Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Chabad fires back at Yoffie

A Chabad educator took Rabbi Eric Yoffie to task for saying the movement is promoting Jewish minimalism.In an essay published last week on the Web site, Chana Silberstein defended her organization's willingness to grant any child a bar/bat mitzvah, a policy the Reform leader has criticized as enabling a party without any deeper significance."What Yoffie fails to consider is that Chabad’s willingness to offer all children a bar-mitzvah stems not from lowering of religious standards, but from a refusal to make children the pawns in a game of institutional extortion," wrote Silberstein, the educational director at the Chabad of Cornell University. Silberstein claimed that requiring synagogue membership and Hebrew school enrollment -- common requisites for bar mitzvah in Reform congregations -- has nothing to do with standards and everything to do with increasing revenue. She also noted that one becomes a bar mitzvah automatically on becoming an adult, and telling parents that standards must be met for their children to be considered Jewish adults is a "self-serving falsehood."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with today's Jews?
A perspective of a moderate Muslim.

When Muslims criticize Jews chances are it's Islamists. You rarely see moderate (an I do mean real moderate, not Islamists like CAIR who claim to be moderate) Muslims saying unflattering things about the Jews. So, normally, when I see the Jews do dumb things i.e., supporting an Islamist congressional candidate because of partisanship (American Jewish World's support for Keith Ellison) or providing utilities to a terrorist enclave (Gaza), I try to keep my mouth shut. For obvious reasons. But not this time.

I thought I've seen everything: Cuban missile crisis, fall of Berlin wall, 9/11. Until recently, I thought that the father of modern terrorism getting awarded a Nobel Peace Prize was the most peculiar event in my lifetime. But a recent, largely unnoticed event, could take the cake in peculiarity contest.

On December 15, Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, the president of the Union of Reform Judaism (one of the largest Jewish organizations in America), gave a sermon in San Diego in front 5,000 Jews in which he announced URJ's alliance with Islamic Society of North America (ISNA - one of the largest Muslim organizations in America).

As a part of the sermon, Rabbi Yoffie stated that "[ISNA] has issued a strong and unequivocal condemnation of terror, including a specific condemnation of Hizbollah and Hamas terror against Jews and Israelis. It has also recognized Israel as a Jewish state and supported a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." But has it really?

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