What Does It Mean to Be a Jew in the World?

In this video, Sharon Brous describes how she went from being an outsider of the Jewish community to one of America's leading rabbis, and explains how the story of Exodus can guide Jews in their interactions with the world.

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Religious communities need a narrative that helps them articulate what it is to be a part of the world around them. That's what Sharon Brous says in this JDOV talk, after sharing her personal story of how she went from being an outsider to the Jewish community to one of the leading rabbis in America.

Speaking at the 2015 Limmud Conference in Birmingham, says religious communities "need at their heart a narrative, a raison d'etre, something beyond historical obligations and communal commitments and demographic fear and parental guilt. We need a story, a story that ultimately helps us articulate what it means to be alive in the world," adding: "and how to make sense of the devastation and the loneliness and the brokenness and the loss that is all around us."

One of these stories, she says, is the Exodus from Egypt, yetziat mitzrayim.

Watch this JDOV video to learn how this story, per Brous, serves as the core operating narrative of the Jewish people, and a central feature of modern life.

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