Post Reply
Page 1 of 3  •  1 2 3 Next
Switch to Forum Live View Reformed Judaism and Jewish Christians
6 years ago  ::  Nov 11, 2008 - 4:40PM #1
mathaytace
Posts: 125
From what I understand, Reformed Synagogues are fairly liberal regarding the Torah. I've even heard it said that Reformed Jews don't even consider it inspired.

As such, would reformed synagogues be open to accepting Jewish Christians (real Jews, not the MJ wannabe Gentiles) into the congregation? I know personally a Jewish Christian who attends Synagogue on the Sabbath and presides over the Eucharist on Sunday (he is an Anglican priest). I never asked him but is it probable he attends a reformed synagogue?

If I'm asking too many questions let me know lol. I just like learning about religions, even ones that aren't my own.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 11, 2008 - 9:02PM #2
clyde5001
Posts: 3,501
Anyone can attend a synagogue service, no matter what religion they belong to.

However - and Reform, like awl the other movements - would be fairly strict on this. And that would be: anyone who accept JC as their messiah is no longer a part of his people. They are Xians. There is no such thing as a Jewish Xian. They are Xians.

THey made their choice. Let them live with it.
Shema Y'Israel Adnai Eloheinu, Adonei Echad.

Am Y'Israel Chai!

23,298 posts as of 2/27/2009

3,208 after the transition.

A 20,090 difference.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 11, 2008 - 9:34PM #3
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617
Despite what some Orthodox Jews might claim, Reform Judaism is not an anything-goes free-for-all. Moreover, just because one doesn't believe the Torah to be inspired by God (as I do not) does not mean that one considers the Torah to be worthless.

Reform Judaism is committed to Judaism and to Jewish identity and tradition and authentic Jewish spirituality. A person who has become Christian -- who has even been ordained a priest -- is no longer Jewish and it is somewhat strange (and possibly deceptive) to continue acting as if he were one.

Not to be two blunt, but what's the point of observing the Fourth Commandment on Saturday if you're going to go break the First on Sunday?

Reform Judaism is liberal in terms of mixed marriages and most Reform congregations will go out of their way to welcome the non-Jewish spouse of a member. However, a Jew who has joined another religion would not be welcome as a full and practicing member of the community. He wouldn't be turned away, but he wouldn't be asked to lead the service, either.

I don't believe that the Torah is "divine" in the traditional sense and I probably don't believe in any kind of God that would be recognizable as such to most Christians or other theists, but I believe quite strongly in the Jewish people and I would not be comfortable with a person who had converted out of the Jewish people continuing to participate in our communal worship. If he were to do teshuvah and return to Judaism, I'd be thrilled; if he decided to keep to his church, that would be OK. But to do both strikes me as weird.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 11, 2008 - 10:15PM #4
mathaytace
Posts: 125
well obviously as a Christian, he disagrees that he is violating the first commandment on Sunday.

He observes Torah, because he was raised a Jew, and he values Jewish Tradition. To him, because he believes Jesus to be Messiah, to Worship Jesus, is not to join another Religion. He believes there is nothing more Jewish than to embrace Jesus.

so basically, in summary,you are telling me that the Orthodox are just exaggerating the Reform movement?


(btw, I want to clarify, I know there are Christians who like to come on a board and "Preach through questions". I'm really not that guy lol)
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 12, 2008 - 7:50AM #5
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617
[QUOTE=mathaytace;888919]well obviously as a Christian, he disagrees that he is violating the first commandment on Sunday.

He observes Torah, because he was raised a Jew, and he values Jewish Tradition. To him, because he believes Jesus to be Messiah, to Worship Jesus, is not to join another Religion. He believes there is nothing more Jewish than to embrace Jesus.



Unfortunately, if he believes Jesus to be the Messiah and -- more importantly -- worships him, then he is not observing Torah and he is not demonstrating any value of Jewish tradition -- at least not from the Jewish perspective. There are few things that we all agree on that have been constant for millennia, but the doctrines that Jews are prohibited from participating in foreign religions and absolutely, categorically prohibited from worshiping anyone or anything but YHWH, the One God of Israel, are among them.

