Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

Victory for Pluralistic Judaism??

Posted by lchaimlover on February 17, 2007


The Conservative Movement of Israel has been granted access to a small partitioned section of the Western Wall. They will be allowed to pray at in this area in an egalitarian fashion during Shacaris prayers. This is tremendous and I truly applaud their efforts to have a section of such a holy site where many Jews will be comfortable praying. I remember my own trip to the Western Wall, on birthright in December 2005. While I greatly enjoyed my experience as one I will never forget, many students on the trip were disappointed. They said that they felt the Western Wall didn’t belong to them, but to the Orthodox. I can understand this feeling, which brings me to my second point. While it is amazing the Conservative movement will be able to hold egalitarian services without causing tension with the Orthodox, I did not appreciate this statement: ‘The Conservative Movement called the agreement “a victory for pluralistic Judaism in Israel and a move towards total equality among Jewish movements in Israel.“’ Yes, I consider myself more towards the Orthodox side of the spectrum, but I greatly admire and am devoted to a pluralistic environment. I want a Conservative Jew to have a place to pray, but in turn, a Conservative Jew should want me to have a place to pray as well. While one might consider my form of Judaism “Non-Egalitarian”, implying that my form of Judaism is not equal, I prefer the term “Traditional”, thank you. I do not feel the need to defend my decision here, but then I would not ask anyone else affiliated with any other denomination to do so either. So let us thank G-d that we are taking steps towards making the holiest site in Judaism available to everyone to worship at in comfort, and let us not take steps towards making another group feel uncomfortable at the very same place.


3 Responses to “Victory for Pluralistic Judaism??”

  1. Oyster said

    Hey L’chaim Lover,

    I think you’re parsing that sentence differently than what the person quoted intended. They meant equality between the different denominations of Judaism in Israel; not egalitarianism within every denomination. 🙂

    Of course, I’ve been guilty of the same.

    Sometimes I tell people that I’m ‘Traditional’, sometimes I tell them that I’m ‘Conservadox’. Now, I’ve settled on ‘Post-Modern Un-Orthodox’. :-p

  2. PB and J said


    i am all for the postmodern unorthodox label personally.


  3. lchaimlover said

    Ah, I see what you’re saying. Good point, therefore my argument stands on it’s own, without the support of the quote.

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