Thursday, June 26, 2008

All Jews are Brothers

"Orthodoxy cannot accept Conservative theology." This statement from an earlier post was the basis for the following challenge by a poster:

Orthodox people can accept and reject other people, because we have brains and are capable of discrimination. If you're "interested" in achdus, can you point to a source where achdus only applies to the "right" kind of Jews? I've never heard of one.

"Right" kind of Jews? God forbid that there be such discrimination in Jewry. I have never said that and never will. There is no "right" kind of Jew. All Jews are my ‘brothers’. It matters not what their ideology is. They are to be treated equally with respect and loving kindness. It is the ideology of portions of them that is troubling. Troubling as well is a lifestyle that is either self destructive, destructive of others, or destructive of the ideologies of Torah as Orthodoxy understands it. But not the individual Jew.

If one is a believer in the fundamental tenets of Judaism one cannot accept ideologies that contradict any of those tenets. Nor can one approve of a lifestyle that contradicts the Torah. But it is primarily the ideology that is unacceptable, not the individual.

I am a believer in Achdus. I include all Jews in this category. When I say I include only Orthodox Jews in my call for Achdus, I mean an Achdus of ideology - where we can declare as one that we are practicing and believing Jews as defined by our understanding of the Torah.

This need not mean that our beliefs must be identical. It only means that all versions of our essential beliefs are respected and acceptable - if not all ideal. In other words I define ideological Achdus among all Orthodox factions as being pluralistic – not identical - within the framework of Torah belief and practice.