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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776
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Letter to a Reform Jew



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Rabbi Meir Kahane



Many Jews, both Orthodox and traditional, could no longer be sure of the authenticity of the Jewishness of the young man or woman their child had met. The first calls arose for the establishment of a sefer yuchsin, a documented genealogy that would have inscribed in it only those Jews who were clearly Jewish. The Reform rabbinate had set into motion the first step in the division of the Jewish people. And now the next step has been taken, and we are but moments before the midnight of Jewish collapse.

My fellow brother/sister, it is important that you know that your Reform rabbinate has now “ruled” that the child of a gentile mother and Jewish father is Jewish. My brother/sister, it is important that you know that Jewish Law clearly, starkly declares that ONLY the child of a Jewish mother can be considered Jewish. My fellow brother/sister, it is important that you know that your rabbis are moving to the day when I may no longer be sure that your child is my brother/sister.

Can you understand what I say to you? Do you appreciate the magnitude of the crime that the Reform rabbinate has committed? There can be no forgiveness for people who, through egoism or pressure, brazenly trample upon the National Law and who split us into two peoples, barred from marriage and joining together! And it is the same fraud that they perpetrated upon you when they disguised the efforts of religious Jews in Israel to insist on conversion only according to halacha, as aimed at making Reform Jews second-class or non-Jews.

Nonsense! Any Jew is as much a Jew as any other, in the eyes of Torah law, and no Jew who calls himself “Reform” is any less of a Jew than the one who is “Orthodox.” The issue never was one of the Reform Jew but of the definition of a Jew per se and of the status of the Reform rabbi. The real anger of the Reform rabbis was not that the Orthodox did not recognize the Reform Jew but that they recognize the illegitimacy of the Reform rabbi. Any Reform Jew who is born of a Jewish mother is recognized as being FULLY JEWISH. And any Reform Jew in Israel can set up his own temple (there are many such institutions there). Anyone can set up his own form of service and hire his own leader of the service whom he calls a rabbi. His rights are in no way stopped.

What the religious Jews in Israel do not recognize is the Reform rabbi and his right to manipulate the law. The fact that a Reform Jew wishes to adopt a counterfeit form of “Judaism” is his affair. But the religious Jew is not bound by that. The State of Israel does not have to recognize on an official level the falsehood that every Jew may adopt on a private level. And so, what infuriates the Reform rabbis is not that you, my brother/sister, are not recognized, but the fact that he, the rabbi, (or she) is not.

And now, another fraud. Reform rabbis would have you believe that a Jew is anything they say he is. He is not. To be Jewish is not some game to be played with rules we change to suit ourselves. Because influential Jews have so many of their children intermarrying, they have pressured Reform rabbis to find them a solution. And the rabbis accommodate them.

But in so doing, they guarantee the division of the Jewish people into two separate camps, separated from each other, unable to marry or to join together. My dear brother/sister. Is that what you want? Are you prepared, by your silence, to acquiesce in this? Do you not realize the immense difference between your throwing away the Jewish law on a private level and this destruction of the very foundation of the Jewish nation? Who are your rabbis to do that to all of us? You, and only you, can prevent it. Speak up and tell your rabbis that you reject their ruling. After all, if Reform Judaism is based on the fact that the Torah is not Divine and can be rejected or changed as we see fit, then surely you can tell your rabbis that the time has come to reject their dangerous tampering with the foundation of Judaism. We are One people. Let us keep it that way.

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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Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
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