For the majority of North American Jews today, commitment to halakha (Jewish law) is not the engine that drives religious life. Instead, most American Jews see their lived Judaism as the product of their own choices, which may or may not have anything to do with Jewish law. In this episode, Elliot Cosgrove, rabbi of the Conservative congregation of Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City, joins host Yehuda Kurtzer for a conversation about his recent essay in Sources: A Journal of Jewish Ideas, which argues that liberal Jewish institutions have not properly responded to this reality. Together, they discuss what it might mean to make the case for mitzvot (commandments) within a framework of an autonomous, choice-driven Judaism.
Identity/Crisis: The Ideas Behind the News is a podcast of the Shalom Hartman Institute.
A transcript of this episode is available here.
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In a frenzied media cycle, Identity/Crisis delves into the big ideas behind the news from a uniquely Jewish perspective. Host Yehuda Kurtzer, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, talks with leading thinkers to unpack current events effecting Jewish communities in North America, Israel, and around the world, revealing the core Jewish values underlying the issues that matter to you.