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The Case for Commandments

Park Avenue Synagogue’s Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove believes that liberal Judaism needs to encourage mitzvot (commandments) within a framework of autonomous, choice-driven Judaism.

For the majority of American Jews today, commitment to halakha (Jewish law) is not the engine that drives religious life. Instead, most American Jews see their lived Judaism as the product of their own choices, which may or may not have anything to do with Jewish law.

In this episode, Elliot Cosgrove, rabbi of the Conservative congregation of Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City, joins host Yehuda Kurtzer for a conversation about his article in “Sources: A Journal of Jewish Ideas,” which argues that liberal Jewish institutions have not properly responded to this reality. Together, they discuss what it might mean to make the case for mitzvot (commandments) within a framework of an autonomous, choice-driven Judaism. Listen here:

Identity/Crisis is a weekly podcast from the Shalom Hartman Institute about news and ideas.

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