For most of the 20th century, liberal Judaism, proud of its rational, academic underpinnings, had distanced itself from — sometimes even disparaging — the mystical, fanciful chasidim of Eastern Europe. And yet, by the 1960s and increasingly with every decade since, Rabbi Zalman Schachter — or Reb Zalman as he preferred — mystical and fanciful, became the rebbe of the disconnected.
Sara Davidson |
Special To The Jewish Week
He was my friend, teacher, purveyor of love and joy, and literary collaborator.
We published “The December Project: An Extraordinary Rabbi and a Skeptical Seeker Confront Life’s Greatest Mystery” (HarperOne 2014) in March. Three months later, on July 3, at the age of 89, Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi died — and he was ready.
Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, father of the Jewish Renewal movement and a Holocaust survivor, died today at age 89 in Boulder, Colo. The news was announced by his wife, Eve Ilsen, on the online journal she used to chart his health complications.
Researchers report that fully 22 percent of American Jews say they have no religion – a figure that jumps to 32 percent among those born after 1980. The National Council of Young Israel is hoping to do something about that by launching an outreach program, “One Community,” headed by a...