Chancellor Emeritus Rabbi Ismar Schorsch Explains Why “Ritual Is the DNA that Defines Who We Are”

"The language of Judaism is ritual and, as quintessential moderns, we Jews have lost our appreciation for its expressive power. For one thing, we're not very good at it and like normal adults we don't like doing what we don't do well.

Is there anything more nerve-wracking than having to recite alone the Aramaic mourner's Kaddish in a synagogue service when we can barely read Hebrew? When speaking a foreign language poorly, we're painfully self-conscious. Then as moderns, we value our individual autonomy above all else and bristle at the thought of having to fall in line. All too often, the piano lessons our parents subjected us to as youngsters failed to instil us with an appreciation for the instrument or music."

Continue reading "Ritual Is the DNA that Defines Who We Are" in Jewish Chronicle.