web analytics
July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Reform’

Knesset Committee Ejects Top Reform Clergyman from Meeting

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

The head of the Reform movement in Israel was ejected from a discussion on state funding for non-Orthodox rabbis Tuesday.

Gilad Kariv, a Reform rabbi and director of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, was thrown out of Tuesday’s debate in the Knesset Finance Committee for speaking out of turn and using aggressive language.

Kariv was ejected by the head of the panel, Moshe Gafni, of the United Torah Judaism Party, who called non-Orthodox rabbis “clowns” and said they “did not exist.”

Late last month, the Israeli government agreed to begin paying some non-Orthodox rabbis and recognizing them as community leaders in response to a Supreme Court lawsuit.

The non-Orthodox rabbis will receive their salaries through the Culture and Sports Ministry rather than the Religious Services Ministry, which funds Orthodox rabbis, in order to prevent the resignation of Minister for Religious Services Yaakov Margi of the Orthodox Shas party.

Arizona Jewish family, Israeli Wife, in Murder-Suicide

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Police have identified a Jewish family from Tempe, Ariz., the Butwins, as the subjects of a suspected murder-suicide.

Police said that James Butwin, a board member of his local synagogue, Temple Emanuel, was the primary suspect in the killing of his Israeli born wife and three daughters. The bodies were found on Saturday in a burning SUV registered to the Butwins after having been missing from the family home.

While authorities were working to identify the remains, the Pinal County sheriff said he believed the deaths were the work of a drug cartel, but police now believe James Butwin, 47, killed himself after killing his wife Yafit, 40, daughter Malissa, 16, and sons Daniel, 14, and Matthew, 7, according to the Tucson Citizen.

The Butwins were going through a divorce and James had serious financial and medical problems, the paper reported.

A crisis response team from Tempe’s Jewish Family & Children’s Services was dispatched to Temple Emanuel on Wednesday, the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix reported, and professionals were also sent to the East Valley Jewish Community Center, where the youngest Butwin child was to have been a summer camper. Team members were planning to offer counseling to those attending a 7 p.m. service of grief at the Reform congregation on Wednesday.

Beyond Words – Rabbi Meir Kahane at His Very Best

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

One of Rabbi Kahane’s most powerful essays, “What Makes Bernie Run?” was published in The Jewish Press in 1976. Unfortunately, its scathing message is as true today as it was back then, almost 35 years ago.

We have written about programs like Birthright in the past. Sure it’s a great thing to send young Jews to Israel for an inspirational visit. If even one Jew ends up marrying a Jewish mate because of it, and coming on aliyah, then all of the millions of dollars are worth it. But, after these kids return to their college campuses and their enticing shiksa classmates, their experience in Israel will all too often turn into a fading memory with snapshots they can show to the shiksas they marry. If he is still charged up from his visit, maybe Bernie will insist that Brigette undergo some worthless conversion. Maybe he’ll get her to light Sabbath candles and tell their kids that they’re Jews. And when they grow up, maybe Bernie’s gentile’s children will pass themselves off as the real thing and get some poor Jewish sucker to marry them. What a mess it will be! There will even be “Jewish” weddings where both the bride and groom are gentiles. Soon in America, you won’t be able to know if the person you are marrying is really a Jew, or if he or she innocently believes they’re Jewish because that’s what their parents told them, and the rabbis and temples and Jewish establishment all went along with the charade. And now that the Attorney General in Israel has cleared the way to pay reform “rabbis,” thus recognizing their services to their communities, this terrible danger may spread to the Holy Land where intermarriage has been less than one percent up till now.

Rabbi Kahane envisioned it all. Here is his article. It’s long, but it’s an incredible, dynamite piece of writing that tells the truth in the brilliant, straight-to-the-jugular way which characterizes the Rabbi’s writings. He published 22 books and authored well over 1,000 articles before being assassinated in 1990. With the brave backing of The Jewish Press, he wrote scores of essays for the newspaper using a variety of pen names. But until last year, the overwhelming majority of his articles were only available in the archives of The Jewish Press building. Now, after a heroic ten-year effort by David Fine, a seven-volume set containing many of these articles has been published. Called Beyond Words: Selected Writings, 1960-1990, the collection spans 3,500 pages with most of the best articles that Rabbi Kahane ever wrote.

Beyond Words also includes several indexes in Volume 7 that enable the reader to find articles by subject, by title, and even by the references in the article to specific quotations from the Torah and the Talmud. To order in Israel, call 02-582-3540.

WHAT MAKES BERNIE RUN?

