Rabbis and social justice activists working within the Jewish community regularly refer to traditional text as a means of supporting, explaining, or soliciting buy-in on a particular issue. In general, these texts are used in one of two ways: the "tzedek tzedek tirdof" approach, in which a verse is quoted as justification for a political position; and the pedagogic approach, in which the presenter has the dual goal of teaching the text while also convincing the audience of a position. This article examines both of these approaches, while also suggesting a third possibility, in which traditional text and contemporary issues are brought into dialogue with one another, such that each informs, clarifies, and challenges the other. This third way can be the locus for conversation among rabbis, academics, and social justice activists, whose knowledge and commitments can enrich and complicate one another's work.


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pp. 105-126
Launched on MUSE
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