Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Sunday, 17 January 2016

And That's Their Red Line?

Non-religious and religious Jews in North America define Judaism quite differently.  For many of our non-religious brethren, Judaism is a religion like Chrisianity, something you practice rituals from when you attend "temple" on Saturdays and when holidays roll by but not a fundamental party of one's identity.  For others, it's an ethnic identity like Italians being Italian.
As a result North America has proven a fertile ground for groups such as Reform and Conservativism which present a Judaism that claims to allow a person to be a good Jew in the absence of binding obedience to Torah and halacha.  And then there's the Reconstructionists.
Like Humanist Judaism, Reconstructionist Judaism can only really call it that because Moshe Rabeinu, a"h, did not take out a binding copyright on the word "Judaism" the day after bringing the Torah down from Sinai.  As anyone familiar with the movement knows, Reconstructionists reject pretty much about every fundamental belief that the Torah requires a Jew to have to be considered in good standing.  It really is a different religion with secular liberalism as its guiding role, not Jewish values.  As a result one should not be surprised to find their "rabbis" espousing values antithetical to Torah.
What I always find curious about groups like this is their red lines.  One you've dumped the Torah as an external, unyielding standard, why does the answer to any question have to "no"?  Why are there suddenly any limits other than those things forbidden by law in the surrounding society?
And that's why I was surprised to read this on line:
Seven rabbis have quit the Reconstructionist movement in the wake of an announced policy that allows rabbis to marry non-Jewish partners.
Several synagogues are also discussing potential responses to the new policy, the Forward reported over the weekend.
The policy was announced in September after the faculty of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College voted that having a non-Jewish partner would no longer bar qualified applicants from admission to the rabbinical college or from graduating as rabbis.
According to the Forward, one of the seven rabbis who has withdrawn from the movement is Rabbi Reba Carmel, who serves at a nondenominational synagogue in Warrington, Pennsylvania. She told the Forward that the policy allowing intermarried rabbis is “detrimental to the Jewish people in America.”
Really?  They've dumped Shabbos, kashrus, and taharas hamishpacha along with approving of lifestyles the Torah strictly disapproves of.  That's all okay for a Reconstructionist "rabbi" but to be intermarried is suddenly assur?  How does one justify this selectivity?  Encouraging assimilation is fine but living it to its logical conclusion isn't?
Perhaps this is another reason the Torah observant don't take the non-observant movements seriously.  When you have a"Let's make it up as we go along" method it's kind of hard to.


Mr. Cohen said...

The Jewish Bible [Tanach] condemns marriage between Jews and non-Jews 12 times: {1}Exodus 34 {2}Bamidbar 25 {3}Deuteronomy 7 {4}Proverbs 2 {5}Proverbs 5 {6}Proverbs 6 {7}Proverbs 7 {8}Ezra 9 {9}Nehemiah 10 {10}Nehemiah 13 {11}Hosea 5 {12}Malachi 2.

The great Jewish scholar and leader Ezra literally pulled his hair out when he learned that Jews were intermarrying with non-Jews (Bible, Book of Ezra, chapter 9), even though there were only 400 intermarriages out of a population of 4 million Jews – less than a 1% intermarriage rate.

The great Biblical Jewish leader NEHEMIAH beat up Jews who intermarried with non-Jews, and also tore their hair out (Bible, Book of Nehemiah, chapter 13, verse 25).

NEHEMIAH was never criticized for this by any prophet, even though prophecy was still active in his time.

The Biblical Prophet MALACHI cursed Jewish men who took non-Jewish girlfriends (Bible, Book of Malachi, chapter 2).

Please help Shurat HaDin SUE the terrorists in court:

Shurat HaDin’s victory for Israel on FaceBook:

Thank you!

PS: * * * *

RAM said...

These movements run on a constantly shifting balance of "go with the flow" and "do your thing." Now and then, some aspect of traditional Jewish behavior appeals to some of them, but not, of course, because of a desire to fulfil a Divine command.

Shira Salamone said...

Speaking as a Conservative Jew, I think that having an intermarried rabbi is assur/forbidden because intermarriage can determine whether or not the children are halachically Jewish and is inconsistent with promoting Jewish identity . Dumping Shabbas, eating treif, and not following the laws of family purity don't change a child's (or an adult's) halachic status as a Jew. You might not appreciate that answer, but I think that's why many of us non-Orthos draw the line at intermarried rabbis.

Shira Salamone said...

" . . . having an intermarried rabbi is assur/forbidden because intermarriage . . . is inconsistent with promoting Jewish identity." Seriously, if even the *rabbi* doesn't think that "marrying in" is important, why should the rest of us? I don't know how this works among the Orthodox, but among many of us non-Orthos, our clergy are considered role models. What kind of role model can an intermarried rabbi or cantor possibly be?