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December 6, 2016 / 6 Kislev, 5777
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It’s Official: You Can Be a Non-Jewish Rabbi

How the reform movement has reached the ultimate diversity.


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Over the past few years, Reform and Conservative Judaism have been struggling so much with the notion of ordaining women rabbis and gay rabbis, that we, the spectators (innocent bystanders?) of those struggles have completely lost sight of an even more challenging notion: can they ordain gentile rabbis?

To cut a long story short: they can and they have. The Reform movement has done, and as a result, I believe, has placed itself outside the Rabbinical Jewish tradition regarding the fundamental notion of who qualifies as a Jew.

I became aware of this complete and, presumably, final split between Jews and the largely American Reform movement after receiving a link to Seth Berkman’s piece in the Forward: Angela Buchdahl, First Asian-American Rabbi, Vies for Role at Central Synagogue. The article praises Angela as an example of diversity, who “walks among the pews, greeting congregants before Friday night services at Manhattan’s venerable Central Synagogue,” where she faces “a mélange of Jewish faces, including blacks, Asians and Hispanics,” in a “diversity that reflects the emergence of an American Jewry of unprecedented ethnic breadth.”

Had I known nothing more about the above paragraph, I would have been beaming with pride over it. In the shuls I attended on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, spotting an African or a Hispanic face was always such a source of pleasure. As a tiny nation and an even tinier religious group, we prize every gentile who embraces our faith and goes through the sometimes grueling process of becoming one of us.

Except that Berkman cuts to the chase right at the opener, making clear that no such grueling effort was involved in Angela Buchdahl’s joining the Chosen People: it turns out that the diversity she so praises at that Reform gathering is “embodied” by Buchdahl, who was “born to an Ashkenazi, Reform Jewish father and a Korean Buddhist mother.”

Exactly 30 years ago, in 1983, the Reform movement in America adopted the bilineal policy: “The Central Conference of American Rabbis declares that the child of one Jewish parent is under the presumption of Jewish descent. This presumption of the Jewish status of the offspring of any mixed marriage is to be established through appropriate and timely public and formal acts of identification with the Jewish faith and people. The performance of these mitzvot serves to commit those who participate in them, both parent and child, to Jewish life.”

It should be noted that outside the U.S. the Reform moevement is yet to adopt the sweeping “presumption of Jewish descent” doctrine, but they do, by and large, offer “accelerated conversions” to children of a Jewish father.

Hadassah Magazine, which Berkman quotes in her story, featured a profile of the Korean born Angela Buchdahl, the first Asian American to be ordained as a cantor or rabbi and the first woman to attain both positions.

For Buchdahl, according to Hadassah magazine, key Jewish values include “a spirit of genuine inquiry and multiple opinions; our whole method of study and nondogmatic spirit; the dignity of every person and the fact that we are all created in the image of God; the ability to know what it is to be a stranger and to have been a slave—and to force ourselves to embody that understanding in every generation.”

Far be it from me to criticize such fine and noble notions, but it is difficult to recognize in that amalgam anything uniquely Jewish. Absent is the idea of fulfilling the mitzvot as a divine agenda. It’s all about getting along with others and respecting them, not so much about applying Torah laws to one’s daily life.

Indeed, the more the Reform movement is reinventing itself, the closer it gets to Christianity. She’s been active, among other things, at Auburn Theological Seminary, “an interfaith platform to address global issues and build bridges across religious traditions.”

“Angela is an extraordinary religious leader,” Rev. Katherine Henderson, Auburn’s president, told Hadassah. At a gathering for a Presbyterian group last year, Buchdahl “led worship that was completely authentic for her as a Jew and yet completely accessible for this group of Christians,” says Henderson. “We were all able to praise God together!”

This reporter is known to be flippant, so I very much want to avoid being flippant about this story. I don’t think we should denounce people like Angela Buchdahl, or condemn the Reform movement for its straying so far out of the Rabbinical Jewish tent. But we should remain steadfast in not calling any of these people and the nice things they do “Jewish” in any way at all. We’re already not permitted to set foot inside their houses of worship. We should probably stop calling their religious teachers “Rabbi” – perhaps “Reform Rabbi” will do. And we should look forward to the time when calling someone “Reform” would simply mean a really nice non-Jew.

Yori Yanover

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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  1. DanSilagi says:

    Anna Buchdahl is Jewish. Her father is Jewish and she obviously considers herself Jewish, being as she’s a rabbi. If that doesn’t meet with your approval, or with the approval of your Haredi friends who don’t consider Reform and Conservative Jews as Jewish to begin with, tough.

  2. BenYosefShomer says:

    are you a Jew ? today all the crazy x-ians consider themselves real Israel, you the reform apostates, you are worst.
    Hashem yerachameinu

  3. GregLauren says:

    i attended a wedding of two Jews (not to be confused with a Jewish wedding) that she officiated.
    treif cocktail hour.
    at least she gave a nice vort for Bereishis.

  4. ShiraLouisYashin says:

    A person who moves to the US at the age of 2 and lives there all his life but never takes the citizenship test is NOT a citizen. Declaring yourself a Jew is meaningless if you do not go through a halachic conversion. If I “consider” myself a Catholic could I become a priest? And Dan, I am a Bat Torah, not hareidi, and your words show your anti-orthodox bias.

  5. YoriYanover894 says:

    Dan Silagi · It doesn’t meet with the approval of the vast majority of Jews. This is not a popularity contest, this is the very notion of what it means to be Jewish. If you don’t get it, that’s ok.

  6. DanSilagi says:

    Yes, Bin Laden Shomer, I’m Jewish, and proud of it. It’s intolerant jerks like you who give Judaism a bad name. We’re all the same under God. I’m very proud of Rabbi Buchman and will make a special point of driving into Manhattan this Friday to attend her service at Central Synagogue of NY.

  7. NatanEpstein says:

    Can someone tell me why they claim to be Jewish? call yourselves Christians , Jewish your’e not….

  8. NatanEpstein says:

    Larry Kenigsberg i’m sure you will have something to say ….

  9. Alexis Worlock says:

    Step by incremental step…Reform Judaism replaces Judaism with Basic Liberal Platform.
    Reminds one of a liberal Protestant church with a Jewish accent.

  10. DanSilagi says:

    The vast majority of Haredim wouldn’t approve. Probably most MO Jews as well. But less than 20% of Jews are orthodox.

  11. MosheZ.Matitya says:

    @Dan Silagi: “Anna Buchdahl is Jewish… she obviously considers herself Jewish…”

    So the fact that a person considers oneself Jewish makes that person Jewish? Do you actually believe that?

  12. DanSilagi says:

    Yours, Shira, is the typical attitude of orthodox Jews, haredi and otherwise. Those who aren’t orthodox are somehow “lesser” Jews than those who are, and to those who’d question why you say that, you’d answer, “Well, God said so.” Not correct. Halaicha said so, and God isn’t Halaicha.

  13. Lou Averbach says:

    is anyone surprised?

  14. DanSilagi says:

    The reason I don’t call myself a Christian, Natan, is because (1) I’m Jewish (100% on both sides) and (2) I don’t believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. For that matter, I don’t believe Jesus did either; it was his followers who elevated him posthumously to divinity status. On the other hand, I believe Jesus of Nazereth was a great prophet, and it behooves all of us to pay close attention to what he said, particularly when he was speaking of what comes OUT of your mouth rather than what goes into it.

  15. MosheZ.Matitya says:

    @Dan Silagi: “We’re all the same under God.”

    In what manner does that proposition constitute an argument that Anna Buchdahl is Jewish? Are you saying that all people in the world are Jewish?

  16. YoriYanover says:

    GregLauren Did they break a glass — and why?

  17. Dan Silagi says:

    Anna Buchdahl is Jewish. Her father is Jewish and she obviously considers herself Jewish, being as she's a rabbi. If that doesn't meet with your approval, or with the approval of your Haredi friends who don't consider Reform and Conservative Jews as Jewish to begin with, tough.

  18. DanSilagi says:

    She’s an ordained rabbi, Moisheleh. She’s Jewish. And who are you, Moisheleh, to say otherwise? Show me your smicha.

  19. DanSilagi says:

    Moshe Z. Matitya Yes.

  20. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi You’re not Jewish if you’re mother isn’t Jewish. It doesn’t matter what you think, nothing is going to change that, not now, not in a thousand years from now

  21. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi “Ordained” by who? Other non-Jewish “rabbis”? This is a farce

  22. MenachemRephun says:

    she is not Jewish

  23. YoriYanover894 says:

    Dan Silagi – You’re mixing “Haredi” and “Orthodox” for “Jewish.” It turns out that even non-American REFORM Jews don’t accept the nonsense you’ve stated here. The gimmick invented by the American Reform movement, that no matter which of ypor parents is Jewsih, you are a Jew, will, finally sever them from the body politic of the Jewish nation. As to yourself — you may still hold on to some Jewish customs, but I doubt your children will, if you don’t marry Jewish. It’s not because there’s anything wrong with you — you actually belong with the majority.

    Historically, every century or so we lose about 80% of the nation to all kinds of bad choices. Your case is extremely ordinary.

  24. Eli Celnik says:

    Wow…another step clsoer to the edge. How about we jsut make the Pope a Rabbi.

  25. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi He was a false prophet. Malachi was the last of the Nevi’im. Prophecy had been extinct for 200 years at the time when jesus appeared on the scene, assuming he actually existed at all considering that the personality of jesus has been so submerged in pagan mythology.Yes he said what goes out of the mouth defiles it in order to abolish the laws of kashrus which is explicitly stated in the verse right after that

  26. Ben Yosef Shomer says:

    are you a Jew ? today all the crazy x-ians consider themselves real Israel, you the reform apostates, you are worst.
    Hashem yerachameinu

  27. MenachemRephun says:

    Name one “prophecy” of that man that has come even close to being fulfilled. He claimed the Beit HaMikdash would be destroyed and not even one stone would remain. Obviously that is not true because the Wall is still standing and there are still other parts of the Temple that remain intact. He also said that his followers would be immortal and promised them immense material wealth for following him. Big surprise, that never happened either.

  28. MosheZ.Matitya says:

    @Dan Silagi: “She’s an ordained rabbi, Moisheleh. She’s Jewish. And who are you, Moisheleh, to say otherwise? Show me your smicha.”

    (1) My name is not “Moisheleh”. Do you believe that you boost your position by mocking people’s names?

    (2) I never “said otherwise”. I simply asked you a question about what your opinion is. You responded by attacking me.

  29. MosheZ.Matitya says:

    @Dan Silagi: “Yes.”

    Yes what? Yes that you believe that a person is Jewish simply by virtue of considering oneself to be Jewish? Or yes that all people in the world are Jewish because “we’re all the same under God”?

  30. LisaLiel044 says:

    Un-freaking-believable. And yet, not surprising at all.

  31. LisaLiel044 says:

    She’s as Jewish as a ham sandwich on Yom Kippur.

    Abraham Lincoln once asked a reporter who was playing word games like the Reform do: “Sir, how many legs has a dog?” The man replied, “Why, four.” Lincoln asked, “And if we call the tail a leg?” The reporter said, “Then five, I suppose.” “No,” replied Lincoln. “Calling a tail a leg does not make it so.” And calling a goy a Jew doesn’t make it so either.

  32. Shira Louis Yashin says:

    A person who moves to the US at the age of 2 and lives there all his life but never takes the citizenship test is NOT a citizen. Declaring yourself a Jew is meaningless if you do not go through a halachic conversion. If I "consider" myself a Catholic could I become a priest? And Dan, I am a Bat Torah, not hareidi, and your words show your anti-orthodox bias.

  33. Yori Yanover says:

    Dan Silagi · It doesn't meet with the approval of the vast majority of Jews. This is not a popularity contest, this is the very notion of what it means to be Jewish. If you don't get it, that's ok.

  34. Dan Silagi says:

    Yes, Bin Laden Shomer, I'm Jewish, and proud of it. It's intolerant jerks like you who give Judaism a bad name. We're all the same under God. I'm very proud of Rabbi Buchman and will make a special point of driving into Manhattan this Friday to attend her service at Central Synagogue of NY.

  35. Shira Louis Yashin says:

    You know what they say – reform Judaism is liberalism with holidays.

  36. Can someone tell me why they claim to be Jewish? call yourselves Christians , Jewish your'e not….

  37. Larry Kenigsberg i'm sure you will have something to say ….

  38. Shemayah Shiloh Phillips says:

    I know there have been changes to Judaism regarding matrilineal vs. patrilineal descent but I have more problem with the looseness of Reform, worshiping with Christians, etc. Too much.

  39. DanSilagi says:

    Yes, my situation is extremely ordinary, Yori. In my parent’s generation, there was zero intermarriage in my close family. One much older first cousin once removed — a doctor — married a WASP — but she converted (not halaichally). In my generation, of the American cousins, it’s about half and half, and my sister married a WASP from Iowa after a disastrous marriage to a Jewish man — also a doctor. Most of our offspring were raised in both religions, and their boyfriends and girlfriends — again about half and half. We have everything in our family — my wife’s black and West Indian (Jamaica), my sister’s son just married a black woman, and my son’s engaged to a beautiful black woman from Chicago. We’re all family, we’re all professionals, and we all get along well. With us, ethnicity and religion counts for much less than who you are and what you do. That’s the beauty of America — it’s a melting pot and we’re all living proof of how well that can work if we make it work. And I’m no liberal. I used to be a Kahanist, and if you read what I write about Arabs, there are still remnants of that.

