Jewish Scene
Conservative female rabbi slams 'religious coercion'
Tzofia Hirshfeld
Published: 11.06.10, 13:29
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1. The Other Half of Abbas Creation
Vlri ,   London, UK   (06.11.10)
I am a Christian well written madam. A few women are called to lead, but even as helpmates we are vessels of wisdom grace and long suffering and they do not know what they miss when they do not listen to us! Moreover when we pray for Israel the Lord leads us, before things happen. Please do not despise your christian sisters. shabbat shalom
2. Not Judaism anymore
Hadassah ,   Israel   (06.11.10)
These people are making so many changes in our religion, that it won't be Judaism any more. Even all they're doing doesn't stem the flow of assimilation and intermarriage. In the near future, only the Orthodox will still be Jewish. In most countries outside of Israel, more Jews are dying than being born.
3. Reform, Conservative conversion-NOT Halacha
m   (06.11.10)
.......DACON9   (06.11.10)
lady you said: . Each movement is entitled to convert people according to its beliefs. SO YOU DONT MIND STARTING A NEW RELIGION. YOU ARE SAYING WHAT JESEES SAID..' dont follow the rabbis , follow me.
5. The Conservative Lie
Reuven Brauner ,   Raanana, Israel   (06.11.10)
The Conservatives lie in saying that they are a Halchic movement. This is patently false, and no one should be fooled by their fraud. The Conservative movement long ago broke away from Halachic Judaism with rulings such as driving a car on Shabbos to go to shul, not to mention their elimination of the Mechitza. When was the last time a Conservative woman observed the laws of Taharas Hamishpocho and Mikveh? They are a bad joke. There is nothing left of authentic Judaism in their movement.
6. I get naseus everytime a Conservative leader ..
lildoobird ,   Jerusalem   (06.11.10)
opens their mouth. Never a movement gone more awry from its founding fathers vision. "oohh this is cool lets make it part of Judaism". or ohhh this is outdated lets take it out. Either religion is G-d inspired and transcripted or it is not. You cannot have both.
7. Madam, you are "worried"
Sagi   (06.11.10)
I am not only worried, I am disgusted. I fear for the future of our State and our society. We are on a downhill slope and sliding fast. No modern democratic society can continue to exist freely without a Constitution and with religious coercion prevalent in every shadow and walk of life. If democracy and extreme orthodox Judaism (Haredi movements) are incompatible, and so it seems, then one side has to give in and leave. I would like democracy to prevail but I not only have my doubts, I am certain at this point in time that there will be eventually a religious take over of our country. The mathematics of demography shall win. It is on the cards, and the only thing that can stop it is a Constitution and an iron will to uphold democracy and freedom. At the moment there is a playoff between the two sides and it is is not looking good for freedom.
8. # 5 Reuven shtetl Brauner
Sagi   (06.11.10)
Shabbat. Bet Knesset. Taharat Hamishpacha.
9. Do Tshuvah
Reuven ,   Beit Shemesh, EY   (06.11.10)
Join the camp! Come back! It's never too late and always accepted by our Father!
10. rabbi julie and Conservative Judaisam
H.S.Cohen ,   New York City U.S.A.   (06.11.10)
Stay in the U.S.A. Julie with your empty movement,and leave us alone!
11. Conservative
Joe Askan ,   Ny, NY   (06.11.10)
This movement is grasping for straws as it fails and disappears. In America, we all know that all of their pathetic changes to Judaism are leading to their ultimate demise. I work and am friendly with many former adherents that grew up in Conservative homes but have given it all up because of the apparent hypocrisy and patent falsehoods inherent in this movement.
12. Sorry Lady, Facts speak diffrently
Norman   (06.11.10)
Look in the past 50 years of the total population of concervatives how many of the offspring have intermarried how many Identify with being Jewish Veses the orthodox Charaidi. Making up and playing with Halacha is a major problem and has umamanigable consequences.
13. Try the real thing Denial leeds to perversion
Martin   (06.11.10)
A smell of something good is not the thing itself. Search for the truth touch it feel it and taste its geshack and it will change your life and minimise your pain. Shbbos Koidesh invigorates and vibrates. Find that special plannet shabbos torah and mitsvos and you will find help is on the way Yashar Koiach Our wish and hope is that you all get clamber on very soon.
14. Ha shem's law
gilberto salomi ,   BRAZIL   (06.11.10)
Tzofia Hirshfeld brings into discussion a subject which have deep conceptual implications for all judaism streams. Each stream will face soon the contradiction of not obbeying the law itself but follow the massei ha Torah. As far as the streams follow different halachas it is not one religion anymore. Simple like that.
