Monday, April 4, 2011

Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch Responds to Peter Beinart

Reform Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, co author of One People, Two Worlds: A Reform Rabbi and an Orthodox Rabbi Explore the Issues That Divide Them, recently told Peter Beinart why he's wrong on all the important accounts which have created Beinart's recent (in)famy. Hirsch is Reform, lives and works in New York, and so far as I can see is as representative of a segment of American Jewry as anyone else - except for the fact that he served in the IDF.

The transcript of his talk needs to be read in its entirety, which can be found over here (h/t Marek).

Sadly, we aren't told how Beinart responded. I expect Ammiel's words effected him like water off the back of a duck, with the added value that being a duck is proving very lucrative for Beinart.


Y. Ben-David said...

One of the most beautiful defenses of Israel and criticism of the anti-Israel Left I have seen in a long time and it is wonderful to have come out of the mouth of a liberal Jew. But, as Yaacov points out, he has lived in Israel.
He is right, it all comes down to "ahavat Israel", identification and with and love of the Jewish people. Assimilated Jews just aren't going to have these feelings. Beinart and the others seem to think alienation is new and, as a "post hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy, it "must" be due to Israel's policies since they are occurring at the same time. This ignores the corrosion of Jewish identity that has been underway since the Emancipation in the 19th century. I hope Hirsch's speech is the harbinger of a counter-attack by the truly Zionist liberal-Left in the US.

Lee Ratner said...

It was a good speech but I want to focus on Eli Gottleib's response to Rabbi Hirsch's speech. Does anybody else find that it makes no sense. The only group of American Jews, or Jews in general, saying that it is impossible to live a Jewish life in the context of a broader society are the Ultra-Orthodox Jews. The other Jewish factions are pretty much in agreement that you can live a Jewish life in the context of a broader society although they might differ on much of the broader society a Jew could take part of. His list of what is required isn't that restrictive, he doesn't even mention keeping kosher.

Anonymous said...


Do you have a link to Eli Gottleib's speech?