Monday, August 01, 2005

The Middle Path of the Jewish Skeptic

We must debunk the mythic perfections of our ancestors and leader, but at the same time value and cherish our ancestors as they truly were.

We must shed the apologetics shielding the great Jewish works like the Bible and Talmud of their clear ethical primitivity, but still give them the respect and stature they deserve as great social catalysts and still the great pillars of Jewish and Western literature.

We must explain that the Jews are not objectively superior in any way for the world, but still subjectively of great importance to us.

We must universalize each Jew as being a member of the wider humanity, but while retaining the significance of being distinctly Jewish.

We must tear down that wall of fear and fundamentalism that keeps Jews from exploring their own history and religion in earnest, but must still retain a respect for tradition and a responsibility for their heritage.

We must have no fear of taking the good things from the wider society while being cognizant of the dangers of assimilation.

We are skeptical of unproven claims but mustn’t be cynical of claims just because they are draped in terms of Judaism.

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