Response submitted by Rabbi Nathan Alfred, United Hebrew Congregation, Singapore
In recent weeks there has been an interesting debate emerging between the rabbis and the lay leadership of the UPJ, our regional umbrella body: the Union of Progressive Judaism for Australia, New Zealand and Asia. It started with an article by our esteemed UPJ President, Roger Mendelson, in one of his weekly UPJ newsletter articles. Offering a book review of the 2018 polemical work by Jonathan Neumann, “To heal the world? how the Jewish Left corrupts Judaism and endangers Israel”, he repeated the author’s main and controversial point, namely that in recent years, Reform Judaism has been acting somehow in a non-Jewish way by focussing on social justice and especially on Tikkun Olam, a Hebrew phrase that means literally “mending the world”.
Guest columnist Dr Toby Mendelson, Philosopher
I enjoy my father’s little columns, as I’m sure many of you do. Usually I bite my tongue/hold fire on the keyboard. Sometimes he induces me into a response, which I think is actually his true intent (he just wants us to think, even if it is critically against his opinion).
Rabbi Nathan Alfred of the United Hebrew Congregation, Singapore wrote a response to UPJ President Roger Mendelson's Weekly News & Drash article published on 3/4 August.
The Union for Progressive Judaism and the Moetzah (Council) of Australian, New Zealand and Asian Progressive Rabbis prepared a statement applauding the decision of the IDF to allow soldiers to be buried by rabbis from all religious streams of Judaism. To read the statement they issued, click on Read More.