be a jew!

Not Jewish? Do you have a thing for sultry Semites but are afraid you don’t stand a chance because you’re not “Chosen?” Do you want in with our plans for World domination? Do you seek the approval of your Jewish in-laws? Are you a resident of a country so economically deprived that even Israel looks good to you? Are you put off by the need to study for years and adhere to difficult to follow rules?

Then join our hot new Jewish denomination – Rabbi ck’s Temple of the Ephemeral Jew! At Reb ck’s TEJ there are no long services, no boring Rabbi’s speeches, you make up your own rules based solely on what’s convenient for you! Conversion too is a snap. Literally. No more learning complicated stuff, no more unconscionable delays, no more hard rules to follow. Express an interest and with a snap of Rabbi ck’s fingers, as well as a brief commitment ceremony, you’re a member! And that of course is followed immediately by a yummy bagel brunch and the viewing of our favorite episodes of Seinfeld.

So don’t delay and join today before those grubby Rabbis make use of their well honed blackmail and prostitution skills to pass a law overturning the ruling of Israel’s Supreme Court.

At Reb ck’s TEJ, Judaism is whatever you want it to be!

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Can I bring my 20GB Iriver to your shul, and listen to Jane’s Addiction and Brian Eno, and dance on the pews? Oh, one more thing, do you have underground parking on Shabbat?

  • Heck – bring Ron Jeremy with you if you want! You define when Shabbat is and no need for underground parking because ck’s Temple of Ephermeral Jews is virtual – it exists wherever you want it to be. I mean seriously! Why restrict yourself to only living where other Jews live? Community is overrated, annoying and a target for anti-Semitism.

  • CK…

    You mean…no dues either? Can I sit in the women’s section? Oh la la, I know where I’m going for Kabbalat Shabbat tonight.

  • This post makes my Shabbos. Which is a sad comment on our times.
    But Thanks ck!

  • Sit in the women’s section? Dude you can make out in the women’s section if you want. I mean the good lord endowed you with normal natural feelings and all those little bits and nubbins for a reason! Reb ck’s TEJ does not wish to imprison you within the confines of some outmoded, anachronistic set of beliefs.

  • Shit, there’s a 23 hour Shopper’s Drug Mart near my house, I’m running out to buy lip gloss.

  • Heh. I knew this had to be a ck post as soon as I saw the graphic.(before I noticed the part where it says “CKs temple of …”)


  • *sigh*
    laya, laya, laya. Why O why do you persist in being so narrow minded and non-inclusive? Why is it soooo necessary to sully the beauty and warmth of Judaism with these, these requirements that you speak of? What a buzz kill you are sometimes. Seriously.

  • well, can we at least have our own personal halachot, that we can make up or change as we need? For instance, I now hold by the halacha that nescafe is assur and my shabbat will now take place at the movies each tuesday. However shomer negiah still applies, unless of course i meet somebody cute. Hey, I think I’m starting to like this Judaism!

  • That’s much better Laya! I hope to see you next Shabbos at Cinema 3. I hear Sin City is awesome! And oh so perfectly appropriate. As for the shomer negiah thing, it makes perfect sense. Why else would Hashem have created so many cute boys? Spread the love laya, spread the love!

  • You all are nuts! But i dont think you needed me to tell you that. Love the satire!!!! Even though for most american jews, this is reality. But jew gotta to do what jew to do.

  • A terrific idea whose time has come. Maybe your TEJ would consider a merger with Reb EK’s TEJ? Here, we do all that other great stuff you mentioned, PLUS, because the traditional labels no longer truly apply, we make up super-cool acronyms to describe ourselves to other Jews. Like LOBSTr (Lapsed Orthodox But Still Traditional) and TEBUWWLE (The Enemy Bullied Us, We Won, Let’s Eat).

  • you guys are the greatest! Most people will take this topic and make a really boring discussion but Jewlicious takes the piss in a hysterical way!

    Btw im impressed at how long you can hold up ure sarcasm ck! Really in 2 it huh?

  • Sweet! Sign me up! Ck, you can be my rabbi any day, baby! 😉

  • Good stuff, ck.

    Well, actually, I don’t like the “King of the Jews” label. It’s not fair to him.

    Shabbat shalom y’all.

  • On a serious note, looks like the Chief Rabbinate, as a result of this ruling, is going to set up a family registry of Orthodox converts and Jews so that people can know who is a halachically valid Jew. You can read about it here. No news yet about how you can sign up.

  • What a shame.

    What’s that about divisiveness you’re always telling me? Can you think of anything more divisive?

