Sunday, January 02, 2005
Added Steven Plaut to Blogroll
Yes, like the tired plot of a late-night science fiction movie, the Reform movement has been taken over - by those who believe religion and liberal social activism are synonyms. While not every rabbi or every member of the Reform movement has been recruited into the Political Liberalism as Judaism school, enough have, and that school's philosophy dominates the pronouncements by the official institutions of the movement as a whole.
This is the philosophy also known as Tikkun Olam Paganism, due to its compulsive misuse of the notion of "tikkun olam" by holding that all of Judaism can be reduced to the agenda of politically correct liberalism.It is a form of political fundamentalism, impervious to challenge. It believes that the best chances of survival for the eternal and timeless religion of Judaism are through repackaging it so that it can appeal to college students in Berkeley, drag queens in Provincetown, and actors in Hollywood.
A few years back, the Passover cause celebre of the Reform establishment was Tibet, with Tibetan officials invited to Passover seders and Jews urged to hold Tibetan "freedom seders" to show solidarity. The eleventh commandment handed down by Moses is, in their opinion, "Thou Shalt be Trendy!"
The RAC is so radical it has motivated many an observer, just a bit unfairly, in my opinion, to question whether Reform Judaism should even be regarded as a branch of Judaism, rather than a form of leftist political agitprop, little more than a sister organization of Tikkun, A.N.S.W.E.R. and MOVE ON.But the Reform establishment goes beyond PC goofiness. In recent years it has been increasingly hostile to Israel and attempts by Israel to defend itself. The CCAR is on record supporting Palestinian statehood, eviction of Jewish settlers, and a return by Israel to more or less its 1949 borders.
The Reform establishment has adopted the entire agenda of the American Left, down to and including bashing Israel for daring to defend itself. It is barely distinct politically from the sages of the Tikkun-Renewal cult of Michael Lerner and Arthur Waskow. It is becoming so extreme that it increasingly resembles the old anti-Israel Reform break-off group the American Council for Judaism.
The Reform establishment opposes school choice for Jews; supports every wacky idea to emerge from the most extreme environmentalist movements; and endorses affirmative action programs even if they discriminate against Jews. The number-one item on its agenda these days is gay marriage. David Saperstein's comments opposing welfare reform were so outrageous that a few years back they were cited with approval by the American Communist Party newspaper.
In an era when true believers in fundamentalist liberalism are an endangered species outside of Hollywood and parts of Manhattan and Massachusetts, the Reform establishment lobbies in the name of Judaism and biblical ethics to impose its leftist political biases on all Jews and, indeed, on the entire United States. It seeks to hijack Judaism, Jewish holidays and Jewish ethical authority on behalf of any given week's leftish fads and fancies.
The time has come to get these rabbis and other Reform leaders out of our bedrooms, out of our politics, and back to their proper roles.
I would dearly love my rabbi to see this article. He's not a bad sort, just naive.