Women of the Wall make me sad

The Jewish people don't need to save failed Reform and Conservative institutions. They need to embrace these lost souls and teach them real Judaism.

Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui ,

Judaism Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
INN:SE

Head of the Union for Reform Judaism Rick Jacobs has been quoted as saying, a collapse of the agreement to implement a change in status quo at the Western Wall, could “signal a major rift” between diaspora Jews and Israel.

Last I heard, this rift already exists with the majority of all Jews and the small percentage of the total number who affiliate with the reform and conservative movements, intermarrying and bringing up their children not within the Jewish faith. They already don’t seem to care about Israel or the Jewish people.

A large majority of those immigrating to Israel and bringing up their children to respect and follow Jewish values and Jewish practices, do not belong to any of these movements who, as the recent Pew study pointed out, are demonstrably on a course of self-destruction. The Jewish people don’t need more of these failed institutions in our Holy Land.

Another statement of Jacob's is that the liberal leaders were “not going to quietly wait and wait” for the promised egalitarian prayer space, and that they had (with his approval?) engaged in “an act of spiritual disobedience.”

That means breaking the law of a democratic country because it doesn’t suit one's view of the Jewish religion, packaging it in “spiritual” disobedience.

What if I take Jacobs up on this thinking, and show up one Friday night, at a reform Temple, where the rabbi is talking on a microphone, people are playing musical instruments on the Shabbat having lit a match to light candles after sunset (a biblical transgression), while men and women sit together, the men with no head coverings and some of the women with the head coverings and talit, after having a non-kosher Shabbat meal, praying from a book that is not at all connected with any of our past traditions - and bring a couple of my friends for a “spiritual" disobedience visit that disrupts the program by praying, dancing and singing the halakhic way? What would he do?

Judaism is first and foremost a religion of Laws. Those who adhere to it, are not identified simply by principles of faith, as is the case in other religions which the reform and conservative emulate. Those principles, at most, identify those who deny or betray Judaism.

And even when it comes to principles of faith alone, in my experience, the average reform or conservative religious leader does not believe in many of the 13 principles of faith as enumerated by Maimonides.

So who and what do they represent? Besides their own unsuccessful and failing organizations that are closing up and selling out, in more and more of their temples all over the world? Is Israel a last resort?

According to Maimonides and undisputed by later codifiers there are three individuals who are considered one "who denies the Torah":

a) One who says Torah, even one verse or one word, is not from G-d. If he says: "Moses made these statements independently," he is denying the Torah. b) One who denies the Torah's interpretation, the oral law, or disputes [the authority of] its spokesmen as did Tzadok and Beitus. c) One who says that though the Torah came from G-d, the Creator has replaced one mitzvah with another one and nullified the original Torah, like the Arabs and the Christians.

Each of these individuals is considered as "one who denies the Torah." 

I read a statement by an international non-Orthodox rabbinic group about “making the Kotel a public place where all Jews can experience the presence of the Divine according to the dictates of their conscience.”

Do we now have rabbis reducing the expression of Judaism to a matter “dictated by their conscience”? 


So how about a member of Jews for Jesus wanting to place a cross at the Wall because that is his way of serving the Jewish G-d and expressing Judaism?
So how about a member of Jews for Jesus wanting to place a cross at the Wall because that is his way of serving the Jewish G-d and expressing Judaism?

What I really see are poor lost souls involved in these demonstrations, putting on the tefillin incorrectly, barely able to read Hebrew, some wearing a tallit for their services and some not bothering with them.

Judaism does not need this failed claim of adhering to the golden heritage of our ancestors. All Jews, reform, conservative or any other label, no matter what they call themselves, deserve the best Jewish education, at the highest and most authentic levels, by teachers who are living examples of the halakhic code, no different than what we would expect when sending our children to Ivy League colleges.

Let us not get drawn in to the personal agenda of failed leaders, looking to bolster and boost their place in the world and the money in their pockets. Better that we invite them to join us and that together we protect the only way that has safeguarded our identity, the way that brings real beneficial results in our lives, and true light for the rest of the world.  




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