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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
In the run-up to the 2003 Knesset election, as the now defunct Shinui ("Change") Party was taking off in the polls (it would go on to win 15 mandates), I had a conversation with a friend who worked for one of that party's top MKs.
The problem with Shinui, I berated him, was not that it sought to drastically alter the status quo on religious matters, nor that it challenged the haredi parties' stranglehold over leftwing and rightwing coalitions alike. Shinui's "sin" was that it had no positive agenda and, most crucially, no suggestions for how we can build a non-orthodox, yet authentically Jewish society. With all the sophistication of a rebellious teenager, the only thought on Shinui's mind seemed to be breaking loose from the chains of orthodox coercion.
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