  40. Ellithekingofbroadway says:

    There is and has been a silent attack on Traditional Judaism that is growing to frightening proportions. I see it everyday here on FB.

    Some of it coming from within, from those who have decided to leave their religious upbringing and some of it coming from “Modern” Orthodox people attacking the Hasidic way of observance and some from those calling themselves observant but constantly attacking the observant way of life both in America and Israel, from the Women of the Wall to the separation of men & women on the bus for the purpose of ‘tznius’ modesty.

    One of the main cries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe before his passing was that of ‘Achdus’ (Unity) and ‘Ahavas Yisroel’ (love of your fellow Jew) – JUST BECAUSE they’re a Jew! He said THESE are the two main actions that will bring Moshiach (the Messiah) – may he come speedily in our time.

    All this infighting is DESTRUCTIVE and completely against those directives that the Rebbe SCREAMED about for so long.

    Judaism has survived this long because we have always followed our Torah and it’s Laws. One of those laws is about ‘Mi Hu Yehudi’ Who is a Jew? Jewish law unequivocally states that the definition of a Jew is “One who is born to a Jewish Mother or converts according to ‘Halacha’ Jewish Law. Now we have this attempt to completely obliterate Jewish life by allowing people to become Jews just because they decide to.

    This cannot be allowed. It is the responsibility of EVERY Jew to cry out ‘AD MOSAI’ HOW LONG WILL THIS GO ON?

    We must band together and do whatever it takes to reverse this unthinkable action of the reform movement and get them to recognize that THEY are NOT going to be allowed to DESTROY our Heritage.

    PLEASE – TAKE ACTION NOW before we are no longer able to.

    AD MOSAI my friends AD MOSAI?

    It’s Elul – The King is in the field
    Wishing you and yours a K’ssivah V’Chassima Tova!
    May you be Inscribed for a Good Sweet New Year!

  41. Dan Silagi says:

    The vast majority of Haredim wouldn't approve. Probably most MO Jews as well. But less than 20% of Jews are orthodox.

  42. @Dan Silagi: "Anna Buchdahl is Jewish… she obviously considers herself Jewish…"

    So the fact that a person considers oneself Jewish makes that person Jewish? Do you actually believe that?

  43. Dan Silagi says:

    Yours, Shira, is the typical attitude of orthodox Jews, haredi and otherwise. Those who aren't orthodox are somehow "lesser" Jews than those who are, and to those who'd question why you say that, you'd answer, "Well, God said so." Not correct. Halaicha said so, and God isn't Halaicha.

  44. NathanHazout says:

    The Mishna (kidushin 66B), which is the oldest halahik text after the Torah, clearly states that you are Jewish if your mother was Jewish. This is not a philosophical debate. It was settled long ago.

  45. Dan Silagi says:

    The reason I don't call myself a Christian, Natan, is because (1) I'm Jewish (100% on both sides) and (2) I don't believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. For that matter, I don't believe Jesus did either; it was his followers who elevated him posthumously to divinity status. On the other hand, I believe Jesus of Nazereth was a great prophet, and it behooves all of us to pay close attention to what he said, particularly when he was speaking of what comes OUT of your mouth rather than what goes into it.

  46. NathanHazout says:

    Dan Silagi This has nothing to do with being orthodox, or Haredi, or whatever. It is about being Jewish. There are no “lesser” Jews. You are either Jewish or NOT. It’s black or white. The Mishna (kidushin 66B), which is the oldest halahik text after the Torah, clearly states that you are Jewish if your mother was Jewish. This is not a philosophical debate. It was settled long ago.

  47. KatherineHansVonRotesSchildZitler says:

    Hashem looks down and Laugh. Behold the nonsense have become a full jack ass show. My Yeshiva Tzion requires that both the mother and father be Jewish no exceptions. We also learn all the stuff the Orthrodox learns from forbidden mixtures etc. The reform and Conservative movements have become big business.

  48. LawrenceFurman says:

    Menachem Rephun Jesus never abolished the laws of Kashrus. He was talking about blaspheming out of the mouth; the passage you describe has nothing to do with food at all.

  49. CodyFlecker says:

    I love the Reform Movement. They seem to make up the Jewish Religion as they go bumbling and stumbling along. The reality is this: the Reform Movement is based on Liberal Protestant thinking, which is based on the doctrine that by divorcing oneself from “traditional” Judaism one can still be Jewish even if you were not born Jewish. Ever since the Reform Movement started in Germany and then brought to the USA, Jews wishing not to be truly identified as Jews found a home. Basically, Reform Judaism is just the beginning of a formal conversion and introduction into Christianity. Try going to a Reform Synagogue if you think I am kidding. These people are no longer Jews, they are in something in between.

  50. @Dan Silagi: "We're all the same under God."

    In what manner does that proposition constitute an argument that Anna Buchdahl is Jewish? Are you saying that all people in the world are Jewish?

  51. ChaiyaEitan says:

    The Reform movement has totally cut itself off from the body of the Jewish people.

  52. RobinRosenblatt178 says:

    The Reform Movement has betrayed Israel when I asked them to help the Israel Longhorn Project to help protect the ranches and farms in Israel and help the cattle herd with the desert genetics of the Texas Longhorn cattle they said No. at http://longhornproject.org

  53. Ellithekingofbroadway says:

    Jewish law unequivocally states that the definition of a Jew is “One who is born to a Jewish Mother or converts according to ‘Halacha’ Jewish Law. Now we have this attempt to completely obliterate Jewish life by allowing people to become Jews just because they decide to.

    This cannot be allowed. It is the responsibility of EVERY Jew to cry out ‘AD MOSAI’ HOW LONG WILL THIS GO ON?

  54. Ellithekingofbroadway says:

    Dan Silagi ‘Mi Hu Yehudi’ Who is a Jew? Jewish law unequivocally states that the definition of a Jew is “One who is born to a Jewish Mother or converts according to ‘Halacha’ Jewish Law. Now we have this attempt to completely obliterate Jewish life by allowing people to become Jews just because they decide to.

    This cannot be allowed. It is the responsibility of EVERY Jew to cry out ‘AD MOSAI’ HOW LONG WILL THIS GO ON?

  55. LawrenceFurman says:

    In the Torah, which is older than the Mishna, there were many offspring of Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers who were considered Jewish.

  56. MenachemRephun says:

    Mark 7:19

  57. MenachemRephun says:

    He flaunted Rabbinic and Biblical authority by openly violating Shabbos and disobeying statutes regarding Al Netilas Yadayim

  58. MenachemRephun says:

    Lawrence Furman Yes, it does. The next part of the text reads “In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean”

  59. ChaimYosefMariategui-Levi says:

    Not reformed, but DEFORMED!

  60. MenachemRephun says:

    Lawrence Furman Please provide one single example of that

  61. LevinMonica says:

    That was truly an Oy Gevalt! story…

  62. ChaimYosefMariategui-Levi says:

    Lawrence Furman You must give examples, remember that women were converted by going to the mikveh before marriage,,,, Remember the ben sorer v’morer

  63. DanSilagi says:

    The same people who’d have you believe the universe was literally created in six days, and that the universe will be 5,773 years old next month, will tell you that if your maternal great-great-grandmother was Jewish, so are you, even if you’re a Catholic priest in Kilkenny with the map of Eire on your face.

  64. Dan Silagi says:

    She's an ordained rabbi, Moisheleh. She's Jewish. And who are you, Moisheleh, to say otherwise? Show me your smicha.

  65. DragoCarski says:

    Why? Is she not a Jew? In Vienna there are blond, european Jews and black-haired Middle-East-Jews, they also are all Jews, or not..

  66. Dan Silagi says:

    Moshe Z. Matitya Yes.

  67. DanSilagi says:

    And just how are you gonna stop it, by boogalooing down Broadway? And just how does someone with a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother becoming a rabbi “completely obliterate Jewish life?”

  68. MenachemRephun says:

    Drago Carski They are Jews if they have Jewish mothers. This woman does not

  69. Menachem Rephun says:

    Dan Silagi You're not Jewish if you're mother isn't Jewish. It doesn't matter what you think, nothing is going to change that, not now, not in a thousand years from now

  70. RabbiYYRubinstein says:

    Brilliant! well done reform movement. I take my hat off to you and laugh and laugh and laugh. I wrote a comedy play about this 20 years ago which was rejected by the BBC for being too unbelievable. I shall re submit it. Thank you again.

  71. Menachem Rephun says:

    Dan Silagi "Ordained" by who? Other non-Jewish "rabbis"? This is a farce

  72. BruceKauffman says:

    If you think of Reform Jews as non-Jews (as you hope in the last sentence) then any of their rabbis would be non-Jewish.

  73. Menachem Rephun says:

    she is not Jewish

  74. Yori Yanover says:

    Dan Silagi – You're mixing "Haredi" and "Orthodox" for "Jewish." It turns out that even non-American REFORM Jews don't accept the nonsense you've stated here. The gimmick invented by the American Reform movement, that no matter which of ypor parents is Jewsih, you are a Jew, will, finally sever them from the body politic of the Jewish nation. As to yourself — you may still hold on to some Jewish customs, but I doubt your children will, if you don't marry Jewish. It's not because there's anything wrong with you — you actually belong with the majority.

    Historically, every century or so we lose about 80% of the nation to all kinds of bad choices. Your case is extremely ordinary.

  75. Isabel Etkind says:

    Very Very Strange world that we live in!!!

  76. Menachem Rephun says:

    Dan Silagi He was a false prophet. Malachi was the last of the Nevi'im. Prophecy had been extinct for 200 years at the time when jesus appeared on the scene, assuming he actually existed at all considering that the personality of jesus has been so submerged in pagan mythology.Yes he said what goes out of the mouth defiles it in order to abolish the laws of kashrus which is explicitly stated in the verse right after that

  77. TatianaZfania says:

    These people are mocking everything Jewish…
    http://davidmzephaniah.blogspot.com/2013/08/who-is-jew.html?m=1

  78. RobbieFriedner says:

    I wish I could say “unbelievable” but today anything goes! With luck this will only strengthen the Orthodox/shomar Mitzvah Community!

  79. JoshRam says:

    From the people who think intermarriage is ok. Come on this is a little ridiculous. A shiksa rabbi.

  80. Menachem Rephun says:

    Name one "prophecy" of that man that has come even close to being fulfilled. He claimed the Beit HaMikdash would be destroyed and not even one stone would remain. Obviously that is not true because the Wall is still standing and there are still other parts of the Temple that remain intact. He also said that his followers would be immortal and promised them immense material wealth for following him. Big surprise, that never happened either.

  81. RobbieFriedner says:

    After a bit more thought, I do not agree with you Rabbi, this is only sad, sad, sad!

  82. MosheLeibler says:

    Absolutely sick and dissolute!!

  83. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Dan Silagi It is people, like you, to whom Judaism is merely a cultural phenomenon – rather than a true religion – that show their ignorance (willful or otherwise) of what makes a Jew. The fact remains that a Jew has for millennia been defined as a convert or the child of a Jewish mother, regardless of what the father’s religion is.

    Using moronic phrases like “Bin Laden Shomer” doesn’t reinforce your argument, it merely shows the paucity of it or you wouldn’t need to resort to name calling. Why don’t you grow up, get an education and then argue with reasoned thought and show us why you are right and the majority who vehemently disagree with you (including the Reform Movement outside of the US!!!) are wrong.

  84. DanSilagi says:

    Almighty King of Broadway: Angela Buchdahl, although an ordained rabbi, is primarily a cantor. She has a lovely voice, and her singing is deeply moving to me. It is she, more than virtually everyone else, who’s responsible for maintaining my connection with Judaism. The current rabbi is Peter J. Rubinstein, a classmate and friend of mine at the Bronx H.S. of Science more years ago than I’ll admit to. In a student body of exceptionally smart young men and women, Peter’s star was one of the very brightest.

    By saying Cantor Buchdahl isn’t Jewish, you’re not just insulting her, but your also insulting Rabbi Rubinstein, and every member and congregant at Central Synagogue, including myself. Shame upon you and every other intolerant fool here who agrees with you. Rabbi Rubinstein and Cantor / Rabbi Buchdahl have done more to maintain Judaism’s vibrancy than any of you will should you all live to be a thousand years of age.

  85. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Moshe Z. Matitya Moishe, Dan is obligated to call names because he can’t articulate an intelligent argument, let him expose himself. The more he talks and foams at the mouth the more he shows who/what he really is, a truly pitiable figure!

  86. DejanPopov says:

    There are even worse things and not only in reform movement, and where else than in Serbia where the only official rabbi is a convert with no Jewish origin whatsoever. Even worse, he changed his name by inventing a new supposedly Jewish name, from his Asich to Asiel. Some would say he put together Ass and El (God), to ridicule the Jewish community. So, one should not wonder that on Chanuka he reads the letter of the only one pro Palestinian Jew in Belgrade who puts on his facebook a photo of him demonstrating with Palestinians against Israel in Belgrade, letter titled lighting candles for Gaza (after Israel responded to daily rockets with great restraint), and that he is the only one from all religions in Serbia, not even the native Serbian Ortodox Chirch, that says on Chanuka the prayer for “Serbian leaders”, who by the way do nothing for Jewish community. Luckily, there is Chabad in Serbia, so I can go there.

  87. @Dan Silagi: "She's an ordained rabbi, Moisheleh. She's Jewish. And who are you, Moisheleh, to say otherwise? Show me your smicha."

    (1) My name is not "Moisheleh". Do you believe that you boost your position by mocking people's names?

    (2) I never "said otherwise". I simply asked you a question about what your opinion is. You responded by attacking me.

