Someone Else Who Gets It — Almost

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3 Responses

  1. JJ Freedman says:

    For the second time in the past five years I have shockingly read public admissions by recognized Jewish leaders that the Reform and Conservative movements in America are destined for failure. Those who practice and follow the Orthodox tradition might not be surprised at the near bankruptcy of either of the above. It’s been more than two centuries since the giant sages such as the Chasam Sofer, Rav Yaakov Etlinger, and the legendary Rav Shamshon Refoel Hirsch of blessed memories understood the damaging ways of the Reformers and forewarned Torah observing Jews to stand firm and strong in battling any and all twisted interpretations of Judaism. They accurately foresaw the lurking dangers and where the reformists were headed.

    We need to learn the lesson of Pirkei Avos: Ayzeh chochom horoyeh es hanoilad! No, the Orthodox leaders of yesteryear would not be so shocked at the public admissions today that the ways of life of both the Reform and Conservative movements are nothing more than a hollow and shallow spiritual facade of what otherwise should be a rich Torah observing life for Judaism to survive.

  2. Lawrence M. Reisman says:

    Arthur Hertzberg (a Conservative rabbi and self-confessed kofer and apikores) once asked Reform Rabbi Alexander Schindler what someone would have to do to be considered a mechalel shabbos by Reform Jewish standards. Rabbi Schindler could not give him an answer.

  3. L. Oberstein says:

    I think that the letter you refer to was by a woman with an axe to grind. Her Reform “temple” is actually non existant. She yearns for Classical Reform of the Pitsburg Platform and considers all of the established Reform Congregations to have abandoned “orthodox Reform”. I think they have services on the High Holidays but have no permanent location or rabbi.
    There is an element of old timers who want Reform Judaism to be just like it was when they were young. Rabbi Wein tells of the Reform rabbi who introduced Lulav and Esrog into his services and was criticized for going against Reform tradition. Nowadays,Reform has a lot more Hebrew but is still a very far cry from anything found in an orthodox synagogue.
    The battle is long over. In rabbiner Hirsch’s day, Reform was a danger, today it is no threat and our struggle is with apathy . Arthur Herzberg was a complex individual who loved his father and his father’s chassidism but went to the Seminary and became a scholar. Like everyone else, it is hard to put anyone into a catagory.

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