As I’ve written here before, I was reared in and received ordination from the Reform movement. My experiences in Reform Judaism were often richly fulfilling. While I have taken my leave of the ideology of Reform Judaism, I continue to support its goals of modernizing Judaism and working for a pluralistic Jewish world.
So imagine my frustration when I read the latest HuffPost blog from Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism. In a post titled “The Self-Delusion of Secular Jews,” he derides the logic behind those who call themselves “proud secular Jews.” He has had many such conversations with them – mostly in Reform synagogues – and found that they “pride themselves on thinking clearly and critically,” refusing “to accept the dictates of the divine or the absolutes of the Jewish religion — or any religion.” Continue reading
Mark Zuckerberg’s supposed break with Judaism has inspired a chest-beating column by Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan in The Forward:
…If…he has lost interest in Judaism, it is much more a reflection on us than it is on him. For those in the Reform movement…we need…to take an accounting of our accomplishments and, as in this case, our failings.
While I could not find any direct quotes in which Zuckerberg disavows the God of Israel, either the omnipotent, omnipresent version or even the “still small voice within us” humanistic variant, he reportedly labeled his religious beliefs on his Facebook profile as atheist. Continue reading
If you’re a liberal Jew, there are denominations for you. If you’re a liberal Christian, you’ve got them, too. Liberal Muslim? Not so much.
HuffPo has a piece about how this might be changing: Continue reading
While Jerry Coyne has been “crossing swords” with Rabbi Alan Lurie on his site, the good rabbi and I have been engaged in a more collegial dialogue via e-mail.
You’ll recall that I’ve been a little harsh on some of Lurie’s factual claims about God, though not nearly as brittle as Coyne, who calls him the “wacko rabbi.” In fact, he’s not wacko at all. He’s pretty representative of most liberal rabbis.
After my most recent critique (okay, attack) over his recruitment of Einstein into theological service, he sent me a short quote by Einstein and I replied and published it. Continue reading
I certainly did not expect to hear from Alan Lurie about my recent post, “Lurie Redux…Now With Einsteinian Proofs!” It wasn’t much of a reply, just this:
“I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.”
I never claimed that Einstein was religious or believed in a personal God, but he most certainly saw that there is a Creator. Continue reading