When Dr. Helen Glueck, widow of the renowned archaeologist and former President of the seminary, Nelson Glueck, delivered a masterful ordination address at the Plum Street temple in Cincinnati more than forty years ago, she said in effect to the about to be ordained rabbis, “You are not social workers, you are not facilitators … You are Rabbis and your job is to be teachers and examples of Torah’s highest ideals.”
So much has changed in Reform Jewish life since the 70s. Services have become less formal, and rabbis have become less ego-centric, less judgmental, (in many cases) and more accessible. All of that is to the good.
But there is one change that I question. Many congregations that I have observed have forsaken the ritual reading of Torah on Shabbat Eve. Not too many years ago, the center piece of the Friday night service was—and in my view should…
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