Senator Joseph Lieberman gave his farewell speech from the Senate floor yesterday, with a 16-minute goodbye after 24 years of service.
Lieberman, an independent representing Connecticut, urged his colleagues to put aside partisan divide to accomplish real change. “It requires reaching across the aisle and finding partners from the opposite party,” he said. “That is what is desperately needed in Washington now.”
An Orthodox Jew, he also thanked God, “creator of life and law.”
Lieberman was a participant in Moment Magazine September/October 2011 symposium, in which we asked a range of participants in there can be Judaism without God. You can read what the senator had to say below, but click here to read other fascinating responses, ranging from Noah Feldman to Adin Steinsaltz.
“There can be Jews who are good people without belief in God, but ultimately Judaism cannot continue to exist without belief in God because the Jewish historical narrative depends on it. I was raised in a traditional setting, to believe that we’re judged—and this comes from the prophetic writings—by our behavior, not whether we observe this or that ritual, though we should observe those rituals. Judaism without God, in my opinion, will not remain Judaism and will ultimately vanish. My somewhat circular logic is that I accept the truth of the promise that God made to our forefathers and foremothers: that the Jewish people will be eternal. But I also believe that the promise was conditioned on a continuing belief in God.”