Sunday, August 09, 2009

Dr. Daniel Gordis
I've been flipping through Dr. Daniel Gordis' "Saving Israel", simultaneously depressing and...depressing...and envigorating, in the fullest sense of the word. He speaks with a degree of engagement with life in Israel, with other Israelis (not simply other religious Israelis and the occasional Shlomo one might meet, as is so often the case with Orthodox authors), that is of more depth and dimension that I can take in one sitting. He apparently has been a member of several Orthodox synagogues in LA, and says he "prefers being referred to as 'traditional,' rather than 'Orthodox' ('I shy away from those labels')", but was also founding dean of the Rabbinical school of the Conservative-affiliated American Jewish University (formerly University of Judaism). He is presently helping establish a liberal arts college in Israel in coordination with a largely-Orthodox thinktank, the Shalem Center. In the course of several articles and pieces from his website he treats very critically many main components of Conservative Judaism. I've added him to my blog roll. Here's an essay of his on revelation from Etz Hayim, the mainstay Conservative commentary on Torah, wherein he emphasizes the historicity of Revelation from Sinai:

Torah seems more concerned that the people Israel accept the notion that revelation took place than that they reach any certainty about the content of that revelation.

Here's a review of the whole volume, and here's another).


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