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why is judaism better about keeping out the losers?
#21
Well, my experience has been almost exclusively within the Reform and Conservative movements. I've attended some various Orthodox synagogues in Israel from time to time. I've been to an egalitarian Orthodox synagogue here in Tel Aviv a few times, which I quite enjoy. They have women participate in the various parts of the prayer service, even in the Torah blessings and readings! I believe in egalitarianism, and if Orthodoxy were more open in that regard, I would be more interested in it.

I used to be more observant than I am today, and I would wear tsitsit and kippah in public everywhere. I grew up in Missouri, and being visibly Jewish in Missouri can lead to some odd situations. My first time in Israel (in 2004), the thing that really touched me was seeing Jewish people participate in every type of life. The bus driver wore a kippah! The difference really hit me, and I knew that I was going to move to Israel in the end. I never felt at home in Missouri — though NYC did eventually become somewhat of a second home for me for about five years, and I would have been happy to live there.

I'd suggest that you pick up Essential Judaism by George Robinson and Choosing a Jewish Life by Anita Diamant.

Be aware that the Judaism in America is still evolving. What most Orthodox people think of as "Reform" doesn't reflect what Reform Judaism is today. The Reform started as a rebellion against tradition. That's still called "Classical Reform," and they don't even use Hebrew in their prayer service. It is that type of Judaism that has caused the opposition within Orthodoxy for the past generation. The modern Reform Movement does indeed teach equal access and inclusion for women and LGBT people, but they are becoming more and more observant in their outward observance. Before I left Missouri, we were doing a Sunday morning minyan in the Reform temple in which men and women were meeting and laying tefillin in morning services. That represents a huge change in the perspective of Reform Judaism!

Long term, I can imagine the Conservative Movement dividing up. The more liberal side will merge with the Reform group, and the more conservative will merge with Modern Orthodoxy. The distinctions are becoming smaller in the general populace (at least, that's what I was sensing).

Maybe someone here sees things differently in their communities, especially because I've been cut off for a while (having lived in Israel for the past 13 years).
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#22
Wow i really thank you for sharing with me. I appreciate your perspective it seems like that is what i was grasping at overall but had a hard time putting it into words. Understanding these are more modern changing molding groups increases my understanding of the whole issue. 

Some things i would read about reform and then in our services and my particular Rabbi are the most conservative of the Reform i have seen, which for now is ok it is way better than being in the south somewhere close to where you were in which you feel like an alien. I tried wearing a kippah out daily until i was attacked by someone with absolutely no remorse that acted as if i was sub human. It pains me to but i do not openly display my beliefs anymore because i haven't even recovered from that attack yet months later.

Ever since we really started becoming Torah observant going to Israel has been in the back of our heads. The more we learned about the Holocaust and how no one really cared to help the Jews even the US it made me feel even closer to the idea. As soon as i could hear in your tone the relief that you experienced going to Israel and feeling like you are at home in a larger community that is exactly what we are looking for. When we came here expecting one thing but got a really broken watered down version of what we know is out there it was kind of devastating, but also taught us that if you want the whole genuine experience and you want to be immersed in it, you probably will never find somewhere like Israel.

Do you know if Reform/Conservative conversions are considered legitimate to make Aliyah? This is something of the highest priority for my life because i know one day the steps i take now may make the difference of my descendants being faithful and not being lost to integration. We are almost ready to have kids and i couldn't imagine raising a family in Colorado for a second, this place is the wild west and has very high crime and a total self focused attitude, community is almost non-existent. I really feel like Israel would be different. I never felt at home in the south or the east, now we have been west as well and personally i just don't identify with these places as hard as i try.

Thank you for the book recommendations my wife actually just got Choosing a Jewish life so that is really cool.

I just want to thank you one last time, having a place like this to connect with someone i can identify with is really helpful for me. It is comforting to get a perspective from a friend that i know does not have any kind of agenda in what they say to me. I am  finishing up software engineering courses from Harvard right now and plan to work for a big tech company and transfer to Israel in the future. That is another reason why learning Hebrew is very important to us as well, we want to learn it to actually use it and study with it not to just know a few words or sayings.

How was the actual move itself for you? Did you go alone or have family did you already have a job lined up?

