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Letters/Discussion Forums

Limmud about strengthening Jewish ties, not weakening them

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Dr Hilton Rudnick, Johannesburg

The thrill and adventure of having a community of Jews celebrate their diversity is unparalleled by anything else on the Jewish calendar. The most attended sessions involve discussions of politics, current affairs, art, literature, culture, and history, not, as is suggested by the Beth Din, an evangelical onslaught on orthodox Judaism.

At Limmud, I am united in my Jewishness with a community that seeks to revel in its expertise and wisdom on a wide range of topics. In light of all this, I was struck by the narrow-minded, cold, and unrepresentative mindset that issued this fatwa-like decree against Limmud. It’s just so tangential to the spirit of Limmud, and rather speaks volumes about a rabbinate that is conservative and out of touch with the community is serves.

The fact that it creates a blanket ban on rabbis, who one would think would be well equipped to decide for themselves, only serves to amplify the fears and desperation of a disconnected rabbinate. 

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