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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777
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Letter to a Reform Jew

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But that has changed and, today, my brother/sister, Reform poses a national threat to the Jewish people and a permanent one that opens the door to the division of the Jewish people into two nations that will not be able to marry or join together in the special unity of Judaism or Jewishness. And that, my brother/sister, is the greatest sin and crime that a Jew can ever commit.

Of course, you would never dream of such a horror and, of course, you are not to blame. Not you but your leaders, those who are your rabbis and lay guides — they are the ones who stand poised on the brink of national murder. And only you can stop them.

For the Reform rabbinate has gone beyond the destruction of those personal commandments that could be repaired by tshuva, penitence. They have entered the Holy of Holies, the area of national life, and endangered the very existence of a Jewish people that is one and indivisible. It began with their tampering with the laws of marriage and divorce, and their opening the doors to illegitimacy and bastardy. Their decisions to marry civilly-divorced Jews, previously wed but who had not obtained the halachic get (divorce) that is mandatory, opened the doors to “marriages” by women who were still married, in the eyes of Judaism, to their former spouses, and worse, the creation of a generation of mamzerim, illegitimate children unable to marry other Jews. Only an incredibly brave presumption of Reform weddings as invalid because of the lack of proper witnesses saved us from wholesale catastrophe until now.

But Reform leaders continued their chipping away at the sanctuary of Jewish unity. Adopted children, children of gentile mothers, were passed off as Jewish by the temple rabbis to well-meaning and hungry Jewish couples. And so, today, who knows how many gentiles, adopted by Jewish parents, walk in our midst with both they and their parents, AND US, sincerely believing that they are Jewish? The Reform rabbis who — for their own psychological reasons — needed to divest themselves of Sinai, had begun the process of bringing the mountain crashing down upon you. Upon us.

And on it went, the juggernaut of national destruction. As the cancer of intermarriage — created in such great measure by the Reform rabbis and their interfaith and melting pot crusades, spiced by the pepper of vapid and empty religious “education” conceived in Bar Mitzvah and buried in ostentatious fraud — spread, the rabbis rubbed our wounds in vinegar by healing them with the Band-Aid of “conversion.”

Thanks to the emptiness of the “Judaism” they had experienced in their Reform and Conservative temples, young Jews by the hundreds of thousands threw off their albatross (as they saw it) of Judaism and happily chased gentiles as future partners in marriage.

At first, the Jewish parents were horrified. (The irony is exquisitely heartbreaking. The same parents who had broken with the traditional Judaism that, alone, might have saved their children through Jewish knowledge and pride; the same parents who had thrust their children into the melting pot of Reform Judaism, interfaith services and the public school; now were heartbroken over the results of their folly: their children marrying gentiles. Did they really expect anything else?)

But as the stubborn children refused to give up their beloved gentile, the desperate parents snatched at the last straw, the broken reed of “conversion.” It mattered little to them that a “conversion” of a gentile made merely to soothe the tired conscience of the future Jewish mother or father-in-law was a travesty. The main thing was to be able to face the neighbors, family, friends and conscience with the fait accompli of a “Jewish” son/daughter-in-law…

And so, the Reform rabbis were faced with increasing demands for “conversions.” Of course, many of these rabbis never insisted upon them. Many Reform rabbis were prepared to perform an interfaith marriage without requiring a conversion (in the name of universal brotherhood and humanism). But others, with a modicum of Jewish conscience still clinging to them, refused that and demanded “conversion.” The halachic insistence that a gentile who sought to become Jewish must agree to abide by that Jewish halacha was, of course, not relevant, since the rabbis themselves did not recognize the binding character of halacha. And so, the great mass conversion began, a mockery of the “convert,” of the families and of Judaism itself. Many tens of thousands of gentiles now became “Jews,” and the first step had been taken to that most horrifying of dangers — a split in the Jewish people.

