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Question for Jewish MDCmers - Page 2

post #21 of 67
DaryLLL, in re you're not speaking for Orthodox Jewry ... thanks.


And in re some Jews felt Jesus was the messiah ... yes, they were the apostles. The first Christians were quite Jewish Jews. Almost certainly wore tefillin (phylacteries).

And in re those who "still do" ... those who still do are not practicing Judaism, they're believing Christians. No matter what their mother may have been ...

BB put everything rather clearly, didn't she.

And we wouldn't worry about the "heresy" of human sacrifice. G-d is not even remotely anthropomorphable ... the "made flesh" part is not Jewish. Nothing Jewish about it. Purely Christian.

And those concepts are not unique to Orthodox Jewry. They are universal, amongst all Jews.

c'o, the origins of Reform are in trying to get closer to Christianity, visibly, to become more a part of the host society, which happened to be Christian, without necessarily having to deal with Christian theology.

Remembering that the original Reform movement made the Seventh Day suddenly Sunday, instead of the up-to-that-time Jewish counting of seven to Saturday ...

I remember learning a long time ago (long before I was observant ... & would have to dig around to find the source for you) that the reason the messianist ideal was tossed by the early Reformers was because it involved the gathering of the dispersed in Zion, and the fathers of the Reform movement were tired of being separated in that way from their host countrymen ... meaning the dual loyalty charge ... so that they could say they were never intending or expecting or praying to leave the Fatherland ... recalling, of course, that they were German. More German than the Germans, as they'd say.

Lotta good it did them.
post #22 of 67
Regarding the Hasidim and the Messiah:

(Q.V.: THE CHOSEN, , by Chaim Potok)

It is my reading and understanding of the Hasidic sects that the creation of the State of Israel in our time is an affront to G-d since only the coming of the Messiah would bring about the Jewish Nation State, not man.

There was a movie starring Rod Steiger as the Rebbe about this idea.
post #23 of 67
I think both the Hasidic and the Reform movements are more complex and diverse than you give them credit for, Miriam and Amy. Several courts or schools of Hasidic thought currently support Zionism and the state of Israel, including the largest, Lubavitch. I believe that several sects also supported it earlier, as well. (Somehow I think that if you get your history only from novels or movies, you can wind up with a less complex idea of a group of people. The Chosen really makes everything such a neat package.)

The Reform movement wasn't necessarily about becoming more Christian, either. Now, if I had a really good memory I would know the title of the documentary history of the Reform movement...but there is at least one document in the anthology The Jew in the Modern World (Reinharz and Mendes-Flohr, eds.) from the early 19th century German Reform movement--translated from HEBREW, please--from a Maskil defender of the Reformers who insisted that the movement would result in more Jews coming to synagogue and praying with more kavanah in the vernacular. So I wouldn't attribute strictly assimilationist motivations to the early Reformers.

Though when I used to read documents from The Jew in the Modern World with my students, they all wound up agreeing with the founder of Orthodoxy, the Hatam Sofer, when he suggested that a better way to get people to have kavanah would be for them to learn Hebrew. Funny to me because most of them didn't know Hebrew well enough to have kavanah, but it shows the force of the argument!

(T I would love to become more consistent in my transliterations, but I just can't bring myself to use kh where everyone else uses ch, khas v'khalileh)

Even on the issue of when to observe (or in the Reform movement, celebrate!) Shabbat, it seems there was some controversy among the Reformers.

But I did grow up in one of the congregations that historically had done their main service on Sunday. They didn't call it Shabbat, they just had their main service on Sunday...so that everyone could come to hear the famous orator rabbi preach...about the need for a state of Israel. You see, the Reform movement also had some Zionists in it, some very early as well.

We Jews are very interesting, it's impossible to characterize, to pin down any movement much less any individual. The place of women, Zionism, messianism, the use of the vernacular, kashrut--name an issue and you can find a surprise about it in Jewish history.
post #24 of 67
[QUOTE]Originally posted by merpk
BB put everything rather clearly, didn't she.

not really. if she had said "orthodox" it would have been clear, but the choice of "torah-observant" is not only unclear, it's bordering on antagonistic. that phrase means very different things to different people.

Judaism is a wonderful colorful tapestry of differences, that is its strength, and imo that strength should be respected.
post #25 of 67
not really. if she had said "orthodox" it would have been clear, but the choice of "torah-observant" is not only unclear, it's bordering on antagonistic. that phrase means very different things to different people.
OOH. Excuse me. I didn't mean to be antagonistic. I am not "orthodox". I am not part of a "movement". I try to observe the torah. Most people you wouls lable as "orthodox" try to observe the torah as well. In addition to some people you might label as "conservative" or "reconstructionist" or "unaffliliated".
Whatever. I do lables as infrequently as possible. Lables cause division. Division will definately not bring moshiach. Something that me and the rest of torah observant jews want.

Have a good day.

post #26 of 67
Oh, and Dado, seeing as you are not a very regular poster n this forum mabey you don't realize that to most of the regulars the meaning of "torah observant" is very clear. That is the term that I always use to describe "us".
Do a search.

post #27 of 67
it is clear from the tone of your posts that i have offended you. my apologies.
post #28 of 67
It is easy to offend BB. I am used to doing it almost weekly!

