Religion of return

Religion of return

I really enjoy the Torah portion column in New Jersey Jewish News. The rabbis who write their interpretations have wonderful insight and help me see familiar stories in a different light.

Last week’s parsha left me astonished (“Next generation blues,” by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Oct. 21). There is nothing new about worrying whether or not the next generation will be Jews. I am sure they had similar worries throughout Jewish history. Obviously, we still exist, but with modifications to our practices being made along the way.

What disturbed me was the rabbi repeated the findings of Steven M. Cohen, a sociologist, that Jews between the ages of 20 and 30 years old find Judaism “alienating, boring, coercive, and divisive.” What is new with that? It isn’t even worth mentioning. The rabbi’s retort should have been, “If you are not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you are still a liberal at 30, you have no head.” Judaism was never meant to be the religion of free-spirited 20-somethings exploring boundaries. But it has always been a religion of return.

Louise Sverdlove

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