Liberal Rabbis are no Fools

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13 Responses

  1. Bob Miller says:

    A couple of spectacularly bad decisions were not what made these movements unacceptable or unsuccessful. These decisions and many others were the natural outcomes of the inauthentic, schismatic approaches adopted long ago.

  2. Ahron says:

    Of course if the Conservative synagogues were not ready to maintain halachic standards they could have done what Chabad, and now other Orthodox groups, do energetically: move yourself out to the suburban boondocks and plant yourself within walking distance of the Jewish populations. But that program is also risky, inconvenient and expensive. Ultimately the job was simply left to those with the committment to take it on.

    “…children who grow up in Conservative synagogues rarely care much about Jewish observance — and when they do, they become rabbis, join Orthodox synagogues, or move to Israel.”

    I have personally seen all three of these happen.

  3. Lumpy Rutherford says:

    Rabbi Menken — not to nickpick, but as a Perlian, we don’t uppercase Perl these days.

  4. Michoel says:

    I didn’t see the blog itself, but even this new found recognition- that allowing driving to synagogue on Shabbat was a mistake- is far from repentance by any degree. All he is saying is- hey folks, it didn’t work…maybe had we limited it to a mile or less of a drive than it would have worked…sorry.

    I remember in a conservative nursery school being dressed up in nomad’s clothes and performing for our parents at a lunch picnic the process of the caananites turning into early Jews.

    There are no quick-fixes, or particular decisions that made their movement null and void; it’s inherent in the underlying philosophy.

    Michoel

  5. Jameel @ The Muqata says:

    One of the cleverest people I know, and a very respected Orthodox Rav is the son of a Conservative Rabbi.

    In fact, most of the people I know who’s fathers were conservative rabbis, are orthodox.

  6. tzvee says:

    1. It seems you are saying the the halakhic system was and is composed by some mystical force without human intervention. “The other, of course, is that it was composed by no individual or group, but rather by a Higher Intelligence.” Do you have some source or precdent for that? All of the seforim I own were written by people.

    2. The blog you cite is clearly recommending modifications and improvement in Conservative Judaism, not abandoning it.

  7. Michoel says:

    “All of the seforim I own were written by people.”

    For me, one of the most beautiful aspects of the Oral Torah is the extent to which our sages identify the source of every aspect of Jewish Law. We know what was said by G-d and what wasn’t. We know what was said by Moshe Rabeinu and what wasn’t…etc., and we even know which traditions are considered “minhag-shtus” (a wrong tradition) and what to do about such a minhag when we encounter it. In all, we have clarity in what we know and in what we don’t know.

    Regarding origins of Jewish Law, the fact that “seforim are written by people” is as irrelevant to the point of origin as the fact that they are printed on printing presses or spoken on radios (or podcasts:). It’s the difference between the source of information and the means by which it’s communicated. Confusing the two is muddled logic.

    Michoel @ Chareidio

  8. Joel Rich says:

    We know what was said by G-d and what wasn’t. We know what was said by Moshe Rabeinu and what wasn’t…etc.
    ================================================

    So there are no differences of opinion in the Talmud as to which laws are from the torah and which aren’t? Same thing for Moshe Rabbeinu?

    KT

  9. dilbert says:

    Michoel-
    I think describing the Conservative movement as “null and void” is meanspirited, and wrong. As far as the underlying philosphy of the Conservative movement, do you know what it is? Actually, one of the problems that beset and still troubles the Conservative movement is that there hasn’t been a recognizable, consistant overarching philosophy that has informed all their decisions and actions. However muddled and unclear the philosphy happens to be, it is wrong to describe it as “null and void”, implying that it contains nothing of value. Using those words means either you have no idea what Conservative Judaism stands for, or are just so closed minded that nothing aside from your little narrow view of Yiddishkeit means anything to you.

  10. LAWRENCE KAPLAN says:

    Observer have noted that sons of Conservative rabbis either become 1) Conservative rabbis; 2) modern Orthodox; or 3) non-observant. Very few become practicing Conservative laymen. And that about just sums it up.

  11. Reb Yid says:

    About the children of Conservative rabbis:

    My wife and I have thought for quite a while that there ought to be a study of this subject. We know of many ourselves, and actually they span the gamut (including those who are active and involved Conservative Jews). Many are quite distinguished professionals and “quirky”, if you will.

    It cannot be easy to be the child of any rabbi, but the children of a Conservative rabbis probably face additional pressures due to the lack of peers that share the same kind of Jewish upbringing.

    It’s really not correct for any individual, including yours truly, to make any summary judgements on this subject without doing an actual study. For that matter, I would be fascinated to see comparative results among children of Reform, Reconstructionist and Orthodox rabbis.

  12. Michoel says:

    Just want to point our that there are two different folks around here calling themselves Michoel. Of course I am the real one and the poster of comment number 7 is an imposter.

  13. Michoel says:

    #1. Regarding the comment above: “So there are no differences of opinion in the Talmud as to which laws are from the torah and which aren’t? Same thing for Moshe Rabbeinu?”

    That’s why I said in my comment- “we know what we know, and we know what we DON’T know – ie- in cases when there is question in the Halacha, (machlokes), we know the sides of the argument and often, even the reasoning for the question. Furthermore, the disputes themselves point to the authenticity of the underlying source by displaying how much thought and care goes into maintaining its accuracy.

    #2. Regarding the comment above: “I think describing the Conservative movement as “null and void” is meanspirited, and wrong”

    I don’t.

    But in any case, the intention was not to be, and I revise my comment #4 as follows:

    There are no quick-fixes, or particular decisions that made their movement the “spectacular failure at raising a second generation of committed laypeople” it is reported above to be; in my opinion, it’s inherent in the underlying philosophy.

    Michoel – @ Chareidio !

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