And keep it holy
: I hope (and pray) that we are beyond the day in America when being Jewish could hinder an American from running for the White House.
If Joe Lieberman has religious problems in his race, they may not be with his faith but with his orthodoxy. We are not an orthodox nation; we don’t understand orthodxy; we don’t trust it.
So it’s helpful to read a definition of Lieberman’s own “Modern Orthodoxy” at the always-enlightening Jewsweek.com:
Modern Orthodoxy aspires to strict adherence to traditional Jewish law (keeping the Sabbath and kosher) while fully engaging in secular society…
Rabbi Barry Freundel, the spiritual leader of Georgetown’s Kesher Israel and Lieberman’s rabbi, believes that his congregant is fully ensconced in both worlds. “He has a willingness to fully engage modernity,” says Freundel. “I don’t think you could have a president from the more right-wing Orthodox camp because they don’t fully embrace modernity.”
The fact that he doesn’t stick out may not only place him in a position to teach America what it means to be a Jew, but will teach Jews what it means to be Jewish in America. “So on Shabbat he’ll walk to synagogue, there’ll be kosher food in the White House,” says political analyst Norman Green. “He’ll be forcing a lot of conservative and reform Jews to reconsider their Jewish practices.”