Publication Date: January 1987
Publisher: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Author(s): Daniel J. Elazar
Research Area: Culture and religion
Keywords: Communal Organization; Culture; Social Patterns; Values
Coverage: United States
It is well to remember in this year of the bicentennial of the Constitution of the United States that 200 years ago the Americans, following Newtonian physics, sought to build a social perpetual motion machine that would keep the country in orbit even through it was populated by imperfect people in an imperfect world. American Jewry, which for the most part has abandoned halakhah as a vehicle for Jewish continuity, seems to have implicitly adopted perpetual motion as its method for remaining in orbit. It is a fascinating experiment, fascinating to watch from afar, and fascinating to be part of -- and almost impossible to convey to Israelis or Jews from other lands.