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New York - Jews? Rabbis? Reform Movement Pushes For More Interfaith Couples

Published on: March 8, 2010 11:46 PM
By: AP
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New York - A task force on intermarriage for the largest branch of American Judaism says the movement should create blessings marking major life events for interfaith couples.

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The suggestion is one of many by Reform rabbis on making mixed-faith couples feel welcome.

The intermarriage rate for U.S. Jews has been above 40 percent since at least the 1990s.

The panel isn’t proposing a change in the movement’s policy on officiating at interfaith weddings. Reform Judaism formally opposes the practice but allows each rabbi to decide.

Instead, the panel is recommending creating blessings for weddings and other life events involving a non-Jewish spouse.

The report was released Monday at a California meeting of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.


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Read Comments (52)  —  Post Yours »

2

 Mar 09, 2010 at 12:01 AM joe shmoe Says:

Guess they are falling apart, they have to look for more ways to boost membership. Nebach

3

 Mar 09, 2010 at 12:22 AM chief doofis Says:

They can bless all they want. Ess vet zey gornisht helfen. What blessing is there for a Gentile boy of 13 to put on t'fillin? At a wedding, "bikibuts baneha" Nebech the almona bas tzion is crying, these are not my children!

The only appropriate bracha, is the one for Baloney, only this type of baloney doesn't merit a shehakol!

4

 Mar 09, 2010 at 12:32 AM Anonymous Says:

The appropriate bracha is "hamavdil"

5

 Mar 09, 2010 at 03:44 AM berel Says:

#'s 1,2,3,4 are you worried what christian, catholic, protestant,hindu cleregy decide?no, as it doesnt pertain to judaism ,its not our concern..so why the more for these keystone club 'leaders'.they dont practice judaism dont believe in torah, the written and the oral is min hashumayim, many individual 'clergy' dont believe in diety so this has nothing to do with judaism

6

 Mar 09, 2010 at 04:57 AM Anonymous Says:

This is a great idea -- make a special blessing for when these "interfaith families" light their kratzmach trees.

7

 Mar 09, 2010 at 05:10 AM Anonymous Says:

Largest branch of American Judaism? How exactly do you define or identify a reform jew?

8

 Mar 09, 2010 at 06:04 AM tisamer saaros roshi Says:

These poshei-ochrei yisroel reform clergy don't realize that no blessing in the world can help someone who is doing something which the very act constitutes a curse.

9

 Mar 09, 2010 at 06:13 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
chief doofis Says:

They can bless all they want. Ess vet zey gornisht helfen. What blessing is there for a Gentile boy of 13 to put on t'fillin? At a wedding, "bikibuts baneha" Nebech the almona bas tzion is crying, these are not my children!

The only appropriate bracha, is the one for Baloney, only this type of baloney doesn't merit a shehakol!

Do you really think they put on Tefilin?

10

 Mar 09, 2010 at 06:36 AM Anonymous Says:

Here's a life event to celebrate. When one's non-Jewish interfaith kid marries a non-Jew with a galach in church and tosses the last fragments of what he deems the silly superstitious ways of his grandparents in the river.

11

 Mar 09, 2010 at 06:50 AM Anonymous Says:

Isn't it amazing that gedoli Yisroel saw this coming 100 years ago we should trust them on everything else

12

 Mar 09, 2010 at 07:26 AM Anonymous Says:

Personally, I would make an "asher yotsar"... Flush.

13

 Mar 09, 2010 at 08:05 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

Isn't it amazing that gedoli Yisroel saw this coming 100 years ago we should trust them on everything else

you mean 250 years ago

14

 Mar 09, 2010 at 08:32 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
berel Says:

#'s 1,2,3,4 are you worried what christian, catholic, protestant,hindu cleregy decide?no, as it doesnt pertain to judaism ,its not our concern..so why the more for these keystone club 'leaders'.they dont practice judaism dont believe in torah, the written and the oral is min hashumayim, many individual 'clergy' dont believe in diety so this has nothing to do with judaism

Of course they believe in g-d. If they didn't, they wouldn't become clergy and there would be no reason for their congregants to be involved with a synagogue.