  88. @Dan Silagi: "Yes."

    Yes what? Yes that you believe that a person is Jewish simply by virtue of considering oneself to be Jewish? Or yes that all people in the world are Jewish because "we're all the same under God"?

  89. MenachemRephun says:

    Holy cow

  90. DanSilagi says:

    Chaim, I guess being intolerant, racist, and denying someone’s Jewishness because he doesn’t agree with you makes him a better Jew than me. And calling out someone like that makes me pathetic.

  91. Yossi-ChaniSteeleRoyde says:

    Dan Silagi I think you are missing the point. We aren’t discussing here if mixed race marriages are ‘beautiful’ (as you put it) or if they are permitted in Jewish law. The discussion here is if they are Jewsih or not. A point you missed repeatedly.

  92. Lisa Liel says:

    Un-freaking-believable. And yet, not surprising at all.

  93. Lisa Liel says:

    She's as Jewish as a ham sandwich on Yom Kippur.

    Abraham Lincoln once asked a reporter who was playing word games like the Reform do: "Sir, how many legs has a dog?" The man replied, "Why, four." Lincoln asked, "And if we call the tail a leg?" The reporter said, "Then five, I suppose." "No," replied Lincoln. "Calling a tail a leg does not make it so." And calling a goy a Jew doesn't make it so either.

  94. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Believe or not Dan, there are Orthodox Asian Jews… who converted halachically, or were born Jewish from parents who converted halachically.

  95. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Dan Silagi Dan, it took you all this time to answer me?!?!? You stopped foaming yet? You should it’s bad for your health!

    Putting up a strawman does not change the fact that you are unable to argue intelligently. Whether she agrees with me or not has nothing to do with this case! As a matter of fact as much as I may disagree in religious matters with a Reform rabbi, as long as both his/her parents are Jewish I respect him/her as a Jew. The only racist here is you – for throwing insults at anyone who deigns to disagree with you. Unless she converts SHE IS NOT A JEW, neither you, nor I, nor the good lady herself can in any way, shape or form change that. Get off your high horse and face the facts, anyone can choose to call oneself anything he/she wants, however, UNLESS one fulfill all the necessary requirements whatever title one chooses is merely a fraud.

  96. MosheTenenbaum says:

    Tzippy Diskind Yarom , this made me laugh

  97. DanSilagi says:

    Best thing Jesus ever did.

  98. MosheTenenbaum says:

    Both the mother and father? Why? Either someone is fully a Jew or not, and someone who’s mother is Jewish (or who has had a legitimate conversion) is, no ifs ands or buts

  99. DavidConley says:

    Who is a Jew and conversion..see Prof Robert Eisenman’s (dead sea scrolls) blogs on conversion to see how matriarchal descent started with the Herodians. http://blogs.jpost.com/content/abrahamicmosaicdavidic-conversion-opposed-rabbinic

  100. DanSilagi says:

    I never said my wife is Jewish. She’s Protestant, and has no desire to convert. My son chose Christianity, and I respect his choice. Nor did I say interracial marriage is “beautiful.” It is no more and no less beautiful than an intraracial marriage. It’s how the partners keep the marriage which can make it beautiful.

  101. Dan Silagi says:

    Yes, my situation is extremely ordinary, Yori. In my parent's generation, there was zero intermarriage in my close family. One much older first cousin once removed — a doctor — married a WASP — but she converted (not halaichally). In my generation, of the American cousins, it's about half and half, and my sister married a WASP from Iowa after a disastrous marriage to a Jewish man — also a doctor. Most of our offspring were raised in both religions, and their boyfriends and girlfriends — again about half and half. We have everything in our family — my wife's black and West Indian (Jamaica), my sister's son just married a black woman, and my son's engaged to a beautiful black woman from Chicago. We're all family, we're all professionals, and we all get along well. With us, ethnicity and religion counts for much less than who you are and what you do. That's the beauty of America — it's a melting pot and we're all living proof of how well that can work if we make it work. And I'm no liberal. I used to be a Kahanist, and if you read what I write about Arabs, there are still remnants of that.

  102. TzviBar-Shai says:

    Dan Silagi your venomous responses betray you;”me think thou dost protest too much”. I’m a Modern Orthodox Jew and in my synagogue there are many Blacks, Hispanics and Asians; some half of a mixed race couples some from families that converted in their entirety to Judaism. But that’s the trick; they converted. Believe in God, don’t believe in God, believe in the Torah as being of God or not is not the point. Put simply; if you joined a golf club or any other organization you would abide by their rules, wear their shirts with their logo, sing the group song and give the group greeting. If you can’t or won’t abide by their rules you would no linger be a member of their club. This is not a value judgement; there is no good or bad or right or wrong. You do have the right to from your own club with your own rules but you wouldn’t be a member of the original club. It’s that simple. BTW if enough people do what you do that original club would have to file for chapter 11 and cease to exist. This is what the Jews who follow Torah and Halacha are trying to avoid: extinction.

  103. There is and has been a silent attack on Traditional Judaism that is growing to frightening proportions. I see it everyday here on FB.

    Some of it coming from within, from those who have decided to leave their religious upbringing and some of it coming from "Modern" Orthodox people attacking the Hasidic way of observance and some from those calling themselves observant but constantly attacking the observant way of life both in America and Israel, from the Women of the Wall to the separation of men & women on the bus for the purpose of 'tznius' modesty.

    One of the main cries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe before his passing was that of 'Achdus' (Unity) and 'Ahavas Yisroel' (love of your fellow Jew) – JUST BECAUSE they're a Jew! He said THESE are the two main actions that will bring Moshiach (the Messiah) – may he come speedily in our time.

    All this infighting is DESTRUCTIVE and completely against those directives that the Rebbe SCREAMED about for so long.

    Judaism has survived this long because we have always followed our Torah and it's Laws. One of those laws is about 'Mi Hu Yehudi' Who is a Jew? Jewish law unequivocally states that the definition of a Jew is "One who is born to a Jewish Mother or converts according to 'Halacha' Jewish Law. Now we have this attempt to completely obliterate Jewish life by allowing people to become Jews just because they decide to.

    This cannot be allowed. It is the responsibility of EVERY Jew to cry out 'AD MOSAI' HOW LONG WILL THIS GO ON?

    We must band together and do whatever it takes to reverse this unthinkable action of the reform movement and get them to recognize that THEY are NOT going to be allowed to DESTROY our Heritage.

    PLEASE – TAKE ACTION NOW before we are no longer able to.

    AD MOSAI my friends AD MOSAI?

    It’s Elul – The King is in the field
    Wishing you and yours a K'ssivah V’Chassima Tova!
    May you be Inscribed for a Good Sweet New Year!

  104. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi I could not be less surprised that you think so

  105. BenjaminFox says:

    Wow, I guess the Torah really is in the hands of blind idiots after all?

  106. JenniferFriedmanIngle says:

    She is Jewish.

  107. YoriYanover894 says:

    Dan Silagi – I don’t get the insult. She can become properly Jewish any time she wants to, by seeking out a rabbinical court, dipping in the mikvah and accepting the yoke of the mitzvot. She’s not being excluded because we shun her, she’s simply not Jewish. 100 people here, tolerant, kind, sweet people have been saying just that, but you don’t want to hear it.

    I think you’ve said good bye to the Jewish nation, but you still have to come back for the gefilte fish. You’re welcome, by the way, I don’t find any fault in your manner and demeanor, but i wish you’d make the intellectual effort to take in what so many of us have been telling you today.

  108. MenachemRephun says:

    No she’s not.

  109. MenachemRephun says:

    You can keep saying it all you want, it still won’t be true. She is a goy

  110. MenachemRephun says:

    If you were alive then you would have died out like all of his original Jewish followers

  111. TzviBar-Shai says:

    Dan Silagi thank you for your kind words (once again). I think the analogy is good. We are not talking about being exclusionary. We are saying come join us, follow our practices, obey our rules which have been enforce for over two millennium and we will be happy to receive you regardless of color, race or origin. Judaism allows for people to come in; but there is a process. Structure requires rules. If you want to be part of the greater humanity, that’s fine. But it’s not Judaism or Christianity or Islam or any other form of Organized religion.

  112. DanSilagi says:

    Tzvi, there’s a bottom line to this, that you and yourfellow Haredim don’t understand. Angela Buchman has smicha, and has the job of Cantor and Rabbi at Central Synagogue. You can argue until you’re blue in the face that she’s illegitimate, that she’s a fraud, etc. but that doesn’t change things: She’s got the job.

    This is analogous to the “birther” argument about President Obama. You can, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, say he’s a Muslim born in Kenya, and that he’s not eligible to be president, even though even if he were a Muslim born in Kenya, his mother was a natural-born American citizen. But Barack Obama is President of the United States. He was elected, then re-elected. Somehow I get the feeling that very few of you posting here voted for Obama, but that’s irrelevant. You didn’t put up the numbers to beat him, so here he is, and here he’ll be until 2017, when we get the Second Coming of Clinton.

    Deal with both.

  113. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi I think you “melted” a little too well

  114. MenachemRephun says:

    You have assimilated to the point that your Jewish identity has been reduced to virtually nothing and you view anyone religious with outright hostility and contempt

  115. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi Pretty incredible of you to accuse others of being intolerant. Are you “tolerant” of Orthodox Jews? It doesn’t sound like it to me based on what you’ve written

  116. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi That was literally the worst analogy I’ve ever heard

  117. Nechama Dina Namirovski says:

    HU?

  118. MenachemRephun says:

    Just because a council of reform “rabbis” got together and decided to make this non-Jewish woman one of them doesn’t make her Jewish by standards that have been universally accepted amongst the Jewish People for thousands of years

  119. AndyHirshDlinn says:

    I don’t call Them Rabbis, I call them “Social Service Professionals” which more accurately describes their roles!

  120. The Mishna (kidushin 66B), which is the oldest halahik text after the Torah, clearly states that you are Jewish if your mother was Jewish. This is not a philosophical debate. It was settled long ago.

  121. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Dan Silagi Changing the subject, building strawmen, doesn’t work Danny! Stay with the subject, dont evade i!.

    Show some intellectual integrity, if you have any. Whether people here voted for the Dems or the Repubs or the Communists is totally immaterial to the current subject. Face it, you are unable, unwilling to extend the minimum courtesy that you demand THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT A BIGOT, AN IGNORAMUS DOES. Are you then so bigoted, so ignorant, so blind of your own faults?!?!?!? Chill out and without insults show you are grown up enough, and smart enough to hold a reasoned discussion or quit if you are unable to. Often it is better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to to say something and disspel all doubt.

  122. Dan Silagi This has nothing to do with being orthodox, or Haredi, or whatever. It is about being Jewish. There are no "lesser" Jews. You are either Jewish or NOT. It's black or white. The Mishna (kidushin 66B), which is the oldest halahik text after the Torah, clearly states that you are Jewish if your mother was Jewish. This is not a philosophical debate. It was settled long ago.

  123. DanSilagi says:

    Am I tolerant of Orthodox Jews? Yes, if they’re tolerant of other branches of Judiasm, absolutely. But you, Menachem, and virtually all the other orthodox posters here are labeling Angela Buchdahl a “fraud” because her mother isn’t Jewish. Perhaps you should rephrase your question, “Are you tolerant of circle-the-wagon, my way or the highway, orthodox Jews.” My answer to you would be a resounding “NO!”

  124. BetzalelCooper says:

    WTF!

  125. EllenTabor says:

    Reform Judaism recognizes patrilineal descent. You may not agree with this, but they do. And since we have no pope, well, I guess they get to say.

  126. LindaEpstein says:

    Under Reform rulings, she is a Jew. Also, under Reform rulings, she is not bound to cleave to the mitzvot. I do not say that I agree with the Reform stance, but the truth is that she appears to be a good Reform Rabbi (I recognize that she could not be a rabbi in Conservative or Orthodox circles without converting, of course.) I find offensive (and quite unworthy of any Jew) the final sentence in the above article as well as the “Latest Poll” on this same page that asks “As a Jewish person, which non-Jewish religion do you think is the least objectionable?” Shame on Yori Yanover and the jewishpress.com for such mean-spirited remarks.

  127. AaronJayHenteleff says:

    ooooh, is that like the petition to have Athiest Chaplains in the army?

  128. Hashem looks down and Laugh. Behold the nonsense have become a full jack ass show. My Yeshiva Tzion requires that both the mother and father be Jewish no exceptions. We also learn all the stuff the Orthrodox learns from forbidden mixtures etc. The reform and Conservative movements have become big business.

  129. AlonaLisitsa says:

    Menachem Rephun King David’s grandmother was not Jewish, she was Motivate; Tamar who was Yehuda’s two sons wife and bore a child from Yehuda himself to continue the tribe was not Hebrew?Jewish. Zipora the wife of Moses was Midyanite. Asnat, Josef’s wife and the mother of Efraim and Menashe our two tribes was Egyptian.

  130. EllenTabor says:

    Reform Jews, from whom I am proudly descended, believe in patrilineal descent. (They didn’t when I was a child, but that’s another matter). You may not like this, but you do not get to say. If you don’t like what they believe, then you do not have to join then. Why must there be so much sinat chinam in our community?

  131. TzviBar-Shai says:

    Dan Silagi First of all I don’t understand why you call me a Haridi? I don’t wear a kippa (skullcap) and my wife wears pants when we’re not in synagogue. I am an Eagle Scout, and 4th degree Black Belt in Karate and serve as a ranger in the Israeli Army. Having smicha and working in a reformed temple proves nothing other than she is not collecting unemployment. As to your birther argument I think you gave yourself away. Yes, Obama is President; but it does make a difference whether he was born in the U.S. or not because that is the RULE (the halacha if you will).

