Beyond the Cusp

July 31, 2019

The Redefiners of Judaism Take Insult as Usual

 

Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz stated in a cabinet meeting that the rate of assimilation among the Jewish community in the United States is “like a second Holocaust.” His reference was in respect of the facts known that over fifty-percent of Jews in the United States, Canada and Europe are intermarrying with Christians and secular humanists leaving their Judaism behind ignored and in tatters. Immediately after his comments were leaked, a problem in Israel just as it is in the United States and other Western governments, many Conservative and Reform Jews in the United States. Their insistence is that Rabbi Peretz is ignorant and insensitive to Jews in the Diaspora. This is far from the first time that an Israeli has been accused with lacking the proper attitudes and totally misunderstanding the true reality of what it means to be a Jew in the modern age. This is always how the condemnation of the insistence by Israeli Jews, largely the Orthodox community, for their insensitivity and lack of knowledge of what modern Judaism has evolved into. Their claims are simple, they should define what is a Jew and what Judaism actually believes and means as they call it, in this modern age.

 

We thought that perhaps as av graduate of this United States Diaspora Jews inculcations by which Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and other non-Orthodox branches of Judaism have redefined the Halacha to fit their social constructs making them estranged from Torah. The main terminology one would hear from these New Age Jews is Tikkun Olam which they define as repair the world. They take this idea and instead of it meaning that they need to perfect and improve themselves in order to make the world right, they think that they need to make everyone else come around and believe as they do in order to repair the world. They have redefined the Commandments of Torah bending them in order to align them with the platform of the Democrat Party and the beliefs of Secular Humanists. Their reactions to anybody who does not fall in line with their beliefs and definitions are immediately considered to be any of any number of stock names, racist, homophobic, sexist or any other of the plethora of labels thrown around to slam their opponents making them easily discarded as ignorant and uninformed boors. So, how is it that things changed to the point that I not only support Rabbi Rafi Peretz and most of what he has stated, all of which has perturbed the Diaspora Jews and their Tikkun Olam warping of the Commandments of Torah and Judaism.

 

The first thing which probably made my transition to Traditional Orthodoxy since making Aliyah returning home to Eretz Yisroel was our coming home with absolutely no preconceived notions of what to expect of Israel, the societal means or almost anything at all. We came with a wait and see what it is we had come into and exactly what the effects were going to be. It took about six months before finding out that it is far easier to be a practicing Jew in Israel than it was in most places in the United States, especially since I often resided in places like north-central Wyoming where the closest Synagogue was over four-hundred-miles distant and Kosher foods were next to impossible outside of Hebrew National salamis. Then began regular attendance to services, joining classes about Talmud, Torah, Haftorah and other things which covered Judaism and the Commandments giving it straight and without bending, twisting, spindling and otherwise mutilating these writings. This led to noting that most of Judaism was very different from what had been instructed and far more self-centered with the intent for self-improvement. Judaism also had no desire to change other people from outside of Judaism but to improve ourselves to such a degree that others will desire to strive for self-improvement. Judaism, as it has been explained, provides Commandments by which Jews can improve their interaction with others and make of themselves people living an enviable life while not proselytizing others and never even attempting to make converts of others. Judaism is to be practiced by the Jewish People and also converts, despite Judaism making conversion fairly difficult. Often, true conversion takes at a minimum two years of intense studying, and then passing queries posed by a panel of Rabbis.

 

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments

 

Conversion brings us to another point which we will utilize to show the difficulty facing the Jews of the Diaspora and the Jews within Israel. The Chief Rabbinate set the rules for which one is considered Jewish, including how to convert to Judaism. Needless to point out, conversion to Judaism has strict rules before it is accepted by the Chief Rabbinate. This has brought great amounts of condemnation from largely leftist Jewish groups and the leadership of the Conservative, Reform and other non-Orthodox folds of Judaism. Their complaint is that many conversions they have performed are unacceptable within Israel and one who converts to Judaism under many of their systems are not acceptable as being a Jew unless they again convert in Israel under the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate. The Chief Rabbinate is often labeled as being overly strict, restrictive and narrow-minded in their recognition of conversions and they need to become more liberal allowing for these New-Age Judaism and their open-mindedness allowing for an open definition as to who is Jewish as after all, there should be little difference between conversion to Judaism and conversion to any other religion. They are totally aware that their critics are based on falsehoods as the Israeli Chief Rabbinate accepts conversions conducted by the RCA (Rabbinical Council of America), the Orthodox Union (OU) and here is a list of approved conversion performed outside Israel. The list is relatively extensive and approved conversions can be readily found by any desiring to convert and ready for a minimum of two years of intense learning.

 

But those Jewish groups and other non-Orthodox branches of Judaism refuse to accept that the Israeli Chief Rabbinate uses identical rules and requirements to those used by every of those listed as approved which in the United States include the RCA and OU conversions. Again, those in the Diaspora insist that Israel bend their rules and accept their definition of Judaism simply because they are more enlightened, open-minded free-thinking and tolerant. That is partly the problem as Judaism must remain strictly defined and steeped in traditions as well as kept honoring, respecting and following the exact rules of Torah given by Moses during the Exodus. Judaism is not to conform to the ideas of the Justice Democrats, the New Israel Fund, IfNotNow and numerous other Jewish leftist groups who all demand Israel accept their unarguable perfect and correct definitions of Judaism and what it means to be a good person. Their vision is an Israel as a subordinate to the Democrat Party platform and the leftist agenda based on their concepts of justice, LGBTQ rights, human rights, and demanding that Israel sacrifice whatever it takes to reach peace with the Palestinian Authority. Basically, these Diaspora Jews refuse to accept Torah Judaism as it has been defined for over three-thousand-years and instead supplant Torah with their LGBTQ, international justice, human tights and numerous other leftist central beliefs replacing Torah. Having lived in both communities, it can honestly be stated that Torah Judaism is centered and planted firmly in Jewish history and practice while the leftist justice warriors who insist that they can make and define a batter Judaism would not be planted and continue into the future with anywhere near the practicality of Torah which has steadies and defined Judaism for three-thousand-years plus. Judaism must remain centered on Torah which has been its anchor and the rock upon which it was founded. This does not mean that Judaism should ignore modernity, Judaism just need remain set in Torah while moderating these other new liberal and leftist concepts and ideas which Diaspora Jews are so enamored. We in Israel need not fear these Jews redefining Israel as the odds for their ever-making Aliyah, if what has been experienced when we decided to make Aliyah, the number of Conservative Jews from our congregation dumbfounded asking why would we ever desire to go to such a forbidding place. After moving here, we can inform these Jews, though they will not believe us, but they are the ones residing in what is rapidly becoming a forbidding place and Israel is the little wonder of the world.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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