There is a greater likelihood that the United Nations will vote to blame Israel for global warming than it would to put Yom Kippur on the official holiday calendar of UN Headquarters as called for in an op ed in Wednesday's New York Times.
In the wake of Pew, the case against raising children in two faiths.
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As we look back on 2013, perhaps one article more than others jumps off the printed page. It is emblematic of where we are, particularly in light of the Pew Research Center study on American Jews. Susan Katz Miller wrote a controversial op-ed in The New York Times called “Being ‘Partly Jewish.’” She wrote about being part of a “growing movement” among parents to raise interfaith children with two religions. What these parents do is not news. But what is not insignificant in this piece is that intermarriage is called a movement. It is not a movement. It is a decision. Judaism has enough movements. What it lacks right now are passionate causes. And this is not one.
A few weeks ago, my husband passed me the New York Times and said, "You should definitely read this article on page 11." I saw the headline, "Poll Shows Major Shift in Identity of U.S. Jews," and my heart sank. I knew which direction it was going. Down. That was my first reaction, before I read everyone’s responses to the study; the reactions fell into the “mea culpa” camp.
The Opinion piece, “When Judaism Becomes Kmart” (Oct. 4), by Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin, echoed many of my own sentiments regarding the plethora of “garage” and “pop-up” synagogues cropping up on the North Shore of Long Island.
Trend lines suggest continued erosion, but that’s not the whole story.
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Not surprisingly, there has already been a large wave of reactions to the first major national survey of American Jews in more than a decade, with its sobering, if not bleak, portrait of a community on the fast track toward assimilation.
The Jews as a chosen people is one of the most fundamental ideas in Judaism, historically, philosophically and culturally. The very nature of our national and religious identity, as defined in the Bible, is bound up with the story of the Divine revelation at Sinai and the election of the Jewish people as a chosen and special people (Exodus19:5/6). Our prayers are replete with references to this, particularly on the holidays when the primary blessing of the Amidah, or silent devotion, opens with the declaration, “You have chosen us from all the nations.”