Thursday, January 15, 2009

Building my case, Part 1

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
As this first installment, this will take a bit of explaining; bear with me.

The URJ's current policy is to refuse admission to prospective rabbinic students that are married to, engaged to, or seriously dating a non-Jew. If a student is accepted and later enters such a relationship, they will not be ordained. I'm opposed to this policy.

Huh. I guess that didn't take so long to explain.

This is a wrong policy, and I believe it fails on every level: ethical, moral, legal, political, social, and business (not to name many more I haven't thought of yet). I currently face a dilemma in that I want to be admitted to HUC but dislike this policy; it's enough of a political hot topic that I imagine being too vocal about it could hurt my chances for admission, but I figure that presenting a well thought-out, reasoned, structured argument against it will mitigate any damage. After all, they can't easily bar me from becomming a rabbi because I created a rabbinic response to a modern social issue.

Anyway; I'm slowly gathering evidence to support my claim. Most, I imagine, will be rhetorical but I would like some concrete elements to include as well. These will be added as I find them.

I saw this quote at a URJ commentary on Exodus 1:1-6:1; the discussion was about Pharoh turning a blind eye towards the contribution of the Jews to Egyption society and hardening his heart against them so he can treat them as lower creatures than "true" Egyptians. However, the day was saved by two women but it "is not clear from the text if the two midwives were Hebrews or Egyptians", leading the second writer to conclude "that it is not your name that defines who you are; it is your decisions and choices that shape who you become."

Not that there's a parallel or anything. Just sayin'.

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