Shalom Aleichem
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#23
I'm not sure what changes have been made to the process in the last 13 years. When I made aliyah, there was a different authority for Orthodox aliyot than for non-Orthodox aliyot. I needed to send letters from the president and the rabbi of my congregation to indicate my standing in the local Jewish community. I drove to Chicago to meet with the shliḥat aliyah, and we cemented my plans. I went alone at 27 years old, and I first went to an aliyah center in Raanana, where I stayed for two days before friends from Rishon LeZion brought me to live with them until I got a job and everything.

As far as I'm aware, Orthodox converts have a more difficult time making aliyah because the authority in charge of Orthodox conversions only accepts converts who completed their process under specific rabbis' auspices. No one knows who the accepted rabbis are, so when you go to apply for aliyah, they might reject you out of hand. It's easier for Reform and Conservative, since these conversions are accepted by the aliyah agency without contest - so long as you have active standing in the Jewish community and can demonstrate that. This may have changed recently, but I doubt it.

I'm not sure what further information I can provide. I came without a job lined up, and I ended up sleeping on a friend's couch for nearly two months while I got my first few checks and could get lined up with an apartment. I started as an English teacher, then I was a flight attendant, and now I'm working at the front desk of a large hotel. Actually, because of COVID-19, I'm sitting at home on unemployment under lockdown.

The only thing that I can really recommend is that you relate differently to the Reform and Conservative movements. They are perfectly fine as independent approaches to the whole concept. You should read their own publications rather than looking down your nose at them, as is the typical Orthodox view of anything non-Orthodox.

Good luck with your journey!
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#24
(10-03-2020, 03:26 PM)Jason wrote: I'm not sure what changes have been made to the process in the last 13 years. When I made aliyah, there was a different authority for Orthodox aliyot than for non-Orthodox aliyot. I needed to send letters from the president and the rabbi of my congregation to indicate my standing in the local Jewish community. I drove to Chicago to meet with the shliḥat aliyah, and we cemented my plans. I went alone at 27 years old, and I first went to an aliyah center in Raanana, where I stayed for two days before friends from Rishon LeZion brought me to live with them until I got a job and everything.

As far as I'm aware, Orthodox converts have a more difficult time making aliyah because the authority in charge of Orthodox conversions only accepts converts who completed their process under specific rabbis' auspices. No one knows who the accepted rabbis are, so when you go to apply for aliyah, they might reject you out of hand. It's easier for Reform and Conservative, since these conversions are accepted by the aliyah agency without contest - so long as you have active standing in the Jewish community and can demonstrate that. This may have changed recently, but I doubt it.

I'm not sure what further information I can provide. I came without a job lined up, and I ended up sleeping on a friend's couch for nearly two months while I got my first few checks and could get lined up with an apartment. I started as an English teacher, then I was a flight attendant, and now I'm working at the front desk of a large hotel. Actually, because of COVID-19, I'm sitting at home on unemployment under lockdown.

The only thing that I can really recommend is that you relate differently to the Reform and Conservative movements. They are perfectly fine as independent approaches to the whole concept. You should read their own publications rather than looking down your nose at them, as is the typical Orthodox view of anything non-Orthodox.

Good luck with your journey!

Thank you Jason that was very helpful and i really appreciate you taking the time to respond. I was picking up on myself having a better-than ultra-orthodox attitude as well thank you for pointing that out. The more i have studied Kabbalah I am trying to look at things as neutral and all given by the Creator, so instead of feeling some superiority or pushback, i actually want to understand the Creators purpose for His creation. 

I have been spending a lot of time on History of the Reform movement and i see how the push against the strict orthodoxy was legitimate, and at the same time for me personally it feels like it is too far on the other side of the coin, and i am more inbetween. 

You have mentioned Egalitarian Orthodox, and i want to understand at a deep level why in Orthodoxy are women have less status than a Man. I am not on the side of right or wrong i just want to understand it to sort out whether or not it makes logical sense. If they can not make a solid argument as to why women do not have equal freedoms i will definitely go conservative. Without knowing though there could be a perfectly good explanation.

I am taking a class on International Law and i am trying to juggle internally outside influence over local custom and how those two things from a Kabbalistic point of view can work together for healthy modern reform in all nations and religions.

