Quick Takes I
Israel has decided to allow most children of migrant workers to stay, and to expel others. It could have been a lot worse. I was truly afraid that they'd expel them all. At some point, I hope we realize that having a Jewish State has nothing to do with the relative proportions of Jews and minorities. Our Nevi'im envisioned a state founded on certain cardinal values, not a state with a Jewish majority. [Further reading]
Tablet Magazine is looking for interns to work in NYC. A word of advice, instead of overpaying for some just-out-of-college wannabe journalist in New York, you can get much more bang for your buck in Israel. There's a heckuva lot of talent in the Jewish State, and it's much cheaper than in New York. Jewish Ideas Daily has figured this out. And frankly, after a hot start, the quality of writing at Tablet has really deteriorated over the past few months. Aim high, guys.
Regarding the conversion issue in Israel, I think that putting conversion in the hands of local rabbis is a positive step, but ultimately not far-reaching enough. On a fundamental level, there is a problem when marriage and divorce are controlled by a religious body that does not have the buy-in of large swaths of the population. The only answer is the institution of civil marriage and divorce. People have figured out how to privately check yikhes for centuries without the Rabbanut's help. And if anyone out there wishes to get civilly married outside of Israel and wants an Orthodox rabbi to officiate at a non-Rabbanut ceremony in Israel, let me know. [Further reading]
Statement of Principles
I signed the SOPOTPOJWAHOIOC. Do I agree with every last formulation, implication, etc.? Of course not. But it's crucially important that it be made crystal clear that there is an Orthodox alternative to homophobia, condemnation, and recommendations for conversion therapy. [Further reading]
Conservative Name Change
Apparently, the Conservative Movement is contemplating a name change, and Traditional and Masorti are the leading candidates. I say just leave it. "Conservative" might be a poor descriptor, but so are the rest. Personally, I can't stand the term "Orthodox," but at some point you just accept it and move on. [Further