Rabbi Meir Kahane

(Federal prison, Manhattan, Lag Ba’Omer, April 29, 1975)

Once there was a television program, which centered about the theme of intermarriage. The heroes of the piece were named Bernie and Brigitte. The American Jewish Establishment put great pressure on the particular network that televised the series and the program was ultimately dropped. Bernie and Brigitte were no longer. They had been canceled…

How relatively simple it was to cancel Bernie and Brigitte on television and how much more difficult to struggle against the curse and cancer of intermarriage and assimilation that exists in real American Jewish life. How simple to picket a television series to death and how hard to stamp out the disease that afflicts us daily in the real-life existence that is the lot of American Jewry. lf we no longer find Bernie and Brigitte strolling hand in hand across our television screens we need only look at our campuses, at our streets at our neighborhoods, Bernie is alive and well.

What makes Bernie run? What makes Bernie run after Brigitte? What makes Bernie run away from Judaism and cut the chain of generations? What makes Bernie run away from the Judaism that his great-grandfather clutched at the risk of loss of happiness material wealth and so often very life? What makes Bernie run? This is the question that drives the American Jewish Establishment to frantically set up committees, study groups, surveys and commissions. This is the question that drives them to study the problem again and again and then again. This is the question to which they allocate so much time and so much communal money. This is the question that is at the top of their puzzled order of priorities, over which they scratch their collective well-groomed heads: What makes Bernie run?

Letter to a Reform Jew

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Suppose a lecturer in medical school taught that the most effective treatment to cure a disease was to remove the patient’s heart. Obviously, you couldn’t call this person a professor of medicine. Similarly, if a reform “rabbi” teaches that a Jew doesn’t have to follow the commandments of the Torah, obviously he isn’t a real rabbi.

I was going to write about the poisonous decision of the Attorney General of Israel to force the government to pay salaries to imposters who pretend to be rabbis. But why listen to me when you can get the explanation from the world’s first and best blogger of all time – Rabbi Meir Kahane, of blessed memory, may the Almighty avenge his murder.

Of course, his thirty-year column in The Jewish Press wasn’t called a blog back then. Since its establishment, The Jewish Press hasn’t simply reported the news like other newspapers, week after week, The Jewish Press made the news. I wrote about the important role which The Jewish Press played in the initial success of the Volunteers for Israel/Sarel, and in helping free the “Jewish Underground.” With holy boldness, The Jewish Press has led scores of campaigns on behalf of the Jewish People and Israel. But, perhaps more than anything else, The Jewish Press has been a beacon of Torah to millions of Jews, and perhaps the greatest light of all came from the pen of Rabbi Meir Kahane, who spoke the truth and nothing but the truth about Judaism and the Jewish People for 30 years in the pages of the Press.

As Book Week begins, it is only fitting that we dedicate a series of blogs to the incomparable writings and books of Rav Kahane. This essay, “A Letter to a Reform Jew,” which first appeared in The Jewish Press, has been reprinted in an incredible set of seven volumes, Beyond Words, a collection of articles written by one of the greatest Jewish leaders of our time. These books belong in every Jewish library and in every Jewish home. Rabbi Kahane’s insights into Judaism and Jewish life in Israel and the Diaspora are as fresh and true for today as they were when he wrote them. In upcoming blogs, we will speak more about the Rabbi and dig through the archives of The Jewish Press to republish some more of his mindblogging writings. First, in answer to the latest issue of the day, “A Letter to a Reform Jew” …

From Rabbi Meir Kahane

My dear Brother/Sister Jew,

This letter is long overdue and for that I apologize. But its lateness is compensated for, I hope, by my love for you and for all those who describe themselves as “Reform Jews,” a love that motivates the letter and that permeates its every word. In short, it would not have been written did I not care for you as my brother/sister. And, most important, it is written as a cry to you to help prevent the greatest of all tragedies: the permanent division of the Jewish people into two camps, separate and forever apart. And so, I beg you to have the patience and courage to read this letter fully, and think it over carefully.

Let me preface my message by saying that I really do not want to refer to you as “Reform.” I really believe that there is no such thing as a “Reform Jew,” (can you really give me a positive definition of this, that goes beyond the anarchy of “a Jew who decides for himself what Jewish laws, customs or idiosyncrasies he will observe?) No, there are no Reform Jews, there are only Reform rabbis and temples; and that is the crux of my words to you.

It is, one might argue, a personal choice that one makes when he decides to abandon the traditions of Judaism (that which you call “Orthodoxy,” another word I abhor). The personal decision of a Jew to cease observing the Sabbath or eating kosher food or adhering to the rituals of the commandments is a source of great sorrow but it is, hopefully, not a national or, certainly, not a permanent tragedy. For on the one hand, this is a personal decision that in no way directly affects other Jews, and, on the other hand, it is a thing that is reversible, that can be changed through personal decision to return to the ways of Torah. In a word, the desecration of the Sabbath this week, by an individual, can, hopefully, be turned into observance next week and the damage repaired. And so, until a certain point in modern Jewish history, the growth of Reform was sad but not necessarily a national tragedy.

