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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Are Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism New and Different Religions?

For the longest time I've been considering them to be, since they've changed the rules from traditional (small "t") Torah Judaism.  In the United States or all North America what I call traditional Torah Judaism is called Orthodox Judaism.  Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism have both made radical changes in how they observe Judaism making their version of Jewish Life incompatible with traditional Torah observant Judaism.

The most unfortunate victims of these changes are their converts and children who are considered Reform or Conservative Jewish according to their specific criteria.

I just came across this very interesting article in the Forward by a young man, the son a a Jewish man and non-Jewish mother.  He was raised as a Reform Jew, a religion that accepts all children of Jews as Jews, even if the mother isn't Jewish.  Traditional Jewish Law only considers the child of a Jewish mother to be Jewish.

There have been other stories in the press about children of Conservative Jewish converts, and the converts themselves, berating the Orthodox and/or traditional Torah Judaism for not accepting Conservative Jewish conversion. 

This story shows that Conservative Judaism won't accept the Jewish status confirmed by Reform  Judaism on the young man whose father, not mother, is Jewish.

Those who follow Conservative Judaism then should be more understanding of those who do not agree with their rabbinic decisions and can't accept their converts as Jews without adjectives or labels.

I feel most sorry for those who thought they had bought the genuine article.


in the vanguard said...

In answer to your question, you can see here:


Batya said...

yes, thanks

Alex said...

One of the great tragedies of this man's story is that he has been lied to all his life. His whole identity as a Jew is a lie fed to him by his parents. So sad.

I know people who have a similar story and would swear they are Jewish. I know others who are halachically Jewish but don't have any connection.

The best we can do is to be a Kiddush HaShem and demonstrate in our actions that Torah is Emes. Lies die in the end, but how many precious Jewish neshamas (and non-Jewish in this man's case) will be the victims of that lie?

Batya said...

They are definitely victims of fraud, like the video I posted with it.

Alex said...

I just re-read the article and what's fascinating after a second time through is that he doesn't mention G-d once. The closest he gets is talking generally about Halacha, but even that is done in a Jewish cultural context and what shul he can go to.

Is he a Jew in G-d's eyes? No. No amount of Forward opinion pieces or lobbying or campaigning will change that. So sad to see this.

Also, his view on Judaism is incredible: I don’t begrudge Orthodoxy its understanding of Jewish law — it is what it is.

He knows that Reform and Conservative are spin-offs and he wants a place in Conservative which he feels should move closer to Reform. Any way you cut it, its just different shades of sheker. There's Judaism and then there are things which look like Judaism. Tragically, many people are the victims of these assimilationist imitations.

Batya said...

Alex, yes, he has a conscience and knows that he was a fraud. CJ makes no permanent demands apparently.