January 17, 2007

Reform Judaism Exposed

I don't know why I am bringing this up, but I just thought about the time I applied for a teaching job at a "reform temple" in New York City. It was for an adult education class and I thought I could contribute by teaching Jewish History. At the interview, the female "rabbi" told me to not wear my kippa and... get this... not tell the head rabbi that I keep kosher or he would make fun of me.

Here's where Hashem's hand is seen. When I was done with the interview I saw a young woman in a long skirt standing in front of the gaudy "sanctuary." In a thick Russian accent she asked me what time mincha was. I explained to her that it was a reform temple and not a proper place for her. I then directed her to an Orthodox Shul.

I know I rail against Neturei Karta a lot. They make me ashamed to be Jewish. But there is another huge cancer in the Jewish world and that is "reform" Judaism. The world considers this "sect" as one of the branches of Judaism. How untrue that is.

Let me ask you. Do you know of any Muslim sects that claim to be Muslim but reject the Quran or the Hadith? Do you know of any sect that says Muhammed was not a prophet? No. The philosophical differences between Sunni and Shi'a are large, but neither denies the divinity of Allah, the prophethood of Muhammed or the holiness of the Quran.

Do you know of any Christian sect that does not believe in the so-called New Testament? Denies Jesus? Does not believe in G-d? No. The philosophical differences between the Catholics and the Protestants are also pretty big, but they both agree on the basic tenants of their faith.

Now let's look at "reform" Judaism. here's a quote from the Declaration of Principles of the 1885 Pittsburgh Conference. (underlining is mine)

Reform rabbis from around the United States met from November 16 through November 19, 1885 with Isaac Mayer Wise presiding. The meeting was declared the continuation of the Philadelphia Conference of 1869, which was the continuation of the German Conference of 1841 to 1846. The rabbis adopted the following seminal text:

1. We recognize in every religion an attempt to grasp the Infinite, and in every mode, source or book of revelation held sacred in any religious system the consciousness of the indwelling of God in man. We hold that Judaism presents the highest conception of the God-idea as taught in our Holy Scriptures and developed and spiritualized by the Jewish teachers, in accordance with the moral and philosophical progress of their respective ages. We maintain that Judaism preserved and defended midst continual struggles and trials and under enforced isolation, this God-idea as the central religious truth for the human race.

2. We recognize in the Bible the record of the consecration of the Jewish people to its mission as the priest of the one God, and value it as the most potent instrument of religious and moral instruction. We hold that the modern discoveries of scientific researches in the domain of nature and history are not antagonistic to the doctrines of Judaism, the Bible reflecting the primitive ideas of its own age, and at times clothing its conception of divine Providence and Justice dealing with men in miraculous narratives.

3. We recognize in the Mosaic legislation a system of training the Jewish people for its mission during its national life in Palestine, and today we accept as binding only its moral laws, and maintain only such ceremonies as elevate and sanctify our lives, but reject all such as are not adapted to the views and habits of modern civilization.

4. We hold that all such Mosaic and rabbinical laws as regulate diet, priestly purity, and dress originated in ages and under the influence of ideas entirely foreign to our present mental and spiritual state. They fail to impress the modern Jew with a spirit of priestly holiness; their observance in our days is apt rather to obstruct than to further modern spiritual elevation.

5. We recognize, in the modern era of universal culture of heart and intellect, the approaching of the realization of Israel s great Messianic hope for the establishment of the kingdom of truth, justice, and peace among all men. We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community, and therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any of the laws concerning the Jewish state.

6. We recognize in Judaism a progressive religion, ever striving to be in accord with the postulates of reason. We are convinced of the utmost necessity of preserving the historical identity with our great past. Christianity and Islam, being daughter religions of Judaism, we appreciate their providential mission, to aid in the spreading of monotheistic and moral truth. We acknowledge that the spirit of broad humanity of our age is our ally in the fulfillment of our mission, and therefore we extend the hand of fellowship to all who cooperate with us in the establishment of the reign of truth and righteousness among men.

7. We reassert the doctrine of Judaism that the soul is immortal, grounding the belief on the divine nature of human spirit, which forever finds bliss in righteousness and misery in wickedness. We reject as ideas not rooted in Judaism, the beliefs both in bodily resurrection and in Gehenna and Eden (Hell and Paradise) as abodes for everlasting punishment and reward.

