Now it looks like Judaism is undergoing a similar struggle for identity. What does it mean to be Jewish? And just as important: who gets to say? The article in the New York Times today was, predictably, very much against the current effort underway from within Israel to stabilize and authorize Jewish identity. But then, there aren't very many observant Orthodox Jews writing for the Times, I suspect.
I guess I just love the honesty that this discussion forces. We have handled it poorly in America, especially within academia, I think. Rather than admit that "diversity" leads to dissolution of identity, we have hawked the line about diversity as if it were a panacea, ignoring the problems that result. However the issue turns out within Judaism, I give credit to the rabbinate for raising the stakes so high, and so publicly. They very well may alienate 85% of the now-Jewish world, but at least they'll know what it means to be Jewish. But then, I'm not altogether sure that such a result is really worthwhile--?
Is it "racist" to say that your mother has to be Jewish for you to qualify? What if America passed legislation to the same effect? And finally, does it matter whether we have clear identities, or not?