Just a little aside. Orthodox is a greek word. It means straight thinking. The early Roman Catholics claimed to be orthodox Christians. Me, I am heterodox, bordering on heretical.

What does "praying with more kavanah" mean, Captain?

Words, words, words. I am glad we are striving for unity. We are all part of the All.
post #29 of 67
c'o, agreed that of course there are plenty of Reform Zionists now, as there are plenty of Orthodox Zionists.

My point was that when Reform began, its original incarnation, there was absolutely no room for a return to Zion. Just as there was no room for kashrut ... :LOL which is where Conservative Judaism comes in ...

Okay, that last was a joke, lighten up everybody ... :LOL

As the years went by the original Reform orthodoxy, if you will, was mellowed, and of course, there are Reform Zionists now.

I was not putting all of modern-day Reform into one box. I was specifically talking about the reason that the framers of German Reform (the original Reform) ditched the concept of Mashiakh and a return to Zion.

dado in standard parlance, being "Torah observant" is usually along the same lines as being "shomer Torah u'mitzvos." Which is usually not how the "progressive denominations" refer to themselves.

And many of the folks that the "progressive denominations" refer to as "Orthodox" would prefer not to use that term to describe themselves. Most don't.

Just for clarification ... and in furtherance of ...

Wow, are we OT or what?
post #30 of 67
[QUOTE]Originally posted by DaryLLL
It is easy to offend BB. I am used to doing it almost weekly!

Where did I say I was offended? Please share the weekly instances where I said that with us.
Own your words, be honest.

I am far from offended. This is an internet bb. Say whatever you want about me.
Insulting others only speaks volumes of you. You don't know me in any real way so there is no way what you say about me can mean anything .

Daryl, kavanah means intention, midfulness. Prayer not just saying the words but thinking about what you are saying.

Dado, I am not sure what you are apologizing for. If calling someone's posts antagonistic ( or bordering on it, whatever)is seems appropriate to you, then go for it. I disagree with your assesment that a term that I have been using on this board for a year and a half is unclear. Torah observant would clearly mean those that attempt to observe torah law. The term is often shortened to "observant". As in "she is observant and I am not so when we go out it is usually to a kosher place".
Just because it isn't a term you use doesn't mean that a large number of jews don't. They do.
post #31 of 67
Amy, you are right that the early 19th century Reformers were for the most part jettisoning the idea of the return to Zion. But it's not only in my or my parents' generation that there were Reform Zionists, but in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, before WWI even. Think Stephen S. Wise, Judah Magnes (also first president of Hebrew U., also the person who apparently coined the name "Young Israel" (is that weird or what!!)) Abba Hillel Silver, etc. It's also not strictly accurate to think that the Reformers were uniformly anti-halachah. They had a troubled relationship with all of it.

The Conservative movement now claims the 19th century German Reformer Zecharias Frankel as the precursor to the Conservative movement with his Positive Historical Judaism. But if you think that the famous "treif banquet" should get the credit for the origins of the Conservative movement, then you should certainly be counting Frankel as a Reform precursor--and he was proto Zionist, believed in the return to Zion.

I just think that once you get into the documents, it doesn't look so cut and dried.

In the same way, you might have an image of the Hasid, but every time I read any article that goes into any depth about the history of the Hasidim, it completely shatters that image for me. I edited a piece on the Radzhiner Rebbe, the one who "rediscovered" techelet. It's wild, this guy was fluent in like 7 or 8 modern languages, and even went to the Vatican in search of documentation for his hunch about techelet. (Techelet is the blue dye mentioned in the Bible (Numbers 15:38).

Anyway, after all that excited blather, I have to say that I was raised with very little idea about the centrality of the messiah to Judaism, but now that I've done some reading I can see how central the idea is.

Since I'm writing a really long post: about kavanah and Reform. In order to fulfill the mitzvah of set prayer, Jews traditionally said prayers in Hebrew (with a couple in Aramaic). Even Jews who didn't understand Hebrew or Aramaic did this. From the time of the invention of the printing press, Ashkenazi women had prayers in Yiddish, though many of those were actually books of translation/explanation of the Hebrew prayers. It was a known problem before the rise of the Reform movement. If you read the memoirs of Glickl of Hameln, she tells her children not to stand in the back of the synagogue talking (!) but to pray and pay attention.

The early Reformers thought the solution was to pray in the vernacular, and later, to add instrumental music to the service. The Orthodox rabbis were those who took a position in opposition to these innovations. Their position was Orthodox in the sense that they said, in the words of Hatam Sofer, "Innovation is prohibited by Torah."