  132. Menachem Rephun Jesus never abolished the laws of Kashrus. He was talking about blaspheming out of the mouth; the passage you describe has nothing to do with food at all.

  133. Menachem Rephun says:

    But on the plus side, this means we’re only a few steps away from Rav Chuck Norris!

  134. DanSilagi says:

    You want me to be courteous to you, and then you call me a “bigot and an ignoramus?” That’s an odd way to go about doing that. And while you’re at it, learn how to spell “dispel.” Only one “s.”

  135. Cody Flecker says:

    I love the Reform Movement. They seem to make up the Jewish Religion as they go bumbling and stumbling along. The reality is this: the Reform Movement is based on Liberal Protestant thinking, which is based on the doctrine that by divorcing oneself from "traditional" Judaism one can still be Jewish even if you were not born Jewish. Ever since the Reform Movement started in Germany and then brought to the USA, Jews wishing not to be truly identified as Jews found a home. Basically, Reform Judaism is just the beginning of a formal conversion and introduction into Christianity. Try going to a Reform Synagogue if you think I am kidding. These people are no longer Jews, they are in something in between.

  136. Chaiya Eitan says:

    The Reform movement has totally cut itself off from the body of the Jewish people.

  137. Robin Rosenblatt says:

    The Reform Movement has betrayed Israel when I asked them to help the Israel Longhorn Project to help protect the ranches and farms in Israel and help the cattle herd with the desert genetics of the Texas Longhorn cattle they said No. at http://longhornproject.org

  138. Jewish law unequivocally states that the definition of a Jew is "One who is born to a Jewish Mother or converts according to 'Halacha' Jewish Law. Now we have this attempt to completely obliterate Jewish life by allowing people to become Jews just because they decide to.

    This cannot be allowed. It is the responsibility of EVERY Jew to cry out 'AD MOSAI' HOW LONG WILL THIS GO ON?

  139. Menachem Rephun says:

    Lawrence Furman i may be mistaken by i believe that afterwards it says "thus he declared all things clean"

  140. Dan Silagi 'Mi Hu Yehudi' Who is a Jew? Jewish law unequivocally states that the definition of a Jew is "One who is born to a Jewish Mother or converts according to 'Halacha' Jewish Law. Now we have this attempt to completely obliterate Jewish life by allowing people to become Jews just because they decide to.

    This cannot be allowed. It is the responsibility of EVERY Jew to cry out 'AD MOSAI' HOW LONG WILL THIS GO ON?

  141. hophmi says:

    “But we should remain
    steadfast in not calling any of these people and the nice things they do
    “Jewish” in any way at all. We’re already not permitted to set foot
    inside their houses of worship. We should probably stop calling their
    religious teachers “Rabbi” – perhaps “Reform Rabbi” will do.”

    Continue to be as stupid and hypocritical as you want to be.  It’s perfectly reasonable to criticize the idea of patrilineal descent.  To adopt the divisive attitude that nothing she does should be called “Jewish” is condescending.  There are many so-called Orthodox Jews who should be in that category as well.  And many of them are rabbis.

  142. In the Torah, which is older than the Mishna, there were many offspring of Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers who were considered Jewish.

  143. MenachemRephun says:

    Ellen TaborYou’re right. We don’t have a Pope, because we don’t need one. We have a Torah and a Code of Law derived from that Torah which states unequivocally that they are wrong

  144. MenachemRephun says:

    No. Its not a problem of the Torah being in the wrong hands. Its that these self-appointed Rabbis are not relying on the Torah in the first place, because if they were this wouldn’t be happening.

  145. Menachem Rephun says:

    Lawrence Furman The next part of the text reads "In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean"

  146. Menachem Rephun says:

    Mark 7:19

  147. MenachemRephun says:

    Rabbi Alona Lisitsa Ruth officially converted to Judaism, and she was a Moabite, not “motivate”. Also conversion was different in those times but it doesn’t change the fact that a person’s mother has to be Jewish in order for them to be Jewish

  148. Menachem Rephun says:

    He flaunted Rabbinic and Biblical authority by openly violating Shabbos and disobeying statutes regarding Al Netilas Yadayim

  149. DovBlairEpstein313 says:

    Well, i’ll never let her pour me Sake….

  150. LindaEpstein says:

    Shame on you Chaim Yosef Levi, for speaking in this manner about Reform Judaism, just because they don’t believe as you do. To me, this is a very unJewish statement. In the Reform movement, she is considered a Jew. I am a Conservative Jew, so I would not recognize her as a Jew in my own synagogue. However, the Orthodox would not abide my leading religious services as a lay leader in my synagogue (which I do) either. I would be behind a mechitzah. Both my parents are Jews, but I am a female (in case you can’t tell by my pic) who wishes to participate fully in my Judaism. I do not follow Orthodoxy, but I respect others’ rights to do so.

  151. DanSilagi says:

    Yori Yanover I definitely will come back for the gefilte fish. There’s a place on Coney Island Avenue, not too far from where I grew up, that sells the best in the land.

  152. Not reformed, but DEFORMED!

  153. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Tzvi Bar-Shai To the likes of intolerant, make-up-rules-as-they fit-you-in-the-moment, Dan Silagi, changing subjects, crying victimhood as he tries to victimize anyone he wants, is a legitimate way of obfuscating the issue. The fact that he spews such poison, the fact that he’s shown himself unable to utter one intelligent argument in his favor has already shown the world the “emperor’s nakedness”. I pity him…

  154. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Dan Silagi With a good hechsher? Give me their name, quick!

  155. DovBlairEpstein313 says:

    Firstly, i’ll never let her pour me Sake….coming soon: a It will be revealed that Bilaam’s donkey will have converted, and had a sex change, and will be thefirst transgendered jackass to reach the rabbinate….oh, like mr. Ed becomes ms. Edna….the Reform movement is the closest religion to Episcopalian….

  156. Menachem Rephun says:

    Lawrence Furman Please provide one single example of that

  157. LindaEpstein says:

    Ellen Tabor : Good for you for speaking up. As a Conservative Jew, I have chosen to continue to believe in matrilineal descent; however, I respect the Reform movement’s right to choose their philosophy AS JEWS. That does not divorce them from Judaism; nor does it make them the first step toward Christianity. Many of the Reform Jews I know are more informed about Judaism than some of the other branches of Judaism.

  158. That was truly an Oy Gevalt! story…

  159. MenachemRephun says:

    Linda Epstein According to Judaism she is not a Jew

  160. Lawrence Furman You must give examples, remember that women were converted by going to the mikveh before marriage,,,, Remember the ben sorer v'morer

  161. Len Frankel says:

    Real Jews should start calling the Reform a "sect."

  162. MenachemRephun says:

    Ellen TabSinas Chinam means baseless hatred. It is not Sinas Chinam when there is a valid objection to the “reforms” they are introducing which threaten to undermine the survival of Jewish life itself. You keep saying “you do not get decide”. Where does the “reform” movement get the authority to undermine thousands of years of Jewish observance?

  163. DanSilagi says:

    They’re around Avenue O, on the east side of the street. It’s a big place; you can’t miss it. Since just about everyone there is orthodox I’m sure they have a good hecksher, although I’ve never checked.

  164. Dan Silagi says:

    The same people who'd have you believe the universe was literally created in six days, and that the universe will be 5,773 years old next month, will tell you that if your maternal great-great-grandmother was Jewish, so are you, even if you're a Catholic priest in Kilkenny with the map of Eire on your face.

  165. Drago Carski says:

    Why? Is she not a Jew? In Vienna there are blond, european Jews and black-haired Middle-East-Jews, they also are all Jews, or not..

  166. DanSilagi says:

    Tzvi Bar-Shai I never called you “haredi,” you said you’re MO. Besides, I don’t have a 4th degree black belt; I was a collegiate wrestler MANY years ago, and these days, I’m a weightlifter who benches 350, which ain’t bad for a guy in his late 60’s, or any age. In any case, I’m off to the gym; today’s my Stairmaster day. Half an hour on that, cooldown, then 45 minutes on the elliptical. No weights today.

  167. Dan Silagi says:

    And just how are you gonna stop it, by boogalooing down Broadway? And just how does someone with a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother becoming a rabbi "completely obliterate Jewish life?"

  168. LindaEpstein says:

    Dan Silagi : 5774 years old next month.

  169. Menachem Rephun says:

    Drago Carski They are Jews if they have Jewish mothers. This woman does not

  170. LindaEpstein says:

    Ben Yosef Shomer : Are you now rating Jews as “best” and
    “worst” based on your own beliefs and that of your particular branch of orthodoxy. I am as much a Jew as you are, and those in the Reform movement are also entitled to call themselves Jews, even if they do not agree with your concept of “true Jew”.

  171. Brilliant! well done reform movement. I take my hat off to you and laugh and laugh and laugh. I wrote a comedy play about this 20 years ago which was rejected by the BBC for being too unbelievable. I shall re submit it. Thank you again.

  172. MenachemRephun says:

    It is well known that the Reform movement has and continues to allow non-Jews to “convert” in order to swell its ranks, but the movemrent is still going to die out due to skyrocketing intermarriage rates and the fact that you have broken away from the Mesorah and Torah MiSinai

  173. If you think of Reform Jews as non-Jews (as you hope in the last sentence) then any of their rabbis would be non-Jewish.

  174. TzviBar-Shai says:

    Dan Silagi You just said “you and your fellow haredim”, not that there is anything wrong with that. Benching 30 in your 60’s is good stuff. I too am in my mid 60’s and still going up against others 30 plus years younger. Remember what Ben Franklin said ‘We either all hang together or we hang separately”, and then he went off and help create a government with laws. Have a good workout.

  175. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Linda Epstein I didn’t hear anyone here rating Jews as better or worse (that’s the Almighty’s job!). Stick to the subject, please. The only thing being talked about here is whether any rabbi can be considered a rabbi without having to convert to Judaism first. If the lady does convert ke’halacha no one here would question how Jewish she is. You are either have a Jewish mother OR you convert. PERIOD, that is not an “opinion,” it is merely the LAW.

  176. MenachemRephun says:

    Linda Epstein They can call themselves anything they want, but the fact remains that without a kosher conversion they are not Jews according to Jewish law. They are re-writing the rules of Judaism to warp and pervert it into an unrecognizable form

  177. ChaimSzmidt says:

    I fully agree that the “latest poll” question is very objectionable or at least in extremely poor taste.

  178. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi I never used the word “fraud” or any other such insult. I simply stated that she is not Jewish according to normative Jewish halacha, and I have thousands and thousands of years of Jewish history to supplement that assertion

  179. JoshBackon says:

    I got news for you: I have the membership lists of both the CCAR (Reform) and RA (Conservative) clergy. If I got a dollar for every non-Jew (non-O giyur) who is a member of these groups, I’d go on early retirement.

  180. MenachemRephun says:

    Linda Epstein As far as I am aware nobody in this thread ever accused you of not being Jewish

  181. TinaWasserman says:

    Having a Jewish mother might make you a Jew, but being hateful, prejudice, unloving to “one’s neighbor”, and unethical in your daily activities doesn’t make you a good Jew, it makes you an embarrassment to the tenets of our religion. shame on you for such a self serving, inciting piece.
    There isn’t enough strife in the world?

  182. MenachemRephun says:

    If these people want to be considered Jewish so badly, why not go through the standard Halachic procedures required to become Jewish? Is it because accepting the yoke of Torah and Mitzvos is seen as too heavy a burden, so they choose the alternative of reform which offers a free pass without any responsibility or effort whatsoever?

  183. MenachemRephun says:

    Not once in Jewish history was someone considered Jewish based on patrilineal descent. If Reform wants to consider non-Jews Jewish, ordain Gay rabbis, flagrantly violate Shabbos and reject virtually every commandment or rewrite others, fine. But it isn’t authentic Judaism, and they should not have the audacity to refer to it as such

  184. AkarDuru says:

    I’ve never known something more important than that!

  185. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi I am sorry you perceive me and others here as villains for believing that having a Jewish mother is an integral part of what makes someone Jewish. Instead of lecturing Orthodox Jews for feeling the way we do,maybe you’re the one who needs a lesson in tolerance and a respect for our opinion

  186. TzviBar-Shai says:

    Ellen Tabor as I said to Dan you, the Reform movement, can do what you like. There’s no right or wrong in it. But you cannot call it Judaism. There is Halacha, rules, that have governed our behavior for over two thousand years. If you want to follow different rules you are then part of a different group. That’s what the Christians did and that’s what even the Moslems did. Your choice.

  187. Tzippy Diskind Yarom says:

    Not true. At least half of them are jewish….

  188. Tzippy Diskind Yarom says:

    Drago Carski Did you bother reading the article!
    She never converted. And no, her jewish father don't make her jewish.

  189. Tatiana Zfania says:

    These people are mocking everything Jewish…
    http://davidmzephaniah.blogspot.com/2013/08/who-is-jew.html?m=1

  190. Robbie Friedner says:

    I wish I could say "unbelievable" but today anything goes! With luck this will only strengthen the Orthodox/shomar Mitzvah Community!

  191. Josh Ram says:

    From the people who think intermarriage is ok. Come on this is a little ridiculous. A shiksa rabbi.

  192. Robbie Friedner says:

    After a bit more thought, I do not agree with you Rabbi, this is only sad, sad, sad!

  193. LashonTov891 says:

    So what? Young Israel has a branch run by an excommunicated rabbi for 9 years. For details see http://cleanupyoungisrael.blogspot.com/.