Thank you again,

Shalom
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#25
(10-03-2020, 11:23 PM)Yehudani wrote: Going back to the first post, I think psalm 1 gives us a good perspective. To loosely quote or paraphrase; blessed are those who don't walk in the council of the wicked.
Bringing wicked people among you is more likely going to cause the wickedness of the perdón to rub off on the righteous than the other way around. There are better ways to I spire the wicked person and ultimately, it is the wicked person's place to choose life and torah, not to have everyone trying to covert him /her. I think that it's not bad at all to try and inspire good in them but I dont think this should come at the expense of the wellbeing of the righteous.

I don't know if bringing addicts, kleptomanics, narcissistic abusers and serial adulterers (etc etc) into Christian churches has ever reformed them, but I certainly wouldn't be willing to subject fellow Jews to people that could bring harm to them overtly or covertly, however, if the person did serious teshuvah, and became zealous for G-d, then they would be more than welcome, if it  were up to me, so I get it.
I have to wonder if ,from a Kabbalistic view, Christianity accepting in people that are emotionally distressed, but them getting exposure to any amount of Torah is like a spiritual preparation either later in that life or in another incarnation. Like you say for me personally if people do tshuvah and follow the mitzvot that is reason to support them. I do not know why anyone that can clearly articulate their love and observance of Torah should be treated like a leper as i was, but that is their problem and not mine i treat everyone as an individual and do not make assumptions until they speak and act for themselves. 

Hopefully once find a good community it is an emotionally mentally and spiritually healthy group that is supportive and really in tune with creation. So far 2/3 classes i have taken the Two Reform Rabbi's i had spent the first 10 minutes talking bad about Orthodoxy as a whole and giving the students a sense that the Orthodox are unintelligent cavemen stuck in the past that are usually wrong anyways. She spent her hour teaching students about her opinion's not about Torah knowledge. Obviously from a neutral point of view there is no reason to state other thing other than the facts of the matter, and for supposedly learned Jew's to bash 90% of where they come from is really disturbing. On the contrast the one class with a non Reform Rabbi was full of respect and admiration for the Torah, and really solid concepts like one God, mitzvot, tikkun olam. 

Maybe it is possible that Reform as well is kind of like an entry point for someone completely unfamiliar with the culture and language. 

What are your thoughts?
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#26
(10-14-2020, 03:03 PM)MatthewColorado wrote: Maybe it is possible that Reform as well is kind of like an entry point for someone completely unfamiliar with the culture and language. 

What are your thoughts?

My thoughts on your comment above?

I don't think you really want to hear my thoughts. I don't know that I could find language that would be allowable  on this forum to express my thoughts. 

I'll get back to you if I am able to find suitable words that adequately express my disgust and my utter contempt.
בקש שלום ורדפהו
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#27
(10-14-2020, 03:03 PM)MatthewColorado wrote: Hopefully once find a good community it is an emotionally mentally and spiritually healthy group that is supportive and really in tune with creation. So far 2/3 classes i have taken the Two Reform Rabbi's i had spent the first 10 minutes talking bad about Orthodoxy as a whole and giving the students a sense that the Orthodox are unintelligent cavemen stuck in the past that are usually wrong anyways. She spent her hour teaching students about her opinion's not about Torah knowledge. Obviously from a neutral point of view there is no reason to state other thing other than the facts of the matter, and for supposedly learned Jew's to bash 90% of where they come from is really disturbing. On the contrast the one class with a non Reform Rabbi was full of respect and admiration for the Torah, and really solid concepts like one God, mitzvot, tikkun olam. 
I'll let you in on a little secret. You can find Jews across the denominational spectrum badmouthing the other denominations. You can find badmouthing within denominations. Yeah, you can find some Reform Jews, even some Reform rabbis, who look upon Orthodox Judaism and its adherents as Neanderthals, but that pales with some of the barbs flung at non-Orthodox Jews by some Orthodox Jews. Heck, when the Hasidic movement took hold there was great friction between the Hasids and the non-Hasidic Orthodox with each movement working to excommunicate the other.