...........DACON9   (06.11.10)
CONSERVATIVE/MASORTI IS FAR FROM HALACHIC MOST OF WHAT THIS LADY SAYS IS ALL IN HER MIND CONTRARY TO TORAH Further proof that he knowledge is limited by her arrogance and insecurity as a woman person and a JEW. HER opinion is meaningless compared to thousands of years of rabbinical knowledge Insecurity distorts views and knowledge. Masorti, as she gives a kind sounding legitimacy to transgression changed the passover HAGADAH TORAH the SIDDUR AND MANY OTHER WAYS OF TRADITION OF WHICH MANY ARE BASED ON ZOHAR. Giving oneself a false impression that you can sin and not be responsible because you call yourself something other than a TRADITIONAL TORAH JEW IS TRYING TO LIE TO NOT YOURSELF BUT LYING TO THE ONE GD' ONE SET OF LAWS TO ONE NATION. these movements are a lazy people who are looking for excuses to go through life wearing blinders thinking they fool the heavens. Wearing black european jews is not symobolic or meaning anything of TORAH.dONT LET THAT MAKE YOU THINK THAT IS JUDAISM. It is nothing more then clothes from europe and doesnt designate of prove ones TORAH KNOWLEDGE OR OBSERVANCE. This i offer as a side note to those that think one has to dress like that to be a observant JEW trying t serve GD . Serrving GD is trying to learn a little and honestly doing as best as you can. This lady is not doing either one. Thank You, DACON9
16. masorti ''rabbinical assembly''
moron ,   galut   (06.11.10)
uses unity argument to foist non jewish ideas like gay marriage on torah people--for 'unity' the masorti would have all jews observe what they call their 'halacha' made by their counterfeit sanhedrin in america--like each tribe makes its own halacha! fortunately observant have more children which is why these 'rabbis' relax requiements for conversion to raise memberships who of course pay dues.this group of 'rabbis'-many women- are always pushing leftist ideas on their congregations thus abusing the authority their positions...they are not halachic although they started out that way as one answer to assimilation
17. just another politician
former charedi ,   New City, NY   (06.11.10)
"This hurts me deeply – as a religious Jew, as a woman and as a rabbi – that anyone would have the nerve to tell me that my wearing a tallit is sacrilegious." I was with her until that statement. "the nerve to tell me" is a dead giveaway of a control freak. Freedom of expression should allow people to SAY whatever their religious opinions might be. The big problem is religious coercion by the haredi. Here she is stating that she wants to institute another form of coercion, denying others freedom of expression when those others disagree with "her" form of Judaism. Another politician sick with the power lust, grabbing power in the name of religion. Most of us agree that the charedi power trip must be stopped. Many won't notice that she is on her own, and support her. Not me. The body count is too high already. I'll wait for a reasonable person to lead the fight.
18. irrelevant considering national security
blash ,   Washington DC   (06.11.10)
Israel needs to give citizenship to any Jew who comes to its borders seeking protection. It can't do that if people see a Reform "Rabbi" saying "I'm a Jew" and then get the guy to sign a piece of paper. There is no security in basically giving a citizenship that is a religious right to people who are not religious! Masorti Jews reject Dat Moshe and reject the basic tenet that the Torah was given by God at Mount Sinai because there's no BELIEF in Masorti Judaism, only scientific rationale and tradition.
19. Masorti movement is marginal in Israel
Aviva ,   Jerusalem   (06.11.10)
The Reform and Conservative movements in Israel are marginal and have only a few thousand members, at most. Their memberships in the U.S. have an extremely high rate of intermarriage and complete indifference to Judaism. Their dismal track record makes them the least qualified to tell others how to preserve Judaism.
20. What if..
M. Hartley ,   Atlanta, US   (06.11.10)
it turns out that the nature of God is equally female, male, and a combination of both to give us another chance to be kind to and tolerant of our fellow human beings, different though they may be??? I find it mindboggling that anyone believes that an omnipotent, omniscient God, Creator of All That Is, inspired books so full of scientific errors, contradictions and outright bloodthirsty verses. Wouldn't it be much better to attribute those Good Books to human beings, acknowledge and try to emulate the good parts, dismissing those lacking scientific facts and the ones attributable to the circumstances, times and place of the authors? I have a feeling there would be much less killing in the name of God or religions.
21. Wow how fitting for this weeks Torah Reading
Moish ,   Yerushalayim   (06.11.10)
Korach and his "movement" also had that complaint I suggest all "alternative movements" (Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Humanist, Messianic, etc,) study this week's Torah Reading in depth
22. Conservative/Masorti and Halakhah
Zeev ,   France   (06.11.10)
Please Ms. Schonfeld... the Conservative movement just SAYS it cares for Halakhah, its founding fathers certainly did, but can you honestly say that allowing people to drive on Shabbat and gays and lesbians to become rabbis and even "celebrating" their pseudo-mariages is according to Halakhah ? You decide by simple majority (50% plus one) to change Halakhah if it doesn´t fit into your plans ! - I don´t see Jews in Israel turning to your sect, it´s a dream that is very dangerous to the Jewish people. Specially in this moment when we are being attacked all over the world, do you really need to add our enemies ?
