Rabbi Yitz Greenberg is clearly one of the greats of this generation. In Hebrew parlance, he would be classified as one of the gedolei ha-dor (religious leaders of the generation). An Orthodox rabbi who embraces pluralism, he has demonstrated his commitment and love for the Jewish community—the entire Jewish community—in nearly every project that he has undertaken in his illustrious rabbinic career. That is why it was no surprise—though particularly heartening nonetheless—to read his words (along with his wife Blu) in a recent article as part of the Forward newspaper’s renewed Bintel Brief column.
In response to a question posed by a reader about the conversion acceptance standards of one rabbi or one movement over the other, the Greenbergs write:
“We believe that those who have the authority should rule that all denominations give full faith and credit to the halachic acts of others that meet their halachic standards. They should not allow the politics of delegitimization to disqualify the other. Alas, this is not what is happening. The sectarians and the splitters are in the saddle in this generation. You will have to find your place within that reality. We are all the poorer for it.”
We are in full agreement. We have to make sure that we don’t continue to splinter the Jewish people by questioning the authority of one rabbi or movement. Instead, let’s work together to build a Big Tent Judaism where all are welcomed and embraced.