15

 Mar 09, 2010 at 09:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

Of course they believe in g-d. If they didn't, they wouldn't become clergy and there would be no reason for their congregants to be involved with a synagogue.

Are you sure? If they believe in G-d why do they ignore his laws? They believe only in themselves and their egos. They become clergy to stand at the pulpit and put forward their own musguided ideas, not G-d's Torah; their congregants, some of whom may genuinely be searching for truth, are lead further away from it.

16

 Mar 09, 2010 at 09:21 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

Are you sure? If they believe in G-d why do they ignore his laws? They believe only in themselves and their egos. They become clergy to stand at the pulpit and put forward their own musguided ideas, not G-d's Torah; their congregants, some of whom may genuinely be searching for truth, are lead further away from it.

Because they interpret and understand his laws and what actually constitutes his laws (as distinct from man made laws) differently than orthodox jews do.

17

 Mar 09, 2010 at 09:32 AM Anonymous Says:

you really dont see the larger picture the next generartion may see themselves as true jews become religious and marry unless the mother is a jew you now have a problem that may not be found this is a problem we all should recognize

18

 Mar 09, 2010 at 09:48 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

Because they interpret and understand his laws and what actually constitutes his laws (as distinct from man made laws) differently than orthodox jews do.

There is much more to it than that. They (the clergy, I mean, who should know better, not the ignorant masses) reject most of the fundaments of yiddishkeit Such as Toiroh min hashomayim, s'char v'oinesh and other things from the 13 ikrim. Also they not only allow but actually encourage mixed "marriages" which was always considered the farthest a yid could fall. We all know many completely irreligious jews who would disown their son if he married a shikse or his daughter a goy.
The Reform people might still be genetically jewish but they are certainly not jews in the accepted sense.
Also by recognising church "marriages" for jews they appear to be rejecting the very foundation of judaism i.e. achdus haboireh. This is worse than avoidoh zoro - far worse.

19

 Mar 09, 2010 at 09:52 AM Anonymous Says:

No. They don't all believe in God. In Gates of Prayer, the Reform servicebook, there is an option for a "Non-theistic service." Nebach.

20

 Mar 09, 2010 at 10:00 AM berel Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

Because they interpret and understand his laws and what actually constitutes his laws (as distinct from man made laws) differently than orthodox jews do.

so you are not practicing judaism, christians also 'interperate his laws'.so they dont call themselves 'reform judaism' so why do you?. first of all..judaism = belief that 613 mitzvos with oral explanations (not interpetations) of each mitzvah handed by g-d to moses on har sini, as expounded in talmud bavli and if one doesdt believe, even one letter in torah is misina he is heretic (mes. sanhedrin). second of all, reform discarded almost all (100%?) of the mitzvos so please be honest, its not 'different interpetation')..and who authorized this'interpetation'..somewhere down the line, parents, grandparents believed in above. it wasnt someone with 'different interpetations', it was the likes of dessauwer, mendelshon, chariner, shem reshoim yirkav, who revolted against the torah

21

 Mar 09, 2010 at 10:08 AM berel Says:

Reply to #19  
Anonymous Says:

No. They don't all believe in God. In Gates of Prayer, the Reform servicebook, there is an option for a "Non-theistic service." Nebach.

what kind of religion is a movement that believes in doing just what your comfortable with, discard anything you dont feel for, not in the mood etc.its just your own thing not religion

22

 Mar 09, 2010 at 10:37 AM Dave Says:

The nerve of those Reform 'Rabbis'. Don't they know that the proper role of a Rabbi is to lobby for Jewish Criminals, and cover up molestation cases?

23

 Mar 09, 2010 at 10:54 AM Anonymous Says:

If they had faith they'd do what Hashem wants, why call in interfaith? They have no faith.

