January 31, 2007

January 19, 2007

More on "Reform" Judaism

Anonymous posted:

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

The definition of xenophobia is: "an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange."

Hmmmm, maybe he/she is correct.

"Reform" Judaism is strange and foreign to Torah observance. It does not adhere to the basic principals and rules of the religion, therefore it is not "of" the religion. Christianity is closer to Judaism than "reform" in that the believe in G-d and the Torah as being from Him.

From Simpletoremember.com:

"The second-oldest extant Jewish movement is Reform. The grandfather of Reform was Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786). Although Mendelssohn never publicly rejected the Torah’s or the oral tradition’s Divine origin, perhaps portentously, four out of six of Mendelssohn’s surviving children converted to Christianity.[6] In a parallel event, one of Mendelssohn’s greatest students, David Friedlander (1765-1834), wrote to Pastor Teller, Counsellor of the Prussian Ministry of Religion, on behalf of himself and several other Jewish householders, offering to join the Lutheran Church. Only after Pastor Teller rejected Friedlander’s request for conversion did this student of Mendelssohn set himself to the task of reforming his own religion.[7]

What Mendelssohn hesitated to say publicly about Mesorah, Abraham Geiger (1810-1874), the most influential of Reform’s second generation, boldly proclaimed. In 1837, Geiger called the first Reform rabbinical conference in Wiesbaden, Germany, and declared: “The Talmud must go, the Bible, that collection of mostly so beautiful and exalted human books, as a divine work must also go.”[8] With this declaration, Reform became the first known group in more than 3,100 years of Jewish history to deny the Torah’s divine origin.[9] The Reform rejected the Mesorah.

Shortly after Geiger organized German Reform, his American counterpart, Isaac Mayer Wise (1819-1900) launched the movement in the New World. In an 1850 debate at the Charleston synagogue, he declared that he didn’t believe in a personal messiah or in bodily resurrection[10], both of which were pillars of the Jewish oral tradition.[11] In 1857, Wise published a new prayerbook which omitted the traditional prayers for a return to Zion, the rebuilding of the Temple, etc., paving the way for Reform’s official declaration of anti-Zionism in the Pittsburgh Platform of 1885.[12] Wise went on to found the Reform seminary, Hebrew Union College; and at their first graduation ceremony in 1883, Wise served “Little Neck Clams, Fillet de Boef, Salade de Shrimps, Grenouiles (frogs legs) a la Creme, and Ice Cream.”[13]

In mid-November, 1885, Dr. Kaufman Kohler convened the Pittsburgh conference of Reform leaders, hoping to formally establish official Reform positions on a range of subjects. Kohler attempted to set the conference’s tone and direction with statements like, “We consider their [the Holy scripture’s] composition, their arrangements and their entire contents as the work of men, betraying in their conceptions of the world shortcomings of their age;”[14] and “We must discard the idea as altogether foreign to us, that marriage with a Gentile is not legal.”[15] In his opening statement to the conference, Kohler told the assembly:

I do not for a moment hesitate to say it right here and in the face of the entire Jewish world that… circumcision is a barbarous cruelty which disfigures and disgraces our ancestral heirloom and our holy mission as priests among mankind. The rite is a national remnant of savage African life… Nor should children born of intermarriage be viewed any longer exclusively by the primitive national standard which determines the racial character of the child only by the blood of the mother… I can no longer accept the fanciful and twisted syllogisms of Talmudic law as binding for us… I think, if anywhere, here we ought to have the courage to emancipate ourselves from the thralldom of Rabbinical legality.[16]

With few modifications, the conference unanimously adopted Dr. Kohler’s proposed Pittsburg Platform. The Reform movement thus accepted “as binding only the moral laws” of Judaism, rejecting, “all such as not adapted to the views and habits of modern civilization.” The Platform swept away Jewish dietary laws because “they fail to impress the modern Jew.” Kohler was then selected to be President of the Hebrew Union College, and a year later he declared, “There is no justification whatsoever for… the most precious time of the student to be spent upon Halakhic discussions… [and] the inane discussions that fill so many pages of the Babylonian Gemarah.”[17] Under Kohler, the HUC preparatory department required no Talmud study, although students were asked to take courses in New Testament and Koran.[18] Kohler referred to Reform Jewry as “We who are no longer bound to the Shulhan Aruk.” [19] Within Reform circles, the Mesorah was then not only lost; it was anathema.

By 1972, Reform had drifted to the extreme. A survey commissioned that year by the Central Conference of American [Reform] Rabbis, reported that “Only one in ten [Reform] rabbis states that he believes in G-d ‘in the more or less traditional Jewish sense.’”[20] The remaining ninety-percent classified their faith with terms like: “Agnostic;” “Atheist;” “Bahai in spirit, Judaic in practice;” “Polydoxist;” “Religious Existentialist;” and “Theological Humanist.”[21] During the 1990 Central Conference of American [Reform] Rabbis’ debate on the ordination of professed homosexuals, an HUC professor reminded the committee that Leviticus 18 calls homosexual acts an abomination; but a member of the majority easily disposed of his objection, saying, “It’s pretty late in the day for scripture to be invoked in CCAR debates.”[22] The same year, about 25 percent of Reform leaders under age 40 had married gentiles.[23] By 1991, the overall intermarriage rate among Reform Jews had topped 60 percent.[24]"