  • Well, if the rabbis want to have tight theological control over a small and possibly shrinking number of Jews, they’re going to get their wish.
    That will be the effect of this registry that they’re proposing.
    Well, why not? Who cares about promoting monotheism worldwide. Theological control, that’s where it’s at, lol !

  • This post, while undeniably clever, contains a bitterness that I’ve come to expect from ck. It’s pretty clear that to him, a “halachically valid Jew” is the only kind of valid Jew. While I think the post is directed at non-Jewish born people who “express an interest” in Judaism and therefore feel themselves members of “the tribe,” the tone attacks Jews who haven’t lived in an observant community and prefer to live life according to their own spiritual intuition. Zevi’s right; this is the way it is for most Jews in America, where synagogue/JCC experience is less spiritual and more bureacratic all the time. Alienating them because they don’t follow all the rules is indeed devisive.

  • My experience working for the Conservative Movement led me to this belief…

    I have no problem with someone stating: “I’m not ready yet to do such and such observance”. But to start altering Halacha* to fit the whims of your Congregation, community, etc., leads to all sorts of problems.

    Appx 8 years ago, an Ortho friend of mine asked me to ask my Conservative rabbi to randomly open a page of Talmud and read/translate it. I did. He couldn’t. He said that you can’t expect graduates of JTS to absorb the same amount of material that Ortho folks do because they (FFB) were raised on it (Many Conservative Rabbinical students enter JTS barely knowing Hebrew, let alone Aramaic. They compensate for this by tacking on an extra year of studies, covering the basics of Hebrew, etc. I’m assuming the lack of Judaic knowledge in Reform/Recon rabbinical schools are less than Cons.). Besides, he stated, we have English versions of the Talmud, so understanding Aramaic isn’t as important as it once was. Ahhhhhhhhh.

    It has been my experience that it is within the Orthodox streams of Judaism that one finds an authentic and serious Judaism. The other’s don’t even come close. Do they contribute? Absolutely. And their contributions get absorbed into the Ortho world and we all benefit (There’s no question that Conservative brought scholarship to the scene…Jewish Renewal brought neo-Chassidic joy…Reform..TIkun Olam). My prediction…in 50-100 years from now you’ll have Cons/Reform/Recon/Renewal all lumped into one movement. Personally, I think this will benefit those movements.

  • I agree, let’s lump all the movements together into one !
    How about getting the Karaites on board, there are only 30,000 of them, but they have a good monotheistic attitude, and they seem to appeal to former fundamentalist Christians, lol ! If you ready any Karaite websites, they have a lot of more passion about the Creator than most of our fellow rabbinic Jews, who in the immortal words of Barefoot Jewess, are “almost embarrassed to talk about G-d”. But I don’t
    like that a lot of the Orthodox think that all the mitzvot are equally important, and they often have a holier-than-thou attitude. I don’t mind being judged, but judge me on ethics, not on ritual. Also I totally deny the concept of angels, and I think tikkun olam has been wrongly interpreted to suggest that man and G-d are somehow partners, which is laughable not to say blasphemous. Also the idea of the covenant has been wrongly interpreted by many, even some Orthodox people as being some sort of quid-pro-deal between G-d and the Jews, which I believe is total nonsense- ie. the quid-pro-quo part, I mean.
    What do you think?

  • Hey, does TEJ offer yoga? My local chabad is offering “kabbalates,” a mix of kabbalah/pilates to “stretch body and soul.” But I like yoga better.

    And does it have valet parking? I live in California and no longer remember how to park my own car.

    Thanks, ck. See you on shabbos, whenever that is.

  • sure we’ll have valet parking and definitely yoga!

    Jessica: You touch on some important points and I’d like to address ’em. I’m not bitter. I recently interacted with a Reform convert and I am sure if you ask her she’ll tell you that I was welcoming and open and friendly and anything else one can imagine. I have close friends from all streams of Judaism and I myself am not insanely religious by any means. The convert I spoke to knows that while I am as friendly and welcoming as possible, I could never marry her (not that that was an issue) unless she underwent an Orthodox conversion.

    I have nothing against these people at all. What I do take umbrage with is changing halachah and expecting me to accept it. I recall a pack of fish sticks I almoist bought. It had a hashgachah and yet the ingredients listed shrimp! Now would you take offense if I said that despite that (Reform Rabbi’s) Hashgachah, I refuse to eat the fish sticks? If other streams of Judaism want to change halachah, well I can’t stop them – but to be indignant when I courteously let you know that I can’t accept that for myself? Please. How about a little tolerance there, huh?

    Shabat Shalom!