24

 Mar 09, 2010 at 11:32 AM Aryeh Says:

How about "Dayan Emes"?

25

 Mar 09, 2010 at 11:42 AM Anonymous Says:

Everyone knows that the Reform movement is falling apart and is begging to get more followers. As they don't believe in Torah M'Sinai anyway, what difference does it make to them if there is a mixture of everyone and anyone in their followers? They are a mockery and a chilul HaShem, posing as part of Jewish belief when there is absolutely no connection to Judaism. The reason they're falling apart is because people who seek 'religious' faith (as so many American Jews, r'l, are completely ignorant of their heritage) can find nothing spiritual or real in the reform or reconstructionist movements. These are Jews who as we say, are like kidnapped children. We really do need Moshiach NOW!

26

 Mar 09, 2010 at 11:47 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #22  
Dave Says:

The nerve of those Reform 'Rabbis'. Don't they know that the proper role of a Rabbi is to lobby for Jewish Criminals, and cover up molestation cases?

yeah,yeah we knew sooner or later someone will come with his super intelligence and add this deep insight to authenic judaism... . so thats why you have this new 'religion' because of your bright insight..

27

 Mar 09, 2010 at 11:50 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

The appropriate bracha is "hamavdil"

#4 - Very good comments, along with some others. Yasher Koach!

28

 Mar 09, 2010 at 12:07 PM berel Says:

Reply to #22  
Dave Says:

The nerve of those Reform 'Rabbis'. Don't they know that the proper role of a Rabbi is to lobby for Jewish Criminals, and cover up molestation cases?

cont'd from #20..and without the oral explanation you have nothing..take the 2nd mitzvah..circumcision what is that and where.?..keep the shabbath, how do you keep it? what does it involve? nowhere is it mentioned in the torah what work is forbidden,maybe its just not going into the office or my grocery store?...passover no 'sours'(machmetzes) what is that lemon juice? sour pickles?..rosh hashana..it is not mention what the holiday is for ,to blow ..blow what? blow may clarinet?so if you dont believe in the oral explanation you have nothing ....not to steal, kill..who would do such a thing ?we dont need a torah for that ...so you see you are left with doing your own thing so why do you get insulted when we say your not practicing religion, and judaism for that matter? also day of rest, which day , the 7th day ?which is the 7th day? sat? maybe its tues.? and the 1st day is wed.? after all when one forgets which day he's in he counts 6 days and the 7th according to his count he has to rest (and there arelaws exactly what he may do the other days( these laws are from our oral laws..and all these oral laws which g-d gave moses are hidden in the wordings, lettering of the torah..

29

 Mar 09, 2010 at 01:02 PM A. Nuran Says:

I have a modest proposal. Maybe the Orthodox should adopt this as a solution to the shidduch crisis, for girls only of course. Before you start screaming, consider the advantages:

- All those girls would get married. 22 or 23 isn't past a girl's "sell by" date in the larger society

- It would give the quiet and out-of-town girls someone to marry

- No shadchan to pay, no Q-clearance background checks

- The crisis would be over. Or at least "out of sight, out of mind"

- Cheaper. Nobody except some Muslims and Hindus expect dowries

- The girls' children would be as Jewish as Rashi. And we could hasten the coming of Moshiach by bringing them to Torah

30

 Mar 09, 2010 at 01:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

Isn't it amazing that gedoli Yisroel saw this coming 100 years ago we should trust them on everything else

They saw no such thing. In fact, it was thee refusal to send any rabbanim her 100 years ago and set up a framework that caused the problem. That vacuum gave the lay leadership a much greater role in religious affairs and led to Conservative and reform Rabbis being unopposed by any Orthodox leadership

31

 Mar 09, 2010 at 01:29 PM Allan Says:

As one brought up in a traditional but not overly observant family I find the actions of the reform movement to be disgusting. To openly promote breaking of the rules is just pushing the envelope way too far. I am what I am but I don't encourage others to break the rules as the reform movement does.

