Pathways, not Traps

The Haskalah is not something to be rejected or destroyed. Not only is faith redefined better than faith lost: it is a challenge to the observant to reach out, to understand, and to help build pathways for return.

It serves no-one to make the progression to greater observance harder than the Ba’al T’shuvah’s own heart makes it. And yet, by defining ourselves in silos, we create nothing more than traps for the soul.

Enriching the Haskalah

A Reform synagogue with mixed seating and equa...

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While the Haskalah, the Jewish Enlightenment movement, probaly saved millions of Jews from total assimilation, in its rejection of the Oral Law and much tradition as well as practice, did it not deny generations of Reform jews all knowledge of the richness of their legacy?

What I must wonder is how many we lost because of a shallow understanding of Judaism, and an ignorance of the true depths of its heritage.

Is it not time to consider turning the tide, to consider bringing to Reform and Conservative Jews a greater exposure to the parts of their heritage arbitrarily cast aside a century and a half ago?