The Other Giveaway

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14 Responses

  1. Jacob Haller says:

    This is nothing new. Following Vatican II when Catholic Church leaders made the pronouncement that the Jews, as a people, were no longer “liable”, one Maurice Eisendrath, a heavy-hitter in the Reform movement decided that the Jewish people, as a show of appreciation, were compelled to sacrifice one of their articles of faith in return.

  2. Ori says:

    But those who offer any understanding of Judaism ought to be honest enough to explain to an audience of non-Jews that they represent only one point of view.

    When Christians ask you for the Jewish perspective on something, you obviously tell them what Torah and Halacha say. Do you then tell them that this is the Orthodox view, and that Heterodox Jews, who are a significant portion of Jews in the US, have a different view?

    In Rabbi Waskow’s case, his flippancy in abandoning an important Torah position is likely to hurt all the rest of us who understand the kedushah of Eretz Yisrael and its place within the conceptual framework of every believer.

    How so? As an Orthodox Jew, your position on abortion is that it should be allowed to save the life of the mother. The Mishnah, on Ohalot 7:6, specifically says that. You know Catholicism is opposed to any and all abortions. You therefore oppose Catholics on the issue of saving the mother at the cost of the fetus.

    Does the existence of groups such as Catholics for Choice strengthen your resolve in this matter? Or are they completely irrelevant – you do what you believe G-d wants you to do, completely ignoring the beliefs of other religions.

    Similarly, Muslims who believe it is a holy obligation of Jihad to restore previously ruled territories to the house of Islam (= Hamas) would not care one iota about Rabbi Waskow’s position. It is irrelevant.

    Muslims who see this as a political matter would not care about Rabbi Waskow either. US Jews do not represent the Israeli government. We do not represent Israeli society. We are not the ones they’re fighting, and our resolve or lack thereof is therefore irrelevant. It is the resolve of Israel that matters, and that is shown by Olmert, not Rabbi Waskow.

  3. sima ir kodesh says:

    The Jewish community sees the connection between the People Israel and the Land of Israel as a religious matter, (even when some disagree with the behavior of any political or governmental expression of that bond).

    TRUE, TRUE, and the need to see and FEEL the connection is essential now more than ever.

  4. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    There is a growing school of thought that says that heterodox branches of Judaism and secular Zionism (now post-Zionism) originally come from the false messianism of followers of Shabtai Zvi and Jacob Frank. Mongrelized and mamzerized, they are slowly doing their best for the cause of the slippery slide of Jewish entropy. The only solution is very energetic teshuva.

  5. Ori says:

    Rereading my comment, it might appear offensive. I should have put “lehavdil” instead of “similarly”. The similarity is in the logic form, not the substance.

    I apologize.

  6. Gershon Josephs says:

    ‘But those who offer any understanding of Judaism ought to be honest enough to explain to an audience of non-Jews that they represent only one point of view.’

    To be fair, Waskow’s beliefs are held by the majority of world Jewry. Fudnamentalist / literal readings of Genesis, and the belief that God literally promised Jews the land of Israel and that God literally wrote / dictated the Torah are held by a minority. Would you have been happy if Waskow had said that the majority of Jews don’t believe God literally promised us the land?

  7. Jacob Haller says:

    Comment #6 – “To be fair, Waskow’s beliefs are held by the majority of world Jewry.”

    Waskow’s beliefs are a synthesis of Torah ideas but subservient to his politics which is probably best defined as utopian socialism.

    It’s one thing not to include G-d in the equation or belief in a Covenant due to ignorance of the Torah and quite another to claim fealty to a Covenantal belief but adjust it at will in the name of universalist diversity.

  8. YM says:

    Regarding what the majority of world Jewry believes, if you exclude Jews who have no meaningful Jewish education, then I would assert that the majority does believe that Hashem promised the Land to the Jewish People.

  9. Sholom says:

    if you exclude Jews who have no meaningful Jewish education

    And what proportion, then, would get excluded, do you think?

    (And here we see the real root of the problem.)

  10. mb says:

    I thought it was a given that Reform rejected chosenness as part of their constitution. Has this been amended?

  11. Bob Miller says:

    No one is about to get out that hook to pull such jokers off the stage. They share their left/liberal outlook with the mainstream media and prominent “Jewish” organizations who view Tanach as a great literary feat at best.

    We need instead to perfect our own message and our own channels for delivering it. This requires us to do our utmost to be the model religious community our spokesmen talk about.

  12. yy says:

    nice, well worded point, Bob. But let us not forget “areivim zeh l’zeh.” It’s not enough to own our portion of the jewels, nor shine them up to an exemplary degree. We must also help all the owners do so.

    For as we see, to neglect this education towards responsible “Jewel” ownership too often leads to not only tossing out a few but insisting that the rest of us follow, and sometimes even encouraging the enemy to speed the process, challilah!

  13. Bob Miller says:

    YY wrote, “It’s not enough to own our portion of the jewels, nor shine them up to an exemplary degree. We must also help all the owners do so.” I agree, but think setting an example can be more effective than exhortation. I didn’t mean to suggest a model community that is self- contained and cut off, but one that shows its ideals in action.

  14. Pinchas Giller says:

    I would put the second Yakum Purkan on the table ;).

    Seriously, I am not an ecumenicist and I feel the Rabbi Soloveitchik ZTz”L would never have abandoned his stance in “Confrontation” regarding interfaith dialogue, and that there is no new metziut in this day and age that would have caused him to do so. So why should one be surprised that such a conference leads to a toevah, and that soneh Yisrael, from within and without, co-opt such an event? It would be more worthy of comment if the heads of some national movement, with a constituency in hand, was willing to speak for Kelal Yisrael and then cravenly give away the store. for whom does Waskow speak? A cold appraisal of the Jewish renewal movement might show that they are a closed-ended shikvah of post-war Jews moving wraithlike across the demographic and, unsurprisingly, not replicating themselves. As Zalman Schachter put it, “[In Renewal] everybody wants to be a Rebbe”. I feel like making an issue of Waskow’s statement is like when some talk-show host brings in someone obviously contemptible to make an straw man of them. Do we think that a representative of the ADL, or AIPAC, or even the contemporary Reform movement, would presume to such inanity?

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