  194. YoriYanover894 says:

    Tina Wasserman · There’s plenty of strife in the world. But you might as well ask your question regarding any attempt to set something right involving telling someone they’re not whom they think they are.

    we can’t be gentle to the point of disappearing quietly into the wall.

  195. Absolutely sick and dissolute!!

  196. Chaim Szmidt says:

    Dan Silagi It is people, like you, to whom Judaism is merely a cultural phenomenon – rather than a true religion – that show their ignorance (willful or otherwise) of what makes a Jew. The fact remains that a Jew has for millennia been defined as a convert or the child of a Jewish mother, regardless of what the father's religion is.

    Using moronic phrases like "Bin Laden Shomer" doesn't reinforce your argument, it merely shows the paucity of it or you wouldn't need to resort to name calling. Why don't you grow up, get an education and then argue with reasoned thought and show us why you are right and the majority who vehemently disagree with you (including the Reform Movement outside of the US!!!) are wrong.

  197. YoriYanover894 says:

    Linda Epstein – you are right, and therefore, to complete the thought — reform is not Jewish. It may have been in the past, but this one kind of broke the box.

  198. YoriYanover894 says:

    Linda Epstein – Nowhere in the article does it say that she is not accepted because of her race or her sex. She is not accepted because of her lineage. As soon as she converts to Judaism, she’ll be Jewish. Now, if she is converted by reform clergy it would not solve the problem, naturally. But there are many liberal Orthodox rabbis who would happily usher her into the bosom of Judaism, many even free of charge.

  199. Dan Silagi says:

    Almighty King of Broadway: Angela Buchdahl, although an ordained rabbi, is primarily a cantor. She has a lovely voice, and her singing is deeply moving to me. It is she, more than virtually everyone else, who's responsible for maintaining my connection with Judaism. The current rabbi is Peter J. Rubinstein, a classmate and friend of mine at the Bronx H.S. of Science more years ago than I'll admit to. In a student body of exceptionally smart young men and women, Peter's star was one of the very brightest.

    By saying Cantor Buchdahl isn't Jewish, you're not just insulting her, but your also insulting Rabbi Rubinstein, and every member and congregant at Central Synagogue, including myself. Shame upon you and every other intolerant fool here who agrees with you. Rabbi Rubinstein and Cantor / Rabbi Buchdahl have done more to maintain Judaism's vibrancy than any of you will should you all live to be a thousand years of age.

  200. YoriYanover894 says:

    Menachem Rephun – I agree, it’s not hatred, and it’s not baseless.

  201. Chaim Szmidt says:

    Moshe Z. Matitya Moishe, Dan is obligated to call names because he can't articulate an intelligent argument, let him expose himself. The more he talks and foams at the mouth the more he shows what he is.

  202. Chaim Szmidt says:

    Moshe Z. Matitya Moishe, Dan is obligated to call names because he can't articulate an intelligent argument, let him expose himself. The more he talks and foams at the mouth the more he shows what he is.

  203. YoriYanover894 says:

    Menachem Rephun – All the children of King David were from gentile mothers. The halacha as we know it today was introduced in the time of Ezra, after the return from Babylon.

  204. Dejan Popov says:

    There are even worse things and not only in reform movement, and where else than in Serbia where the only official rabbi is a convert with no Jewish origin whatsoever. Even worse, he changed his name by inventing a new supposedly Jewish name, from his Asich to Asiel. Some would say he put together Ass and El (God), to ridicule the Jewish community. So, one should not wonder that on Chanuka he reads the letter of the only one pro Palestinian Jew in Belgrade who puts on his facebook a photo of him demonstrating with Palestinians against Israel in Belgrade, letter titled lighting candles for Gaza (after Israel responded to daily rockets with great restraint), and that he is the only one from all religions in Serbia, not even the native Serbian Ortodox Chirch, that says on Chanuka the prayer for "Serbian leaders", who by the way do nothing for Jewish community. Luckily, there is Chabad in Serbia, so I can go there.

  205. FlaGuy954 says:

    The Reform movement should require a formal conversion before ordaining someone as a rabbi.  Otherwise, it really is an illegitimate ordination.  Either that, or the Reform movement needs to formally recognize anyone with a Jewish father as Jewish, should the individual want to be considered such.  This would require a formal change in answering the question, “Who is a Jew?”

  206. Menachem Rephun says:

    Holy cow

  207. Dan Silagi says:

    Chaim, I guess being intolerant, racist, and denying someone's Jewishness because he doesn't agree with you makes him a better Jew than me. And calling out someone like that makes me pathetic.

  208. Yossi-Chani Steele Royde says:

    Dan Silagi I think you are missing the point. We aren't discussing here if mixed race marriages are 'beautiful' (as you put it) or if they are permitted in Jewish law. The discussion here is if they are Jewsih or not. A point you missed repeatedly.

  209. EstherSussweinEdell says:

    Dan Silagi Dan, your melting pot family sounds lovely: educated, friendly, warm, loving, splendid in every way. It doesn’t, however, sound Jewish and with all that intermarriage, I predict that within two generations they won’t even remember that their ancestors were Jews at all. I feel very sorry for your forbears; they carried the Jewish tradition with them for thousands of years, from generation to generation. Yet before you know it that long chain will be broken. Very sad.

  210. Chaim Szmidt says:

    Dan Silagi Dan, it took you all this time to answer me?!?!? You stopped foaming yet? You should it's bad for your health!

    Putting up a strawman does not change the fact that you are unable to argue intelligently. Whether she agrees with me or not has nothing to do with this case! As a matter of fact as much as I may disagree in religious matters with a Reform rabbi, as long as both his/her parents are Jewish I respect him/her as a Jew. The only racist here is you – for throwing insults at anyone who deigns to disagree with you. Unless she converts SHE IS NOT A JEW, neither you, nor I, nor the good lady herself can in any way, shape or form change that. Get off your high horse and face the facts, anyone can choose to call oneself anything he/she wants, however, UNLESS one fulfill all the necessary requirements whatever title one choose is merely a fraud.

  211. EstherSussweinEdell says:

    Dan Silagi It’s Buchdahl, not Buchman. If you’re going to drive in for her services, you might as well get her name right. Enjoy your drive home Friday night, desecrating Shabbat on your trip home from “shul”.

  212. Chaim Szmidt says:

    Believe or not Dan, there are Orthodox Asian Jews… who converted halachically, or were born Jewish from parents who converted halachically.

  213. Moshe Tenenbaum says:

    Tzippy Diskind Yarom , this made me laugh

  214. Dan Silagi says:

    Best thing Jesus ever did.

  215. Moshe Tenenbaum says:

    Both the mother and father? Why? Either someone is fully a Jew or not, and someone who's mother is Jewish (or who has had a legitimate conversion) is, no ifs ands or buts

  216. David Conley says:

    Who is a Jew and conversion..see Prof Robert Eisenman's (dead sea scrolls) blogs on conversion to see how matriarchal descent started with the Herodians. http://blogs.jpost.com/content/abrahamicmosaicdavidic-conversion-opposed-rabbinic

  217. Dan Silagi says:

    I never said my wife is Jewish. She's Protestant, and has no desire to convert. My son chose Christianity, and I respect his choice. Nor did I say interracial marriage is "beautiful." It is no more and no less beautiful than an intraracial marriage. It's how the partners keep the marriage which can make it beautiful.

  218. Dan Silagi your venomous responses betray you;"me think thou dost protest too much". I'm a Modern Orthodox Jew and in my synagogue there are many Blacks, Hispanics and Asians; some half of a mixed race couples some from families that converted in their entirety to Judaism. But that's the trick; they converted. Believe in God, don't believe in God, believe in the Torah as being of God or not is not the point. Put simply; if you joined a golf club or any other organization you would abide by their rules, wear their shirts with their logo, sing the group song and give the group greeting. If you can't or won't abide by their rules you would no linger be a member of their club. This is not a value judgement; there is no good or bad or right or wrong. You do have the right to from your own club with your own rules but you wouldn't be a member of the original club. It's that simple. BTW if enough people do what you do that original club would have to file for chapter 11 and cease to exist. This is what the Jews who follow Torah and Halacha are trying to avoid: extinction.

  219. Dan Silagi says:

    Judaism isn't a country club. Bad analogy. Unfortunately, it's Jews who think like you, who are exclusionary, who are destroying Judaism. Not intermarriage. You should be welcoming intermarriage, as it offers an opportunity to bring more Jews into the fold.

  220. Menachem Rephun says:

    Dan Silagi I could not be less surprised that you think so

  221. Benjamin Fox says:

    Wow, I guess the Torah really is in the hands of blind idiots after all?

  222. Jennifer Ingle says:

    She is Jewish.

  223. Yori Yanover says:

    Dan Silagi – I don't get the insult. She can become properly Jewish any time she wants to, by seeking out a rabbinical court, dipping in the mikvah and accepting the yoke of the mitzvot. She's not being excluded because we shun her, she's simply not Jewish. 100 people here, tolerant, kind, sweet people have been saying just that, but you don't want to hear it.

    I think you've said good bye to the Jewish nation, but you still have to come back for the gefilte fish. You're welcome, by the way, I don't find any fault in your manner and demeanor, but i wish you'd make the intellectual effort to take in what so many of us have been telling you today.

  224. Menachem Rephun says:

    No she's not.

  225. Menachem Rephun says:

    You can keep saying it all you want, it still won't be true. She is a goy

  226. YoriYanover says:

    hophmi – You truly misunderstand the discussion, I fear. This is not a criticism of her as a person — I think she’s a very nice woman, and probably very easy to get along with, I’m saying this honestly. But she is not Jewish, while some murderer sitting in jail IS Jewish because his mother was Jewish. Being Jewish is not a prize in this context, it’s a statistical fact.

  227. Menachem Rephun says:

    If you were alive then you would have died out like all of his original Jewish followers

  228. Dan Silagi thank you for your kind words (once again). I think the analogy is good. We are not talking about being exclusionary. We are saying come join us, follow our practices, obey our rules which have been enforce for over two millennium and we will be happy to receive you regardless of color, race or origin. Judaism allows for people to come in; but there is a process. Structure requires rules. If you want to be part of the greater humanity, that's fine. But it's not Judaism or Christianity or Islam or any other form of Organized religion.

  229. Dan Silagi says:

    Tzvi, there's a bottom line to this, that you and yourfellow Haredim don't understand. Angela Buchman has smicha, and has the job of Cantor and Rabbi at Central Synagogue. You can argue until you're blue in the face that she's illegitimate, that she's a fraud, etc. but that doesn't change things: She's got the job.

    This is analogous to the "birther" argument about President Obama. You can, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, say he's a Muslim born in Kenya, and that he's not eligible to be president, even though even if he were a Muslim born in Kenya, his mother was a natural-born American citizen. But Barack Obama is President of the United States. He was elected, then re-elected. Somehow I get the feeling that very few of you posting here voted for Obama, but that's irrelevant. You didn't put up the numbers to beat him, so here he is, and here he'll be until 2017, when we get the Second Coming of Clinton.

    Deal with both.

  230. Menachem Rephun says:

    Dan Silagi I think you "melted" a little too well

  231. Menachem Rephun says:

    You have assimilated to the point that your Jewish identity has been reduced to virtually nothing and you view anyone religious with outright hostility and contempt

  232. Menachem Rephun says:

    Dan Silagi Pretty incredible of you to accuse others of being intolerant. Are you "tolerant" of Orthodox Jews? It doesn't sound like it to me based on what you've written

  233. Menachem Rephun says:

    Dan Silagi That was literally the worst analogy I've ever heard

  234. Nanette CohenRayman says:

    Jennifer Ingle: NO, she is not. She is not Jewish.

  235. Menachem Rephun says:

    Just because a council of reform "rabbis" got together and decided to make this non-Jewish woman one of them doesn't make her Jewish by standards that have been universally accepted amongst the Jewish People for thousands of years

  236. Andy Hirsh Dlinn says:

    I don't call Them Rabbis, I call them "Social Service Professionals" which more accurately describes their roles!

  237. Chaim Szmidt says:

    Dan Silagi Changing the subject, building strawmen, doesn't work Danny! Stay with the subject, dont evade i!.

    Show some intellectual integrity, if you have any. Whether people here voted for the Dems or the Repubs or the Communists is totally immaterial to the current subject. Face it, you are unable, unwilling to extend the minimum courtesy that you demand THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT A BIGOT, AN IGNORAMUS DOES. Are you then so bigoted?!?!?!? Chill out and without insults show you are grown up enough, and smart enough to hold a reasoned discussion or quit if you are unable to. Often it is better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to to say something and disspel all doubt.

  238. Dan Silagi says:

    Am I tolerant of Orthodox Jews? Yes, if they're tolerant of other branches of Judiasm, absolutely. But you, Menachem, and virtually all the other orthodox posters here are labeling Angela Buchdahl a "fraud" because her mother isn't Jewish. Perhaps you should rephrase your question, "Are you tolerant of circle-the-wagon, my way or the highway, orthodox Jews." My answer to you would be a resounding "NO!"

  239. Betzalel Cooper says:

    WTF!

  240. Ellen Tabor says:

    Reform Judaism recognizes patrilineal descent. You may not agree with this, but they do. And since we have no pope, well, I guess they get to say.

