Symbolic Names

The name Gershom, and the word for Hebrew, Ivri, carry a message about what it means to be Jewish.

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What a tragic irony, if having finally won recognition for that right, we would now divest ourselves of every iota of distinctiveness. We ought to remind ourselves that the sovereign self is not a Jewish ideal and that diversity without continuity is but another name for anarchy. That which bears the residue of the ages enhances our sense of the holy and facilitates our quest for transcendence.

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Rabbi Ismar Schorsch

Rabbi Ismar Schorsch served as chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary.