Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Four New Reform Rabbis

Here are four new Reform rabbis nebech, posing for a picture during an ordination ceremony of the Hebrew Union College Institute in Jerusalem.

So, what do you need to know to become a Reform rabbi nebech?

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HUC-JIR’s Rabbinic School has a five-year program of full-time graduate study leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters (MAHL) and ordination. The sequence is as follows:

Have an accredited bachelor’s degree from a quality school, with a B to B+ average and high GRE scores. Apply to HUC-JIR; 34 to 45 students over all 3 US campuses are admitted annually. The admissions process also includes interviews and psychological evaluation. All candidates seeking admission to the College-Institute’s Rabbinic School, School of Sacred Music and Rhea Hirsch School of Education, will be expected to have successfully completed a minimum of one academic year of college-level Hebrew or its equivalent.

If accepted at HUC-JIR, the path to ordination is as follows:

One year in Israel in which one attends the Jerusalem campus. Study includes Biblical Hebrew, Modern Hebrew, archeology, and immersion in Israeli culture. [This year is occasionally waived for those who can demonstrate fluency in the language and texts.]

Four years at one of the USA campuses in NYC, LA, or Cincinnati. Note: LA does not ordain. Those attending the LA campus must transfer after two years either to NYC or Cincinnati. [Occasionally, the 4 years can be compressed to 3 years if the person can exempt enough courses.] This course of study includes Bible, Midrash, Talmud, Codes, Homiletics, History, Education, Liturgy, Philosophy, Human Relations, Hebrew, and Aramaic.

Internship: Serve a congregation (usually small solo pulpits that can’t afford full-time rabbis) for at least one year.

Degree awarded: Master of Hebrew Letters (usually after the 4th year) and ordination after the 5th year.

Source: shamash.org

In Orthodox Judaism, one does not need a bachelor’s degree to enter most Orthodox rabbinical seminaries. Orthodox rabbinical students work to gain knowledge in Talmud, Rishonim and Acharonim (early and late medieval commentators) and Jewish law. They study sections of Shulkhan Arukh and its main commentaries that pertain to daily-life questions (such as on Kashrut and family purity).

Source: jsli.net

And that’s the difference. The Reform nebech can’t fight their way out of a paper bag made out of gemora pages, and the Orthodox are directly connected to the source of Jewish tradition and law. Either kind could be saints or shmegegis, but even an Orthodox shmegegi can learn.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. 1. Nebech, nebech, nebech that it's only four Reform rabbis, not 400.

    2. Now square those three nebechs as one of those four is female.

    3. All your article has done is show that Reform rabbis require a far more extensive education than orthodox ones, something which is easily apparent to all who find their way into an orthodox synagogue and aren't first bored to death.

  2. The main difference between Reform and Orthodox isn't just the level of Jewish study; it's that Reform don't believe that the Torah is the Word of Hashem given at Sinai and that we made a bris as a nation to follow it for all time. They believe the Torah was written by humans. Therefore, it can be "modernized" for today, as "needed." P.S. , Mr. Fink, this isn't lashon hora because it's likely that the "rabbis" in the photo aren't even Jews according to Halacha!

  3. Yori, You seem to have much doubt and bitterness with regard to Reform Jews. would you throw them from the bus? Do you believe they are not "really" Jewish? Do you reject their idea that a child born of a Jewish parent and raised as a Jew is a Jew? Is that the reason for your attitudes? Please explain. P.S., our mutual friend says "hi."

  4. I, for one, don't believe the Torah is the word of Hashem. If it is, then Hashem, who purportedly knows everything, doesn't know much about basic science.

    I believe the Torah was written by humans, who were inspired by God, who has more important things to worry about than whether Dan Silagi ate a cheeseburger yesterday.

  5. @Michael Blum: Members of the Reform movement might be Jewish (if their mothers are), but the Reform Movement is no more Jewish than the Hare Krishnas. It is a fraud, that takes Jewish symbols and perverts them. It is leftist politics with holidays. It stopped being Jewish in much the same way that Christianity stopped. It was a gradual evolution until the last tie was broken 40 years ago when they adopted patrilineal descent. The Jewish people are better off without them, they have diluted Judaism out of their temples, and G-d out of their "religion." I don't know what they are, but I know what they are not. THE REFORM MOVEMENT IS NOT JEWISH!

  6. One more thing: they just "ordained" a female "rabbi" who herself states that she is not Jewish. It is an absurdity, and the Reform Movement has no place within the tent of Am Yisrael.

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