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Letter to a Reform Jew


Rabbi Meir Kahane

June 3, 1983

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." For the past several years, he has written a popular and controversial blog at Arutz 7. A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press


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15 Responses to “Letter to a Reform Jew”

  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:

    Muriel,

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