Richmond

Revolutionary Love

When a prominent kohen fell in love with a convert in 1782, newly independent American Jews flouted halacha.

06/16/2010

 The values of the American Revolution—liberty, freedom, and democracy—profoundly affected the Jewish community. Having successfully rebelled against the authority of England and its king, many early American Jews no longer submitted unquestioningly to any authorities, even religious ones. Like their Protestant and Catholic contemporaries, they insisted upon the right to make decisions, including marital decisions, for themselves.

 Ketubah of Jacob I. Cohen and Esther Mordecai.  Courtesy The Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.

Church-state follies in Virginia riles Jewish groups

 Christian right groups are applauding and Jewish groups are protesting the recent action by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, rescinding a 2008 order requiring police chaplains in the state to use only nondenominational prayers at official events, not prayers invoking the name of Jesus.

Well, no big surprise here; McConnell is a graduate of Pat Robertson's Regent University, and he's the guy who managed to embarrass many Virginians wityh his recent decision to revive Confederate History Month - later amended after a flurry of bad nationwide publicity.

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