The cover of last week’s edition of the Jewish Journal asks: “Can Judaism be Welcoming?” One should start with the learning (or lack thereof) from some of the representatives of the faith.
For starters, Rabbis like Paul Kipnes could forego their condescending comments about Almighty God. Forget “pot calling the kettle black”, Kipnes argument of an “imperfect, growing, changing Divine” smacked more of the pot railing at the Potter. Where was Kipnes when Almighty God made the heaven and the earth? God needs no defender, and he certainly needs no limited intellect defaming him in print. “My thoughts are not your thoughts, not my ways your ways.”
Then there’s Conservative columnist Dennis Prager, whose arguments for moral conduct trust too much in tradition instead of truth. He actually champions the dated teaching that married couples must engage in intimated relations regularly, along with others.
Of course, more respect and open dialogue from religious leaders would be nice. My questions were repeatedly and unceremoniously rebuffed by the Jewish Community Center’s Rabbi Yossi Mintz during an “open forum” for two Congressional candidates debating in Redondo Beach.
Respect for God’s Word, for truth, and for others: those three elements would make Judaism welcoming.