Rabbi Yael Ridberg San Diego, CA
Really interesting article Robbie, but I am not sure one service in one shul in one city is indicative of the trend you identify.
As a rabbi working to inspire attachment and imagination regarding the Jewish past, present and future, there is no doubt that the relationship with Israel is at the heart of the challenge, but it is not the only challenge.
It is true that there is a gap between Israel and the Diaspora, one that is being written about and discussed by the American Jewish community a great deal (in Peter Beinart’s book The Crisis of Zionism, in Rabbi Sid Schwarz’s new book Jewish Megatrends – to name two recent publications.) The gap is political, social, and definitely religious. The image just this week of Israeli police in full riot gear needing to protect women who wish to pray at the Kotel is a painful example of such a gap.
But to decry a spiritual community in New York that is one of the inspiring examples of how Jewish life can be relevant and compelling is not useful, and most certainly is not an example of the “dying of the light.” (more…)