Exclusionary Imperatives (Ailing American Judaism Today)


I was going to write about the JTS statement on intermarriage (and still will). Then came the kerfuffle relating to leaders at the small Dyke March (some 1000 to 2000 people) demanding that (3) Jews with a Star of David Pride Flag leave the march (the Magen David, it was said, acted as some Zionist trigger), and then the Israeli government pulling the rug out of liberal prayer space at the Western Wall. As friend Adam Black wrote on FB, in the Age of Trump, it’s one scandal, once incident, one thing after another. Like drinking water out of a fire hose. What teases these three incidents relate to the messy, messy business of defining limits and boundaries and the exclusionary imperative. Who belongs in the synagogue, at Dyke March, at the Western Wall? In this illiberal climate, everyone is out to ex-communicate someone. The events feed off of and feed into powerful affective loops of outrage and betrayal that go viral on the internet. For anyone who cares, it’s terrible to look at.




About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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4 Responses to Exclusionary Imperatives (Ailing American Judaism Today)

  1. Berel Dov Lerner says:

    A liberal prayer space has existed at the Kotel for years. Today’s crisis involves an unfortunate decision to quash plans for the expansion and improvement of that prayer area.

  2. dustinnatlas says:

    If only there was a classic Jewish philosophical work that argued against excommunication.

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