Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo has started a crowdfunding campaign to continue his protest and opposition against corrupted uninspired backward Orthodox Judaism. This link helps you to donate. A group of donors has promised to double any gift received before December 26th. One of those gifts can be yours!
Crowdfunding can handle extremely small amounts and extremely large amounts and everything in-between. Give whatever the spirit moves you to give. Here is a list of the things that I remember that Rabbi Cardozo delivers:
- He is a humble approachable man, who talks with anyone concerned about missed chances or disappointments about Judaism. He knows what people think because they don’t need to be cautious what to tell him.
- He is the enfant terrible who says exactly what needs to change in Orthodox Judaism. In traditional circles, they are a bit scared of him (or even frantic) because they know that he knows what he is talking about and his claims can’t be dismissed out-of-hand. Recently, he had a few very apt remarks about the Dweck affair.
- He educates the English-speaking Jewish public (and some Gentiles) about the beauty, meaning and potential of authentic Judaism and how to rescue those qualities from complacency and laziness. (Get his free weekly Thoughts To Ponder!) This is frequently through the Internet but often too at lectures and forums in Israel, all over the Americas, in the UK and the Netherlands, in Jewish communities and at Limmud.
- He points out possibilities to have Judaism solve life’s problems instead of just creating them. Some come from stellar Sephardic rabbis who are often unknown to or ignored by Ashkenazic rabbis.
- He attracts and embraces dozens of serious Jewish teachers who associate themselves with the David Cardozo (named after his father) Academy. He is not only well-connected but also well-read in the subject of alternative Orthodox Judaism.
- He is a man with the finest character traits around: honest, humble, friendly, patient, generous, proud, tolerant, refined, caring, hard-working, brave and witty, to name a number of them. On top of that, he’s very knowledgeable and brilliant.
- He leads a Think Tank whose members he stimulates to think independently and educates to think critically and he uses them as a sounding board. He comes up with new approaches all the time.
- A rabbi and philosopher by training, he writes and speaks accessibly for scholars and laypersons alike. Behind his every word and simple phrases, often flowery but never to hide a lack of content, lies often a wealth of deep thought and understanding.
- He is especially alert about where Orthodox Judaism needs to think anew about the Jewish State, women and modernity. Further, he often points out that rabbis should be more open-minded, look around more, allow for more spirituality and meaning and be less fixated on Jewish Law and adherence.
- He is the Orthodox rabbi who wants deregulation because over-regulation has killed the spirit and flexibility of Judaism. He sees that Judaism always was revolutionary and trail-blazing while many have now reduced it to soothing conservative irrelevance.
- He poses the questions stale dosed-off book-quoting unthinking Judaism can’t answer. His Judaism returns to art of asking questions – the basis of Talmud and Haggadah – instead of accumulating answers that inspire no one.
- He warns that Jewish learning nowadays has often exchanged contemplation, bold thinking, searching for meaning, depth, quality and wonderment, enjoying the intellectual struggle and tolerating the uncertainty for recycling, collecting and memorizing set snap easy shallow (and sometimes wrong) answers, embalming the great revolutionary ideas of old and misidentifying them as information to be mastered and not pondered and regarding any novel thought as apostasy and heresy, maintaining a pretense of vitality at best. He has stressed often that Abraham’s humanism comes before Moses’ legality and that we must first master the basics of being humane and wise before we can build Jewish richness and holiness on top of it.
- He wants to revitalize Judaism. Presently, unprecedented numbers return to religious observance but even more (young) people walk out on it – often the brightest and those most seeking. He wants the amending of Jewish Law to return to being creative, an art and to incorporate and base itself on the mysteries of life and the spirit and meaning of the Commandments – which doesn’t always mean striving for leeways and shortcuts.
- He wants Judaism to return to serving G-d instead of worshipping Jewish Law. He stresses that prayer should be transformative – of us and not just traditional exercises. (I would even say: Why is Jewish prayer not always like THIS?!) He also disputes that G-d needs to behave nicely in accordance to our ideas.
- He thinks that Atheist or Reform answers are too superficial for Orthodoxy, but he does want close cooperation with other Jewish and non-Jewish streams, including Hinduism.
- He wants Judaism to lose its defensive Diaspora mentality. It must engage with the Jewish State and the problems of modernity. It should return to being relevant and able to inspire, guide and lead scientists, philosophers and politicians, instead of just defending itself against them to stay barely alive.
- He is abhorred about how insensitive and backward Orthodox rabbis often treat (or ignore) women, the issues of a get, female rabbis, homosexuals, (mass) conversions, intermarriage, etc. More than the teacher, he is the prophet who warns that important things are stagnating or not going in the right direction. He’s a brave unafraid (the Ban on Spinoza can be lifted) uncompromising fighter for what is true and valuable, terrifying those who are fake or superficial.
- He has visions for a Jewish Democratic State rather than attacking democracy and about the importance of the separation between Synagogue and State. We suggest to do away with the Chief Rabbis and Shmitta and more honor the soldiers. His voice makes many people happy and relieved and needs amplifying.
- He cares more than he likes. The greatest wrongs in the world are often not people who act wrongly but rather, many more people being apathetic, indifferent and unaware. He is the shofar trying to wake up, motivate and engage enough people so that change can happen.
- He has ambitious plans to speed up the wider dissemination of his teachings (Hebrew translations, podcast, video, public Think Tank meetings) and that all costs money. Be part of this movement. Something you can speak about with pride in a couple of decades.
If you love Judaism but Judaism doesn’t seem to love you, he’s your man!
What a pleasure to support someone generous and honest. Do it today.
All donations are tax deductible in Israel, the US and the Netherlands.
We read enough of what is wrong in the world. We need to connect us to people who do something about it. Look no further. Cardozo does it.
Full disclosure: Rabbi Cardozo and I are friends for many years already.
The above text is solely mine and my responsibility.
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