Sunday, June 26, 2005

now the reform...

Forget the Gays. Lets talk about the Reform Movement and then slightly mention Conservative.

I can understand the reform movement. It said, we love being Jewish, but we find it a bit restrictive. Why can't we be Jewish and enjoy the strong relationship to God without having to worry about the Torah. The Torah is a bit outdated anyways, so we will modernize it and apply the new rules for today. At least their adjective describes them correctly. It says, we are Jews that advocate change in Judaism.

Sounds like your average teenager. The rules might fit everyone else, but not me because I am different and nobody understands me so I'll make up my own rules, which I expect everyone to respect. They don't have an appreciation for the macro and tend to obsess on the micro. If you haven't heard spoken to teenagers before, read Brianna's blog .

I once told a relative who associated herself with the reform movement that I didn't think reform jews really believe in God and she started to cry. She told me that her temple was one of the biggest contributors to the State of Israel in Michigan. I still don't understand the connection between belief and God and contributions to the State of Israel, but that is a different blog topic on a different day. I am planning on writing about the State of Israel and its importance to the Jewish People and the connection to our religion.

From my point of view there is a fundamental problem with this. An Example:
There's a game we call hockey that everyone loves. A group of NHL hockey players decide that hockey is a great game, but it can be better. First of all, who really cares if the player goes over the blue line first or the puck. Also, why does everyone have to have the same type of stick? There are people who aren't good at skating, so it should be optional. Instead of 2 teams, why fight, everyone will be on the same team. Blocking the goal means that not everyone can score so we won't allow goaltenders.

We'll call it Reform Hockey. And we will demand from the NHL to recognize our version of the game as a valid version. Why not, are you going to say that they are not hockey players? It was started by NHL players, the very definition of pro-hockey. Are you going to say this is not a game they are playing? Why shouldn't the NHL recognize it as a valid version of the game.

The answer is you may be hockey players, and you may be playing, but you're not playing hockey. And someone who is not an original hockey player and just learns this new game could not be called a hockey player.

On the other hand there is Canadian Football.

Now just to touch on the Conservative Movement for a moment -
They saw what the Reform Hockey players had done and said, we agree that traditional Judaism is too restrictive, but you guys are playing a different game. So they threw back in a number of the old rules, made some things optional, took out a couple things and you have Floor Hockey. It looks a lot more like hockey then Reform Hockey, and it is easier to play. But it is not "authentic" hockey and it is missing a lot of the flavor and the excitement of the real thing.


Rolling hills of green said...

whose the goalie?

DAG said...

The problem becomes, after 200 years of the new hockey, as illegitimate as its start was, and after more people flock to the new hockey then the old, the new hockey would try to claim it is tyhe legitimate way b/c of its popularity

rockofgalilee said...

welcome to the rock,dag.
It may be true that it can gain in popularity, but it can never be said that it is the same sport as the original.

In any case, the analogy is not an exact metaphor. But it does get the point across.

Olah Chadasha said...

I miss hockey...

Anonymous said...

very well written. I think Dag is right that because of the time frame, the "new hockey" is almost the normal hockey. The regular NHL guys are old fashioned, and they are robots just following what they are told, unable to think for themselves. They may also claim that the changes are for the better. Or that the game was created to evolve.

Robyn said...

All right... I'm not particularly a fan of the reform movement but they do have a decently sophisticated theology that you're not giving enough credit. The reform movement doesn't say the rules were from god and binding but I'm not in the mood anymore. Rather it states that they were divinely inspired interpretations of a society that is outdated. Thus reinterpretations according to current societal norms are not only not a bad thing but semi-obligatory and anything you want to take on yourself is fine but not neccessary. IE I've known shomer shabbat/kashrut reform jews, not many, but they exist. In a poststructuralist world this is the norm, traditionalalism/strict interpretation is weird. (That being said, I completely disagree with the stance above, I think it is wrong, however I do not think it is simplistic)

rockofgalilee said...

You are correct, I definitely oversimplified the issues. Purposefully.
I believe that the complexity is more like a house of cards, with no real basis. While you can build a beautifully designed house on a faulty foundation, it will probably fall down.
If I said I was a reform Jew, would that mean you knew a shomer torah and mitzvos reform Jew, or would that mean I categorized myself wrong?
The point is that even if you believe that keeping kosher is only divinely inspired and not written by God himself, then in order to stop keeping kosher you need a new divine inspiration.
That is the basis of Christianity.

rockofgalilee said...

I may have been a bit unclear on the intrinsic fundamental problem that exists in Reform...Judaism - and that is the definition of "what is a jew, and what makes a person jewish"

DAG said...

I want to clarify...I DO NOT SUPPORT or endorse Reform Judaism.....but if one were to look at Rock's anylysis from the outside, ie, a non-orthodox perspective, they would presume reform is the real comparing 1920's hockey with a roaving defensemen to todays game (which btw, is much faster)

rockofgalilee said...


If people were to look at Judaism as a whole today they might assume that reform is the original simply because of the popularity. My analysis simply says that if you step back and look at how Judaism was and how the Reform portray it today, there are very few similarities.

Orthodox Judaism isn't the same as it was either, but if you look at the base aspects and fundamentals they are very similar, if not identical.