The Jewish Observer
News from Middle Tennessee's Jewish Community | Monday, Feb. 26, 2024
The Jewish Observer

Werthan Letter to the Editor, January 2024

To the Editor, 

The recent article by Rabbi Shiftan and Frank Boehm (both of whom I greatly respect) generated these ideas in me - What is a Jew? Who is a Jew? Why be a Jew? We could debate these questions endlessly. But the greater question arose, what is the difference between being Jewish and Judaism? 

In today‚Äôs world almost anyone can be Jewish. Judaism, on the other hand, is a way of Life. It concerns itself with two aspects, the relationship between Man and G-d and the relationships between Man and Man. Judaism is the study and practice of these two 
elements. They have been the subject of debate over the centuries and because we live in an ever-changing world, they continue to be. Judaism requires being part of a spiritual community. It is a deep-rooted religion. 

What the article suggests is a hybrid. You can be this but you can also be this. In an already stressful world where would these children belong? Where are their roots, their identity? 
The ideas in the article are well meaning, kind, and welcoming, but I fear that what is intended to be the joy of inclusion will turn out to be an abyss of confusion. 

Libby Werthan 

Nashville, TN 

Support The Observer

The Jewish Observer is published by The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville and made possible by funds raised in the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign. Become a supporter today.