23. Madam Rabbi, one question
eli ,   nahariya, israel   (06.11.10)
Do you really think those of us that live here should care all that much about the opinion of American Jews? As a former American Conservative Jew, my casual poll shows that 90% of American Conservative Jew have never even been here. Maybe 62 years ago, when the State was first formed your thesis applies. But, sorry, I think you are trying to apply old thinking to a new reality. Let's see your American Conservative Rabbi's start to get their congregants to vacation here before we start to take your criticism to heart. Put your feet where your mouth is Madam Rabbi
24. They always talk about...
racheli ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (06.11.10)
The woman who are dissatisfied with their "place" in Orthodox Judaism, yet from my experience, these woman are few and far between.
25. Wow She Is Far Off
Hesh ,   Israel   (06.11.10)
She obviously understands nothing about Israel and the facts on the ground. The fact is, Israel is a Democracy, we have laws, and they are enforced. The religious population of Israel is growing several times faster than the non-religious segments of our society. The overwhelming majority of secular Jewish Israelis believe that shuls, holy places, bar mitzvahs, Marriages and so on should be done under Jewish law, no Conservative or Reform interpretations. The Conservative and Reform movements are virtually non-existant in Israel, and cater to ex-Americans. Israelis in general want nothing to do with them. If you really want a say, come live here, REALLY tie your fate to ours instead of giving a thumbs up and saying we are family from the other side of the world. Otherwise, mind your own business.
26. Isn't Conservative Judaism Non Jewish harassment?
Michael   (06.11.10)
27. Time To Laura again...
Ariel ,   São Paulo - Brazil   (06.11.10)
Laura Schlessinger is a US radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that as an observant Orthodox Jew, she holds that homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned in any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a US resident, which was posted on the Internet. Dear Dr. Laura: Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to follow them. a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them? b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her? c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense. d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians? e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself? f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? g) Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here? h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die? i) I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves? j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev. 24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14) I do look forward to your enlightenment regarding the questions that puzzle me. Then I shall pass them along to others who may appreciate your moral leadership. Sincerely.
28. Plain wrong !! I am not orthodox BUT..
Jerome ,   Frankfurt Germany   (06.11.10)
You tell us "'Religious coercion' is when someone tries to repress the legitimate spiritual expression of one whose personal approach is different than that which is generally accepted". Thus if a reform or a so call conservative person wants to do whatever he or she thinks is a spiritual expression it should be O.K. for us folks . You have no limits- THIS is the reason why people like me who are non orthodox can not join you bc it is stupid! I teach my 3 sons about JUDAISM (about the laws and about the rest...)- if my kids want to adhere striclty or not "is not my business" BUT to teach anythink and to call that stuff judaism is SILLY. You are not going with us, look what happens in the US- Julie Schonfeld is loosing- she knows the fact very well BUT keeps going all. I can not accept a so called conversion! It has nothing to do with harassment, it has more to do with JUDAISM. If Julie can not keep it, that her problem, BUT do not create YOUR STUFF AS YOU LIKE IT AND CALL IT JUDAISM!!
29. THANK YOU Rabbi Schonfeld
DAN ,   NEW YORK USA   (06.11.10)
Finally a voice of reason! Thank you for speaking about Rabbi. Millions of Jews have had it up to here with these religious extremists telling us who is a jew and who isn't. So many of these so called religious jews are some of the biggest hypocrites and spiritually vacant people that I know (and I know a lot of them -several in my own extended family). Some of the most spiritual, ethical and moral people I know are non-religious jews. Is it any wonder why so many young jews are disconnected to the Jewish community? Same reason so many young Christians disconnect from fundamentalist Christianity. Arguing with religious people who are convinced they are right and have God on their side is usually futile, but I do hope the orthodox community is able to engage in some self-reflection and change.
30. # 20 M. Hartley
Sagi   (06.11.10)
Thou hast transgressed and thou shalt feel the wrath of the Almighty. How darest thee even consider thinking or implying that "He" is a "She" or "Transgender". Thine blasphemy will not be impune and future generations shall bear the consequences of thine iniquitous thoughts. Shame on thee. Repent sinner, before it is too late. Would that I could pray for thee, but alas, I mineself would then be guilty of the sin of falsehood. Wo is me that I should be exposed to such thoughts.
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