Why Are They Doing This To Us?......
Reform Rabbi's, have a better shot at resolving the Israeli Palestinian crisis than getting Israel's Hilloni community to join its flock!
Give it up. Do not even go there. Jews, in the Diaspora may see a need to be apart of Reform Judaism, but to Israelis our Judaism, is in the air we breath, the words we speak, the books we read, the food we eat, and the day we spend. Judaism is all around us and it encompasses us as we move in all directions. We do not need Reform Judaism. There are plenty of rabbis in Israel, with many synagogues for us to go to, should we be in need. Judaism is not a missionary religion. Just do your thing here without trying to kidnap us. The only steadily growing Jewish segment in the US is Orthodoxy. So, Rabbi Jacob, you have your work cut out for you at home. In America, go after the 30% of US Jews that do not identify with any particular stream or denomination of Judaism. You have a great shot at it, because 90% of US Jews do not see Halacha as the decisive factor in Judaism. Check it out, and see how European Liberal Judaism is doing it, an overwhelmingly minority movement is growing.
78% of Israeli Jews identify as traditional or secular, the average Israeli Jew exhibits more religious involvement than the majority of US Jews. The Breakdown of Jews in Israel is, secular Jews make up 49%, while Reform is somewhere around 3%. There are over 100 sectors of Judaism. Harerdi make up around 13%, with multiple divisions among them, and 29% are Modern Orthodox. The Conservative Jewish establishment stand about the same numbers as the Reform, maybe less.
Reform, you got your piece of the Wall, so be it. Operate you own Mikvah's as you please, but stay away from the Orthodox Mikvah's. There are Reform synagogues and there are Reform ritual baths, use them. You want more, take a seat in the Knesset as the other religious sects have. There are Orthodox conversions, there are Reform conversions. Why care what others may say? The government is on your side. Accept and conform to the criteria for non Halachic conversions set up by the Ministry of Interior that will allow your converts to be given Israeli citizenship.
Israeli law states that “full equal rights for all citizens, and religious matters must be guaranteed”. Its Declaration of Independence proclaims, “The State of Israel… will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.”‘ In 1950, the Knesset had passed the Law of Return, which allows anyone with one Jewish grandparent the right to immigrate to Israel. A 1989 Supreme Court case opened up the Law of Return for those who convert to Judaism abroad as well.
Diaspora rabbis would do better addressing Israels government’s question on, “What is a Jew”, instead of “Who is a Jew”. Most US Jewish couples are intermarried and are often raising Halachically non Jewish children who are embraced and raised with a strong Jewish identity. This is where Judaism needs to be defined. It is not a question of “Who is a Jew”, but “What is a Jew”. This question will help us reach out to other sectors, such as the Jewish gay community, the non practicing Jewish community and the Intermarriage Jewish community. There are European Jews that have a sense of reconnecting with a distant Jewish past. This nostalgia for Judaism is now fashionable in some European circles, we must include them in this issue.
An other example of this problem, is why we should be asking “What is a Jew”, instead of “Who is a Jew”, is when Rabbi Daniel Freelander, the president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, said, there is no doubt, that the majority of Jewish communities in the Diaspora consider themselves Jews, when a Jew by choice converts through the Reform movement, “the conversion is to Judaism, not to Reform Judaism.” Why do we need over a hundred sectors of Judaism, aren't we “One”? Just some are more observant than others. If Rabbi Daniel Freelander, truly believes, that when a Reform Jew converts to Judaism, he is a Jew, not a Reform Jew, then he should be calling his followers Jews, not Reform Jews. Whats with the labels? One Jew does it one way and another Jew does it another way.
