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Reformed Orthodoxy?

Reader comment on item: The Orthodox Future of Judaism

Submitted by Alex (United States), Jan 28, 2005 at 18:53

This is a very informative piece. What troubles me about these develoments are two things. First, it seems that Orthodox (as well as Conservative) Judaism is increasingly a reactionary force against Reformism rather than a positive force in itself. The three tenets of Judiasm used to be God, Israel and Torah. By allowing Reformists to dictate the agenda by emphasizing only Torah and the extent to which one obeys it as a source of identity politics, Orthodox Jews have forgotten about that which gives spirit and vibrance to the 613 Commandments: faith in God and communal solidarity for Israel. As evidence of Orthodoxy's living as a sort of parasite off of Reformism, just look to the above statistics that Orthodoxy increases in membership and influence where Reformism fades away. Reactionism cannot last for the simple reason that its object of contempt may also perish.

My second concern is that Orthodox Judaism potential coming foray into politics seems more an unwitting imitation of contemporary American Protestantism than authentic Judaism. As with Islamism, Jews now formulate their faith in Christian terms rather than as an all-encompasing way of life, both religious and political. Only if this changes will Judaism survive for the better.

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