Gantz Should Be Praised for Compromising, Not Condemned for Capitulating

March 30 2020

After three inconclusive elections in a year’s time, Israel’s political stalemate seemed to come to an end last week when the leaders of the two largest parties—Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu—agreed to form a governing coalition together with some of the smaller parties. According to the deal, Netanyahu will serve as prime minister for eighteen months, after which he will be succeeded by Gantz. This compromise, paradoxically, has led to the breakup of Gantz’s Blue and White party, as two of its three constituent factions have refused to join the unity government. Their leaders have denounced Gantz for supposedly crumbling before Netanyahu, but Jonathan Tobin argues that he has acted bravely:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Israeli politics, Moshe Yaalon, Yair Lapid