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Medieval viewpoint

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To the Editor:

Rabbi Amar’s Op-Ed represents a medieval point of view that for me, and I believe for many Jews in the Diaspora, is a deal breaker in my relationship with Israel.

I was born and raised, and have spent all my life in the United States, experiencing the benefits of secularism, personal liberty and a dedication to the "pursuit of happiness," as it says in the Declaration of Independence. In a country with these ideals, Jews are safe and can achieve substantial personal accomplishments.

The Chief Rabbinate has manipulated itself into a position of power to the point where it has the sole say over the most important points of people’s lives. In insisting that its take on religious Judaism is the last and only word, the Rabbinate seeks to put itself into the position of the Catholic pope or the Moslem ayatollahs.

Secular democracy has brought riches, liberty and happiness to most people. Religion in the temples, mosques and churches has brought moral guidance and personal connection with the Almighty. But religion outside the places of worship inevitably results in destruction and unhappiness for those
who are unfortunate enough to live under it.

What is true for medieval Catholicism and Iranian Shiaism inevitably will be true for Israel should the religious types succeed in grasping control. Rabbi Amar should remember that his Sephardi type of Orthodoxy isn’t good enough for the haredi Orthodox Ashkenazim. So where will it end?

Ronald Abramson
Ashland, Mass.

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