Public square Judaism?
R.A. mulls place for Conservative movement
by Eric Fingerhut, Staff Writer
2/20/2008 - Washington Jewish Week
Everyone at last week's annual Rabbinical Assembly convention seemed to agree: Conservative Judaism must make its voice louder in the public square.
Not everyone agrees, however, on how to do that.
Addressing the more than 300 delegates to the convention at the Capital Hilton in the District last week, Arnold Eisen, chancellor of the movements Jewish Theological Seminary, called on rabbis to make their "shuls into real communities" that "are not [just] self-sufficient sanctuaries unto themselves, but bases of operations for work in the world" that will keep Jews coming back again and again.
"If one can't find spirituality inside the sanctuary, it is failing," he said. "But if one is not led by the sanctuary, from the sanctuary, into social-justice work in the public square, the failing is no less acute."
... Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts ... spoke to the group for about 10 minutes after accepting the R.A.'s Truth and Justice Award.
Roberts mentioned Moses, quoted Conservative movement founder Solomon Schechter and discussed the week's Torah portion during his talk. He noted the "tensions that sometimes arise between secular and religious issues in a pluralistic and free society," but demurred on offering details on how he weighs the two interests.
He also said the week's parsha, dealing with the "painstaking" description of the creation of Aaron's priestly vestments, reminded him of "the care the judges must bring to bear in applying reason and precedent to decide the issues that come before them."
... In presenting the honor, Wohlberg said it was for "your commitment to the law" and "devotion to the sacred values of our nation."
Senate's Kabuki Dance With Roberts Goes On
By William Fisher
NEW YORK, Sep 15, 2005 (Inter Press Service) - After three days of hearings on the confirmation of Judge John G. Roberts to be the seventeenth Chief Justice of the United States, what the public has learned is that the nominee appears to be as much Talmudic scholar as jurist.
In the relatively few questions he did not duck altogether by saying they related to issues likely to come before the Court, or by claiming the views he wrote were those of the administrations he has worked for in the past, Roberts responded even to most specific questions with an "on the one hand, on the other hand" approach ...