Why a Tradition? with Earl Schwartz
Why a tradition when we’re so far from those thens and theres?
with Earl Schwartz
Dates: Wednesdays, May 4 – June 1
Time: 7:00-8:00 PM CDT
In this series, we explore the claim of the Jewish past on the Jewish present. There is an unavoidable tension between this lien on the here-and-now and the primacy of individual rights and personal choices in liberal democratic societies. Our objective is to better understand this tension.
We begin by exploring conflicting comments by early, medieval, and more recent Jewish thinkers on three questions that have both halakhic/practical and aggadic/philosophical implications:
- May and should musical instruments be used in worship?
- May and should someone not born of Jewish parents who chooses to become a Jew use the term “Avoteinu/our ancestors” in worship?
- Can responsibilities associated with kibbud av v’eimbe delegated to others if a child is overwhelmed by a parent’s disability?
As we explore these issues, we ask: Why engage such far-away voices, given how often they appear to be informed by assumptions and experiences we no longer share?