  241. Under Reform rulings, she is a Jew. Also, under Reform rulings, she is not bound to cleave to the mitzvot. I do not say that I agree with the Reform stance, but the truth is that she appears to be a good Reform Rabbi (I recognize that she could not be a rabbi in Conservative or Orthodox circles without converting, of course.) I find offensive (and quite unworthy of any Jew) the final sentence in the above article as well as the "Latest Poll" on this same page that asks "As a Jewish person, which non-Jewish religion do you think is the least objectionable?" Shame on Yori Yanover and the jewishpress.com for such mean-spirited remarks.

  242. Aaron Jay Henteleff says:

    ooooh, is that like the petition to have Athiest Chaplains in the army?

  243. Rabbi Alona Lisitsa says:

    Menachem Rephun King David's grandmother was not Jewish, she was Motivate; Tamar who was Yehuda's two sons wife and bore a child from Yehuda himself to continue the tribe was not Hebrew?Jewish. Zipora the wife of Moses was Midyanite. Asnat, Josef's wife and the mother of Efraim and Menashe our two tribes was Egyptian.

  244. Ellen Tabor says:

    Reform Jews, from whom I am proudly descended, believe in patrilineal descent. (They didn't when I was a child, but that's another matter). You may not like this, but you do not get to say. If you don't like what they believe, then you do not have to join then. Why must there be so much sinat chinam in our community?

  245. Dan Silagi First of all I don't understand why you call me a Haridi? I don't wear a kippa (skullcap) and my wife wears pants when we're not in synagogue. I am an Eagle Scout, and 4th degree Black Belt in Karate and serve as a ranger in the Israeli Army. Having smicha and working in a reformed temple proves nothing other than she is not collecting unemployment. As to your birther argument I think you gave yourself away. Yes, Obama is President; but it does make a difference whether he was born in the U.S. or not because that is the RULE (the halacha if you will).

  246. HandonehBizamat says:

    Not that it makes a difference, but as far as Reform Judaism is concerned – she is properly Jewish (they recognize both patrilineal and matrilineal descent), so the title is somewhat misleading 🙂

  247. Dan Silagi says:

    You want me to be courteous to you, and then you call me a "bigot and an ignoramus?" That's an odd way to go about doing that. And while you're at it, learn how to spell "dispel." Only one "s."

  248. EdwardLobel says:

    Hi Tina Wasserman, sounds like you are describing eric cantor!
    Based on your description of being “…. hateful, prejudiced, unloving to one’s neighbor, and unethical in his daily activities….” describes him to a tee!

  249. DavidGordon385 says:

    הרב הגוי הראשונה. המציאות הזויה מכל דמיון.

  250. Menachem Rephun says:

    Ellen TaborYou're right. We don't have a Pope, because we don't need one. We have a Torah and a Code of Law derived from that Torah which states unequivocally that they are wrong

  251. Menachem Rephun says:

    No. Its not a problem of the Torah being in the wrong hands. Its that these self-appointed Rabbis are not relying on the Torah in the first place, because if they were this wouldn't be happening.

  252. EileenGindinSpiegel618 says:

    Not legit

  253. Menachem Rephun says:

    Rabbi Alona Lisitsa Ruth officially converted to Judaism, and she was a Moabite, not "motivate". Also conversion was different in those times but it doesn't change the fact that a person's mother has to be Jewish in order for them to be Jewish

  254. Well, i'll never let her pour me Sake….

  255. EileenGindinSpiegel618 says:

    yes, the Reform consider her Jewish but the fact she wasn’t raised Jewish, to me, makes her unfit to be a Rabbi.

  256. EsserAgarothBlog says:

    Can we please stop the insanity already? Reformism is NOT Judaism in the first place: http://esseragaroth.blogspot.com/2013/04/reformism-is-not-judaism.html.

  257. DanSilagi says:

    Actually, the false prophet was St. Paul, with St. Peter a close second. Jesus said he was the Son of Man. Most Gospels reiterate that, but for that reason, they weren’t selected by the Roman Emperor Constantine.

  258. RicardoKaptzan says:

    O que você acha?

  259. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Dan, you are right whether I misspelled “dispel” because of ignorance or plain lousy typing is immaterial, the fact remains that it is misspelled and I thank you for pointing it out. Now… just as “disspel” (the way it first appeared in my reply) – in spite of my intention – does not spell “dispel,” neither does a non-convert to Judaism become a Jew in spite of best intention and/or whatever learning, feeling, or sincerity they may have. Talking about spelling… you repeatedly wrote “halaicha”… did you mean “halacha?”

  260. CaraLynnLavender says:

    Ohh Dan, he GOT you! Shazam!

  261. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Dan Silagi I thank you for pointing out my misspelling of “dispel.”

    Whether I misspelled it because of sheer ignorance or plain lousy typing is immaterial, the fact is that regardless of my intention “disspel” (as I originally typed it in my reply) is NOT the same as “dispel” Which brings me to the point… regardless of intention, learning, feelings or title, a Jew is a Jew only if his/her mother is a Jew or he/she has been halachically converted (the good lady, can do so at any time she cares to).

    By the way, you repeatedly write “halaicha,” do you mean “halacha” perhaps?

  262. AndrewNachumKlafter says:

    Rabbi YY Rubinstein: She is fully Jewish according to Reform doctrine (patrilineal descent) and therefore your critique is flawed and your laughter misplaced.

  263. DanSilagi says:

    It’s far from black and white. If you want to be a rabbi in an orthodox synogogue, yes, you certainly would have to be halaichally Jewish (matrilineal). And yes, Elvis Presley would have qualified, being that he had a maternal great-great-grandmother. I think he would have made a superlative cantor, and he would have gotten my butt in a pew on Friday night and Saturday. The fallacy you and others have made is that “Jewish” doesn’t necessarily mean “Halaichally Jewish.”

    Actually, I feel very bad for those here who refuse to accept Angela Buchdahl as truly Jewish. But if she read the comments here, I doubt if she’d lose any sleep over the issue.

  264. DavidP.Rapaport says:

    Right on, Linda Epstein! As we are in the month of Ellul, between Tisha B’av and the days of awe, what is the point of spreading Sin’at Chinam, hated and contempt, not to one person, but toward an entire group of people. Regardless of the Halachic view, the reform movement regards itself as Jewish, and by the way, Hitler and his henchmen would have no question of their Jewishness. That is enough for me to treat them with respect!

  265. DanSilagi says:

    Menachem Rephun No, I certainly don’t view anyone religious with hostility and contempt. I do, however, view those fundamentalists (not necessarily Jewish) who think their religion is the one true path to salvation with extreme contempt, starting with Islamic fundamentalists but including those Jews who feel that way as well.

  266. DanSilagi says:

    Esther Susswein Edell There’s some truth to that. But if you want to preserve Judaism, you need to welcome Christians (and others) into the fold. Some will convert, although converting should be a pleasant and uplifting experience, not NO, NO, NO.

  267. DanSilagi says:

    Menachem Rephun I’m just a 6′, 220-pound Croque Monsieur.

  268. DanSilagi says:

    Yeah, he certainly did. But there really is no correct spelling for transliterations. For example, there are lots of ways to spell Chanukah.

  269. DanSilagi says:

    David, I don’t like the idea of Hitler defining who is and who’s not Jewish, but you’re right.

  270. GaryBelsky says:

    We should all keep in mind that in no place and in time did all Jews or even the majority of Jews ever vote on who is the ultimate Rabbinic authority on Judaism. No one gets to say, “This is the way Judaism is supposed to be run.” They get to say, “This the way Judaism is supposed to be run, in my opinion and in the opinion of rabbis I follow.” Because, after all, none of us are following the Torah as written. We’re all picking and choosing based on the interpretations of very fallible men (sadly, mostly men). For example, we should all of us, especially the most self-assured among us, remember that when a particular group of rabbis “discovered” early in the first millennium that, in fact, the R’bono shel Olom actually meant that bloodline Judaism was to be transmitted through the mother–and not, as every reasonable indication in the Torah implies, through the father–there were other Jews at the time who thought that was outrageous, nothing more than weak-kneed response to a societal morals problem of the day. So let’s keep the prattling and pontificating to a minimum, please. It’s embarrassing to all Jews, wherever they sit on the spectrum that has existed since Day 1.

  271. DanSilagi says:

    Sake isn’t a Korean beverage; it’s Japanese. Koreans and Japanese traditionally don’t get along. Mrs. Buchdahl’s mother is of Korean descent.

  272. JerryBlaz says:

    OK, Yori Yanover doesn’t agree with the fact that a person raised as a Jew can be Jewish unless he agrees to the same metaphysics as Yori Yanover accepts. But do not stretch your points to the limits of insulting a woman rabbi, but then again, Yori would not accept a woman rabbi. So why push the insult button? I see many things that I do not personally accept in the world, but I do not take away a Jew’s identity as a Jew, particularly a rabbi.

  273. SherryHeleneBlumberg says:

    I was privileged to be a teacher for Angela while she was studying for the Cantorate. She was a fine woman then and now. She has committed her life to Jewish music, learning, worship, and community. It is a sad statement that we cannot see her in the same light as we see someone like the Biblical Ruth or Asenath (Joseph’s wife). While each of those who would condemn her and the Reform movement as well are entitled to your opinions, I would remind you that Jerusalem was destroyed by Sin’at Chinam. Keep up the great work Angela, or now Rabbi Buchdahl. Dr. Sherry H. Blumberg

  274. NatalieSerendipity772 says:

    While it is true that Reform Jews in the US don’t practice all the Toraitic mitzvot, I don’t think it makes us any less Jewish. I am of pure-blooded Ashkenazi descent — Cohen on my mother’s side and Levi on my father’s side. What can I possibly be but a member of the Jewish people? So if Rabbi Angela chooses a Jewish ministry — a life intended to help people to understand and relate to their Jewishness, even if they don’t interpret it as literally as the more orthodox do, then what is wrong with that? I don’t see anything wrong with accepting children of Jewish fathers as Jewish, and since Rabbi Angela went so far as to complete the Jewish studies necessary to earn the title Rabbi, I just can’t find anything wrong with that.

  275. DanSilagi says:

    Wow! 162 comments! This has been the most since I discovered this ragsheet a year or so ago (I was looking for the Jewish Week; this is quite different, of course, and far more entertaining).

  276. OzzieKlein says:

    The Jewish Press does not speak for all Jews and all things Jewish.

  277. DanSilagi says:

    She was raised Jewish. That’s what it says in The Forward.

  278. DanSilagi says:

    Yes, and rabbis and rabbinical scholars have been arguing over Torah and Talmud for the past three millennia.

  279. DanSilagi says:

    Thanks to both of you for speaking up. I was fighting this battle alone all day.

  280. DanSilagi says:

    I’ll be thinking of you, Lisa, when I devour my ham and cheese sandwich this coming Yom Kippur. With every delicious bite.

  281. DanSilagi says:

    Esther Susswein Edell Yes, I’ll be “descrating” Shabbot on our drive back to New Jersey — in my GERMAN car. As will most of my fellow congregants.

  282. DanSilagi says:

    Tzvi, one of the things that gives me much pleasure in my semi-old-age (I’m younger than Mick Jagger, but not by a whole lot) is to watch some of the local high school football (US) players bench 10 reps of 225, which is quite good, to impress their girlfriends. Then this old geezer with a bit of a stomach puts a third plate on the bar (315) and does 5 reps, which is all I can do. What I then hear from these kids is “Can I spot for you, Mr. Silagi?” I took this up seriously two years ago to lose weight (didn’t happen) and get rid of bursitis. I could barely do 100 back then. Age is just a number.

  283. MariaElenaAriasMartinez says:

    SAD. So SAD!

  284. FattLipp448 says:

    tp://www.aniyostsef.com/AniYosTsef-dot-Com2010/images/dphy_shacharit_edu_talit-tsitsit.jpg

    its getting worse then homosexuals and woman trying to get to the kotel to throw rave parties, ” all hell breaking loose ” seems to be the right expression at the moment.

  285. FattLipp448 says:

    nah, look at this link and do a story on this guy, tp://www.aniyostsef.com/AniYosTsef-dot-Com2010/images/dphy_shacharit_edu_talit-tsitsit.jpg there is a reform shul in toulouse france AJLT, there is a bi couple, and the guy is vice president too, they have kids all to fool the rabbinet to get in front of that kotel and break dance., crazy world we live in, ppl who have allot of money want what they cant have.

  286. Meema Novick says:

    sorry but this is sick

  287. AllanPhilipson says:

    Suggest you all buy Rav Avigdor Miller zazal’s just posthumely published book:
    ‘Divine Madness’ .
    That informs you abt what the reformers did to the Jewish People

  288. DeborahGreenTaffet says:

    Great post. Brilliant!

  289. GeoffreyDennis says:

    It is only because you are not a rabbi that Bilaam’s donkey would be the first rabbinic jackass.

  290. YacovPedhatzur-Wiedhopf says:

    Rabbi Rubinstein- you can only blame the stiff Jewish establishment for this to happen. Please look at the mirror for few minutes every once and a while.

  291. EarlW.LittlefieldJr says:

    Satan has his priests and now rabbis also……

  292. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Dan Silagi Age is merely a number, I totally agree with you there. Attitude and state of mind are what makes a difference.

    As far as I’m concerned your Shabbat desecration is your business, but do you have to brag about it? You have no other accomplishments in your life that provided you with more meaning?!?

  293. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Dan, there is no “halaicha” there ain’t no “yud” in the Hebrew “halacha.” Frankly, Dan, transliterating this word into English is very easy and almost universal, check it out. Changing the subject (the word transliterated, in this case) doesn’t change the facts…

  294. RogerPrice561 says:

    Your article begins with the premise that Angela Buchdahl “did not take the time to convert to Judaism.” That statement is false, at least according to the New York Times. See http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/20/nyregion/religion-defining-judaism-a-rabbi-of-many-firsts.html?pagewanted=2&src=pm.
    Of course, you may not approve of the conversion either, but it’s nice to begin with an accurate premise.