8. In full accordance with the spirit of the Mosaic legislation, which strives to regulate the relations between rich and poor, we deem it our duty to participate in the great task of modern times, to solve, on the basis of justice and righteousness, the problems presented by the contrasts and evils of the present organization of society.

We are the only religion who has a majority of adherents who reject the very tenants of that faith. The Thirteen Principles of Faith as outlined by RaMBaM are as follows: (underlining is mine)

1. I believe with perfect faith that G-d is the Creator and Ruler of all things. He alone has made, does make, and will make all things.

2. I believe with perfect faith that G-d is One. There is no unity that is in any way like His. He alone is our G-d He was, He is, and He will be.

3. I believe with perfect faith that G-d does not have a body. physical concepts do not apply to Him. There is nothing whatsoever that resembles Him at all.

4. I believe with perfect faith that G-d is first and last.

5. I believe with perfect faith that it is only proper to pray to G-d. One may not pray to anyone or anything else.

6. I believe with perfect faith that all the words of the prophets are true.

7. I believe with perfect faith that the prophecy of Moses is absolutely true. He was the chief of all prophets, both before and after Him.

8. I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah that we now have is that which was given to Moses.

9. I believe with perfect faith that this Torah will not be changed, and that there will never be
another given by G-d.

10. I believe with perfect faith that G-d knows all of man's deeds and thoughts. It is thus written (Psalm 33:15), "He has molded every heart together, He understands what each one does."

11. I believe with perfect faith that G-d rewards those who keep His commandments, and punishes those who transgress Him.

12. I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah. How long it takes, I will await His coming every day.

13. I believe with perfect faith that the dead will be brought back to life when G-d wills it to happen.

It is clear that "reform" Judaism does not hold these beliefs.

There was a story I hear from a Rabbi in Harrisburg, PA. The Jews for Yushke had come to town and the reform and conservative "rabbis" came to the Orthodox Rabbaim and asked for a show of unity against the cancer that had invaded the town. One of the frum Rabbis kindly told the "rabbis" that he could not join them. How were they any better? At least the J for J's acknowledged G-d and the Torah as being true!

Patrilineal descent, fake conversions, etc. this will have a major impact on the Jewish world in future generations as people's yichus will not be clear. This is a huge problem.

And yet, the Israeli Government is allowing the "reform" movement into Israel. They are shaking the very foundation of the State by allowing anything other than Torah-true Judaism into the country. It is high time we, as G-d fearing Jews stand up and make our voices heard.


Anonymous said...

Glad to see you think you have all the answers and show tolerance and understanding.

Very sad!

Your xenophobia against Reform Jews in Israel and your disdain for Reform Jews and Reform Judaism is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Torah is truth and it does have all the answers.

How can we show tolerance when the very essence of reform judaism is to destroy the torah? There can be NO tolerance for that!

Yashar Koach to Judah!

RRB said...

Reform 'Judaism' is dying. It doesn't matter whether they are accepted in Israel. Their position on intermarriage and disavowance of the mitzvahs alone will seal their fate. This does not obviate the requirement that Jews love one another (regardless of observance), however, to accept the Reform and Convervative doctrines as valid forms of Judaism would be silly and is not xenophobic.

Anonymous said...

Great article!

Anonymous said...

I agree totally! I am a Gentile and until recently I was a happy convert candidate on a course at a reform synagogue. I was told that Reform is the modern Judaism and that Orthodox Jews are a bunch of nutters. Now I have come to realise that the only form of Judaism is Orthodox Judaism. I will strive for 5, 10, 15 years or as long as it takes until I have converted to Orthodox Judaism because that is the only way to convert! Reform seems to be made up of people who are assimilationists who feel a bit bad about it and therefore want just a shell of their wonderful religion to live in to make themselves feel better. It is very sad, there are some really lovely people in reform - but they are profoundly mislead I feel.

Anonymous said...

How do you rconcil your orthodox non-adherence to the commandments to "stoning." Have you not, not followed the mitvah of not taking away from the commandments? If your Rav says that is of another time, how can you believe that the others are not of another time? While one can believe the Torah will not change, and it won't, one can believe that the Jews change the Torah- we do not stone people. 1 example