I agree with Rabbi Yehuda Gilad in his call for the Chief Rabbinate to change its attitude or end its stranglehold on the destiny of the Jewish people. (Opinion, www.thejewishweek.com)

What really is the difference between the young men — one halachically Jewish and one not — playing paddleball on the beach in Tel Aviv on Saturday and then returning to their army units to defend the Jewish people?

The one who is not halachically Jewish either arrived from Russia (or elsewhere) or was born in Israel and has a mother who is not Jewish (or a grandparent). The one who is a “kosher” Jew has a Jewish mother. Both young men are obviously not very religious, playing on the beach on Shabbat, but they will do their duty for the future of Israel. And then the young man in the United States or England or wherever, who is halachically Jewish but does nothing to show it and has even less interest in being part of the Jewish world, or the Jewish college student demonstrating against Israel. That young Jew in Israel with a non-Jewish mother will make us all prouder than so many of the other “real” Jews.

These young people want to be part of Klal Yisrael. It is time to accept them into the tent of Israel … before they decide that if we don’t want them then they won’t want us.

 

Manhattan