  295. BenjaminFox says:

    I can’t disagree at all, when Paul said a women should be over the man because Eve first was deceived he knew what he was saying as the Holy Spirit gave it to him. The Blind rabbi’s can’t help themselves as they want the high places in the temple and be the men everyone respects, so it’s ego before God.

  296. MenachemRephun says:

    “there were other Jews at the time who thought that was outrageous”
    provide one concrete example of such an individual or individuals, and show me where their descendants are today

  297. MenachemRephun says:

    “very fallible men”
    Judaism’s authority is derived from Hashem who gave the Torah to Moshe and the Oral Tradition which was transmitted by Moshe to Yehoshua to the Elders to the Prophets to the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah, before it was redacted into the Mishna by Yehuda HaNasi and later into the Talmud Bavli and Talmud Yerushalmi

  298. MenachemRephun says:

    Ozzie Klein They never claimed to

  299. JeffreyGoldwasser says:

    Rabbi Buchdahl did undergo conversion to Judaism. That fact was not included in the article cited, but it is true, nonetheless. Journalists and journals are supposed to check their facts, especially before they engage in personal attacks. Yori Yanover and the JewishPress owe a deep apology for an article that is more interested in libeling a great contemporary rabbi and the entire Reform movement than in telling the truth.

  300. MenachemRephun says:

    Oh please. Stop with the martyr complex. You resorted to childish name calling and ad hominem attacks as much as anyone else, if not more so

  301. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi Apparently the last Gospel, John, is the only one which attempts to present jesus as a “divine being”. The others don’t. The Gospel of John is also the most virulently anti-semitic, where Jesus says to the Jews “you are of your father the devil” and accuses them of murdering the prophets, and of course the infamous “his blood be on our hands and our children’s hand’s”, which was used by Christians to justify the slaughter of countless thousands of Jews throughout history

  302. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi Nobody claimed our religion is “the one true path”, and by the way, doesn’t every religion feel it has something special and unique to offer? The issue here is what makes someone Jewish and the Halachic definition of Jewish identity which is being undermined by the Reform movement’s leadership

  303. MelissaLawrence says:

    This article is just shameful! No goyim can be an authentic rabbi!

  304. MenachemRephun says:

    Ted McClelland She underwent went what the Reform movement defines as conversion, not the conversion process of Orthodox Judaism which is the one that has been in place for millennia

  305. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi I find it ironic that you say that. The Reform movement’s adherents in Germany were very eager to discard their Jewish identity and become “Jews of the Mosaic persuasion.” The motto of Reform was “a Jew at home, a non-Jew in the street”. It took the Nazis to remind these misguided souls that they were, in fact, members of the Jewish nation

  306. MenachemRephun says:

    Melissa From-Chicago They can if they have a kosher, Halachically valid conversion to Torah observant Judaism, which did not happen in this case

  307. SientjeSeinen935 says:

    well I am not Jewish I belong to the canadian reformed church, and they don’t allow women pastors as we are told that Adam was created first, and that women should ask their husbands at home, if they wish to know anything about the Word of G-d. as it would be difficult for a woman pastor to discipline men within the church if they strayed.

  308. DebFreeland says:

    I just call them “do what is right in your own eyes”

  309. JashaAlfandari says:

    Nije on kriv…….

  310. DavidaChazan says:

    As my friend Roger Price notes, according to the New York Times “Eventually, at 21, she did undergo a conversion ceremony.” I think you should change the title of this article, since it is not just misleading, it is 100% WRONG. Libel suit, anyone?

  311. RalphLeighton says:

    Nice can of worms opened here. It seems the article is as inaccurate (see informed comments from Goldwasser and Price below) as it is predictable – if Reform, Liberal, Orthodox, Conservative, Haredi were all the same, with the same interpretations and practises, they wouldn’t have different collective titles. If there is only one Judaism, how do I know which is ‘right’ other than to follow my own understanding?

  312. DavidaChazan says:

    Menachem Rephun … and you know that the conversion process of the Reform movement is absolutely nothing like that of the Orthodox movement, how, exactly? You don’t. Therefore, it doesn’t matter HOW she converted, the fact is that she converted.

  313. DavidaChazan says:

    More shame that Yori and this site got their facts WRONG. She DID convert.

  314. KhuderAlMindlawi says:

    she not Pure jew , but she do best.

  315. DanSilagi says:

    It’s even more interesting that here in this discussion we’re arguing about the right for someone to openly declare herself Jewish even when s like you say she isn’t. So this is exactly the opposite of what you claim took place in Germany during the Wiemar Republic. KInd of puts a new twist on the phrase “Wer Jude ist, bestimme ich” made notorious by Hermann Goering and other anti-Semites.

  316. RonAaron says:

    ay dios mio!

  317. DanSilagi says:

    It’s not pronounced “Ha-Lah-Cha,” is it? And regardless of how it’s spelled in English, I don’t practice it. I’m not shomer Shabbot. I don’t keep Kosher. I’m intermarried. I wear wool with linen (e.g. linen neckties with a worsted wool suit). I’ve never seen the inside of a mikvah. In other words, I’m not my grandpa.

  318. DanSilagi says:

    According to the NY Times, who did a story on this last month, Buchdahl did convert. Maybe her conversion doesn’t meet with your approval, or with Lieb Tropper’s approval, but she converted nonetheless. And she didn’t have to (that’s why she called it her “reaffirmation.”

  319. GaryBelsky says:

    Menachem Rephun Provide one concrete example of such a derivation from Hashem (to use your construct). Concrete being the operative word, of course. The existence of the Torah does not provide proof of divine revelation, any more than the existence of L. Ron Hubbard’s “Scientology” provides proof of the existence of Thetans or the Book of Mormon provides proof for Joseph Smith’s claim to channel the intent of G-d or the Gospel of Paul provides proof of Jesus’ divinity. Any or all of these may be based on fact, but none have any claim that their faith-based story is any more reliable or believable than the others. The same goes for the Torah. And if longevity is your major trump card, as evidenced above, I can’t wait until you read the Bhagavad Gita, which has been around for roughly three millennia, because although Judaism will lose a practitioner Hinduism will gain a man of obvious faith and intellect. In fact, as my rebbe at the Yeshova Gedolah of St. Louis used to say, “You’re too smart to be having this conversation. Emunah is only as strong as your ability to refrain from forcing it on others.” Alternately, you might find direction in the words of the RaGAB, that Achron of renown: “There are two kinds of Jews in the world,” he wrote. “Those who love all Jews, and those who do not understand the Torah.” My confidence in your ability to absorb both of these pieces of mussar outweigh any impulsive responsive you might offer, so I’ll think good thoughts in your honor.

  320. DanSilagi says:

    I’m not descrating anything. If I were your employer and forced you to work on Shabbat without giving you the opportunity to make up the hours on a different day (if that were possible), then I’d agree with you: I’d be descrating Shabbat. What I AM doing is sticking it to you holier-than-thou Torah-thumpers who believe just because you’re observant, you’re better than everyone else.

    As my grandfather, who was observant, once said, there are Jews who spend all of Friday night and all day Saturday in shul, so they have the license to screw everyone over the other six days of the week.

  321. TinaWasserman says:

    AND… in anticipation of bigoted, narrow-minded people like you, SHE HAD AN ORTHODOX CONVERSION. And you wonder why people hate so much? They read uncorroborated lies like yours.

  322. DanCohen543 says:

    The only way Yori Yanover would find Rabbi Buchdahl “acceptable” would be for her to.

    1. Undergo an Orthodox conversion process with a rabbi Yori Yanover finds acceptable.

    and

    2. Appear before a Bet Din Yori Yanover also finds acceptable.

    After all, there are Orthodox rabbis and there are Orthodox rabbis. Yanover seems to be the ultimate judge and jury on who falls where.

    But even that would not have been enough for Yori Yanover since Rabbi Buchdahl is a female. As a result she would need to.

    1. Undergo an Orthodox conversion with a Rabbi Yori Yanover finds acceptable.

    2. Appear before a Bet Din Yori Yanover also finds acceptable.

    3. Undergo a sex change operation.

    In other words there is pretty much nothing that would NOT put Rabbi Buchdahl in the line of Yanover’s attacks. The (entirely incorrect) jump off point of “non-Jew” was simply an excuse for Yanover to excoriate the Reform Movement in specific and non-Orthodox Judaism in general.

    I do not know Rabbi Buchdahl personally but some of the people I know and trust most do and have nothing but amazing things to say about her. I’m proud to have her as a rabbinic colleague.

    As for Yanover, he may understand the letter of halacha but he certainly has little comprehension of the spirit of Elul.

  323. TinaWasserman says:

    Menachem Rephun she underwent an ORTHODOX conversion in anticipation of people like you.

  324. YossiPollak says:

    Yori, I simply don’t understand the point of this article. Do you think this woman is the first person the Reform movement has ordained who is not Jewish according to halacha? I’m quite certain (and I’ll bet you personally know some of them), that there have been plenty of people converted according to Reform standards (which are not acceptable to either Conservative or Orthodox Judaism) ordained as rabbis, as well as others who are only Jewish according to patrilineal descent. The only reason this woman is news is because she’s Asian-American, so her race is on full display for you to question. None of this is new.

  325. MollyKarp says:

    I think is best that we let Rabbi Buchdahl speak for herself

  326. StuLoeser says:

    Nostalgia! I wish I could grab a piece of herring and watch you debate, but there is none here. “Not even a cracka!” Jessica Ashenberg Loeser

  327. EphraimBander says:

    Why not make Farrakhan a reformed Jewish rabbi. Or jimmy carter. Al sharpton would do great. Nonsense. Sheker and very sad. Misplaced chessed is a challenge. 21 days left

  328. TomAlpert says:

    Sigh.

  329. DoronHarel says:

    what’s new? we should not care what people like him think, when Israeli men merry a Philippine women they don’t force them to convert and they don’t ask the Rabbi if he allow it or not.

  330. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Dan Silagi You can’t stick to the subject EVEN when you are in the defensive!!! Danny boychick, what does anything you said in your last reply have to do with the lady – about whom this article was written – being Jewish?!?!?

    Getting back to you, I said in one of my replies above that it is the Almighty’s job not mine to judge, therefore since that job is way above my paygrade, I must leave it to Him. I did say, however, that your bragging about driving on Shabbos, your proudly proclaiming that you’ll be eating a delicious treif sandwich on Yom Kippur only shows the emptiness of your life, the emptiness of your spirituality (if it even exists!) and your blatant mockery of Jewish values, or you’d find something far better, far greater, to be proud of.

    The fact that one is a thief, while the next one is a murderer does in no way change the fact that the thief is still a thief! In other words, just because one acts and/dresses religious does not make him/her religious. A pig dressed in silk, is still a pig. So what does your statement prove?!?!?

    Sitick to the facts, if you want to have a debate, or move over and make room for someone better equipped to have a coherent and relevant discussion. By the way, while Madoff is a Jew, he’s not religious… using your argument should I then conclude that secular Jews are consequently all thieves? Preposterous!!!

  331. JoeNewman464 says:

    Don’t get me started! You can go to the Universal Life “Church” website and become legally “ordained” as pretty much any title you want to make up… kinda like– “Imam” Calypso Louie, “The Reverend” Al, “The Reverend” Jessie, etc. etc. etc.

  332. YoriYanover894 says:

    Yossi Pollak · Dear rabbi — In human affairs, now and then, an event takes place which throws a unique light on an issue, even if, as you say, it is quite ordinary. Maybe it’s my own discovery, but considering just how huge the reaction to the story has been, it appears it struck a chord. Hope your summer is sweet.

  333. RebeccaMoses says:

    This article is just disgusting. So sad that this kind of stuff is allowed to be printed at all.

  334. SteveWohl115 says:

    I didnt understand it either until I realized that it was in the “Jewish” Press, a publication that never misses an opportunity to bash anything and everything non-Orthodox.

  335. MenachemRephun says:

    Gary Belsky Judaism is the only religion with the claim of national revelation, where a nation of over three million people claimed that G-d spoke directly to them, whose descendants are still here

  336. MenachemRephun says:

    All other faiths are based on the testimony of one individual’s claim to have received a divine revelation

  337. MenachemRephun says:

    You also evaded answering my question. Where, historically, has there been a Jew who was considered Jewish through his father, and where are that person’s descendants today

  338. MenachemRephun says:

    Davida Chazan The Reform conversion process is very lax and is not valid according to normative halachic standards

  339. MenachemRephun says:

    The Torah makes predictions about the future of the Jewish People which have actually come to pass (particularly in Devarim). It also contains laws and statutes which could only come from the Creator Himself. See Rabbi Lawrence Keleman’s articles on the subject, many of which can be found on Simpletoremember.com, a very good Jewish website

  340. DanSilagi says:

    Yeah, Angela Buchdahl is just like Farrakhan. That is about the most despicable comment I’ve seen in this thread thus far, and there have been some real gems.

  341. MenachemRephun says:

    That’s not the point

  342. MenachemRephun says:

    Tina WassermanHow do you know her conversion was Orthodox, and why would a Reform “rabbi” undergo an Orthodox conversion?

  343. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi Good for you. I’m sure he would be proud

  344. DanSilagi says:

    You’ve made a few yourself, Menachem.

