Chief Rabbi's successful Israel tour
In the weeks before the Chief Rabbi’s mission to Israel, there was an undercurrent of carping about the cost and the purpose of taking 49 rabbbis to the Jewish state. Now that it has happened, it should be hailed as a great success that was clearly worth the special fundraising and energy it needed. The Chief Rabbi has conspicuously lived up to the pluralistic ambition outlined at his inauguration. Following on from his attendance at Limmud last year, his meeting this week with Ruth Calderon, the founder of Israel’s first secular, male-female beit midrash was another example of an Orthodox leader comfortable enough in his own beliefs not to worry about meeting those who have a different view. This is not about moving leftwards or weakening Orthodoxy. It is about being sufficiently self-confident to be able to engage with others.