Monday, 9 December 2013

Can Judaism Transcend Labels?

«I enjoy reading and I am wondering what stream of Judaism do you subscribe to?
The Aish Rabbi Replies:
Aish students come from the spectrum of the Jewish world – left, right, secular, observant, affiliated and not. Aish synagogues observe Orthodox standards, but then again Aish seminars have been presented in Conservative and Reform temples.

Aish was founded to combat assimilation, alienation and indifference among Jews. We welcome Jews of all affiliations, beliefs, and traditions. We seek unity among all Jews. As educators, our goal is to re-ignite Jewish pride by teaching Jews about their heritage and its contribution to humanity.

Aish avoids labeling Jews as one type or another. That's because every Jew is in some respect "observant." ...»
Is Aish Orthodox?

Kol Tuv,

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At the same time, though, we should also note the somewhat opposing thought presented in our article  Adjective and Non-adjective Jews, on our website and originally published in Nishma Introspection 5761-2
For want of a better term, labels also reflect philosophical/theological distinctions and this article argues that rather than trying to avoid labeling, we should actually be encouraging individuals to consider their true, substantive label based on thought. It is contended therein that this will further the pursuit of Jewish unity and commitment, for thereby individuals will have to confront the thought of Judaism. Avoiding labeling often simply increases the obscurantism which eventually increases the challenge of unity and lessens commitment.

Rabbi Ben Hecht

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