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Judaism Needs to Change Again

Quoting from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel in the first paragraph of his famous book God in Search of Man:

“It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion—its message becomes meaningless.”

For most Jews, that is the state of Judaism today, and we have to find a way to make it relevant and meaningful to us or consign Judaism to the province of the Orthodox, whose effect on society will become more like the Amish than anything else.

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