' the problem of a national state religion depends upon the culture you are in. I'll give my country, England, as an example; England has a national Church with Bishops in the Parliament, but we are hardly a theocracy like Iran. When Henry VIII created the Church of England and broke away from Rome there resulted about 100 years of war, strife and persecution on and off, back and forth between Catholicism and Protestantism . That was bad. But eventually the C of E became a giant moderated compromise of the different brands of Christianity (Catholic, Evangelical and Liberal) , because the English had had enough of extremist religion in the form of the Puritans of Cromwell. & of course, eventually, non Anglicans obtained tolerance and then political rights, Catholics got the vote and Jews re-entered the country after a decade of civil war in 1656. Today the Anglican or Episcopalian Church is seen as one of the most moderate brands of Christianity. Could not Judaism do the same? So, imagine if Sephardi, Orthodox, Conservative and Reform were all in one grouping .The problem with Israel is that Israel has surrendered the Rabbinicate to the worst excesses of Haredi Judaism- a distinct minority in Judaism. That is the problem, not religion per se.'
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Judaism into the C of E?
It seems to that my sister Hannah has been thinking (always an interesting sign) about the possible reunification of Judaism and using the Church of England as a model (don't worry, she did ask me to post a response to these ideas) :
We can ignore the sweep of history here and also overlook the fact that the Anglican Church, precisely because it wields together numerous fractions into one body, often divisive fractions at that, it always seems somewhat incoherent & about to tear itself apart.
But is she right or wrong? Should we put aside our various traditions for the sake of greater unity or just accept the current status quo of agree to disagree with our religious differences, but be united when it comes to defending the overall 'arch' of Judaism in respect to Israel, male circumcision, kosher slaughter and general Jewish welfare ?
I agree that SOME form of 'reformation' of the Israeli Rabbincate is required, but is this a step too far for Orthodoxy? Or is the idea of, say, restoring a Sanhedrin of Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, Sephardi Rabbis & Sages too much to happen before the coming of Messiah? And to add to this, do we not have to wait until Messiah comes for a new Sanhedrin and then a new Temple in Jerusalem? Or should we at least seek to be more co-operative between Jewish traditions and denominations, even as we acknowledge in maturity our glaring theological differences?