A broad coalition of American Jews last month formed the Jewish Religious Equality Coalition — or J-REC — to pressure Israel to diminish the role of Orthodox rabbis who control so much of Jewish life in Israel.
Nowadays Orthodoxy is all about sex. Immodesty, promiscuity, homosexuality: the public discourse of the Orthodox Jewish world seems disproportionately to take place in the bedroom, the dressing room, and the closet.
Reading the comments and emails on Rabbi Jason Miller's Jewish Week blog about the Yiddish-language newspaper that Photoshopped out Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and White House terrorism official Audrey Tomason from an official photo, I've been struck with how many readers, choking on outrage, seemed to blame the Jewish Week.
How could we do it, many fumed? We should be ashamed.
A quiet revolution is taking place in the second generation of women's Torah study. Originally women's Talmud learning was modeled after the male yeshiva: students were detached from the surrounding world and were expected to confine themselves to the Beit Midrash in order to achieve a total absorption into the world of Torah. There was also methodological aping: analyses that required a thumb stirring the air and intellectual hair splitting of the Talmudic topics dominated.