My new column: Answering ‘Why be Jewish?’

I started writing a monthly column for The Jewish Standard (“the oldest Jewish weekly in New Jersey“) back in March. Many thanks to my friend, Larry Yudelson, for the opportunity.

The first installment, “Ask the right questions,” was published on March 6:

With the arrival and maturation of my generation, the Millennials, the question “Who is a Jew?” is rather passé.

Forget the halachic dimensions to this endlessly debatable topic. Forget all the moralizing arguments over the issue. Forget the demographically induced paranoia, the post-Holocaust hand-wringing, the Israeli legal maneuvering (not to mention the pandering that comes with it), and the denominational infighting. And — for heaven’s sake! — forget the Pew study.

The fact is that “Who is a Jew?” is the wrong question. To maintain our relevance — to regain it, really — the question we must ask today is “Why be Jewish?”

Check out the rest of it over here. It was also published, with the very slightest of tweaks, by New Jersey Jewish News.

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2 Responses to My new column: Answering ‘Why be Jewish?’

  1. frank June 25, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    “Why be Jewish?” reflects a childish, ignorant view of the privilege for being Jewish. Like the child who still seeks candy, though adults know better, the reformist, in his ignorance and appreciation for Torah-truth, has no other way of coming to the right conclusion unless he asks this question of Why be Jewish. If – then – he really does his homework, he will have realized how silly the question was in the 1st place. That he can speak of Jewish issues so important as this, for the identity of the Jew is in fact the crux of the matter, it’s no wonder he uses a silly notion such as “passe”.


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