32

 Mar 09, 2010 at 01:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

Do you really think they put on Tefilin?

Do you think they even know what Tefillin are?

33

 Mar 09, 2010 at 02:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
chief doofis Says:

They can bless all they want. Ess vet zey gornisht helfen. What blessing is there for a Gentile boy of 13 to put on t'fillin? At a wedding, "bikibuts baneha" Nebech the almona bas tzion is crying, these are not my children!

The only appropriate bracha, is the one for Baloney, only this type of baloney doesn't merit a shehakol!

And when the USA troops saved all your relatives from the camps, they very well could have cried out " these arent my children", but they didnt. It is one of your mikvas to love converts, so, you are not a real Jew if you dont do as the Torah says. Faker.

34

 Mar 09, 2010 at 02:42 PM berel Says:

Reply to #30  
Anonymous Says:

They saw no such thing. In fact, it was thee refusal to send any rabbanim her 100 years ago and set up a framework that caused the problem. That vacuum gave the lay leadership a much greater role in religious affairs and led to Conservative and reform Rabbis being unopposed by any Orthodox leadership

your on drugs..you have false history..'refusel to send rabbonim..' what crap. Did you hear of rthe holy chasam soifer, reb yehuda assad,tzanzer etc etc they excluded the haskalah (reform) from klall yisroel..they woulnt participate in kesher reshoim just like they wont participate in christsian clergy. This is exactly how christisanity came about

35

 Mar 09, 2010 at 02:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Reform have a new blessing on smoking marijuana: ...hamotzi marijuana min haaretz.

36

 Mar 09, 2010 at 02:48 PM Anonymous Says:

The founder of the Reform Movement, Geiger YMSVZ, was a Pauline Christian. The Reform Movement's philosophy was founded totally on Pauline Christian belief. It is in no way a Jewish Movement. We must rescue as many true Yidden from this unholy Movement of Sheker.

37

 Mar 09, 2010 at 05:02 PM Survivor Says:

Reply to #33  
Anonymous Says:

And when the USA troops saved all your relatives from the camps, they very well could have cried out " these arent my children", but they didnt. It is one of your mikvas to love converts, so, you are not a real Jew if you dont do as the Torah says. Faker.

The USA and European allies didn't save anybody. During the height of the holocaust with tens of thousands being murdered every day the allies were begged again and again to do something. Just one bomb on the Auschwitz railroad terminal would have saved 500,000 innocents (YES!! Half a million!!). And they did nothing. Not one single camp was liberated until after the war was over.

38

 Mar 09, 2010 at 05:21 PM berel Says:

Reply to #33  
Anonymous Says:

And when the USA troops saved all your relatives from the camps, they very well could have cried out " these arent my children", but they didnt. It is one of your mikvas to love converts, so, you are not a real Jew if you dont do as the Torah says. Faker.

so maybe we should become christian, muslim etc because they rescued us?

39

 Mar 09, 2010 at 05:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #22  
Dave Says:

The nerve of those Reform 'Rabbis'. Don't they know that the proper role of a Rabbi is to lobby for Jewish Criminals, and cover up molestation cases?

Dave is a truly sick person.Mabe we should daven for him.

40

 Mar 09, 2010 at 07:16 PM Dave Says:

Reply to #39  
Anonymous Says:

Dave is a truly sick person.Mabe we should daven for him.

I am sorry. I forgot about the time spent inventing new things to suddenly declare treif, and the time spent oppressing gerim. I'll strive to be more accurate in my sarcasm in the future.

41

 Mar 09, 2010 at 10:04 PM chief doofis Says:

Reply to #33  
Anonymous Says:

And when the USA troops saved all your relatives from the camps, they very well could have cried out " these arent my children", but they didnt. It is one of your mikvas to love converts, so, you are not a real Jew if you dont do as the Torah says. Faker.