As was discussed on the other thread, there are different rules in force for Jews and non-Jews and the rules for Jews are stricter. The majority opinion as has come down to us and that is in practice today is that there is nothing wrong with non-Jews worshiping other persons or things in addition to God, but that such is off-limits for Jews. In the incident of the golden calf, the Israelites did not replace YHWH with the golden calf -- they added a new deity to lead them in place of Moses whom they thought was dead. "These are your gods, O Israel" they proclaimed when the calf was unveiled and Aaron declared the day to be a "Festival to YHWH." The supreme principal of Jewish religion is "Hear, O Israel: YHWH is our God, YHWH is one" -- which besides meaning that YHWH is a single absolute unity also teaches that YHWH alone is Israel's God. And from Sinai God commanded "Lo yihyeh elohim acherim al panay" which is best translated as "You shall not acknowledge the existence of any other god in My presence."

From the Christian perspective, the divine Jesus is not an additional god but the second person of the Trinity and therefore one in substance and being with the Father. Worshiping Jesus, then, for the Christian is the same as worshiping YHWH. Yet from the Jewish perspective the Trinity violates the doctrine of God's absolute unity and the worship of Jesus is to all appearances the worship of a human being, a created thing, in addition to God. It's not a problem for non-Jews, but it's a big no-no for Jews.

Now, strangely enough the Messiah is not really all that important in Judaism. It's not anything one really needs to be concerned with in one's day to day life. There have been many Messiah candidates over the centuries that have acquired many followers and, since the world has quite obviously not be redeemed yet, have not fit the bill. It is not wrong to believe that a person might be the Messiah, but when the person fails to achieve the Messianic program it becomes problematic to continue that belief. The Messianic prophecies, when taken as a whole, indicate that the Messiah is to be a human being who restores Israel's national sovereignty and establishes a new world order of peace and justice for everyone. When the Messiah candidate dies, it's then quite clear that he wasn't the guy -- and to cling to that belief can be seen as a rejection of the words of the prophets, which is a violation of a commandment. In addition, groups that continue to cling to a incorrect Messiah inevitably separate themselves from the rest of the Jewish people and become their own sect, and separating oneself from the community this way is also bad. This happened with the followers of Shabtai Tzvi in the 18th century and is happening with the followers of the Lubavitcher Rebbe today. It's not a good thing for the Jewish people.

So, a Jew who believes Jesus was the Messiah has to jump through a lot of hoops to explain why none of the Messianic prophecies have come true yet, and by embracing Christian theology to explain this they separate themselves from the Jewish people. When that person participates in Christian liturgy, he is violating the commandment against avodah zara, that is "foreign" or "unauthorized" worship. If he worships and prays to Jesus as an incarnation of God, then he has crossed the line into idolatry.

The Jewish religion is inseparably linked to the Jewish communal self-identity. For 2000 years, we were a people in exile without a homeland and a sovereign government through which our national life could be carried out. Without a homeland, it was only through the Jewish religion -- something we could take wherever we needed when we had to flee where we had settled -- that Jewish national identity was expressed. The Jewish religion is the symbolic and cultural framework in which the Jewish people's life is lived -- regardless of what any given individual actually believes or practices. The Jewish people is an "evolving religious civilization" and our basic national values are expressed in religious terms. YHWH is the Jewish God and it is a mark of Jewish identity not to worship anyone or anything other than YHWH. Many Jews don't believe in God, but the God they don't believe in is YHWH. To worship another god is, symbolically, to reject one of the symbolic expressions of Jewish identity. A Jew who worships another god becomes cut off from the Jewish community by his own action. It is seen and felt as a betrayal, as a brother or sister disowning the family.

This is not meant to condemn your friend. It's not my business to make windows into men's souls. This is just the Jewish thinking on the matter.

so basically, in summary,you are telling me that the Orthodox are just exaggerating the Reform movement?



Yes. That is the primary ideological rift within Judaism. There are those who believe that their form of Jewish worship and observance is the only true and correct way for Jews to be Jewish and everyone else is wrong (the Orthodox) and those believe there is a much wider and diverse field of observance and that Jewish life is evolving and not static (everyone else). Both camps routinely demonize their other, and from the Orthodox side Reform Jews are depraved licentious sinners. From that perspective, there is no difference between not accepting the Orthodox viewpoint of Torah and rejecting Torah completely and doing whatever you feel like.


