Tuesday, April 23, 2013

In other news (mostly not good) . . .

Yes, the world continues to turn while our kitchen gets turned inside out.

Boston Marathon bombing

I'm more than a little late linking to this post, but Trep has some unnerving words to say about the Boston Marathon bombing--he strongly advises us to fear the primitive weapons made by primitive people.

"At a certain point, someone – either the American public or the media – is going to twig to the fact that, far from being good news, the primitive construction and deliberately barbarous scattergun nature of the bombs used in the Boston attack are, in fact, extremely bad news.

You see, modern military weapons are designed to attack specific targets with a high degree of accuracy.

Neither the current conventions of warfare nor the news-reading public will tolerate the use of weaponry that kills or maims indiscriminately. Surgical strikes and precision laser-guided weapons are de rigueur, and any state that cuts too wide a swath of collateral damage in persuit of an enemy is likely to find itself in the dock of the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

But that's not what happened in Boston.

The terrifying thing about being attacked by non-state actors (i.e. terrorists), whether of the domestic or international variety (and nobody knows it better than we Israelis), is that when primitive bombs packed with nails and ball bearings start blowing up in public places, everyone and anyone is the target… making it nearly impossible to mount a meaningful defense."

Reform rabbinical school controversy

In more recent news, the Jewish Daily Forward reports that "There’s a new controversy roiling the Reform movement: Can an applicant to rabbinic school be married to a non-Jewish partner?"  Oy.  Been there, blogged that--and it wasn't any fun talking about it then, either.  :(


Blogger Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

Given how easy the Reform make conversion how is this even a question? Sprinkle some kiddush wine over the partner, declare him/her a dual citizen and presto!

Tue Apr 23, 02:15:00 PM 2013  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Oy. Garnel, I try to run a respectful blog. Comments that are less snide and more substantive would be appreciated.

Tue Apr 23, 02:47:00 PM 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Garnel raises a good point. Between their ridiculous conversions (take a class and poof you're jewish) and their policy on intermarriage and patrilineal descent, who the heck cares? For that matter, if a patrilineal "jew" goes to reform school, he can be a rabbi and not even be Jewish. I don't know why they're getting tied up in knots. Seems hypocritical.

Wed Apr 24, 01:59:00 PM 2013  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"Seems hypocritical," said Anon. And that, I gather, is the problem.

"At first glance, the question of whether intermarried Jews could apply to rabbinical school appears to be ridiculous, like wondering whether a Catholic priest would intend to remain celibate. Standing as a role model of Jewish continuity would seem to be part of the job requirement for any rabbi, an expectation so obvious that it should not have to be mentioned.

But Kirzane states that it should be open for debate. In 1999, he writes, the Central Conference of American Rabbis did indeed affirm that the Reform Movement is an inclusive community, “…opening doors to Jewish life to [every person]…who strive[s] to create a Jewish home.” HUC-JIR, which is the official academic institution of the movement, “should be the greatest exemplar of this ideal.”

It seems to me that the Reform have backed themselves into this corner, and are now trying to figure out whether there's any way of it.

Thu Apr 25, 10:13:00 AM 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It isn't a terribly difficult process to undergo conversion in Reform Judaism, it isn't as simple as the critics make it out to be, but it's not terribly challenging. I mean, if your spouse wants to be a Rabbi, and you are at all supportive, it's certainly not an impediment to your life to convert.

So why not convert?

Presumably, the spouse does NOT want to be Jewish, either their are completely agnostic/atheist and opposed to it, or they maintain another religion for which converting to Judaism would be a problem. In the case of the former, a pro forma Jewish conversion would be harmless, given that Reform Judaism doesn't require its adherents (or Rabbis) to accept a God given Torah, or really much in the way of a divinity whatsoever.

So we're talking about someone with an anti-religious spouse or an actively non-Jewish spouse. Why on earth would you want that family in the role of synagogue leadership?

It's all politically correct to pretend that people can pursue whatever vocation they want and their spouses are no longer required to be "corporate spouses," but we're talking about a synagogue leader, the family should be a part of the religious community.

I think it's fair to say that if you want to be a Rabbi, you marry a Jew. Sometimes in life, we have conflicts and have to choose. If you are dedicated enough to your Judaism to want to be a Rabbi, you should pick a compatible spouse, or persuade your spouse.

I mean, if you can't convince your spouse to choose to be Jewish, how are you going to convince your congregant's children, the majority of which are are from intermarried homes, to choose Judaism.

Forget the leadership/role model, from a sheer competency point of view, this is someone that isn't qualified.

Thu Apr 25, 11:14:00 AM 2013  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"if you can't convince your spouse to choose to be Jewish, how are you going to convince your congregant's children, the majority of which are are from intermarried homes, to choose Judaism.

Forget the leadership/role model, from a sheer competency point of view, this is someone that isn't qualified."

Miami Al, I think you're correct in identifying "political correctness" as the problem.

Thu Apr 25, 02:32:00 PM 2013  

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