Tzvi Fishman

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. His recent movie "Stories of Rebbe Nachman" The DVD of the movie is available online.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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  1. Muriel Coudurier-Curveur says:

    I thinks this letter shows a dangerous hatred of those who differ from you in their understanding of Judaism. While I am not a Reform Jew, I think that it isn't for you, but for Hashem alone to decide who is a Jew among those who claim to be. According to your letter, the Reform Jews are destroying the unity of Israel, and I disagree with you: All Jews, from the most ignorant -or deluded- to the most enlightened in the Torah, are part of Israel. I fear more those who profess their hatred of Israel, like the pro-Palestinian extreme left and the Neturei Karta, than I do those who are loyal to both Israel and the Torah, whether or not they have same conception of Mitzvot I have.

  2. Gideon Jones says:


    Did you even read the letter? I believe Kahane openly stated at least two-separate times that Reform Jews are as Jewish as Orthodox and vice versa. It is the Reform Movement which perverts and otherwise simply throws out long standing Jewish Law which is the problem. I suggest you re-read the letter.

    But since you are having trouble I'll give you the Cliff's Notes version: Judaism has always said that in order to be considered a Jew you have to have come from a Jewish mother or converted in a very specific way. The leadership of Reform Judaism however has perverted that long standing Jewish Law to serve their own purposes stating (without basis) that neither is necessary. Thus as a result individuals who are not actually Jewish according to Judaism itself (Jewish Law) grown up thinking they are Jewish, and having children who believe the same & so on. The problem is that Judaism isn't some game where the Reform Movement can just change the rules as they please – it is a G-d given religion. So, although generation of people might think they are Jews, they won't actually be counted as such because they do not satisfy the legal requirements.

    Thus, the perversion of Jewish Law by Reform Judaism (not Reform Jews) has created a situation where those following Jewish Law (often called Orthodox) won't be able to marry the actually non-Jewish so-called "Jews". This creates a horrible division between the One Nation of Israel. ("Israel" meaning Am Yisroel (the People), not Medinat Yisroel (The State)).

  3. Muriel Coudurier-Curveur says:

    Thank you for the clarification

  4. what was it like when The Temple stood…Hashem the same yesterday today and forever….who is the closest to this, some are richer in wisdom leaving lies behind , who's evolving into what and joining who.

  5. Interesting opinion. However, I don't think Kahane understands the complex challenges liberal Jews face living in an open free society. Judaism has always adapted to changing times. Yet the fundamental difference lies on the belief that Torah is or is not divine from Sinai.

  6. Max Chaiken says:

    Disgusting and enraging.

  7. what was so disgusting and ENRAGING???

  8. Max Chaiken says:

    Responding in full would take time that I don't have right now. But I will say that this is little more than hatred—שנאת חינם—for any Jew who does not believe exactly as Fishman does. This kind of hatred is not just about patrilineal descent or the fairness of women being allowed to initiate divorce. The State of Israel is unquestionably doing the right thing by recognizing Reform Rabbis, in my opinion, whether or not Fishman and the Orthodox world likes it or agrees with it.

  9. But a JEWISH State recognizing the Reform movement would be like the United States recognizing Communism. They're two complete opposites.

  10. Max Chaiken says:

    I'm sorry to say that to me, at least, your comments are hateful and misguided.

  11. I think you're a bit extremist and narrow minded. I never said anything hateful, racist or negative whatsoever. If you are capable of hearing a different opinion then do so… if not, then you're the hateful one. The "thing" that made Jews what they are… Jews… is the Torah. The Torah says (for example) no pork (EVER). Then a group comes and says NO!. we will eat it because we don't believe the Torah is right on this one. It's basically denying the basis of what made the Jewish Nation. So then it's evidently like two complete opposites.

  12. Doug Molina says:

    Thank you. Never argue with an idiot.

  13. Muriel Coudurier-Curveur says:

    La critique est aisée, mais l'art est difficile. Rather than insulting me, it would have been more constructive to let us know your actual thought on the matter. I may be an idiot, but at least I try to think for myself

  14. Misha Ben-david says:

    How cynical and narrow minded. I am a liberal Jew ( not reform ) and I don't care what the ultra orthodox think about me and my practices. I do care when they seek to make me a second class citizen.

  15. Misha Ben-david says:

    How cynical and narrow minded. I am a liberal Jew ( not reform ) and I don't care what the ultra orthodox think about me and my practices. I do care when they seek to make me a second class citizen.

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