  • a nation usually has one set method of determining on how to join it. One can either take a citizenship test or be born in this country to become an American citizen.For me an orthodox conversion is the only true citizenship test and it was the one that was used for at least two thousand years. I dont believe a religion should chage in order to accomodate its former members who are assimilating. (thats what reform keeps doing and soon their definion of a Jew will be anybody who knows that Chanukash usually takes place in December.)and I’m secular but i absolutely will never accept any non Orthodox Conversions.

  • Since there are so many Jews by birth who are supposedly assimilating and since the Orthodox insist that their conversion is the only valid one, well that’s fine, but the Jewish people are going to be reduced to a smaller and smaller group. I’ll tell you why: most people who are Jews by birth are not Orthodox, and many many non-Orthodox Jews are assimilating. The people who are serious enough to agree to an
    Orthodox conversion are often from the 3rd world, because 1st world people of any religion tend to be too liberal. So, that’s why I say, just to keep our numbers of born Jews plus Jews converted according to the halacha at a steady level, we’re going to have to do outreach in the 3rd world. Otherwise in the next 20 years, our numbers are going to go down and down, since of course we’re not accepting Reform or Conservative conversions. I’d be delighted to do outreach work in the 3rd world, but I think I am very much in the minority, because many of Jews have not even sorted out the Ashkenazi/ Sephardi differences, so to expect them to do outreach in the 3rd world is too much. But, hey we’d rather be a group of 2 million Orthodox Jews worldwide and keep wallowing in our wonderful tribalistic nationalistic attitude, rather than taking that emotional risk and doing outreach in the 3rd world and promoting Orthodox Judaism and having millions of Orthodox Jews of all races (and believe me, if we showed them love and kindness and helped them economically, we’d get converts by the millions). Then we would lose our often circle-the-wagons attitude and minority complex. We’d stop having this useless minority complex, and live up to our destiny as a universal religion. Of course, one alternative to my proposal is to accept Reform and Conservative conversions. But of course, we don’t want to do that, do we? Lol ! By the way, I am not Orthodox, but I am traditional, and agree with the adage “from all my teachers I have learnt”.

  • the conservative and Reform are the ones disappearing. Orthodox is the only one growing.

  • Judiasm was never, and never will be, about numbers. We were meant to be a tiny nation. Our strength will lie in our character and our commitment to Torah, not in how many people we can get to sign up.

    It’s about quality, not quantity!

  • I disagree, Grace, we were not meant to be a tiny nation, we were meant to be a light unto the nations, and I think that when many of us- not you- wallow in our tribalistic attitude, then we certainly block the prophecy from happening. Speaking personally, I am sick and tired of being a minority. In fact our minority status has conditioned a lot of our attitudes, and not in a healthy way- the ever-present fear of assimilation; constant arguing between various factions of Judaism, our over-emphasis on our own problems without reaching out to others, etc., etc.
    Besides, we can have quality AND quantity if we promote the wonderful ideas, prayers and teachings of our heritage. There are some great teachings in our heritage, and there are millions of people around the world who are looking for spiritual sustenance, and we can help them, and create a new multiracial multicultural Judaism, which does not deny its past but goes boldly into the future ! I know, sounds like star trek !

  • Dave, how about a radical idea here. Instead of reaching out to non-Jews why dont we reach out to assimilated jews??????

    Also remebering that we just dont go out and ask people to convert. Thats not judaism thats not our purpose, never was never will be..

  • Well jessi, historically that’s not entirely accurate. Jews had at certain times proselytized and pressued people to convert – although it was admittedly more the exception than the rule. King Herod frinstance was a proselytized convert.

  • “Instead of reaching out to non-Jews why dont we reach out to assimilated jews??????”

    Chabad is down the hall, kid.

  • Jessi, and Ger, many people in the Jewish community have already tried to reach out to assimilated Jews, with varied levels of success. That’s already been tried. If some people want to continue trying, good for them. I personally think, with all due respect it’s like flogging a dead horse. If people want to leave us, let them leave.

