Post by dovnorman18 on Feb 14, 2012 11:52:29 GMT -5
One issue that I am very concerned about is Orthodox dominance of the religious establishment in Israel. Too many issues to list here; denying the legitimacy of Conservative and Reform conversions, marriage, Government support of willfully unemployed "Torah scholars," Haredi violence, the power of the "settlement" movement, and on and on. There are more "Messianic" shuls in Israel than Masorti (Conservative), and Orthodox Israeli extremism is becoming a problem where support from the worldwide Jewish community is concerned. It would appear that the (largely secular) Israeli public is growing tired of Orthodox dominance as well. I hope that that pressure increases, and that other Jews begin to have a say in Israeli religious matters. We are not all Orthodox, nor SHOULD we be. Judaism has been pluralistic from the beginning, and that tradition ought to be honored in the Jewish state.
"The Torah is true, and some of it may even have happened." --Rabbi William Gershon
Before we can end the Orthodox dominance in Israel, we have to let Israelis know of the existence of Reform and Conservative Judaism, and that they are valid forms of Judaism, not simply weird shuls that ex-pat Americans like to go to.
There are more "Messianic" shuls in Israel than Masorti (Conservative)
Do you have a source for this statement?
Although there have (and are) always some Jews who are more ritually observant than others, I think it is important to understand that historically, the way many Sephardic communities deal with this today was the norm: there is only one community and its core is Orthoodox while less observant members of the community continue to affiliate. So for instance one of the adult children of a "Dati" Yemenite family we know in Israel has phoned us when it is Shabbat in Israel, although not Shabbat where we are. But even though he is not strictly "Shomer Shabbat", he still davens at his family's Orthodox shul (There isn't any other kind of Yemenite shul) and I'm guessing that his own apartment still has a kosher kitchen. Some of the women of his family's community wear pants and don't cover their hair although they are married. But these less observant women still go to the "Orthodox" shul when they attend services, and they still attend a women's Torah study group in which the woman who expounds on Torah gives the Orthodox viewpoint. These "less observant" members of an Orthodox Yemenite synagogue would not be interested in a non-O synagogue.
Although I feel that non-O Judaism has something valuable to offer many secular Israelis, I do not think you can justify it on historical grounds. "Reform Judaism" is only about 200 years old which is "new" relative to Judaism's long history.