What was there before Reform and Orthodoxy? Well, there were other "movements" or intellectual trends, like Hasidism. But for the most part, most Jews were halachic--they followed Jewish law, halacha. The same thing as "Torah observant." It seems to me totally logical that halachic Jews today would chose that designation, since you don't want your whole observance to be defined by what you aren't. (Though I guess mitnagdim, the opponents to Hasidism, are exactly defined by what they are not!) "Orthodox" is also a problem because it's a blanket to cover all these diverse Jews, including Sephardi and Mizrachi Jews who weren't originally part of the whole machloket (disagreement or debate).
post #32 of 67
Though I guess mitnagdim, the opponents to Hasidism, are exactly defined by what they are not
All the snags (chabad slang for misnagdim) that I know never call themselves misnagdim (or mitnagdim). They (we) use the term litvish. Chasidim are usually the ones who use misnagdim (never mitnagdim)

Just thought I'd throw that in.
post #33 of 67
Originally posted by BelovedBird
All the snags (chabad slang for misnagdim) that I know never call themselves misnagdim (or mitnagdim). They (we) use the term litvish. Chasidim are usually the ones who use misnagdim (never mitnagdim)

Just thought I'd throw that in.
Actually, one of my dh's former rosh yeshivas calls himself "misnaged" - as in, "I'm not just not chasidic, I'm a 'misnaged'" - I guess to make the point that he idealogically disagrees with chasidism. The followers of the Vilna Gaon called themselves "misnagedim" - 'those who oppose" to stress their opposition to the positions of chasidism.

Not trying to express any personal views of chasidut (chasidism)!!!! Just a little aside......
post #34 of 67
BB, I was exaggerating in a joking manner. Sorry if it didn't come across.

As you requested, I did a search on your name to see how often you have taken me to task lately for misunderstanding your religion. Not counting this thread, you scolded me last week, but before that, I saw nothing for months!

My mistake!
post #35 of 67
Ok, Daryl.

I had no idea that taking you to task for misunderstanding my religion was the same in your understanding as being offended. I thought being offended was about someone's feelings. Wanting there to be no misuderstanding is about making sure that everyone has their record straight. *shrug*

Yeah, Chava, I guess some misnagdim do label themselves as such. But not any that I talk to. I try to stay away from people who are anti other [frum] groups. I was refering anyway to modern day yishevish people, not previous generations. Mabey it is just the circles I travel in. *shrugging again*
post #36 of 67
(Ever so cautiously leaning in, as she admits to her eavesdropping on your terribly interesting conversation, and she wishes as many Muslims could so vibrantly discuss, and disagree, and continue to have the conversation...)

A couple months ago I was at a big convention, and I parked next to a vanload from Iowa, and on the back of the van was written something to the effect of, "the Moschiach is ready, now it's up to us." Like, a "fill the world with love and goodness and let's get this show on the road" kind of message.


At any rate, it made me feel really good.

Again, I am sure there is plenty of variation on the whens, wheres, and whys...but is it seen as a "job" of Jews in the world to make the place ready for the coming?

(stepping back a bit, hoping to hear a few points of view on the subject)
post #37 of 67
Sister Ummnuh, bravely striving to bring this back on topic!

In case anyone is interested, when I was searching for BB, I saw some similar Messiah talk on the Jewish Mamas thread, in the latter pages.

This bb is a stalker's paradise.

Joking again.
post #38 of 67
Again, I am sure there is plenty of variation on the whens, wheres, and whys...but is it seen as a "job" of Jews in the world to make the place ready for the coming?
In short, yes.

There are many examples of sayings that tell us how/ why/ when moshiach will come. These are off the top of my head, some are obviously allegory.

If all jews kept one shabbos

when the bucket of tears, next to the throne of Hashem is full (G-d will take pity on us and return us to eretz yisrael and rebuild the beis hamikdash (temple)

Every mitzva is a brick in the third beis hamikdash (if we do enough mitzvos then the third temple, being built in heaven will come down to earth)

And here are some articles you might be interested in:



post #39 of 67
... by BB
... All the snags (chabad slang for misnagdim) that I know never call themselves misnagdim (or mitnagdim). They (we) use the term litvish. Chasidim are usually the ones who use misnagdim (never mitnagdim)

Just thought I'd throw that in.
Thanks, you saved my typing fingers the effort ... :LOL

And the folks that do refer to themselves as "misnagdim" are usually using that term to put down whoever they're "neged" (against).

And c'o, the "image" of Khassidim and Khassidism in the rest of the world's view is so not ... well, of all the correcting you do on my reading about the origins of the Reform movement, there would be volumes of corrections right back. Why is it surprising that the Radziner would know other languages? Or that he might do research? : Don't go back too far in your search. Remembering that the Lubavitcher Rebbe z'l (the very last one) was educated at the Sorbonne ...

Back on-topic ...

It is central to all of "Torah Judaism," as I've seen it, to bring Mashiakh. There are some, invariably "modern Orthodox," that I've met who seem embarrassed by it, but it's just a part of the daily vocabulary for everyone else.

One of my favorite favorite favorite things in the world is a good story, and while I don't have one to share at the moment, Jewish lore is filled with stories (Khassidic and otherwise) of Eliahu ha'Navi (Elijah ... who is supposed to announce the arrival of Mashiakh to the world) showing up somewhere in the world and just about ready, but then discovering, for a variety of reasons, that the Jewish people are not ready.
post #40 of 67

If you ask twelve rabbis for an opinion, you will get thrteen opinions.

There is always more than one opinion.
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