The Role of Halakha in Reconstructionist Decision Making

By Daniel G. Cedarbaum

Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA), Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC), Spring 2001

This piece explores the role of Jewish Law (halacha) in informing how Reconstructionist Jews make decisions. The author notes that because of the liberal Jewish fear of halacha (which leaves it mostly to the Orthodox and "traditional" Jews), Reconstructionist and other Liberal Jews have unintentionally promoted the perception that the Orthodox are the only "authentic" Jews. The author goes on to assert, following Mordecai Kaplan, that any form of Judaism that does not recognize that halacha as an essential part of Jewish life is not authentic. However, the author acknowledges that the traditional halachic system is incapable of being accepted by a vast majority of modern Jews. The author advocates for Jews to construct a set of rules that is rooted in tradition and is consonant with the actual conditions and spiritual needs of modern life.


Topic: Halakha, Jewish Law, Reconstructionist Judaism, Liberal Judaism, Modernity

Name of Publication: The Reconstructionist

Editor: Hirsh, Richard

Volume/Issue: Vol. 65/No. 2

Page Number(s): 29-38

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Genre: Article

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Cedarbaum, Daniel G. The Role of Halakha in Reconstructionist Decision Making. The Reconstructionist. Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA),Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC). Spring 2001: 29-38.


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