Latest update: September 12th, 2012
But when it comes to Orthodox Rabbis addressing Reform Jews – even in their own Temples, I do not see a problem. Assuming they do not resent us for not allowing them into our Shuls to address us – and they are serious about learning how to practice Judaism from us – there is a lot of work to do. Getting Reform Jewry to become observant is an impossibly difficult task. There are tremendous obstacles. Not the least of which is the issue of how they define who is a Jew.
In my view these great difficulties do not free us from trying. If Rabbi Yoffie’s views are the predominant ones in Reform Jewry, if this is the direction they are going in we ought to be in the thick of things there.
If there ever was an Eis La’asos, this is it. We are in unprecedented times. Reform has never been more open to Kiruv than now. What greater Hora’as Shah can there be than to begin a joint effort of Kiruv with the help of the Reform rabbinate themselves – at least with those who think the way Rabbi Yoffie does.
Reform Jewry is riper than ever for this kind of Kiruv. They are inviting us in. Although I do agree that the devil is in the details – let us see put our collective minds together and see how we can honor our commitment to our principles as outlined by the great rabbinic leaders of the past and yet not miss this great opportunity.
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About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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