January 23rd, 2009

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Interesting by Rabbi Bradley Artson -- and Question on Conservative Judaism

A recent article about Zeigler School terminating its residency program at Machon Schecter in Jerusalm led me to this piece on halachic pluralism in the Conservative Movement by Rabbi Bradley Artson.

An interesting piece, given that I have no background in the politics of the conservative movement and therefore lack the background. I gather that what he is saying is that if the Conservative Movement stands by the idea of what he calls "halachic pluralism" (which I take to mean accepting the concept of a definite halacha but recognizing that possibly contradictory ways of interpreting it are acceptable), then followers of one permissible halachic interpretation acceptable within the movement must respect followers of other acceptable interpretations.

What struck me is that the article I was reading seemed to interpret this as a statement that those Conservative institutions that follow the halachic opinion within Conservative Judaism that prohibits same sex unions and therefore do not accept openly gay or lesbian members to accept those members. That's ture, but my actual sense reading the article was that it was also directed at those members and institutions in the movement that want to require every one in the movement to recgnize same-sex unions and to disavow those institutions that refuse to recognize same sex unions.

Anyone have better background on this?