Temple Israel celebrates new rabbi

Rabbi Barbara Block reviews a section of the Torah. “We have the Torah, but the beauty of Torah is the interpretation. Whether you’re Orthodox or Reform, there’s always interpretation.” Ed Peaco/For the News-Leader

Rabbi Barbara Block reviews a section of the Torah. “We have the Torah, but the beauty of Torah is the interpretation. Whether you’re Orthodox or Reform, there’s always interpretation.” Ed Peaco/For the News-Leader

Published in the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, March 7, 2015
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Rabbi Block said she’s mindful of the fact that Temple Israel is the only synagogue in the Springfield area; it must accommodate worshipers from many perspectives and cultures of Judaism — including Orthodox, Conservative and Reform movements. While this practice of “big-tent Judaism” may seem challenging, for Rabbi Block, it’s an enriching experience.

The longstanding tradition of interpreting the Torah, the foundational text of Judaism, encourages a diversity of views, and it fosters deeper relationships among worshipers, she said. This dialogue takes place among congregants in variously scheduled study sessions.

“One of the beautiful things is you get to know the other people in your community through this discussion in a way that you never do sitting in a service or chatting after the service,” she said. “You get to know people in a deep way, who they are, where they’re coming from. We don’t have to enforce any kind of uniformity.”

View the complete article while it remains accessible at News-Leader.com.

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