Pluralism, Integrity and Community
Managing Observance in a Varied Jewish World

Ethan Tucker

Over the course of three interactive discussions, we will explore questions around how we maintain our integrity around observance even as we build community with those who do not share all of our practices or interpretations of Torah.

  1. We will begin with an ancient debate between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel around marriage and personal status. Through a close reading of passages in the Mishnah, Tosefta and the two Talmudim, we will lay out a framework for our communal discussion of our topic.
  2. Through a practical case study we will explore a medieval model for culinary coexistence among Jews who have fierce disputes over what is permitted and what is forbidden according to the Torah. These provocative discussions provide useful guidance for how to build community around food in the contemporary Jewish world.
  3. Can we only trust people who practice just like us?  Do we presume that those who do not adhere to a prohibition themselves are also likely to lead others astray?  These questions lie at the heart of navigating our world of varied Jewish practice.  We will begin to get a window into some of the ways rabbinic sources have tackled these challenges.

You can also watch a video of Ethan Tucker talking on this topic at the Wexner Foundation's 30th Anniversary here:

Sacred Choices — Pluralism, Integrity and Community: You Can't Have Them All from The Wexner Foundation on Vimeo.

Pluralism, Integrity and Community: An Overarching Framework
(audio/mpeg, 79.27MB)

What Can I Bring?: Potlucks, Standards and Inclusion, A Case Study
(audio/mpeg, 88.58MB)

Trust, Shared Practice and Respecting Others
(audio/mpeg, 84.31MB)

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