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The Many Faces of Orthodoxy

I read with great interest the article by Michael Cohen (“Mi K’Amcha Yisrael,” September 13, 2018) and note for your attention the last two paragraphs. In particular the very last paragraph which is something that I have been trying to get through to you for the past several years.

I fully understand that your newspaper is designed to cater to the Orthodox community, which for the record is in itself fractured into so many various groups that today there is no singular Orthodox Jewish Community. Yeshivish, Chassidic, Charedi, Frum, Modern Orthodox, Open Orthodox, Orthodox Zionist, anti-Zionist Chassidim and Charedim and the list goes on.

Michael Cohen sums it up very well.

Therefore, my suggestion to you is that you continue to concentrate on the Orthodox Community, although there are groups of the Orthodox community that would not read your newspaper because you actually publish pictures of women (how ignorant they are is not relevant here). Why not at least cover at least some elements of what is happening in the Conservative community.

As Cohen said: “When Moshiach comes with God’s help we will all stand together in the Bais Hamikdash. I do not believe that there will be separate sections for all sects of Judaism we have chosen to abhor. We will see that in God’s eyes, we are an am echad” (b’lev echad). Achdut will build a better and stronger Jewish Community.

I call to your attention that we are told: God will judge you the way you judge others. Conservative Jews are indeed Jews. Can you not dedicate a page of your newspaper to happenings in that community? A good deal of money raised by the Orthodox
community in general and countless specific organizations, including Chabad in particular, raise funds from Conservative, Reform and even secular Jews. Perhaps, it is to satisfy their past experiences and guilt complex or perhaps it is because they, unlike the Orthodox community feel that kol yisrael arevim ze lazeh.

Please give this some thought, your newspaper can be instrumental in strengthening the connection of all Jews to one another, what a big mitzvah that would be. A side effect would be stronger support from the Conservative community for Israel. The Conservative Jew is still part of the Tzibur. Al Tifrosh min hatzibur.

The Orthodox community today enjoys a State of Israel because of the sacrifices of secular, socialist Jews who were the very ones that did the fighting in Israel and gave their lives so that Israel might live. If nothing else, for that reason alone, the entire Jewish community owes a debt of gratitude to people who are largely dismissed by the Orthodox community.

I hope that you will think about this message and give it some consideration. Perhaps you can even publish an article on why we shouldn’t divide Am Israel into so many sections.

Rabbi Bob Mark
Clifton
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