One Orthodox rabbi can make a huge difference, even if he can’t change Jewish Law on his own. At least, he makes people say: what a great person he is. That is the most important Commandment a Jew can do – as making people sigh: what a terrible person his is is the worst Sin a Jew can commit.
In the past few days, I even read news reports about three such rabbis. Here’s an overview.
This Orthodox rabbi just took a job at an LGBT synagogue – Don’t for a second assume that I like the guy for being unconventional. Rather, he saves lives – is there anything better a rabbi can do with his time?
The contrast with most Orthodox rabbis accuses them. They stay clear of GLBTQI’s and rather say eulogies than work for suicide prevention. (This sounds cynical but I think that acting like that is far more sinister than me pointing this out.) If I were a rabbi, I’d be a lot more quite to face the Heavenly Throne as ally to GLBTQIs than as having abandoned them.
Orthodox-trained rabbi makes history as head of a mostly Christian theology center – This center so far has moved from being ecumenical to very pluralistic and then away from Christian dominance and hegemony, towards learning from each other, and now also trying to connect to secular spirituality. Secular democracy may not have all the tools to solve the world’s challenges. I don’t know if he’s as naughty as the present Pope who reportedly said after being elected: May G-d forgive them for their choice.
Multiracial Orthodox rabbi uses his background to create unique community in NYC – He is uniting Jewish outsiders and insiders. “All are welcome, always” should leave no one without a spiritual home.
I’m not saying that great innovators only exist among Orthodox rabbis. These two recent news items show we don’t have the copyright: This woman is studying to be the first female rabbi from Uganda and: WATCH – 84-year-old Rabbi Arrested While Protesting Trump Immigration Policy in Philadelphia – but I don’t know enough of what’s going on outside of Orthodoxy; and within Orthodoxy, authentic leaders are needed the most and can make a big difference. There must be many such rabbis if, in a few days only, three of them made the news.