    What is wonderful about Judaism is that in its purest and ideal form it can appeal to millions of people worldwide, even in its Orthodox form (even though I am not Orthodox). Especially good prospects would be in the 3rd world, where Judaism is almost unkown, so there would be a great chance for us to help people spiritually and economically as well. If we did it in a sincere loving way, without a narrow/ prejudiced/ patronizing attitude, in the spirit of telling others “you are a reasonable person. Here is a tradition which gives me a lot of spiritual sustenance, happiness and guidance, maybe you might want to consider it”. My main hope and prayer is to promote pure monotheism worldwide, and Judaism is a wonderful vehicle for this. Provided of course that we can take a kind, loving and open attitude towards others (this does not mean being non-judgemental). Sadly, we Jews over the centuries have done a bad marketing job. Notice I use the word “marketing” advisedly- I do not advocate changing halachah, although I don’t agree with all of it (I’m not Orthodox).
    There’s a passage somewhere in Nevi’im, in Zephaniah, I think, which goes something
    like this “ten men of all nations shall grab hold of your talit and say, teach us for we have heard that G-d is with you”. I feel that this is a very emotionally moving passage, and a prophecy which can come true, if we work toward it.

  • 3rd world converts? There’s a tribe in India that claims to be descended from the lost tribe of Menashe. Although they number over a million, only about 7000 of them live as Jews. Many have converted under the auspices of an Orthodox Rabbi and some have moved to Israel.

    Granted, I could have ’em be Jewish super quickly as TEJ’s conversion process is relatively simple, but whatever.

    Read all about ’em here in Haaretz. They’re called the Kuki-Chin-Mizo tribe and apparently genetic testing shows that they may indeed share genetic material with Jews.

  • Ck youre right, it slipped my mind, but that was for political reasons i think? Im not sure it was one of those loong speeches on tour i fell aslepp in.

    But i still disagree. We’re not meant to convert the world! The whole world is not meant to be Jewish! Wheres the light unto nations in that if their are no other nations? Jews have their set of laws, Non-Jews have theirs (i.e the Noachide laws). That prophecy means the non-Jews will realise the truth. If you must do anything with the non-Jews, it should be making them realise their purpose which is to fufill their laws. Theirs no reason to make them add on hundreds of other laws?

    And i think many times reaching out has worked (including me). All around me friends and familys as diverse as you can get are being brought back thanks to out-reach. And if you think it still doesnt work, then it should be improved, no?

  • “If people want to leave us, let them leave.”
    I also disagree with that statement. Many and i mean MANY were brought up that way, and dont know the first thing about Judaism.

  • What is wonderful about Judaism is that in its purest and ideal form it can appeal to millions of people worldwide,

    Yawn… ‘Internal’ outreach is so much more important. But if that’s what gives you kicks…

    But millions of halachic Jews are already out there. A female born to a Jewish female is still Jewish and that chain is never broken unless she has only boys. The Bnei Menashe tribe in India, the Afghan Pashtans and other ‘maranos’ around the world are just the visible tip of the iceberg. Just imagine how many real but unknown to themselves Jews actually exist around the world.

  • yes, and just watch those “unknown” Jews try to prove their Jewishness to Israel (except for those that Israel is accepting with a blanket “you’re Jewish”). It’s not as easy as “my mother said that her grandmother said that her greatgrandmother was Jewish” These people, though halachically Jewish (assuming all female decendence oc), may not be able to prove it, and will have to go through conversion themselves to be considered “real” Jews (who will generally be introduced as a ger by well-meaning folks, rather than a Jew).

  • Didja read the article Lynn? They don’t claim to be Halachic Jews. Such is their reverence for halachah that those that express an interest in returning to the practices of their ancestors (no more than 7000 out of millions) convert to Judaism. Read the article, it’ll become a lot clearer.

  • Well, it’s obvious that I am in a minority here, but I don’t care.

    CK, I have read about the Kuki-Chin-Mizo tribe, and I think that it’s great news.

    However, all these efforts by Kulanu and other groups are focused on converting these lost Jews and encouraging them to go back to Israel, a place where the majority of Kulanu members do not live.

    I still think that in the case where people who were raised Jewish and have given it up, efforts to out-reach to them are laudable, but I personally feel its like flogging a dead horse.

    I do not think that we should convert the entire world to Judaism, but I do think that we should try to promote pure monotheism worldwide, and Judaism is a wonderful vehicle.
    I realize that most Jews are not interested in this goal, which I think is too bad, but I refuse to see my faith limited to a tiny group of people, of whom unfortunately many are inward-looking and wallow in their tribalism, and refuse to see the wonderful possibilities of our faith.

    Over 30 percent of the Roman empire was Jewish, so proselytization is not unknown in Judaism, but was stopped because many of us were naturally scared of repercussions.
    However, my idea of promoting Judaism in the 3rd world is workable, because the western powers mostly do not really care about the religions of people in the 3rd world.

