Labels Are for Jackets

I enjoyed your article on the question of internal divisions in the movements and not judging a book by its cover (“Searching for Harmony,” Jan. 31). As I was hosting the first-ever AIPAC event in Howard County, Rabbi Morris Zimbalist — a JTS-ordained rabbi working for AIPAC — and I stood with my very close friend, Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sufrin of Chabad of Clarksville, who has asserted that “labels are for suit jackets, not Jews.”

I’m sure it’s said often in the Chabad world, but even as someone who deeply believes in denominations and what they represent, I also believe in the futility of labels, particularly when they’re being used as a hammer to pull down and not build up.

Yasher ko’ach!

Rabbi Craig Axler
Temple Isaiah

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