Israel Recognizes Reform, Conservative Rabbis – Bloggers Start Your Engines!

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

First, the key points, as listed by Australian blogger Gary Dunn:

Israel to Pay Wages of Reform, Conservative Rabbis Although the court ruled in 2009 that the state should pay up, a dispute arose over how to define non-Orthodox rabbis, which prevented the agreement from being finalized.

The Reform movement insisted its leaders be called “non-Orthodox rabbis,” while the ministry of religious services — which is controlled by the ultra-Orthodox Shas party — insisted on calling them “community heads.”

Unlike Orthodox community rabbis who are funded by the religious services ministry, the Reform and Conservative rabbis will receive their salaries from the ministry of culture and sports. Gary Dunn, The Australian Eye

I believe the intriguing headline below is a typo, I don’t think the threat of destorying Israel but rather of destroying her was upsetting the author. Still, spell checking is almost essential in disseminating one’s diatribe…

Next Target for Reform & Conservative Jews to Destory: Israel As if these movements have not caused enough damage to Judaism in Diaspora and Europe, let’s bring it to Israel too. I just read in the Ynetnews.com that Israel has recognized Reform and Conservative Rabies as Jewish Rabies and they will receive state funding. I am not going to argue these movements’ political standing because it varies from one spectrum to another. However, why is it so important for these two movements to be recognized in Israel? Don’t they have enough power in the U.S? What is left of them in the U.S? Has their membership market finally run out of members that they are looking to Israel to find supporters? Didn’t the Reform movement argue that it is a form of Judaism that is designed to address the American and European needs? Why do they need to establish themselves in Israel? For more by Ben Kahen, ESQ., go to: The Light At the end of the Tunnel

OK, now how about a Reform Chief Rabbi? Too soon? Not if you ask Dr. Mendy Ganchrow, past president of the Orthodox Union, and former Exec. VP of the Religious Zionists of America.

Reform and Conservative Clergy The decision to fund Reform and Conservative clergy in Israel is a sick perversion of Jewish Law and tradition.

These so-called religious movements have brought assimilation, mixed marriages, same sex marriages, egalitarianism and desecration of our Holy Torah.

No civil Court, no government has the power to recognize those who desecrate our Torah.

The next thing will be for some jokers to lobby for a “chief Rabbi from these groups. Mendy Ganchrow, M.D.

And now, something from our non-religious friends, who must have ambivalent reactions to the acceptance of yet another religious authority in Israel, when all they want is a little more Godlessness…

Israeli Reform & Conservative Jews Have The Wrong Idea No Zionist is opposed to Israel’s cultural expressions of Judaism such as designating holidays, employing certain symbols or speaking Hebrew.  But the approach of these liberal religious Jews betrays their own prejudice that Judaism is first and foremost a religion.

The state should remain completely neutral in all matters of faith.  No religious councils.  No state funding of synagogues.  No state rabbis. Not that long ago, certain religious types began changing the words of the IDF’s Yizkor (memorial) reading.  Instead of “Yizkor Am Yisrael…May the People of Israel Remember,” they recited “Yizkor Elohim…May God Remember.”  So the IDF had a special committee study the issue.  The original – and secularized – wording was restored.  Still Jewish, but silent about faith. Rabbi Jeffrey Falick, The Atheist Rabbi

Next, a profile of the main plaintiff in the Reform case against the state. Now, to my frummie friends (which, come to think of it, comprises all my friends), just cuz I’m citing it don’t mean I’m endorsing it. OK? Pheew…

Battling in the Courts and Planting the Grassroots: Rabbi Miri Gold speaks to the non-Orthodox Jewish experience in Israel “I didn’t fit the mold,” explains Rabbi Miri Gold of Kibbutz Gezer, “Lighting candles on Shabbat without the blessing was just too culturally Jewish for me—something was missing.” Gold recalls that Orthodox kibbutzim, “as liberal as they were in their own way,” weren’t Jewishly comfortable either. From this state of alienation, Gold went on to become a member of Kibbutz Gezer in 1977 and from there, slowly found her way to becoming an ordained Reform Rabbi.

Reform and Conservative Leaders Deemed Rabbis, to Receive Israeli State Funds

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

The Israeli government announced on Tuesday that, for the first time, it will pay the salaries of a small number of Reform and Conservative rabbis who are considered leaders in their communities, and will also recognize them as rabbis.

The state initially agreed to recognize non-Orthodox rabbis as “community leaders”, but a panel of judges led by Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to agree to the terminology “rabbi of a non-Orthodox community”, which the State subsequently did.

