Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Sammy the Jew

And more in the new ‘Text/Context’

Print Email
Sammy Davis, Jr.(Sammy Davis Jr.)

The new Text/Context, which is published in a partnership between The Jewish Week and Nexbook Inc., dropped. The theme is how contemporary Judaism does (and doesn’t) accommodate converts as well as members with disabilities. Samuel G. Freedman has a fascinating essay that, using the example of Sammy Davis, Jr., proposes that the contemporary liberal American emphasis on cultural Judaism is misguided:

This secular/cultural definition of Jewish identity was perceived as being, for lack of a better word, liberal. The reason is that the alternative definition, one based in religious practice, was so easy to dismiss as conservative. What could be more exclusionary, after all, then all those rules and regulations and mitzvot? What was more retrograde than a Jewish life based on a never-ending tzitzit check?

But what if we were wrong and Sammy Davis Jr. was right? What if secular/cultural Jewish identity is the exclusionary sort and religious Jewish identity is the radically inclusive one?

Plus Tablet Magazine contributing editor Eddy Portnoy on Jewish tradition’s shameful tendency to ignore deaf Jews; Andrea Myers on how to approach Jews who have turned away from their faith; and much more.

Text/Context July 2011 [The Jewish Week]

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Bill Pearlman says:

I’d take one Sammy Davis jr. over a milllion Noam Chomskys, Norm Finkelsteins, and Phil ( Hitler should have finished the job ) Weiss’s.

Terrific. Thanks for highlighting this, Marc!

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Sammy the Jew

And more in the new ‘Text/Context’

More on Tablet:

11 Non-Jewish Celebrities—and 2 Jewish Ones—Show Off Their Hebrew Tattoos

By Marjorie Ingall — You don’t have to be Jewish to sport Hebrew ink. But some of these stars should have thought twice before going under the needle.