When you find the time, you might want to write down in detail your understanding of Reform Judaism. I'd be curious to know how much you actually know and understand.
בקש שלום ורדפהו
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#28
(10-14-2020, 09:25 PM)RabbiO wrote:
(10-14-2020, 03:03 PM)MatthewColorado wrote: Maybe it is possible that Reform as well is kind of like an entry point for someone completely unfamiliar with the culture and language. 

What are your thoughts?

My thoughts on your comment above?

I don't think you really want to hear my thoughts. I don't know that I could find language that would be allowable  on this forum to express my thoughts. 

I'll get back to you if I am able to find suitable words that adequately express my disgust and my utter contempt.

It is a legitimate question, i have no ill will in asking it, i ask for more understanding from others out there with different pieces of the puzzle than i have. If you think that statement is wrong, i ask that you tell me why in a clear and articulatable way. I am not a statue i am not unchanging or unfeeling. 

How can we have the time when we beat our spears into plows if we cannot first begin a discussion with an earnest attempt to respect and understand each other. I hope i am clear that although i have my opinion, i in no way think it is the right opinion. I think all opinions are valid in some way or another because they only come from the Creator. 

My observations as to why i asked the questions are as follows. 

- Reform will have the most easy to enter into services for a non Jew. Services are generally completely in English in my experience although i have been told some have become more traditional in recent years. Going to Maariv and the entire service being in Hebrew with all the traditional observances is harder to acclimate to at first, although i think later it is actually more effective at staying ingrained in you, at least that is how it was for me.


- Reform is MUCH MORE accepting than any other group of Jews i have known personally. I was literally turned away from Orthodox because i did not have a religiously Jewish mother or father. Simple as that not a question of why or what i believe, what i knew about Torah nothing. In that sense they incurred a sin by turning away a genuine person that could demonstrate Torah knowledge. Reform +1 in that regard, please understand i do not mean to be demeaning although i am sure people have told you that you are less than them for what you believe, and i do not subscribe to that opinion myself i value you for who the Creator made you to be.

-Conversion, Orthodox conversion is intense, i was reading easily fifty to a hundred pages a day, not to mention really strict observance to things like no lights or electricity use. I read Torah by candle every week, most people won't do that. Reform conversion, you literally have a half a dozen to a dozen discussions with people that have a very loose idea of what the subjects of Judaism are and what should be contained. One was like a college course with a structure, the other is like a meetup group with just a philosophical discussion. I am speaking purely from experience here so please this is just one person's factual account of one piece of time.

Shalom Aleichem
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#29
(10-14-2020, 03:03 PM)MatthewColorado wrote:  On the contrast the one class with a non Reform Rabbi was full of respect and admiration for the Torah, and really solid concepts like one God, mitzvot, tikkun olam. 

Just a question you may be able to answer.  I understand one G-d and the mitzvot are solid concepts within Judaism. However, how and when did tikkun olam become a solid concept in the Torah? If that is what you mean?  

Outside the Aleynu prayer, the line "to perfect the world under the Kingdom of G-d," there is no mention of tikkun olam in the Tanach.
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#30
Yehudani wrote:Again - while this is my paraphrasing, this is coming from the mouths of multiple Orthodox rabbis, if you disagree, don't shoot the messenger / recycler!

You knew that what you were posting was offensive. Calling any form of Judaism outside of Orthodoxy piss-filled coffee? Are you serious? Messenger or not, just no.

This forum exists as a place for Jews of all walks. We don't allow posts that aim at making anyone feel that their expression of Judaism is less authentic, less real, less respectable. Think twice before posting something like that again.

We may have our disagreements, but we have them on the basis of being a family. No one is going to come and say that the Orthodox are less Jewish based on their idea the Reform was the higher philosophical ideals. Alternatively, no one is going to say that Reform is less Jewish because they reject the Orthodox view of Torah. We avoid these types of back-and-forth mudslinging—messenger or originator.

I think I'm clear in what I mean. Just because "multiple Orthodox rabbis" think something doesn't mean (1) that it's right or (2) that you should feel free to repeat it. I'm sure that I can find "multiple Reform rabbis" that agree on a point that I'm not going to repeat on the forum for the sake of שְׁלוֹם בַּ֫יִת.
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