||OUR TOPIC POSES two key questions. First, what are the pitfalls of writing from within our own religious tradition? Second, what are the advantages? In thinking about the Jewish tradition, my mind conjures up and fixes upon a quotation from Sheriff Wyatt Earp, upholder of law and order in Dodge City, Kansas, and later in Tombstone, Arizona: "The law," he said, "is a funny thing." Similarly, being Jewish and writing from within a Jewish tradition is a funny thing. Jews have no hierarchical structure. We don't really belong to an organized religion. Individual congregations affiliate with different movements-the Reform movement, the Conservative movement, the Orthodox movement, and the Reconstructionists. Ties are loose, nonbinding. Each congregation is a body, a community unto itself. The rabbi's authority in each congregation is simply the power to persuade. When our rabbi in Salt Lake City was asked by a member of the First Presidency: "How far does your authority extend?" the rabbi responded, "Never beyond the kitchen of my own home-and usually not even there.