  345. MenachemRephun says:

    Benjamin Fox Go away please

  346. DanSilagi says:

    Rebecca, it’s because we have freedom of speech in this country, and thanks to the Internet, we have freedom to disagree, in many cases vehementy, with articles. I don’t know if you’re referring to what Yori wrote, with which I certainly disagree strongly, or the orginal Forward article, which I strongly agree with. But my point is that Yori isn’t a coward like Mike Lupica of the NY Daily News who closes off his articles to comments.

  347. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi So?

  348. MenachemRephun says:

    What does that even mean?

  349. DanSilagi says:

    Ever hear of Moses, Menachem? He didn’t climb Mt. Sinai just to get an aerobic workout.

  350. DanSilagi says:

    He was very proud of his four children and of his 10 grandchildren. None of his kids was (is) the least big religious, five married out. One is MO.

  351. DanSilagi says:

    Earl, I have the sneaking suspicion that in your eyes, not only Reform rabbis are members of the synogogue of Satan.

  352. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi You’re not even making sense now

  353. MenachemRephun says:

    Unfortunately she did not go so far as to complete the process necessary to become a Jew

  354. BenjaminFox says:

    Menachem Rephun, go away please, a two way street.

  355. MenachemRephun says:

    So he himself was devoutly religious, yet he was happy that almost all of his descendants left the fold of Judaism and Torah observance? I’m not passing judgement on your Grandfather, I just find that hard to believe

  356. DanSilagi says:

    I’m not a thief; I’m not a murderer. But I AM an apikorus, through and through.

  357. MenachemRephun says:

    Why are you proud of that?

  358. JosephSalowitz says:

    Before anyone offers an opinion on Angela Buchdahl, you should see with your own eyes, and hear with your own ears, how Ms. Buchdahl leads Friday night services in the Central Synagogue of Manhattan. I have been watching her, LIVE, online, for over a year, and, after YOU watch her, I am sure that you will all say, to yourself, that she is a “GIFT” to the Jewish people. You can watch, and hear her, LIVE, every Friday from 6 PM to 7:30 PM [Shabbos does not begin, this week, until 7:35 PM]. Just click on this link Friday at 6:00 PM or later [at other times this “live-feed” is a blank screen].
    http://www.centralsynagogue.org/worship/live_streaming

  359. JosephSalowitz says:

    Just type the link into your address bar [at the top of your computer screen] and hit your “enter” button. The Jewish Press does not permit web page links in their comments section.

  360. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Menachem Rephun It is obvious that Dan has nothing else to be proud of (neboch!) in his empty life, so he chooses something that he believes shows his independence and intelligent thought. Funny thing though, it only only proves his total subservience to the worst kind of master, his own self, as he succumbs to his lowest lusts.

  361. MenachemRephun says:

    Joseph SalowitzIt doesn’t matter if she has the voice of an angel or a shrieking harpy. This is about the absurdity of proclaiming a non-Jew as a Rabbi

  362. MenachemRephun says:

    Tina Wasserman “Anticipation of people like you” I’m glad you’ve decided what kind of person I am, despite having never met me and knowing absolutely nothing about me. I think there’s a word for that, oh right, its called being judgmental

  363. MenachemRephun says:

    What is this monolithic “Jewish establishment”? Its the lay leadership of the Reform movement which has collectively decided to rewrite Judaism and make it acceptable for non-Jews to become Rabbis

  364. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi There are certain basic principles of Judaism which are incontrovertible and without which the foundation of Judaism would crumble. The Unity of G-d is not debatable. The Giving of the Torah and the eternally binding nature of its Commandments are not debatable. One these principles are dispensed with, Jewish observance begins to disintegrate, maybe not in one generation, or two, but slowly and surely

  365. MenachemRephun says:

    Benjamin Fox I’m not the one on a Jewish page promoting Christian theology

  366. JoanLeeFinn says:

    I have had the pleasure of attending services led by Rabbi Bucdahl. The large sanctuary was full with Friday night worshipers who were totally engaged in Jewish worship. Our host went on an Israel trip run by Rabbi Buchdahl and raved about how inspirational she is. She certainly inspired me that night and makes me proud to be a Reform Jew.

  367. MenachemRephun says:

    You are expressing the contempt for Judaism and Rabbinic authority that is part and parcel of Christianity

  368. DanSilagi says:

    Menachem, I think you’ve made your point. According to you and your fellow frummies, Buchdahl isn’t Jewish. Give it a rest.

  369. VickyGlikin says:

    Dear Mr. Yanover,
    You have successfully created a straw (wo)man for your article – congratulations. It is highly unfortunate that your facts and the very premise for this article are plain wrong. Rabbi/Cantor Buchdahl underwent an Orthodox conversion, a fact that you would have easily discovered had you actually been trying to write an intelligent work of journalism. Given that you have been a “journalist” since age 17 and are a Senior Editor, your lack of professional integrity cannot be blamed on insufficient experience. It can only be explained as lack of due diligence, or a preference for touting your personal agenda over providing your readers with accurate information. Either one does not speak highly for your work, or for the Jewish Press.
    I found your call to look forward to “the time when calling someone “Reform” would simply mean a really nice non-Jew” to be truly chilling. One of the founding concepts in Judaism is Klal Israel. Your readiness to cut off 80% of American Jews from Judaism is truly misguided and I hope that in the future you will think twice before making such harmful statements.

  370. MenachemRephun says:

    I’m pretty sure the membership of Reform is much less than 80 percent of American Jews, and it will only get smaller as the intermarriage rate increases

  371. MenachemRephun says:

    Yori Yanover All of King David’s wives were gentiles? Obviously Michal wasnt but I don’t know if her children lived

  372. MenachemRephun says:

    Chaim Szmidt I think it’s extremely sad that a Jew would happily proclaim himself to be an apikorus

  373. DavidLeit says:

    Also not Jewish, according to Mr. Yanover: all descendants of Moses. Moses was married to Zipporah, a Midianite. Her father Jethro was actually a Midianite priest! Oy, what a shonda! Why did we ever name a parsha after him?

  374. EdSemon says:

    We share your sentiments. Angela is a great Jewish presence.

  375. hophmi says:

    YoriYanover hophmi I think you misunderstand my critique.  Whether you consider her Jewish or not has little to do with her ability to reflect Jewish values.  You assert that because she’s not halachically Jewish, nothing she does can be deemed “Jewish” in any way.  You make Jewishness nothing more than bloodlines.

  376. YonHernandez says:

    Seriously, do you think Hitler would have cared from which side her parents were Jewish? She would have been either raped, tortured, murdered, or all of the above during the Holocaust. According to Torah:

    Bere 17:7-9 says “I will ratify My covenant between Me and you and between your offspring after you, throughout their generations, as an everlasting covenant, to be a G-d to you and your offspring after you; and I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojourn – the whole of the land of Canaan – as an everlasting possession; and I shall be a G-d to them.” G-d said to Avraham, “And as for you, you shall keep My covenant – you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. (Rabbi Scherman: The Stone Edition Tanak Page 33 “Lecha Lecha”).

    So the question is she according to Torah a descendant of Avraham? Is she following Torah and observing all of Ha-Shem’s Mitzvahs like feast days and Shabbats? If so, let her be and lets instead focus on real issues. Like not being able to build homes in our own land for our people, letting the UN, EU, and Palestinians bully us into releasing Terrorist back into the world (which in my eyes should have been killed for taking the lives of so many Israeli’s). These are things that should be concentrated in our headlines and not the petty differences in our religious system.

  377. BenjaminFox says:

    Well the rabbi’s don’t like American Jews who know their Messiah or Jews in Israel who know their Messiah, so I treat them like they treat us, it’s a two way street, or you didn’t think of that? We don’t dislike Judaism but, know they don’t know their Messiah, rejected Him years ago and have been blind leaders of the blind ever since, someday they will wake up and call on His Name and some already have. Shalom.

  378. YoriYanover894 says:

    David P. Rapaport · Hitler did not use halachic reasoning, but racialist ones — as you are doing. I’m saying we don’t care what your race is, you can be any color skin whatsoever and you’d be welcome, provided you embrace God’s commandments. If you don’t, we don’t care how lovely your blood might be, because we’re not creatures of the night. We want you to join the fold in the prescribed way.

  379. YoriYanover894 says:

    Steve Wohl – we like monkeys. And the Beatles. Not Yoko, though. But not because she’s not Orthodox. We like meadows. We like long walks on the beach. We like the Pythons, especially Life of Brian.

  380. YoriYanover894 says:

    Dan Cohen · Yanover is not nearly as demanding as you’re portraying him here. He’s actually a nice guy who loves mankind, but feels responsible for his fellow Jews. Having said that, isn’t the spirit of Elul one of repenting our sins? I’m just saying, you’re coming across as if Elul is the month of not saying critical stuff — it’s actually a preparation for a whole bunch of supplications and self searching and whatnot.

  381. YoriYanover894 says:

    Khuder Al Mindlawi · I’ve no idea what “pure Jew” means.

  382. YoriYanover says:

    hophmi YoriYanover – Not at all. Anyone can become Jewish. My point is not that she SHOULD NOT be Jewish, rather it is that SHE SHOULD be Jewish. I think we will all benefit from having her as a Jewish person — as it appears we have done, btw.

  383. MenachemRephun says:

    Yori Yanover Is that like “dolphin free Jew”?

  384. MenachemRephun says:

    Jewna fish?

  385. MenachemRephun says:

    Ed Semon She’s a great non-Jewish presence

  386. MenachemRephun says:

    Your surname is very amusing by the way

  387. MenachemRephun says:

    Edward Lobel Well that came out of left field

  388. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Dan, Regardless of what you choose to do or not do as a Jew, if Judaism is so unimportant to you, why do you bother talking about it? Why brag about the unbraggable? Is there nothing of value in your life, is it so empty that you have no other subject worthy of discussion to engage us in? Or… do you feel so guilty that you need to bad mouth Judaism in order to ameliorate your guilt?!?!?!? Hmnnnn… methinketh thou doth protest too much…

  389. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Having said all the above, tell us what does your particular situation have to do with the subject of the article? Obfuscating the subject, again?

  390. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Menachem Rephun It only shows how infected his mind is, but there is a cure… of course, the cure lies in how much value Dan places on Judaism. i think, however, his view of Judaism is waaay too distorted to allow him to think rationally about it. Pity!

  391. MenachemRephun says:

    The sole purpose of the Reform movement was, and is, to “liberate” Jews from the yoke of Torah observance and a Jewish identity which is perceived as an obstacle to complete assimilation. The fact that the Jews of Germany, despite being among the most assimilated in the world, were not spared the horrors of the Holocaust, proves that their philosophy is wrong. Rampant assimilation only deepens the hostility and fearfulness of anti-semitic gentiles. The only way we can truly protect ourselves is by clinging to Torah Judaism as tightly and desperately as possible, the way a drowning man clings to a raft

  392. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Well said Menachem!

  393. RaymondApple says:

    For a brief history of matrilineality in Judaism (one’s Judaism descending from one’s mother), see the following article that appeared some years ago in the Jerusalem Post – http://www.oztorah.com/2009/07/matrilineality-is-still-best-for-jewish-identity/.

  394. DanSilagi says:

    Did it ever occur to you, Menachem, that your idiotic, anti-Christian remarks and Benjamin Fox’s totally unvarnished anti-Semitism are simply opposite sides of the same coin?

  395. iamagoodman2 says:

    This article confuses two issues.
    (1)  Who is a Jew?  (Should Reform have extended Jewsih staus to patrilineal descendants?)  This is a well worn issue.
    (2)  Does a non-Jewish Rabbi make sense, (i.e. so one who is not Jewish even by the standard of the Judaism in question).  This would presumably be a person who does not claim to be Jewish by is set up as an authority on Torah, particularly the 7 laws of Noach.

  396. MenachemRephun says:

    Davida Chazan Under whose auspices?

  397. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi I am not anti-Christian, I’m anti missionary. Christians have the right to believe anything they want. It is only when they start denigrating Judaism and trying to force their beliefs on Jewish people that I feel the need to object. There are countless Christian blogs on the web. There is no need to insult Jewish beliefs on a Jewish page

  398. MenachemRephun says:

    I hold by my statement that disdain for Rabbinic authority is ingrained in Christian teachings. This is a historically valid statement which even the most cursory examination of the Christian scriptures will prove

  399. MenachemRephun says:

    Ralph Leighton Are you Jewish?

  400. MenachemRephun says:

    How about Avigail? Did she have any children?

  401. MenachemRephun says:

    Dan Silagi You are defensive of Christianity but hateful towards Judaism?

  402. DanSilagi says:

    You can keep calling Angela Buchdahl a “goy” or a “shikse” all you like. Fact No. 1. She’s Jewish. Fact No. 2. You’re a rectal orifice.

  403. DanSilagi says:

    Isn’t that what you’re doing, Menachem? Forcing your particular brand of Judaism, which I find detestable, on all Jews?

  404. DanSilagi says:

    When I was a kid, my sister had a parakeet named Zippy. You take after him, because you have a bird brain.

  405. DanSilagi says:

    A retaining wall? That’s like saying that the original WTC survived because the retaining wall which keeps out the Hudson River remained intact after 9/11. This is actually one of Jesus’ prophecies which did come true.

  406. DavidConley says:

    Dov Blair Epstein Her mother was Korean, not Japanese

  407. DavidConley says:

    Tzippy Diskind Yarom didn’t you read the comments that said she converted at age 21; there is a link to a nyt article that mentions it.

  408. DanSilagi says:

    Maybe you should send me to the kollel of your choice, Menachem. Or try to.


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