Update - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • David (Germany)
    • 20.07.10 | 18:04 (IDT)

    Not arguing the case for an update to Halah, i.e. the application and supplementation of the legal framework as set out in the (written) Torah. Yet there are universal principles in the Torah which do not change over time. One of such principles is that the divine law prohibits homosexual intercourse. This is obiously just an example. But no matter what consequences (if any) homosexuals should face in our civilised ages - it remains a law of written Torah that it is forbidden. Now if any religious person claims to respect the validity of the Mitzvot as something divine and thus superior in nature - how can any rabbi (conservative or reformist) depart from the written, universal principles set out in our most central document ? I consider myself religious, but I am positively conscious of the fact that there are many laws that I simply do not manage to fulfill. But in case of doubt, I stick with the orthodox movement, at least as far as written law is concerned. There are plenty of ways and maybe even practical reasons to depart from any of the 613 mitzvot. But as a religious person, it should at the very least cross your mind that you are in fact doing so. This is where conservative/ reform jews regularly fail. They cannot depart from the luxuries of their hedonist western lifestyles, and instead of at least admitting to that conflict they prefer to twist the very foundation of our faith - the Torah, in order to create an illusion that they are in fact complying with our faith. The orthodox rabbis are the only ones who keep our religious core pure. I do find it very problematic by means of Halacha and Talmud, they are raising "the barriers to compliance" with divine law to a level which most jews find hard to accept. They do so in order to create "a wide fence around the basic law" as an additional safeguard against the possibility of sin. The downside is, that those safeguards mean that many religious (though not Haredi) jews will find themselves "outside" of compliance, whereas they would otherwise be more or less complying with (the more narrow set) of written Mitvot. So actually yes, I believe there is a masive case for a revision of Halacha and Talmud. Still, orthodox jews remain the only true points of reference for those who believe in the divine nature of our laws.

    from the article: U.S. Jewish leaders: Jewish pluralism is in crisis
    First published 15:18 20.07.10 | Last updated 15:18 20.07.10
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