Orthodoxy and the Future of the Jewish People
In recent years a series of tensions has threatened to divide the Jewish world. There has been a rift between Orthodoxy and Reform over the issue of conversions and ‘Who is a Jew?’ There have been the angry confrontations between religious and secular Jews in Israel. There has been a sense of strain between Israel and the diaspora. And there have been fierce clashes within Orthodoxy itself between yeshivah heads and Chassidic leaders.
How have these issues arisen? How have there come to be so many different and conflicting ways of understanding Jewish identity, Judaism, and the relationship between Israel and the diaspora? Does the remarkable resurgence of Orthodoxy as a force in Jewish life promise to unite or threaten to divide the Jewish people?
Traditional Alternatives traces the background to these issues through the history of modern Jewish identities, Orthodox and otherwise. It examines the current state of the major world Jewish communities and their prospects for the future. It argues strongly for a renewal of the ‘covenantal argument’ between Jews and Jewish destiny.
An edited version of Traditional Alternatives was published in the United States as Arguments for the Sake of Heaven, which is now back in print (as of November 2023).