(btw, I want to clarify, I know there are Christians who like to come on a board and "Preach through questions". I'm really not that guy lol)[/QUOTE]

Cool :)

Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 12, 2008 - 7:50AM #6
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617
[QUOTE=mathaytace;888919]well obviously as a Christian, he disagrees that he is violating the first commandment on Sunday.

He observes Torah, because he was raised a Jew, and he values Jewish Tradition. To him, because he believes Jesus to be Messiah, to Worship Jesus, is not to join another Religion. He believes there is nothing more Jewish than to embrace Jesus.



Unfortunately, if he believes Jesus to be the Messiah and -- more importantly -- worships him, then he is not observing Torah and he is not demonstrating any value of Jewish tradition -- at least not from the Jewish perspective. There are few things that we all agree on that have been constant for millennia, but the doctrines that Jews are prohibited from participating in foreign religions and absolutely, categorically prohibited from worshiping anyone or anything but YHWH, the One God of Israel, are among them.

As was discussed on the other thread, there are different rules in force for Jews and non-Jews and the rules for Jews are stricter. The majority opinion as has come down to us and that is in practice today is that there is nothing wrong with non-Jews worshiping other persons or things in addition to God, but that such is off-limits for Jews. In the incident of the golden calf, the Israelites did not replace YHWH with the golden calf -- they added a new deity to lead them in place of Moses whom they thought was dead. "These are your gods, O Israel" they proclaimed when the calf was unveiled and Aaron declared the day to be a "Festival to YHWH." The supreme principal of Jewish religion is "Hear, O Israel: YHWH is our God, YHWH is one" -- which besides meaning that YHWH is a single absolute unity also teaches that YHWH alone is Israel's God. And from Sinai God commanded "Lo yihyeh elohim acherim al panay" which is best translated as "You shall not acknowledge the existence of any other god in My presence."

From the Christian perspective, the divine Jesus is not an additional god but the second person of the Trinity and therefore one in substance and being with the Father. Worshiping Jesus, then, for the Christian is the same as worshiping YHWH. Yet from the Jewish perspective the Trinity violates the doctrine of God's absolute unity and the worship of Jesus is to all appearances the worship of a human being, a created thing, in addition to God. It's not a problem for non-Jews, but it's a big no-no for Jews.

Now, strangely enough the Messiah is not really all that important in Judaism. It's not anything one really needs to be concerned with in one's day to day life. There have been many Messiah candidates over the centuries that have acquired many followers and, since the world has quite obviously not be redeemed yet, have not fit the bill. It is not wrong to believe that a person might be the Messiah, but when the person fails to achieve the Messianic program it becomes problematic to continue that belief. The Messianic prophecies, when taken as a whole, indicate that the Messiah is to be a human being who restores Israel's national sovereignty and establishes a new world order of peace and justice for everyone. When the Messiah candidate dies, it's then quite clear that he wasn't the guy -- and to cling to that belief can be seen as a rejection of the words of the prophets, which is a violation of a commandment. In addition, groups that continue to cling to a incorrect Messiah inevitably separate themselves from the rest of the Jewish people and become their own sect, and separating oneself from the community this way is also bad. This happened with the followers of Shabtai Tzvi in the 18th century and is happening with the followers of the Lubavitcher Rebbe today. It's not a good thing for the Jewish people.

So, a Jew who believes Jesus was the Messiah has to jump through a lot of hoops to explain why none of the Messianic prophecies have come true yet, and by embracing Christian theology to explain this they separate themselves from the Jewish people. When that person participates in Christian liturgy, he is violating the commandment against avodah zara, that is "foreign" or "unauthorized" worship. If he worships and prays to Jesus as an incarnation of God, then he has crossed the line into idolatry.

The Jewish religion is inseparably linked to the Jewish communal self-identity. For 2000 years, we were a people in exile without a homeland and a sovereign government through which our national life could be carried out. Without a homeland, it was only through the Jewish religion -- something we could take wherever we needed when we had to flee where we had settled -- that Jewish national identity was expressed. The Jewish religion is the symbolic and cultural framework in which the Jewish people's life is lived -- regardless of what any given individual actually believes or practices. The Jewish people is an "evolving religious civilization" and our basic national values are expressed in religious terms. YHWH is the Jewish God and it is a mark of Jewish identity not to worship anyone or anything other than YHWH. Many Jews don't believe in God, but the God they don't believe in is YHWH. To worship another god is, symbolically, to reject one of the symbolic expressions of Jewish identity. A Jew who worships another god becomes cut off from the Jewish community by his own action. It is seen and felt as a betrayal, as a brother or sister disowning the family.

