The Elusive Appeal to Authority in Rabbinic Counselling and Casework

By Richard J. Israel

Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA), National Conference of Jewish Communal Service, Summer 1969

Rabbis, both traditional and liberal, appeal to Judaism differently in order to make authoritative statements. However, these leaders should acknowledge that they are influenced by and participating in the conversation of their non-Jewish communities and applying "outside" values in their interpretation of Judaism. Likewise, social case workers should recognize their own societal and moral commitments in order to be effective and honest. While all counselors should strive to be non-judgmental and consciously aware of their own value systems, Jewish agencies nonetheless should not abandon commitments to the betterment of the Jewish community. These agencies are under no obligation to solve the problems of Jewish sectarianism, yet they are under obligation not to contribute to them.

Topic: Halakha, Jewish Law, Social Work, Rabbinic Counseling, Values

Name of Publication: Journal of Jewish Communal Service

Editor: Sherman, Sanford N.

Volume/Issue: Vol. 45/No. 4

Page Number(s): 303-311

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Genre: Speech/Address

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Israel, Richard J. The Elusive Appeal to Authority in Rabbinic Counselling and Casework. Journal of Jewish Communal Service. Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA),National Conference of Jewish Communal Service. Summer 1969: 303-311.


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