Can Orthodoxy Share the Public Square?

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This essay analyzes whether Orthodoxy must perceive competing streams of Judaism as illegitimate in order to remain Orthodox and whether or not the public square in Israel can be reconfigured so as to make it possible for competing ideological groupings to work together. Because of its acceptance of "Maimonidean" — strictly dogmatic — conceptions of what it means to be a Jew contemporary Orthodoxy refuses to cooperate with non-Orthodoxy, holds that it cannot do anything that might be construed as recognizing the Jewish legitimacy of non-Orthodoxy, and thinks that it cannot in good conscience share the public square with other streams in Judaism. This essay sketches a way in which Orthodox Jews can relate to non-Orthodox Jews and their understandings of Judaism which lets go of the language of "legitimate vs. heretical" without, at the same time, adopting a pluralist position which sees all (or almost all) expressions of Judaism as equally acceptable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-143
Number of pages17
JournalJewish Political Studies Review
Issue number1/2
StatePublished - 1999


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