The REFORMulation of Judaism

By Howard L. Winkler

In response to the frequently asked question “Why could he or she do things that you can’t do? Aren’t you both Jewish?”

This is the Jewish year 5765. We received the Torah at Mount Sinai approximately 3302 years ago. The Torah is our “Bible”, the “Word of G-D”, and our “Law”. Traditional Judaism continues until now but not without its detractors and reformers.

In the late 1800’s a group of assimilated Jews in Germany decided to do to Judaism what Coca-Cola did (to their formula) a few years ago, they REFORMulated Judaism. They threw out the old and brought in the new!

The changes were so drastic that many of the followers of the new religion didn’t recognize any of the practices as the Judaism they knew. A group of reformers separated to become the “Conservative” members of reform “Judaism” and eventually broke away to form their own “Conservative” movement of Judaism which is closer to Traditional Judaism but falls short on observance as they are not quite sure if the Torah is given by G-D or written by man.

The REFORMulated Jews or “Reform” as they call themselves decided that one need not believe in G-D to be a Jew. They decided that the manner to become a rabbi was to take some history courses in a University and become involved in social issues. Traditionally to become a Rabbi a man must believe in G-d, know that the Torah is the word of G-d and abide by & perform the precepts in the Torah. He must have expert knowledge in a multitude of subjects relating to Jewish law, customs & history and must be deemed to have a high moral character. A proficiency examination is then administered by a Torah observant Rabbi or a Torah observant Institution in order to obtain his S’micha (ordination).

They decided that you can be considered Jewish if your father is Jewish even if your mother is not. Traditionally, the method of determining if someone is Jewish is either he or she was born of a Jewish MOTHER or he or she had a "KOSHER" conversion according to the requirements of the universal Halachah (traditional Jewish law) administered by a Torah observant Rabbinical Court.

And the REFORMulation continues.

Torah Observant/Orthodox Jews don’t usually associate (in religious matters) with the breakaway groups or any other deviant forms of practices calling themselves “streams”, “branches” or “movements” of Judaism. Those groups then whine that we are separating ourselves from them (!) or that we are somehow to blame for their problems.

There are some “Modern Orthodox” Rabbi’s who will associate with the other groups and some may even sit on their boards for matters relating to community or civic affairs but nobody recognizes or approves of their religious practices and views.

We have nothing in common with their so called Rabbis. They do not represent us. Their idea of Jewish practice is different than ours. Their laws and practices can arbitrarily change and are regularly changed at their annual convention. Our Traditional laws cannot and are not changed but are applicable to everyday life throughout the generations.

The reformulated Coke was a short-lived failure but Coke Classic is still around.
“It’s the Real Thing!”