    Imagine a world in which there were 300 million Jews, mainly in the 3rd world (a growing region, is opposed to the 1st world whose population is shrinking and in which there is a minority which is anti-Jewish).
    Just think of it- we would be rid of our tribalistic, inward looking thinking. The state of Israel would never have any more problems, because the 300 million Jews in the 3rd world would be a heavy counter-weight to the Arabs.
    Just think of it- any problems with anti-Judaism in the 1st world,
    and our co-religionists in the 3rd world would help us crack down immediately on such manifestations.

    I know how this can be done, by helping people economically in the 3rd world unconditionally (and if anyone’s interested I have thought a lot about this and I can explain my ideas for economic development), and also by promoting Judaism to those who are non-monotheists (since Islam is a monotheist religion, we should not try to promote Judaism to the Muslims at all, but I do not believe that Christianity is a monotheist religion).

    I think Judaism can be promoted in a kind, non-patronizing way. It has more than enough intellectual and spiritual appeal if presented in the right way.

    Today there are millions and millions of people who are spiritually hungry- this was prophesied by one of our prophets. We can help them. I think its a wonderful goal, and not one that should be belittled.

  • Oh, I read it. I just can’t seem to beleive that Israel would be making it EASY for anyone to prove their Jewishness. (I also can’t understand people converting who aren’t sincere, but that’s another story altogether.) Or is it just that now only Ortho converts will have the pleasure of being told their beit-din isn’t acceptable without extensive research.

  • Years ago I once read the following item in the Jerusalem Post:

    A Dutch women, Protestant Christian in origin, was following the conversion course in Israel. Finally on the last day, the rabbi (presumably an Orthodox rabbi) asked her why she wanted to convert to Judaism.

    Her reply was: When Christ comes again, the Jews will be the first to be saved.

    Ha ha ha ! True story.

  • lynn,
    the thing is that in the end of times (some say very, very soon), the messiah will be able to tell just by looking at someone if they are a ‘real’ Jew or not. The messiah will be a meesenger of God to reveal who are the real Kohanim and Leviim to work in the temple (not just from last name).

    The secular state of Israel has no right to declare who is a Jew. If the ‘state’ wants to open it’s doors to anyone not muslim, then they should at least stop the charade and making them ‘Jewish’. The right of return has a purpose, but not to be used to dilute the nation.

  • I do not believe in the end of times. G-d is too merciful to allow that. There will be no end of times. The universe may change in ways that we do not understand but humanity will continue, because G-d is merciful. No one will ever convince me that there will be an end of times, no matter where it is written.

  • Seems ck and others in agreement don’t have a clue as to what is involved in those conversions that were accepted in Israel. They went through the same study that the O’s went through, yet they chose to convert Conservative or Reform. It wasn’t an easy process.

    This whole topic is sad to me. The converts are the ones getting caught in the middle of a political fight for control. You are rejecting fellow Jews who should be embraced.

    When someone comes and is willing to take on all the mitzvot and undergo circumcision/mikveh, he is a Jew. It matters not what denomination his rabbi is. The rabbi doesn’t “convert” him. If you apply your narrow thinking to the first Jews, they wouldn’t be considered Jews either. Funny, that would make no one a Jew.

  • Liora, you should read the Edgar Bronfman post listed on the left among the highest commented posts here. It covers much of the same territory and also deals with this exclusivity that only undermines good people who wish to be Jewish.

  • The problem with this is that then most jews will think converts are a joke forever putting them in a class of wannabes, weirdos, psychopaths, losers, suck ups, and then somehow they did it. Honestly this is the truth and I have never seen the weirdos at the reform and other synagogues but i sure wouldnt want to be seen as a person that is not of the Jewish race. I mean religion I mean race. A leopard can;t change its spots wasn’t said to me. add in the go of im amazing and traffic is anti semitic when you get older and it makes the they are cute when they are kids and become monsters when they are older totally more realitic. dont read into that too much.

  • Casibom güncel giri? adresinde de?i?im meydana gelmesi sitede alan ad? de?i?imi meydana gelmesine sebebiyet vermeyecektir. Bahis bakiyesinde sorun ç?kmamas? için gerekli olan tüm finansal önlemler al?nm??t?r. Alan ad? de?i?imi ile alakal? olarak ki?ilerin dikkate almas? gereken temel husus güncel verileri kullanmak ve daha sonras?nda ayn? yat?r?m çekim detaylar?na dikkat ederek i?lem ak???n? tamamlamakt?r. Bakiyenizde sadece sizin onay?n?z ve izniniz ile i?lem gerçekle?tirilmesine izin verilir. Alan ad?n?n de?i?tirilmi? olmas? sitede biriktirmi? oldu?unuz tutara bir de?i?im olarak sirayet etmeyecektir.