“Being Jewish is like having a 5 legged table”

The 5 Legged Table is Avraham Infeld’s metaphor for describing a strong and stable Jewish identity and according to Avraham, there are 5 components, or “legs” that combine to make up a person’s Jewish identity; Memory, Family, Covenant, Israel and Hebrew.

This Page is dedicated to exploring the metaphor of the 5 Legged Table and Avraham Infeld’s teachings about Jewish life and identity. Click on each “leg” to find video material connected to these ideas, and read responses to them from Jewish educators and leaders from around the world.

Join us by sharing your ideas and comments with us and reading the thoughts of Jewish educators and leaders on these questions.

Building a Strong Table

Choosing at least three of the components of Jewish identity, or “legs” provides a stable platform for living a Jewish life and contributing to the world. Less than three, and your “table” or platform of Jewish identity will topple over; more than three makes it more sturdy.

Choosing three also means that every Jew shares at least something with every other Jew, even though they may look different and have very different lifestyles, cultures and customs. Despite the difference in Jewish expression, Jews share some of these elements through the way they build their own identities. Which “legs” make up the foundation for your Jewish identity?