I’m delighted to see that two rabbis have entered into a dialogue on religion. One is Jeffrey Falick, the Atheist Rabbi, whose blog is hosting the debate; the other is Frederick Klein, an Orthodox rabbi who took up Falick’s challenge.
Lately HuffPo, or PuffHo, or whatever it’s called, has been hosting various rabbinical voices attempting to talk sense to us new atheists. There’s David Wolpe and Adam Jacobs, and there was that debate where Hitchens and Harris were terribly rude and gnuish to Wolpe and his colleague Bradley Artson Shavit.
I’m thrilled about all this. As a Jewish atheist I’ve had endless discussions with Jewish friends about atheism, faith, God, morality and tradition. It’s been tough to find many other Jews who will stand up and say, “I’m an atheist.” My guess is that they would somehow feel un-Jewish, and that for them Jewishness is at some level sustainable only through passive acceptance of rabbinical tradition. Even if they don’t believe a word of it.
I remember once asking a Lubavitch rabbi what his position on evolution was. He sent me a link to another Lubavitch rabbi rambling on for an hour before a room full of Lubavitchers. His point was that anything that conflicted with the Torah was, well, unacceptable. End of discussion.
Let the Lubavitchers wall themselves off from reality until moshiach arrives. In the real world, the dicussion continues unabated.