Democratic Convention: Demystifying Judaism

Joseph Lieberman's rise may change how America thinks of Jewish practice

The sensation surrounding the elevation of Senator Joseph Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, to a national ticket lies less in the noun than in the adjective: Jews in American public life are old news; Orthodox Jews are not.

Had Al Gore chosen, say, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin or Senator Dianne Feinstein, there would have been a stir about a barrier broken. But just a stir. It would not have been much of a barrier. After all, how much of a fuss was there about Jewishness when Richard Nixon made Henry Kissinger Secretary of State?

Secular Jews, for whom Jewishness is little...

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