Meeting The Challenge


Amichai Lau-Lavie is understandably concerned about the potential negative repercussions of his gutsy innovation … and many critics will likely amplify these concerns (“Maverick Rabbi Breaks Ranks Over Intermarriage,” June 16).

But what he and others working on solutions to a manifest and existential challenge to American Jewry are not guilty of, is the sin of standing idly by the loss of your fellow’s blood [Leviticus 19:16]. His critics will have to answer the question, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out from the ground [Genesis 4:10].

There are those who would have us believe that Judaism can or even should survive only in its Orthodox rendering. The fact is that without the critical mass of larger Jewry, insular Orthodox communities were not and are not sustainable. In this moment in our history, provisional solutions such as those proposed by Rabbi Lau-Lavie and other true leaders are in the spirit of other halachic innovations made by Jethro and Moses (with regard to the court system) and the Rabbis of the Talmud with regard to interest bearing loans … unsustainable for an agrarian economy.

The current situation in America is unsustainable and individuals such as Lau-Lavie should be applauded and supported for answering the call of “A time to act for the Lord” [Psalms 119: 126].

Fairfield, Conn.