Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Conservative Jews, Conservative Judaism, & Homosexuality

I recently had a short conversation with an ex-Conservative Jew who thought that the upcoming change in policy towards Homosexuality & Homosexual Marriage by the Conservative movement would be a fundamental defining shift moving them outside the pale of Halakha. This person's argument being, essentially, that once CJ contridicts an explicit Pasuk in the Torah, then they are outside the framework of halakha which would impact both the old guard of CJ, JTS, and Baal ha-Baatim.
I argued that any ambivalence about change had already been resolved with full egalitarianism & the ordination of women. Even if the ordination of women is technically halakhically acceptable, for most people it presents radical change. And radical change is always as upsetting to most people as halakhic violation. Add to this the fact that the vast majority of the students & recent alumni of JTS support finding a way of "legalizing" homosexuality & homosexual marriage. Therefore, I would argue that legalizing homosexuality & Homosexual Unions by CJ may have an impact, but it will not be significant.

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