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World Convention of Liberal Judaism Discusses Religion in Israel

The longing for religion in Israel is widespread and any description of the Jewish State as one divided into “an Orthodox minority and a majority of those outside the synagogue” is a false one, Dr. Hugo Bergman, Israeli scholar, told the World Union for Progressive Judaism convention here today.

The longing for religion “has not as yet found its way toward fulfillment,” he told delegates to the international gathering. “Maybe this longing will not lead into the synagogue in the near future,” he added, “but to my mind this does not matter much.”

He asserted that religion must be tested by life “and Israel is the place for Judaism to be put to the test before us and before the world. Here we manifest what Jewish belief really is, in politics, in relation to our minorities, in the kibbutzim, in our relationship with one another, in our relationship with Jews in countries outside of Israel, and with mankind as a whole.”

Israel expects the Jews in other countries to understand that your problem, the problem of the Jewish community as a whole, is decided in Israel,” he asserted. Jews out side of Israel, for that reason, should not regard their ties with Israel “as a concern of welfare work which can be ‘settled’ by giving money, ” Dr. Bergman said. “You should identify yourselves critically–I stress critically–with religious life in Israel.”

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