Saturday, August 11, 2012

New Arts Path for Integrated Jewish Learning

By Arnold M. Eisen
Jewish boys engaged in NJ gathering on August 1st
I propose a different page for Jewish learning, one that is open to the larger world and bears the impact of modern thinking. It would cleave faithfully to texts, rituals, history and faith while being informed by art, music, drama, poetry, politics and law. Imagine if every Jew who wished to do so could awake to a platform of daily Jewish text not limited to Talmud—and to Jewish media not limited to text. Daily reading of Torah or psalms would be juxtaposed with their echoes in the headlines of the day; a passage from Job would be accompanied by clips from the Coen brothers' film, "A Serious Man"; the poetry of Isaiah could be explored side by side with that of the late Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai. [link]

Mr. Eisen is chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary, which trains clergy, educators and professional and lay leaders for the Conservative movement.