Are the Reform and Conservative Still Jewish?

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  • #755354
    minyan gal
    Member

    Mandy – the people are very respectful. This is a discussion not a war.

    Tzippi – I do have a community of like minded women and we all enjoy prayer and learning. I had a Hebrew day school education – not Solomon Shechter – it was more orthodox than that and it was all that was available where I grew up, aside from after school classes at the shul. Unfortunately the school only went to the 6th grade in those days and then it was on to public school.

    Avram in MD – I am far more observant in my home than the home I was raised in. I believe the reason that I was given the Hebrew school education is because my parents (particularly my father) were ardent Zionists and because of the times – early 1950’s. I know that the role of the woman in the frum community is extremely important, but very different than the woman’s role in the Conservative community – where it is also very important. Having had little to nothing to do with any organized religous activities (aside from celebrating the chagim in the home) for many years, I really jumped into shul life about two and a half years ago. I have found great joy and comfort from relearning how to daven and attending daily services. The difference is that while I have never been what you could call a feminist, I love the role of the woman at my shul – I have done many of the activities that you speak of. Last year I read from the Torah for the first time and found it to be a very moving experience. I frequently am given aliyot as I am considered to be a Kohen at my shul. Coming from the place I was at a few years ago to the place I am at today is almost a religious rebirth. I have also attended many classes during this period at a variety of places – my shul, JCC and Chabad and have enjoyed each and every one of them. I shall continue to learn and to daven and to grow. I cannot predict which direction my life or my level of observance will take but it will not stagnate. For me this has been a spiritual awakening. Considering that until a couple of years ago I rarely even lit Shabbat candles and now I race home in the winter to make sure that I am on time to bench licht. For the time being, at least, Conservative Judaism suits me just fine. My respect for the frum community grows daily, but it is not for me – at least at this time in my life. What I do appreciate is all that I have learned from YWN and the posters here and the opportunity to question and dialogue with everyone. Todah Rabbah.

    #755355
    tb
    Participant

    Qutoe from Oomis “This thought leads me to believe that if the person would become liable after the conversion, for doing what then would be considered an aveira for him, that the conversion is absolutely valid, EVEN IF HE DOES NOT LIVE IN A FRUM WAY, otherwise, his status would revert to being a Goy, and he would therefore NOT be chayav. Am I making any sense here? And what is the actual determination? Because one could argue that ANY ger tzedek might be oveir on SOME halacha as we all might be nichshal, so would that render him a non-valid convert?”

    I know this was a month ago but no one answered it…I believe it has to do with the intent at the time of convertion. If at the time of conversion the ger intended to keep all the mitzvos then he is jewish and any avieros he does are aveiros – of a yid. If however he never intended to keep mitzvos then he has never a yid to begin with and his aveiros are not aveiros.

    #755356
    tzippi
    Member

    Minyan gal, a few years ago I heard the author of..can’t remember the name of the book, something like The Modern Jewish Mom’s Guide to Making Shabbat. It was a sweet book, and heartening, though skimpy on the Shabbat day. I asked her about it and she said, she and her family are a work in progress and hope to get there some day.

    I’m bringing this up because just as there’s a whole dimension to Shabbos – the day – that is neglected in the non observant world (though there is attention paid to Friday night and havdalah) there is, similarly, so much to Jewish life (and a Jewish woman’s life) besides what you detail.

    I’ll tell you a great story I just heard at a national women’s program from the Tiferes division of the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation (possibly still showing again in your area) about a group of merchants who met with the Chofetz Chaim. He told them, You’re coming to me for inspiration and are probably expecting me to tell you to take on something extra, an extra learning seder, etc. I won’t. My advice to you won’t involved any extra action on your part. But think: right now you spend most of your day at work, which is honorable, but not a mitzvah. There are so many holes in your life, the hours in which you’re not involved in active growth. Imagine if you could turn that into a mitzvah. If you start your day thinking, I am engaging in the honorable mitzvah of taking care of a child of the Creator [myself], or my family, or being able to help my community and Torah scholars. Then, everything becomes a mitzvah.

    I’m not doing justice to the speaker’s delivery; she was awesome. But the point is, living Jewishly can be so enriching and I hope you get equal satisfaction from your life outside shul too.

    #755357

    Greetings – I’m here only because I am a non-Jew (practicing Christian) who just married a Conservative Jew. We are both in our 40’s. I do go to his temple sometimes and feel welcomed even though they know I am not Jewish. I read somewhere that Jews respect other religions if the person follows that own religion, and follow the 7 laws of Noah (I both follow my own religion – Presbyterian, and the 7 laws of Noah). I like that acceptance of my religion by Jews. And I absolutely believe Jews are God’s chosen people and are assured of a place in Heaven.

    Since we married, I have been cooking and preparing food with no dairy mixed with meat which frankly is not easy, especially since I have never done this in my life. I wondered if it was disrespectful to his religion if he did not follow this, like the Reform or some Conservatives. I was going to have him ask his Rabbi tonight at services. I googled the topic to research it and your website came up. oy vey, after reading the comments on this site I feel horrible now for even considering asking him to not observe the meat and dairy rule! I will keep cooking that way! Such a small thing, I am ashamed I was feeling restricted by it.

    As for my husband, he is a wonderful man and does his best to follow his temple’s rules. We have Hebrew prayers before eating at home, and his temple has services mostly in Hebrew, which I find beautiful. I cried when I first saw the Torah come out from the Ark of the Covenant, it was like witnessing the beginning of time. I guess you all don’t consider him Jewish, but I do. He is proud of being Jewish, and I respect him immensely, and his heart and mind are in the right places. I think Jews are the most wonderful people on earth, with a beautiful religion, and the smartest, no doubt. I am proud to be married to one.

    #755358
    hudi
    Participant

    Just hovering – Unless your husband had a nontraditional conversion, he is considered Jewish if his mother is Jewish.

    #755359
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Just Hovering,

    Your respect for Judaism is beautiful.

    To clarify, the title of this discussion is misleading. A Jew is a Jew regardless of affiliation and observance.

    The title refers to the unfortunate phenomenon of “conversions” taking place outside of the parameters of Jewish law (halacha). Unfortunately, as well, some “branches of Judaism” have corrupted the definition of halacha. As hudi stated, though, someone who was born Jewish remains a Jew.

    Good luck!

    #755360
    msseeker
    Member

    Just Hovering, you sound like a wonderful person. You’re trying to do the right thing, but you really need to know more. Why don’t you do some more research on Orthodox Judaism (Aish.com may be very helpful) or speak to an Orthodox rabbi. Lots of luck, G-d bless you.

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