Thursday, February 24, 2005

Jewish History Matters

In my last post, I recalled the Yale Kosher Kitchen of the early 90s with some fondness. One of the things I remember most fondly was that those of us who studied Jewish history were able to startle, annoy, and occasionally enlighten Orthodox students, usually professional students who had been undergraduates at more kosher institutions (specifically one in Washington Heights with the same initials as Yale U), by showing them that Orthodox Judaism in the United States in the late 20th century was not simply and eternally synonomous with Judaism. Lots of Orthodox Jews (the ones who study Jewish history) know this, of course. But it's still useful to bring a little haskalah to the yeshiva as Gil Perl is doing.

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