This is not meant to condemn your friend. It's not my business to make windows into men's souls. This is just the Jewish thinking on the matter.

so basically, in summary,you are telling me that the Orthodox are just exaggerating the Reform movement?



Yes. That is the primary ideological rift within Judaism. There are those who believe that their form of Jewish worship and observance is the only true and correct way for Jews to be Jewish and everyone else is wrong (the Orthodox) and those believe there is a much wider and diverse field of observance and that Jewish life is evolving and not static (everyone else). Both camps routinely demonize their other, and from the Orthodox side Reform Jews are depraved licentious sinners. From that perspective, there is no difference between not accepting the Orthodox viewpoint of Torah and rejecting Torah completely and doing whatever you feel like.


(btw, I want to clarify, I know there are Christians who like to come on a board and "Preach through questions". I'm really not that guy lol)[/QUOTE]

Cool :)

Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 12, 2008 - 11:19PM #7
clyde5001
Posts: 3,501
If he's worshiping JC, he's committing idolatry, according to JUduaism.
Shema Y'Israel Adnai Eloheinu, Adonei Echad.

Am Y'Israel Chai!

23,298 posts as of 2/27/2009

3,208 after the transition.

A 20,090 difference.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 13, 2008 - 3:04AM #8
Shlomo613
Posts: 131
mathaytace,

If you visit the Discuss MJ forum you will see that there is a difference between MJ and Jewish Christians. They called themselves Hebrew Christians where I visited their church a few times. And church it was, it was a cultural judaism I saw, lox-n-bagels and nothing more. Culture, not Religion. Most true MJ  that I met who know Judaism will not "Worship Jesus" they will worship only to G-d and then invoke Jesus's name. Surely even in Christian circles you see some who pray to G-d and invoke "in Jesus's name we Pray" and others who pray directly to Jesus. You must understand that, for a Jew, to pray to anyone other than G-d is Idolatry. A Gentile can do this, and it's not Idolatry, so long as he also worships G-d. Invoking names while in prayer to G-d is Jewish too, we Jews all invoke the names of the Patriarchs for just about the same reason, to claim the covenant we have with G-d.

I was raised Orthodox, but not the typical one that dominates in Western society. I currently am a member in a Reform shul, and I can tell you that while we welcome Christians to our services and even honor intermarried  Christian spouses with full membership (except for very specific rituals) we threw out a Hebrew Christian from our membership. Proselytizing is never welcome.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 13, 2008 - 9:41AM #9
mathaytace
Posts: 125

If you visit the Discuss MJ forum you will see that there is a difference between MJ and Jewish Christians.



I have actually spent a lot of time with MJs on another forum, and I have the personal belief that they misunderstand both Judaism and Christianity. But i don't want to start ripping on them lol.

The man I am referring to is a real Jew, ethnically and raised religiously. Since he believes Jesus to be the Jewish Messiah, He personally does not see what he does as idolatry or leaving Judaism. However he (and I) understand that Non Christian Jews disagree and he doesn't argue with them.

Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 17, 2008 - 8:48AM #10
NahumS
Posts: 1,706
I think that very few liberal Jewish congregations are so liberal that they would accept a Christian of Jewish background without reservation. There have to be some lines that cannot be crossed.
Would a liberal Protestant congregation embrace a convert to Hinduism as a Christian? Wouldn't your fellow parishioners look a bit askance at a church member who had joined another religion? Would it be ok to take communion and then go out to the streets chanting Hare Krishna? Or even Alahu Akbar?
I'm afraid that your assumption that Christianity is just Judaism + is showing. While we share many common beliefs and a more or less conguent ethical system, the Trinity and Incarnation are far outside of any Jewish understanding of the Deity. These contradict the pure montheism and spirituality of G-d that  Judaism asserts. Someone who professes both Christianity and Judaism and takes an active part in both is indulging in religious promiscuity - or else is very confused.
In short, anyone is invited to visit synagogue services (of any stream) - but Judaism is Judaism and Christianity is Christianity.
Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 1 of 3  •  1 2 3 Next
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook