Post-denominational Judaism offers something outside traditional streams | WBEZ
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Post-denominational Judaism offers something outside traditional streams

There’s an old Jewish joke, the details change but the point is the same. A Jewish guy is shipwrecked on an island for 20 years. One day, a boat comes by, sees his campfire, and stops to rescue him. The guy is thrilled, and gives the captain a tour of his little island. He shows the captain where he would hunt, where he would fish, where he would sleep, and the synagogue he built where he would pray. As they head back to the ship, the captain sees something and says “wait, is that another synagogue?” The guy says, “yeah, but I’d never step foot in that one!” For someone who isn’t Jewish, it might be hard to comprehend — ”don’t y’all say the same prayers, read from the same Bible?” But for many — especially American Jews — it’s more complicated than that. For some, Orthodox Judaism is too strict. But Reform Judaism is too liberal. Conservative is too dry. Renewal is too hippy-dippy. This shul uses too much Hebrew, this one too much English, this get the drift. There are a lot of Jews yearning to make spiritual connections but feel that they don’t have a place where they fit in. Many simply drop out of communal Jewish life. Others find a home in what’s called post-denominational Judaism. One such spot is Mishkan Chicago, and Mishkan’s Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann joins us to explore what it all means. (Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann)

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