Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Sammy the Jew

And more in the new ‘Text/Context’

Print Email
Sammy Davis, Jr.(Sammy Davis Jr.)

The new Text/Context, which is published in a partnership between The Jewish Week and Nexbook Inc., dropped. The theme is how contemporary Judaism does (and doesn’t) accommodate converts as well as members with disabilities. Samuel G. Freedman has a fascinating essay that, using the example of Sammy Davis, Jr., proposes that the contemporary liberal American emphasis on cultural Judaism is misguided:

This secular/cultural definition of Jewish identity was perceived as being, for lack of a better word, liberal. The reason is that the alternative definition, one based in religious practice, was so easy to dismiss as conservative. What could be more exclusionary, after all, then all those rules and regulations and mitzvot? What was more retrograde than a Jewish life based on a never-ending tzitzit check?

But what if we were wrong and Sammy Davis Jr. was right? What if secular/cultural Jewish identity is the exclusionary sort and religious Jewish identity is the radically inclusive one?

Plus Tablet Magazine contributing editor Eddy Portnoy on Jewish tradition’s shameful tendency to ignore deaf Jews; Andrea Myers on how to approach Jews who have turned away from their faith; and much more.

Text/Context July 2011 [The Jewish Week]

Print Email
Bill Pearlman says:

I’d take one Sammy Davis jr. over a milllion Noam Chomskys, Norm Finkelsteins, and Phil ( Hitler should have finished the job ) Weiss’s.

Terrific. Thanks for highlighting this, Marc!

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Sammy the Jew

And more in the new ‘Text/Context’

More on Tablet:

15 American Rabbis You Haven’t Heard Of, But Should

By Yair Rosenberg — These Jewish leaders’ influence has been felt around the country, in every denomination, even if you don’t know them by name