If you would understand Hebrew and Yiddish, you would know that the Almono bas tzion refers to Jersusalem. And, while all humans are G-d's children, they aren't the children of the widowed "Jerusalem". Yes, it is a mitzva (as opposed to a mikva) to love the convert. Converts don't intermarry. A true convert is a Jew, whom I love. The Gentile spouse of a Jew, is loved as a human, but is not a Jew If I love all people, I can still love my wife and kids, even more than everyone else, similarly, I can love my coreligionists more than I do the Yanomamo. Why I'm a faker eludes me.

42

 Mar 09, 2010 at 10:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #40  
Dave Says:

I am sorry. I forgot about the time spent inventing new things to suddenly declare treif, and the time spent oppressing gerim. I'll strive to be more accurate in my sarcasm in the future.

You keep sounding dumber and dumber

43

 Mar 09, 2010 at 11:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #40  
Dave Says:

I am sorry. I forgot about the time spent inventing new things to suddenly declare treif, and the time spent oppressing gerim. I'll strive to be more accurate in my sarcasm in the future.

What a dumb comment.If they are not real geyirm by halachic rules,they are not geyirm.

44

 Mar 09, 2010 at 11:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #38  
berel Says:

so maybe we should become christian, muslim etc because they rescued us?

Don't know much about Muslims but the crusades, the inquisition, the many exiles and gezeiros, the blood libels, 1648/1649 are just a few of many examples of christians rescuing jews.

45

 Mar 10, 2010 at 01:27 AM PMO Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

Because they interpret and understand his laws and what actually constitutes his laws (as distinct from man made laws) differently than orthodox jews do.

You make a very common, but stupid mistake. The "laws" that you speak of are fairly black and white. You seem to think that there is great room for interpretation. This is not so. Their are minor disagreements over the exact meaning of some words, but these people do not practice anything that even looks like Judaism. You must realize that this "Reform" religion was made up here in America. Before that, there was no such thing. It is not Judaism. Someone literally said "Well, we can do away with halacha and we can come up with our own liberal interpretation that looks more like xianity so we'll fit in better". If you believe that H" gave us both the oral and written Torah, and they are His words and laws for all time, then you cannot possibly believe that "Reformism" has anything to do with Judaism.

I don't understand why it is that people are so ignorant as to believe that this is REALLY acceptable. This is a phony, made-up religion! It is no more a reality than Scientology or people who worship a head of lettuce as 'Mother Nature'.

46

 Mar 10, 2010 at 04:49 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #22  
Dave Says:

The nerve of those Reform 'Rabbis'. Don't they know that the proper role of a Rabbi is to lobby for Jewish Criminals, and cover up molestation cases?

Which Rabbi does either of the things you mention. I challenge you to name just one.
I mean, of course, a proper one, not a reform clown.

47

 Mar 10, 2010 at 04:52 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

Because they interpret and understand his laws and what actually constitutes his laws (as distinct from man made laws) differently than orthodox jews do.

Oh yes! Shabbos, kashrus, kedushas habayis etc. are all man-made laws. If you don't believe me ask any qualified reform rabbi (preferably a female one).

48

 Mar 10, 2010 at 04:55 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
berel Says:

so you are not practicing judaism, christians also 'interperate his laws'.so they dont call themselves 'reform judaism' so why do you?. first of all..judaism = belief that 613 mitzvos with oral explanations (not interpetations) of each mitzvah handed by g-d to moses on har sini, as expounded in talmud bavli and if one doesdt believe, even one letter in torah is misina he is heretic (mes. sanhedrin). second of all, reform discarded almost all (100%?) of the mitzvos so please be honest, its not 'different interpetation')..and who authorized this'interpetation'..somewhere down the line, parents, grandparents believed in above. it wasnt someone with 'different interpetations', it was the likes of dessauwer, mendelshon, chariner, shem reshoim yirkav, who revolted against the torah

Mendelson did not revolt against the torah. Read his biur. It was his hashkofos that were way out. That made him more dangerous. He personally was a shomer torah umitzvos. That was the problem.

