Thursday, January 28, 2016

// // 9 comments

Reform Jews

​by Reb Gutman Locks   

 

      There were a number of fairly negative comments to my article encouraging the cantor in a Reform Temple to teach his students how to light Shabbos candles. One asked if he officiated at the Reform intermarriage weddings. Another pointed out that the Reform, unlike the Torah; claim if either parent is Jewish the children are Jewish, so it could be that the majority of so-called Reform Jews are not even Jewish.

     The fact is the comments are true, but there is an important lesson they are overlooking.

     There is a Torah concept of butal (nullification). In certain cases if a forbidden object is mixed with enough permitted objects that forbidden object is considered nullified and the mixture becomes permitted. But one of the many stipulations is that the single object is not unique, important, noticeable or such. If the object would be unique, then no matter how many other things are mixed with it that important object does not become nullified.

     Yes, many, perhaps even the majority of the "Reform Jews" are not Jewish, but many are Jewish, and we cannot ignore those Jewish souls who have not yet had to opportunity to learn the truth about Hashem and His Torah.

     If we are commanded to be a light unto the Nations, all the more so are we to be a light onto our own…no matter where we find them.

     

 

 

9 comments:

Josh said...

I like the concept of opening up the whole Torah. It's too bad that the Reform introduced it now, and because of it, the Orthodox will never adopt it.

My1ambition said...

What we like and what's good for the Torah are different. We need to respect the Torah and it's needs.

My1ambition said...

Gutman, I applaud your efforts. If a non Jew decides to act like a Jew, that's between them and Hashem. But if a Jew doesn't know how to perform a mitzvah, that's on all of us Jews to assist them.

If a goy puts on tefillin, nu nu. But if a Jew doesn't, how could we let that happen.

My1ambition said...

(and also there are no such thing as Reform Jews. Just Jews who go to Reform)

Anonymous said...

It is not the Reform Jews who are the problem, it is the Reform Movement who, from the start, had the chutzpah to think they had and have the right to change Torah,Halacha and Mesorah,in order for it to be convenient to their own wishes and desires. The Torah is Divine! There is not an even a letter or a vowel that can be changed, so the apikorsim thought they had one up on G-D and could do what they please; that would be fine if they did what they wanted to do on a personal level. They alone would be accountable to the Ribbono Shel Olam; but they are chotim u'machtim, causing the lost sheep to sin. As their movement continued on into the 20th and now 21st centuries, they became more extreme and have adopted every non-Jewish way of thinking, literally, going against the Laws of Torah and the worst part, bringing non-Jews into the fold and thus, creating non-Jewish offspring and making a mishmash of Judaism.

Unless that reform rabbi is thinking of giving up his position at the Reform Temple, his advice will have little effect on the congregants, unless he makes them understand that reform Judaism is no Judaism.

אורנה ניצבת. דוד מלך ישראל חי וקיים said...

There is not such thing as half kosher
1.meat
2.milk
3.wine.

Thats why we should not eat at the same table these 3 with non Jews or from non Jews.
1. Keeping SHABBAT its not to be compromised.
2. There is a clear halacha about being Tzenua. Same as milk with just little bit of pig milk is not kosher!.
3. Intermarriage its like drinking wine from a goy, the SOD is just a lie.

Now when 1.,2.,3. has been in anyway compromised, there is a long way to recognize when a false mashiah is at the head of the table.
Our tables should remain kosher, as the MIZBEAH of Hashem.
To keep 1., 2., 3., unchanged was our task in GALUT.
It was just a exercise to stay JEWISH, children of a KING.
Now there is a new ERA, with a physical LAND again that we have to inhabit to perform the MITZVOT for real.
MAY ALL THE REAL JEWISH NESHAMOT FIND A WAY HOME RIGHT NOW.
We can be one just in ERETZ ISRAEL to realy understand and live the 13 as one homogeneous people of Hashem.

LondonMale said...

My experience was one of being brought up in Reform in the UK, which approximates to Conservative in the USA.
Honestly most of the Jews I know from that community are not anti-religion, it is rather that they simply have not been educated in the Mitzvot to a deep level.

They simply do not know about a lot of Mitzvot or Minhagim or other traditions, so they do not do things other better educated Jews do, because the Reform community are not aware of what they could be doing!

Also, honestly, my experience as a Ball Teshva (currently a bit lapsed) was that the very strict strands were not for me. The Matmir strict "Stick" approach pushed me away, I felt more comfortable with a more "Carrot" approach. Focussing on what I could do to enhance spirituality, positive acts, rather than a foreboding glance or a long list of things not to do on pain of eternal hellfire.

I will speak my mind here...but those born observant really have to work to understand what it is like to be Baal Teshuva or non-religious Jew. There is a huge gulf in the approach to life...my main example is Shabbat.
Just going to a Shabbat Seudah in a religious house..the rituals that must be done are one thing, but the way conversation is around the table? That is a huge culture shock...and I found that it could too often be so strained...that there was a very repressed vibe..I just could not relax...I felt so uncomfortable.
I got very depressed.

It has pushed me back to a less observant life..one where I can be myself around my friends, I can laugh..I can breathe.

So when one of a religious background points the finger at "Reform Jews", it is not the approach to take. You really gotta walk a mile in someone else's moccasins to understand.

Better than finger pointing is a welcoming approach...invite someone over for a Melaveh Malka...or for a Chag or for a study session of some of the more vivid Talmudic stories...focus on the positive.

אורנה ניצבת. דוד מלך ישראל חי וקיים said...

You can compare doing MITZVOT by a real halachical Jew who was brought up in non observant environment to a baby that go true fases of development.
Some babies never crawl!!! ( they jump while sitting till someone reach their hands to help them to stand up and walk).
Some babies get up at 7 months and instead of walking step by step, they start to run!!!( now that's a funny Baal tshuva!!! ). For they have pleasure in the experience of running.
The point is we all need a real TZADIK to focus on the PATH, like the baby need a parent. Someone who truly love the Torah (the whole Orah Oraita) and its commandments.
We are Jews and Hashem stretch His hand to every baby Jew to start to walk in its time by giving us the TORAH in whole, because He love us enormously!!!

Anonymous said...

To London Male: No Jew should judge another Jew, but that aside, judging the Reform movement is just! Because of their movement going back 200 years is what caused this liberalism and assimilation which, in turn, has caused the epidemic of intermarriage and the loss of so many of our people. The last 200 years has brought freedom to most of the western nations, but has been detrimental to the Jewish people. Think about it, if there was never a 'reform' mvmt to Judaism (which is so oxymoronic), how many more Jews would be Jewishly educated and raised in traditional homes? The trouble is we have gone to extremes; even the old world religious European Jews have become insanely more stringent and, unfortunately, the same goes for the uninformed and unlearned Jew, who has gone extreme to the opposite end, disassociating themselves completely from Judaism and, in particular,from Torah.

You need not be chareidi or stringent to that extreme, but just be a part of klal Yisrael, performing as many mitzvot as you can, and also observing two main things, the Shabbat and kashrut! Remember, one mitzvah causes to do another mitzvah. You'll be fine.
What H' wants is His people to be connected to Him and to have total faith in Him and His Torah. G-D, Torah, Am Yisrael, Land of Israel = One!

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