Over the course of the rather active comment thread on the version of that post at Jewschool, BZ shared a great chunk from his original draft of the op-ed that got cut for length. I’ll share it here because I think it just continues to hit the nail on the head.
When intra-Reform discourse touches on the subject of halachah (Jewish law), people on all sides of the issue tend to portray “the halachah” as a static body of law. Whether they are advocating for the position “Reform Judaism is not halachic” or “Reform Judaism should be more open to halachah,” the unspoken assumption is that Orthodox halachah is the normative halachah, and Reform Judaism should either reject it or incorporate elements of it. In other words, Orthodox Judaism is perceived as 100% halachic, and the debate is about whether Reform Judaism should be 0% halachic or somewhere between 0 and 100%. Instead, Reform Jews should steer clear of this linear scale and pursue an indigenous Reform vision of the structure and content of halachah.
Right on, BZ, as always!
Shabbat Shalom, jblogosphere. Selah!