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Thought for the Day: Reform/etc Judaism -- What It Is, What It Isn't

I am never accused of being subtle.  I believe that is a true accusation.  I wouldn't say I wear that as a badge of honor, but I not ashamed of it either.  I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam.  I am also accused of being opinionated.  I believe that to be false.  While it is true that I prefer the cool colors (greens and blues) to warm colors (reds and whatnot), I certainly have no ill feelings toward those who prefer the warm colors.  I prefer coffee ice cream with chocolate syrup, but I do not look down upon those who prefer rocky road or vanilla sherbet.  Everyone is more than welcome to their opinion of the best color or favorite ice cream; to each his own.

On the other hand, the fact that objects near the surface of the earth fall with an acceleration of roughly 32 ft/sec^2 (9.8 m/s^2 for those of you who feel more scientific using SI units) is demonstrable by logical deduction from experimentally verifiable data.  I believe that result and I am unwilling to compromise my beliefs concerning that rate.  That's not called being opinionated; that's called being honest.  I think most rational people would agree with that.

With that introduction, let's discuss Reform/etc Judaism.  The "/etc" just means any of the modern religions that include "Judaism" in their name, but deny that the Torah (Written with Oral) was received as a direct divine revelation to the Jewish people, en masse, at Mt. Sinai some 3300 years ago, and the Moshe wrote the entire Torah that we have today.  With that denial, they also deny:
  • that the words of the prophets are true (I don't mean "inspired", I mean true like the acceleration of gravity)
  • reward for doing mitzvos and punishment for transgressing
  • the coming of the mashiach
  • resurrection of the dead
For those of you keeping count, that's a denial of six of the Rambam's 13 principles of faith.  Not my opinion, just a simple bookkeeping.  Christianity, on the other hand, only denies four of those principles: one-ness of G-d, His incorporeality, immutability of the Torah, that Moshe Rabeinu is unique among prophets both before and after him.  So it's Christianity 9, Reform/etc Judaism 7.  In case I am being too subtle, that means that Christianity is theologically and philosophically more closely aligned with Orthodox/Torah Judaism than Reform/etc Judaism is.  Said another way, there is less Torah content in Reform/etc Judaism than in any of the various flavors of Christianity.

It turns out to be more difficult than I had expected to determine exactly what Reform/etc Judaism is.  You are welcome to wade through the URJ and CCAR websites yourself if you are really interested.  So I can't tell really tell you what Reform/etc Judaism is.  I can, though, tell you what it's not.  It's not a good religion for a nice Jewish boy or girl.

Just the facts, ma'am.


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