The Knesset has approved the initial reading of a bill on Mikveh's, which would establish that the use of a public Mikveh's is conditional on abiding by Halacha and the Chief Rabbinate's instructions. The bill is not intended to prevent Reform and Conservative Jews from using Mikveh's. It invites everyone. The country has private Mikveh's where no one interferes, but the State's public Mikveh's are for Halachic immersions. The issue here is that Reform Jews want to have conversions in a Mikveh, when that's not the purpose of a Mikveh. Mikveh's are a Halachic issue. The groups that asks for change to the Torah and Halacha are not Israeli religious movements. Since, the establishment of the State, everyone has ensured the maintenance of the status quo on religion and State.
Just what is this about? Do they want the government to pick up the tab for their Mikveh's? Do they want control over the public Mikvah's? Do they want to abolish Halacha? They do not recognize Halacha. They do not believe that Judaism is a nationality, only a religion. So, are we to see this as a war against Halacha and Israel as a Jewish state?
Why do Reform and Conservative woman come to public Mikva's, and not observe the rules and order for use of the Mikveh? True, the Mikveh's belong to the public. In all of Jewish history, no one interfered in the custom of the Jewish People to immerse themselves in a Mikveh. Again, this goes back to the question of “What is a Jew”, not “Who is a Jew”. The Conservative Movement claims, the Religious Services Ministry says that they aren't considered Jewish. So, ask them to define what is a Jew. 20% percent of the state conversions since 2002 were Conservative or Reform.
They are still not happy with what they got. The High Court of Justice demanded last Wednesday to receive the state’s response to a petition demanding that women be given the right to read Torah in the woman's section of the Western Wall plaza. The petition, requests that the court void laws that prohibits anyone from bringing a private Torah scroll into the Western Wall plaza. Women of the Wall, argues that such directives may also not harm a person’s basic rights. It discriminates against women by denying them the ability to read from the Torah at the Kotel. WoW rejects the recently proposed solution, approved by the government, to create a pluralist prayer space at the southern end of the wall, in return for declaring the main Western Wall prayer area as dedicated to Orthodox worship alone. WoW argued that the Western Wall site, specifically the current prayer space used today for prayer services is, the site recognized by, and holy to, the Jewish people, and that this is why the organization was insisting on its rights at this particular spot. Is this about religious freedom, or about a war on the Haredi and Halacha or both?
Is the Reform and Conservative movements doing all this to gain a foothold in Israel, so they have some kind of Jewishness to market membership back home in the US? Are they seeking to increase their membership among Israeli, to show Israeli support for increasing membership world wide?
This is what it has come down to, last week Jay Sanderson, the president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles in an interview with Haaretz, lashed out at the Israeli government for investing resources in fighting the BDS movement and J Street affiliated students supporting BDS on US campuses. As Sanderson sees things, by fighting BDS campaigns, the government actually diminishes American Jewish support for Israel, it is pushing Jewish students away. His daughter, he continues questions Israel’s legitimacy. So, just where can any of us believe this is coming from? American Jews fear exclusion from the process of Americanization. Jewish Voices for Peace, Americans for Peace, J Street combat Jewish efforts on behalf of Israel, including educating Jewish children about Israel and Zionism, fostering Anti Semitism. Is the alienation of American Jews towards all aspects of Judaism due to the Jew hatred in America? And he is saying this in the wake of the Federations deficit and loss of funds and membership.
The American Jewish community is threaten with skyrocketing intermarriage, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, the lefts support for the peace process with the PLO, with which the vast majority of American Jews identified as a need to be included in the picture in order to be a good American. Business and social affiliation trumps their religion in the US. The rise of secular Judaism has become a prominent focus in the formation and cultivation of Jewish identity for American Jews. A new generations of Jews are growing up with little or no knowledge of Zionism, Israel and Jewish history and its relationship with the issues of the day, that face the challenges for themselves and Jews world wide. The leftist hostility towards Israel has become widespread, and that hostility has taken on an anti-Jewish character.
As a result, many Jewish students on campuses today cannot understanding why they should defend Israel, should care about whether their date is Jewish or not, or understand why people who reject the Jewish state’s right to exist are anti-Jewish.