The unthinkable can happen through power of the progressive mind
Rabbi Julia Margolis
While I am not from SA, it is rather obvious that my (Progressive) community feels constantly put down or made to feel “less than” by our fellow Jews in this country. I think as such that it is important for us to take a step back and make an observation.
Today progressively thinking or “Progressive Jews” (to me there is no material difference) have become a force to be reckoned with on the international stage. In the US and the world over we now number in the millions. Not only this, but the State of Israel is moving in a progressive direction. (Note my column last week, on the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision regarding “Women of the Wall”.)
There is naturally resistance to this, but to those who have any depth of thought and or observation, the world – and Israel hauled along with it – is unequivocally moving in this direction. It is high time that the so-called “Orthodox mentality” come to realise that there is indeed more than one way to express oneself as a Jew, or Christian etc.
This “holier than thou” attitude or mentality – we know better than you/or any other community, for that matter – so prevalent among our Orthodox brothers and sisters – MUST FALL. It is this precise thinking, “one community’s G-d-given superiority” over another, that lead directly to our very own Holocaust!
This brings me to my point: How many of you are aware that the next president of the United States – which is beginning to look more likely every day – may very well be, not just a progressive thinker, but a “progressive Jew!” We are indeed becoming a force to be reckoned with; we (as a community) are becoming more powerful, and wielding more influence by the day – let us use such influence positively!
(Democratic presidential hopeful) Senator Bernie Sanders was born 74 years ago and raised in Brooklyn New York. On the (very rare) occasions that he has mentioned that he is Jewish, he has done so with great pride.
It is clear from his life story that while being a proud Jew, he has aspired to be much more than just this, this being one of the fundamental tenets between Orthodox and Progressive thinking.
If we as Jews wish to make a difference on the world stage, we need to move away from an antiquated way of thinking and into the light of a progressive mindset.
If we can do this, we (Jews) will be able to accomplish things literally unthinkable just a single generation ago – such is the power of the progressive mind!