[6] Alexander Altmann, Moses Mendelssohn: A Biographical Study (University of Alabama Press:1973), pp.4-5, 98.
[7] David Rudavsky, Modern Jewish Religious Movements: A History of Emancipation and Adjustment (New York: Behrman House, Inc., 1967), pp. 156-7.
[8] Michael A. Meyer, Response to Modernity: A History of the Reform Movement in Judaism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), p.91.
[9] Even the Sadducees, Karaites, and Christians professed belief in the Torah’s Divine origin; they only rejected the Orthodox oral tradition.
[10] David Rudavsky, Modern Jewish Religious Movements: A History of Emancipation and Adjustment (New York: Behrman House, Inc., 1967), p. 288.
[11] Maimonides’ introduction to Perek Chelek (Tractate Sanhedrin), Foundations #12 and #13.
[12] While the historical mainstream clung tightly to the dream of a return to Zion for 2,000 years of exile, the fifth item in the Pittsburgh Platform declares, “We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community, and therefore expect neither a return to Palestine nor the restoration of any of the laws concerning the Jewish state.” The movement softened its position in its 1937 Columbus Platform, but still feared offering enthusiastic encouragement to return from the Diaspora: “In all lands where our people live, they assume and seek to share loyally the full duties and responsibilities of citizenship… [yet] in the rehabilitation of Palestine we behold the promise of renewed life for many of our brethren.” In its 1976 San Francisco Platform, the Reform movement echoed this limited Zionism, “We encourage aliyah for those who wish to find maximum personal fulfillment in the cause of Zion,” immediately adding, “We demand that Reform Judaism be unconditionally legitimized in the State of Israel.”
[13] See John J. Appel, “The Trefa Banquet,” Commentary, February 1966, pp.75-78.
[14] Walter Jacob, ed., The Pittsburgh Platform in Retrospect: The Changing World of Reform Judaism, (Pittsburgh: Rodef Shalom Congregation Press, 1985), p.104.
[15] Ibid., p. 112.
[16] Ibid., p.101.
[17] Jack Wertheimer, ed., Tradition Renewed: A History of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, volume 2, (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1997), p. 550.
[18] Tradition Renewed, volume 2, p. 551.
[19] Ibid., p. 550.
[20] Theodore I. Lenin and Associates, Rabbi and Synagogue in Reform Judaism, (West Harford: Central Conference of American Rabbis, 1972), pp. 98-99.
[21] Ibid.
[22] Milton Himmelfarb, “What Do American Jews Believe” symposium, Commentary, August 1996, p. 35.
[23] Elliot Abrams, Faith or Fear, (New York: Free Press, 1997), p. 108.
[24] Egon Mayer, “Jewish Continuity in An Age of Intermarriage,” in Symposium on Intermarriage and Jewish Continuity, volume 1, Council of Jewish Federations General Assembly, Baltimore, MD, November 21, 1991.


It's Shailah and Teshuva time folks:

Do I need to keep kosher? Nope.

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.

Har HaBayit B'Yadeinu

Click HERE

January 16, 2007

Temple Aqueduct and Ritual Bath Excavated Opposite Temple Mount

From Arutz Sheva

Excavations being conducted opposite the Western Wall Plaza have uncovered an aqueduct that brought water to the Holy Temple, as well as a ritual bath from that period.

The never-before-excavated area is situated behind the Western Wall police station, adjacent to the plaza where millions of worshipers and tourists come each year to visit the Western Wall and Temple Mount.

The new archaeological find uncovers a missing link in the ancient water system, known as the "Lower Aqueduct." This system channeled water from Solomon’s Pools near Bethlehem (located several miles south of Jerusalem) directly to the national focal point of Jewish worship - the Temple Mount.

Solomon’s pools, situated just north of the modern Jewish town of Efrat, cover an area of about 7 acres and can hold three million gallons of water. A lengthy aqueduct conveyed the water from the lowest pool through Bethlehem, across the Gihon valley, along the western slope of the Tyropoeon valley, and into the cisterns underneath the Temple Mount. Today, the water from the pools reaches only Bethlehem due to the destruction of the aqueducts.

Current plans for the partition wall will leave Solomon’s Pools outside the area of Jewish sovereignty.

The plastered hewn-stone mikva (ritual bath) unearthed at the excavation is from the Second Temple period. It was originally situated in the foundation level of a private home during the time of the Second Temple. The ritual bath was damaged at a later date when the bedrock cliff opposite it was hewn into a vertical wall that rose up to a maximum height of about thirty feet.


Keep it going!

We have had an awesome response to the petition but we can do better! PLEASE sign it and then forward it to ten or more people with insstructions to do the same.

Thanks so much.


Is this how you want the world to see Orthodox Jews?

UK Mosques. Part 3 Of 3

UK Mosques. Part 2 Of 3

UK Mosques. Part 1 Of 3.

A must see.

Almost back...

During the time absorbing task of rebuilding my computer, I had some time to surf and came upon many an interesting and informative link. Enjoy.

Eye on Israel
Global Incident Map
Map of Yisrael and Yehudah (funny, doesn't look like Uganda)
Virtual Hebrew Keyboard
Yiddish Dictionary

Ki MiTzion Taytzai Torah:

Torah from Machon Meir (Window Media)
Torah from HaSulam (Windows Media)

January 10, 2007



Sorry for the no posts. I had a total Windows XP meltdown due to an "upgrade" that in hindsight wasn't such a great upgrade.

I will be up and running later in the week I'YH.

Meanwhile, leave me some baked goods and good wishes.