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Goodbye Rabbinic Judaism, Hello Judaism’s Third Phase: “Freedom Judaism”

Rosner’s Domain, a blog on Haaretz newspaper, invited Gil Mann to be Rosner’s Guest for the week. Mann is author of 2 books: Sex, God, Christmas & Jews, Intimate Emails About Faith and Life Challenges, a finalist of the Koret International Jewish Book Award, and How to Get More Out of Being Jewish Even if: A. You are not sure you believe in God, B. You think going to synagogue is a waste of time, C. You think keeping kosher is stupid, D. You hated Hebrew School or E. All of the above!

Mann talks about something called “Freedom Judaism“, the third phase of Judaism after Temple Judaism and Rabbinic/Halachic Judaism. Fascinating. Read on:

When the temple was destroyed 2000 years ago, Judaism was forced to reinvent itself. Over time, our leaders brilliantly came up with a way to perpetuate Judaism that was not centered on the temple. They invented Rabbinic Judaism or what some call Halachic Judaism.

Today, perhaps as many as 90% of the Jews on the planet no longer lead a life governed by Halacha. (Orthodox Jews and a small number of others make up the remaining roughly 10%). Yet Jews and Judaism still exist. If we do not live in era of the Temple or Rabbinic Judaism, what is this era? I believe we are reinventing ourselves as radically as when the temple was destroyed.

I call this third new era Freedom Judaism. It began when Jews were first emancipated in Europe. In the last 100 years or so, Freedom Judaism has become a radical new reality for Jews because of 7 phenomenon. Read more.

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