Struggling with our religious diversity

The Orthodox and Conservative movements' anger at Reform rabbis for endorsing gay and lesbian commitment ceremonies is understandable. It flies in the face of their Jewish sensibilities.

At the same time, Reform rabbis have a right to take such stances. They clearly have a different view of the practice of Judaism than that of their Orthodox colleagues. That shouldn't be a surprise.

The Reform movement demonstrated its independent streak in 1984 when it ruled that a child doesn't have to have a Jewish mother to be considered Jewish — as long as the father is Jewish and the child is raised in a Jewish home.

Last week's resolution of the Reform movement's Central Conference of American Rabbis in support of gay and lesbian unions is just a symbolic gesture. Many Reform rabbis, and even some Conservative ones, have been presiding over commitment ceremonies for a few years.

So where does that leave the Jewish people? Probably the same place we have been for many years now. We remain divided religiously.

Some Jews keep kosher; others don't. Some Jews go to synagogue; others don't. Some Jews observe Shabbat; others don't. The list of do's and don'ts goes on indefinitely. We may never know who's right. But maybe that's not important. Maybe the situation will take care of itself.

A practicing Orthodox Jew undoubtedly will not marry a Reform Jew. They live in two different worlds.

Maybe the Almighty will help us sort this out someday. Until then, we continue to be a diverse people.