Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90
An orthodox Jewish man argues with a reform Jewish woman wearing a prayer shawl at the Kotel.

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.

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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.

Visit the Emes Ve-Emunah blog.

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1 COMMENT

  1. The opening staement is inaccurate, I do not suggest that we can or even should lift the ban on engagement with Reform on theological matters nshould be lifted. What I advocated is studying ways to reach out to them in this new climate without violating the ban. For example – accepting invitations to address them on observance. I do not in any way seek to have a theological dialogue with them.

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