Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hilchot Pluralism around the web

Mah Rabu's still-ongoing Hilchot Pluralism series, documenting and analyzing pluralistic practices in independent Jewish communities, has been making its way around the web, and even meatspace.

  • Boston: Today, Knitter of shiny things reports on a "Reclaiming Mikveh" conference at Boston's liberal Jewish mikveh, Mayyim Hayyim, and discusses pluralism in the context of a mikveh that is used for Reform conversions as well as by Orthodox women observing hilchot niddah.
  • Washington, DC: Tikkun Leil Shabbat links to Hilchot Pluralism in its FAQ when discussing the two-table system (which I learned about from the DC independent minyan scene in the first place), as well as under "How we think about pluralism".
  • Philadelphia: ZT reports that Hilchot Pluralism was used in a mandatory workshop at the Akiba Hebrew Academy's 9th-grade shabbaton.
  • New York: Later this month, I'm teaching about the Taxonomy at a session on pluralism for Hillel's CLIP interns.
Let's keep it going! With more exposure, we can continue to share ideas among our communities, and help more communities move to Stage 3. What issues belong in Hilchot Pluralism Part V?


  1. You were also linked to from the Philly Shabbos Potluck committee's invitation for dinner tomorrow, describing the two-table system.

    You should come to the dinner!

  2. Thanks for the invitation! Sorry I'll miss it; this weekend I'm heading in entirely the other direction. Will the Minyan Merkaz folks and the B'Merkaz folks have a rumble?

  3. I think people would have to be able to find B'Merkaz in order to rumble with it.

    I'll report back if I hear anything.

  4. I sent links the the Hilchot Pluralism series as recommended reading to my peers in the
    Meorot Fellowship, a program run by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah where (mostly) undergraduate students discuss current issues in Modern Orthodoxy, when we had a session entitled "pluralism."

    It turned out that our session focused on pluralism between Judaism and other religions more than pluralism within Judaism. Is that something you would like to address?

    Another idea for Hilchot Pluralism Part V: How do you create an identity for yourself as someone who feels at home in several communities?

  5. In other words, is it possible to belong to more than one community, to really feel at home in each one, even when they are different enough that most members of those communities do not identify with the others? If so, how?

  6. I've been practicing Stage 3 on a very micro level, with a friend who is Pagan (not Wiccan, "just" Pagan). Fortunately, I realized early on that I was secure enough in my beliefs and practices to recognize the difference between sharing each other's beliefs, and convincing each other of our own legitimacy (which did neither of us any good), we were able to learn from each other, respect each other (even when we agree to disagree), and come to find out that while there are some major theological differences between us, we have more in common than our religious "labels" would imply.

    At the moment, I'm reading One People, Two Worlds: A Reform Rabbi and an Orthodox Rabbi Explore the Issues That Divide Them. This seems to be a relationship that began as Stage 1 and moved into Stage 3 as the book progresses. Once they stopped getting hung up on trying to prove their own legitimacy (it always seems to come back to that), they could move forward and talk about issues and perspectives and remain friends.

    Have you read this book? If so, how would you describe it within the context of your taxonomy?

    I always enjoy this topic!