Rabbi Hartman's critical and experimental Judaism suffused my years at his Jerusalem high school, and his mandate, 'Never let anyone take your place at the table of Judaism,' is a key to finding my place as an Orthodox gay Jew.
The pluralistic worldview to which David Hartman subscribed was based on his belief that the covenant between man and his God is, in a deep sense, a covenant that validates difference and diversity.
His brand of Judaism was fearless, always evolving, brutally honest, defying all labels and yet profoundly authentic. He was the reason I decided to become a Reform rabbi, and our Reform Jewish world would have been very different without him.
How is it that the man who articulated a groundbreaking 'Jewishness' was less recognized in Israel, where he lived for more than half his life, than abroad?
It was only in Israel that I came to see the depth and the colors of the racism in me, the hatreds, the extremism, the crucible of intolerance and anger directed against groups of people I do not know.
The renowned U.S.-born rabbi established the Shalom Hartman Institute, an international Jewish studies center, to bridge orthodoxy and academia. Thousands owe him their Jewish education.
The American-born rabbi's education center is renowned for its focus on religious pluralism.
The two-year-old project, featuring video discs, source materials and a website, was made possible by an anonymous donor.
That accursed war had stuck its claws deep inside me - even writing poems about memories of the war didn't help. Until I took my friends' advice and went up to Jerusalem to study with Rabbi Prof. David Hartman.
We must ask ourselves what our justification is for giving control of religious life in Israel to the insular, dogmatic Chief Rabbinate, whose members lack appreciation for the radical new spirit that created this country.