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The Perplexities of Conservative Judaism

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Publication Date: September 2007

Publisher(s): Commentary, Inc.

Author(s): Jack Wertheimer

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: Religious Denominations; Conservative Judaism; Jewish Law (Halacha)

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


Conservative Judaism, a movement situated at the center of the religious spectrum between Orthodoxy and the various versions of liberal Judaism, was in the news this past winter when its committee on Jewish law ruled on the status of homosexuality. Hot-button issues of this sort have historically proved agonizing for the movementà ¢ as they have not for Orthodoxy, which has tended to side almost automatically with traditional religious laws, or for liberal denominations, which have reflexively accommodated themselves to societal change. By contrast, the underlying assumption of Conservative Judaism has been that any dissonance between shifting social mores and long-established religious laws should and can be harmonized.

In Commentary Magazine, vol. 124 no. 2, pp. 38-44 (September 2007).