49

 Mar 10, 2010 at 07:42 AM History Says:

Reply to #34  
berel Says:

your on drugs..you have false history..'refusel to send rabbonim..' what crap. Did you hear of rthe holy chasam soifer, reb yehuda assad,tzanzer etc etc they excluded the haskalah (reform) from klall yisroel..they woulnt participate in kesher reshoim just like they wont participate in christsian clergy. This is exactly how christisanity came about

If you want to get technical they also excluded modern orthodox (it was called status quo back then) as being more dangerous to torah true judaism then the reform. The reform were openly kofer, the SQ congregations were unperterbed by the reform and refused to go to war against them. In the present generation they include the Avi Weisses that are ordaining woman with whatever title they can get away with and the Dr. Tendlers that fabricate an attack on metzitza to show their doctorate is more important than their smicha. I came across a 1928 picture of a mizrachi meeting in Poland on the polish gov't's new archive site. They all had beards albeit trimmed, and all had black hats. What ever their beliefs were, it was important to them to look like Jews. That, as opposed to the clean shaven bottle cap kipa toting ra-banim of our day that are not embarassed that they appear as exactly as goyim gimeerim. The Ra-Banim remark BTW the way was used by the Munkaczer in a 1935 letter to R'Shraga Feivel Mendolowitz z"l refering to YU talmidim and is published in the sefer "Igros Shapirin" .

50

 Mar 10, 2010 at 07:48 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #34  
berel Says:

your on drugs..you have false history..'refusel to send rabbonim..' what crap. Did you hear of rthe holy chasam soifer, reb yehuda assad,tzanzer etc etc they excluded the haskalah (reform) from klall yisroel..they woulnt participate in kesher reshoim just like they wont participate in christsian clergy. This is exactly how christisanity came about

About 25 years ago I saw an article in a federation paper stating that 86% of reform shuls gave aliyahs to a non Jewish spouse. I wondered what brocha they had the non Jew recite. Asher lo bochar banu mikol ha'amim, vi'lo nosson lanu es toraso.....?
Does the reform prayerbook have a seperate brocho for goyim getting aliyahs? She'asni kiritzono? shelo asani kiratzono?

51

 Mar 10, 2010 at 09:29 AM berel Says:

Reply to #50  
Anonymous Says:

About 25 years ago I saw an article in a federation paper stating that 86% of reform shuls gave aliyahs to a non Jewish spouse. I wondered what brocha they had the non Jew recite. Asher lo bochar banu mikol ha'amim, vi'lo nosson lanu es toraso.....?
Does the reform prayerbook have a seperate brocho for goyim getting aliyahs? She'asni kiritzono? shelo asani kiratzono?

the holy chasam soifer also referredto them as rah-bonim..and to ahron chariner rabbinner he called 'achar' (roshai teivos)

52

 Mar 10, 2010 at 09:32 AM berel Says:

Reply to #50  
Anonymous Says:

About 25 years ago I saw an article in a federation paper stating that 86% of reform shuls gave aliyahs to a non Jewish spouse. I wondered what brocha they had the non Jew recite. Asher lo bochar banu mikol ha'amim, vi'lo nosson lanu es toraso.....?
Does the reform prayerbook have a seperate brocho for goyim getting aliyahs? She'asni kiritzono? shelo asani kiratzono?

.. the brocha any reform makes is shevias shov(that what beroche lavatoleh entails ..'lo siasa'...see mes brochos) as they dont belive its g-d given

53

 Mar 10, 2010 at 08:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #48  
Anonymous Says:

Mendelson did not revolt against the torah. Read his biur. It was his hashkofos that were way out. That made him more dangerous. He personally was a shomer torah umitzvos. That was the problem.

if the holy tzaddikum of that generation referred to him as 'shem reshoim yirkav' is enough

54

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