Thursday, June 6, 2013

Are Rabbis Too Ethnocentric?


Question of the Week:


Dave Asks:


The problem with rabbis like you is your narrow view of the world. You always talk about the Jewish future, Jewish continuity, Jews marrying Jews, having Jewish children. What about the rest of humanity? Why do we have to always divide between people? Can't we speak of humans rather than Jews?



Rabbi Moss answers:


You have a good point. Maybe I should broaden my perspective and be concerned about more global issues and not so pre-occupied with Jewish particularism. So if you don't mind, I would like to hear your point of view on one such issue: The hairy-nosed wombat.
I have been approached by an organisation that is dedicated to saving endangered species. They are campaigning to save the hairy-nosed wombat of northern Queensland, which is on the verge of extinction. They say if we don't do something soon the wombats will be gone forever.
Do you think this is a good cause? I could write about it in my weekly article but am not sure if it is worthy of promotion. This is not a Jewish issue. Should it really bother me if there are no more hairy-nosed wombats?    



Dave replies:


Now you're talking. I would love to see a rabbi promote conservation and eco-awareness. And by the way, it is a Jewish issue! If the hairy-nosed wombat is lost, we all lose. Every species is an integral part of the whole ecosystem. I would much rather you wrote about something like that than the usual myopic Jewish stuff...    



Rabbi Moss responds:


I have no doubt that the hairy-nosed wombat makes an important contribution to the world - otherwise G-d would not have created it. But I happen to think that the Jewish people are at least as worthy of preservation as the hairy-nosed wombat.


While the contribution wombats make to the world may not be obvious, the Jewish contribution is. From Moses to Maimonides to Marx, from Philo to Freud to Forbes, Jews as individuals and as a community have given much to the world, and I don't think we have run out of ideas. I think we have more to give.


This is not to put down any other nation and their achievements. Just as the attempt to save the hairy-nosed wombat is not insulting to any other animal, so too the desire to continue the Jewish legacy of four thousand years in no way belittles the gifts of other people.


My work is to try to keep Jewish souls Jewish, because I believe Judaism is an idea that is yet to have its time, and you can't have Judaism without Jews. So I will continue to try to preserve Jews, whether or not they are hairy-nosed.


Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Moss


To subscribe CLICK HERE or email



Nefesh is excited to announce that the following guest speakers will be addressing us during Nefesh services in June while Rabbi Moss is in New York.

Friday Night June 7-
Rabbi Yaacov Chaiton

Shabbos Day June 8- Rabbi Dr. Nathan T. Lopes Cardozo


Friday Night June 14- Rabbi Mendel Kastel

Shabbos Day June 15- Rev Amzalak


Friday Night June 21- Rabbi Yehuda Spielman

Shabbos Day June 22- Rabbi Aaron Groner


Friday Night June 28- Rabbi Michoel Gourarie

Shabbos Day June 29- Chazan Isser Feiglin


  Rabbi Cardozo

Nefesh is honoured that Rabbi Dr Nathan Cardozo will join us for Shabbos on June 8 and address us during the service.


Rabbi Dr Nathan Cardozo lectures regularly at over fifty institutions of Jewish and secular learning around the world and is often hosted by programs with affiliation ranging from the Orthodox Union and Union of Sephardic Communities to Oxford and Harvard Universities.


He is renowned for his unconventional style, straight-forward approach and unswerving honesty. He has been quoted as saying that "when Judaisim is introduced to a person as a religion of taboos, permanent damage is inflicted upon its very structure. Too often, young people have become victims of such negativity and consequently have not been able to find their way to the Jewish experience. One of the greatest tasks of Jewish educators today is to daringly turn the tide and show our people that Judaism is foremost the art of enjoying G-d's world."



SERVICES AT NEFESH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Friday Night Candlelighting 4:35pm

Mincha 4:50pm

Shabbos Service 6:00pm followed by Kiddush


Shabbos Day

Morning Service 10am-12:30pm- Followed by Kiddush sponsored by the Morris family in memory of Deo Dutt - may his memory be a blessing.


Mincha 4:30pm followed by Seudah Shlishis

Pirkei Avos 4

Shabbos ends 5:34pm


Shachris Sunday (Rosh Chodesh) 8am, Mon-Fri 7am


Latest Shema 9:24am

Gimmel Tammuz
This email was sent to by |  
nefesh | 54 roscoe st | bondi beach | NSW | 2026 | Australia

No comments:

Post a Comment