Remix Judaism: Preserving Tradition in a Diverse World

Roberta Rosenthal Kwall. Rowman & Littlefield, $30 (264p) ISBN 978-1-5381-2955-5
Law professor Kwall (The Myth of the Cultural Jew) offers a helpful and innovative framework for those thinking about how American Judaism can survive and flourish. She succeeds from the off at achieving her stated goal of introducing the “teachings and practices of the Jewish tradition in a way that comports with the sensibilities of Jews who are not, and likely never will be, observant by conventional measures.” Articulating her reasoned approach to what she’s dubbed “remix Judaism,” Kwall insists on proactive development of Jewish rituals that can be observed consistently, even if those rituals differ from traditional observance. Kwall provides plenty of specifics, such as a special Shabbat dinner tradition that allowed an ER physician to have a home-cooked special meal during her night shift, even though doing so required her family to violate certain traditional restrictions (such as driving). A remixed Shabbat requires “enough of the tradition to imbue the practice with a sense of authentic Jewish content,” and Kwall lists a number of examples, such as gumbo Shabbat in New Orleans, that capture that intent. For Rosenthal, the Jewish tradition of tikkun olam (“repairing the world,” or social action) represents the most dynamic example of a remixed Judaism. Jewish leaders concerned at recent studies showing a drift away from identification with Judaism among the younger generation will be able to take much from Kwall’s thoughtful suggestions. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 01/13/2020
Release date: 02/01/2020
Genre: Religion
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-5381-2956-2
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