Today, one can hear a rising Israeli political voice that questions the power of the Orthodox rabbinate, that doubts the wisdom of Orthodox control over personal status issues such as marriage and divorce, and that is willing to challenge the preference given to one form of Jewish practice over other denominations. But what is especially significant is that this voice is not necessarily driven by a desire for the state to be more secular, but rather by a demand that it be more inclusively and equitably Jewish.
on a change in the Israeli discourse around religion / state issues.
I hate Maya Angelou.
Okay, hate is probably a strong word, but I lost faith in her sometime back in my youth when I saw this performance on Sesame Street. I appreciate the message that we should take pride in who we are, but how dare the former Marguerite Anne Johnson sing a song about how proud she is that her name is Maya and she’s not going to change it. She already changed it! If this was a Sesame Street lesson in irony, then fine, but instead it came across to me as a lesson in hypocrisy. Names are important. There’s nothing wrong with changing one’s name, and in fact, that can be an incredibly important and powerful way of affirming identity. Marguerite-cum-Maya should understand that better than most. I’d argue the Torah understands that even better.