The deal, brokered in response to a 2005 petition by the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, in the name of the Reform community of Kibbutz Gezer and community leader Rabbi Miri Gold, extends to up to 15 non-Orthodox rabbis in farming communities and regional councils.

While the salaries of Orthodox rabbis come from the Ministry of Religious Services, monies for the non-Orthodox rabbis will come from the Ministry of Culture and Sport.  The funding is earmarked as financial assistance, and will not constitute direct employment by local authorities.  It will also not be applicable in large cities, but only in small outlying towns and agricultural communities.  Up until now, all funding for the salaries of non-Orthodox rabbis in Israel have come from local membership dues.

The move will not impact the Orthodox Rabbinate’s control of marriages, conversions, and related legal questions, and will not render the non-Orthodox rabbis legal, religious, or halachic deciders.

Rabbi Dov Lipman, Director of the English Speakers Division of Am Shalem, a party led by former Shas MK Haim Amsalem, blamed the religious establishment’s rigidity for leading Israelis to seek an alternative to Orthodox Judaism.  “I feel that the unwillingness of the establishment to be more embracing and willing to solve problems has led us to this point,” Rabbi Lipman told The Jewish Press.  “I believe we have reached this point because over the last few decades, extremist parties have taken control of the religious ministry and religious services. Their policies have distanced people from Judaism and have led to the search for official alternatives.”  He said Am Shalem seeks, in accordance with Jewish law, to “restore religious services to their more embracing nature, as it was when the State was founded”  in order to make them more sensitive to the needs of the wide array of Israeli Jews, including converts.

Rabbi Gilad Kariv, head of Israel’s Reform movement, praised “the state’s decision to support the activities of Reform rabbis in regional councils, while clearly acknowledging their roles as rabbis,” and called it “an important breakthrough in the efforts to advance freedom of religion in Israel.”  Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, said the measure made it “a historic day for Israelis and Jews around the world.”  Rabbinical Assembly President Rabbi Gerald Skolnik said he hoped the decision would “open the door to new and exciting Jewish spiritual opportunities”.

Religious Service Minister Yaakov Margi (Shas) responded to the news by threating to resign if the salaries would be drawn from the Religious Services Ministry.  MK Uri Ariel (National Union) called recognition of non-Orthodox Jewish chaplains as rabbis “anti- Jewish” and a “serious injury to the values of Israel”, and said that the decision to equate non-Orthodox rabbis with Orthodox ones would be “recorded with shame”.

According to Gold and Anat Hoffman, executive director of the legal arm of the Reform Movement in Israel, the Reform movement will now seek recognition for Reform and Conservative rabbis as state and city rabbis.  The Conservative “Masorti” movement is represented in just 100 congregations throughout Israel and approximately 8 percent of Israeli Jews.

In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Hoffman said major support for their Israeli campaign – “the engine making this happen” – came from Diaspora Jewry, telling the Post “Israel is too important to be left to Israelis.”

Hoffman also said that she believes the move will cause Orthodox Jewry to understand that it is in competition for adherents, and that it will be forced to make itself more attractive to all those looking to find their place in Judaism.

Israel to Recognize, Pay, Non-Orthodox Rabbis

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

The Israeli government will begin paying non-Orthodox rabbis and recognizing them as community leaders.

The attorney general’s office advised the Supreme Court Tuesday that Reform and Conservative rabbis in some parts of Israel will be recognized as “rabbis of non-Orthodox communities” and will receive wages equal to those of their Orthodox counterparts.

Only rabbis in farming communities and regional councils – not in cities – will be able to receive this funding. The vast majority of Israeli Reform and Conservative communities are in large population centers.

The attorney general’s office has said that, for now, up to 15 non-Orthodox rabbis will receive state support. Before this decision, only Orthodox rabbis received state funding.

The non-Orthodox rabbis will receive their salary from the Culture and Sports Ministry, rather than the Religious Services Ministry.

“We have a long-term goal to have an inclusive, democratic, pluralistic Israeli society,” said Rabbi Daniel Allen, executive director of the Association of Reform Zionists of America. “We’re going to be patient and persevere until the ideal meets the real. This is one step forward in that effort.”

The attorney general’s announcement follows out-of-court negotiations over a 2005 petition by the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism and Miri Cohen, a Reform rabbi in central Israel’s Kibbutz Gezer.

The movement and Cohen petitioned for the state to fund the Gezer Reform community and Cohen in the same manner it funds Orthodox communities and their leaders.

Earlier this month, the panel of judges presiding over the negotiations – led by Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein – asked the attorney general to intervene.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-to-recognize-pay-non-orthodox-rabbis/2012/05/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: