Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi Peter Stein’

Ladies and gentlemen…Rabbi Peter Stein!Not Rabbi Stein

…OK, no, that isn’t Rabbi Stein, but it’s quite a picture. Anyway, a few days ago, a post went up on JewSchool (also cross-posted on Radical Torah) in which Rabbi Stein,¬†ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary two years ago and now living in New Haven, CT,¬†presented his take on Torah and Judaism; he believes that the whole goal of Torah is to create a sustainable society. Not surprisingly, this rings true to all of us here at Pitaron Park.

There are 4 aspects to Stein’s thoughts on sustainability: economics, ecology, society and spirituality. In the post, Rabbi Stein presents many questions (appropriate enough, given that this was a Passover oriented post) for each of these aspects, suggesting potential topics and themes to think about for each separate category.

Despite the inspiring ideas, there are a few things missing from Rabbi Stein’s blogifesto. While he does an excellent job asking questions, he does not suggest any answers. While questions such as “will my decisions support the environment?” and “is this action spiritually meaningful?” are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to answer in blog format, it would be great to see some of Rabbi Stein’s thoughts on how to begin answering the stimulating and provocative questions he asks.

Another downside to Stein’s excellent post is a thorough lack of detail. To be sure, it’s difficult to provide background for such big, exciting ideas fully in a few short words, but it would be nice to see some proof or background information to explain how he has arrived at his current stance. Given that, according to Rabbi Stein, this big idea is the main point that the Bible itself is trying to tell us, where are the quotes from the Bible to prove it?

Perhaps this can serve as a challenge to us all to look to our tradition to find the sources and proof texts that support Rabbi Stein’s position, so that we can fully know with our minds what we also know with our hearts. This seems to be a great discussion starter…any thoughts?


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