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Beware of Reform Rabbis

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Photo courtesy of Microsoft Office

Yes, it is true. We are a dangerous lot. In fact, according to Glenn Beck, we are akin to Islamic radicals.

[The relevant quotes start around 3:03 and continue until 4:20]

And if you can’t stomach listening to this drivel, you can just read it:

PAT GRAY (co-host): And now remember, this is all fueled by an organization that Soros funds, that has a bunch of progressive rabbis that came out against Glenn and said —

BECK: OK, you have to — hang on just a second. When you talk about rabbis, understand that most — most people who are not Jewish don’t understand that there are the Orthodox rabbis, and then there are the reformed (sic) rabbis. Reformed (sic) rabbis are generally political in nature. It’s almost like Islam, radicalized Islam in a way, to where it is just — radicalized Islam is less about religion than it is about politics. When you look at the reform Judaism, it is more about politics. I’m not saying that they’re the same on —

GRAY: No, obviously not.

BECK: — and they’re going to take it at that, but — stand in line.

GRAY: “Glenn Beck says –”

BECK: It’s not about terror or anything else, it’s about politics, and so it becomes more about politics than it does about faith. Orthodox rabbis — that is about faith. There’s not a single orthodox rabbi on this list. This is all reformed rabbis (sic) that were — that made this list.

STU BURGURIERE (executive producer): Yeah, I don’t know that for a fact. I know that certainly this organization is a progressive political organization. And that’s fine.

BECK: Totally fine.

BURGURIERE: They, you know, just attack and it’s ridiculous.

Judaism instructs us to protect and care for the vulnerable in our society. It is a religious imperative. When we give tzedakah, clothe and feed those in need, we are behaving in a Jewish way. Furthermore, the Jewish Funds for Justice is not a political organization. It seeks to fulfill God’s Mandates; partnering with God to eradicate societal injustice.

Don’t confuse me with an Islamic radical. It’s mutually insulting. And it just makes you sound ridiculous.

Read some solid responses here and here.

One last thing: Mr. Beck, there is not a single “reformed” Rabbi on that list.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. A nudnik permalink
    Tuesday, 22 February 2011 10:49 pm

    Frume Sarah,

    Please do not let this nebbish raise your blood pressure.

    Be well.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 24 February 2011 9:55 pm

      Thanks, Nudnik. And welcome to the meshugene world of Frume Sarah!!

  2. Wednesday, 23 February 2011 1:43 am

    Isn’t Glenn Beck notoriously famous for saying stupid things?

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 24 February 2011 9:56 pm

      I suppose it depends on one’s political leanings.

  3. Wednesday, 23 February 2011 10:03 am

    Notwithstanding Beck, Jewish Funds for Justice is a left wing organization, stuck in the 1960s class and racial warfare of society. It is funded by Soros as is Media Matters. JFJ is many things but doing the work of tikkun olam I am not sure. I do believe the point that many make (not necessarily Beck) is that Reform Rabbis confuse their Judaism with leftist ideology and try to convolute the Torah to make their politics viable under Jewish law. I say just own up to your politics. Follow the polticial theories that you want but why you need God’s ok is beyond me. Does everything you decide in life depend upon God’s grace? (Granted I am well aware that you are a Rabbi) Besides I have my own definition of tikkun olam and it is first and foremost to make sure that my children, my country and my ancestral homeland survives in one piece.

    Also considering that ADL came out after the add was placed and denounced it should really focus some of your attention on what JFJ really stands for. Furthermore, I also do not understand the leftwing Jewish need to defend Soros. Someone who is proud that he turned over other Jews during the Holocaust, found it exciting and would do it again. Most Holocaust survivors deal with untold guilt that they survived and what they had to do in order to remain alive.Not a one has very said that they found it thrilling and an exciting time in their lives (watch the 60 minutes interview) Soros btw contributes to a myriad of antiIsrael organizations like HRW who just hired a former member of the PFLP to report on Israel, of course that guy replaced the Nazi enthusiast whom they had before. This has also nothing to do with the financial chaos this man has caused around the world.

    As I said my comment really isn’t about Beck, its more about what constitutes Judaism in the US and who gets to define who and what we are. It is definitely not going to be JFJ, Media Matters or Soros as far as I am concerned. Oh and I am speaking as a Reform Jew.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 24 February 2011 10:01 pm

      As I said my comment really isn’t about Beck, its more about what constitutes Judaism in the US and who gets to define who and what we are.

      And post IS about Beck, who certainly doesn’t get to define who and what we are.

      • Friday, 25 February 2011 5:50 am

        While your post was about Beck, the point is that you gave a pass to JFJ as if they spoke for and represented the Jewish community. You are right Beck does not get to define us, but these other organizations don’t get to define us as well. The question then becomes when do we get to define ourselves, who we are and what we represent. If I want to call myself a Reform Jew as opposed to another branch of Judaism why do I need to follow the politics as set out by the Reform Movement? Why is politics a part of any of it? If the Reform movement wants to interpret the Torah for me in understanding how to deal with homosexuals and agunote then that is legitimate, but to tell me whom to vote for in an election and tell me I am not a good Jew because of how I vote is just plain rude. I truly think its smacks of hubris. You may not have thought so when you wrote your post, but you obviously touched a big nerve.

    • The Nudnik permalink
      Friday, 25 February 2011 6:11 am

      There are also some Orthodox rabbis who “confuse their Judaism with leftist ideology and try to convolute the Torah to make their politics viable under Jewish law.” And I am speaking as an Orthodox Jew.

  4. songbird1329 permalink
    Saturday, 26 February 2011 6:33 pm

    We try very hard to keep politics out of our shul. It doesn’t work. Who you are politically is derived from your core values.

    Beck is an idiot and his comparison of Reform Rabbis to radical Islamists is offensive!

  5. Former Reform Jew permalink
    Tuesday, 1 March 2011 7:09 am

    Beck is right. He made two mistakes; he mentioned radical Islam in the same sentence, and he painted all Reform rabbis with one brush stroke.

    Too many Reform leaders (both clerical and bureaucratic) are more interested in promoting the liberal progressive agenda than promoting Judaism. (Present blog host excluded).

    Beck stepped on a rhetorical third rail, apologized and received forgiveness from the appropriate authorities, and will suffer no harm to his career for his remark.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 10 April 2011 1:38 pm

      I would disagree with the notion that Reform leaders are more interested in promoting any agenda more than their desire to promote Judaism.

      Furthermore, I would daresay that some might make the same claim about some in our community who are more interested in promoting a right-wing agenda rather than promoting Judaism.

      I, for one, found the apology lacking.

  6. Yaakov permalink
    Wednesday, 30 March 2011 1:56 pm

    Interesting remarks. Did you actually get this information from Glen Beck’s Program? Because as I read the link that you used, it is George Soros’ Media Matters, the one charged by Soros to stop Fox News and Glen Beck by means which have been described as unethical if not Illegal.

    This place is called Frume Sarah’s World, are you not to fully confirm information. And are we not told in the Torah(Written Torah), in the Covenant at Mt. Sinai, “Exodus 23:2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou bear witness in a cause to turn aside after a multitude to pervert justice;” ? Maybe you should make absolutely sure of your facts before you do that which you hate to be done to you.

    What do you think?

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 10 April 2011 1:35 pm

      This post was not about George Soros; it’s about what Glenn Beck said.

      Since you seem concerned about the link, here is one from another source:

      Thanks for stopping by FSW.


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