Muffti doesn’t endorse this kind of thing, but at least Rabbi Lazar is honest.

Rabbi Berel Lazar is one of Russia’s two chief Rabbis and high profile Chabadnick. In Chabad’s Russian publication, he wrote:

‘Reform Judaism’ cannot be seriously called a religion! ‘Reformed Judaism’ is just a code of rules created by the people for their own worldly comfort. There is no God there.

Tough words, Rabbi. He also called Reform Judaism an ‘interest club’ and deriding their rabbis as mere ‘heads of a club’. club president Rabbi Eric Yofee of the Union for Reform Judaism responded by saying:

Rabbi Lazar cannot request American Jewish support for his work and profess to speak in the name of all Russian Jews while simultaneously proclaiming that Reform Judaism is not Judaism and Reform rabbis are not rabbis.

Of course, given what Lazar has to say, its difficult to believe that he would care about Reform support for his work.

Some blamed Lazar’s comments on a fear of a growing reform movement in Russia. Others were more quick to blame Chabad’s general attitude towards reform Judaism. Club president Rabbi Uri Regev, Executive Director of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (OK, that does sound like a club) said:

It’s regrettable that Chabad — which professes to connect all Jews as they are — so easily returns to its old, hateful bashing of Reform Judaism.

Oh well. Good to know that pluralism is still impossible, except perhaps on Jewlicious. Or at the TEJ.

Thanks to JTA for the story.

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  • i dont think they are against the reform jews but the movement. Which is what i totally agree with. I think its as jewish as jews for jesus or even less so.

  • Reform Judaism, is just a threat to the Jewish People, the assimilation rates are very high, and its basically a poor excuse to not be an observant Jew.. At least have the decentency to admit I am to lazy to keep SHabbat, or just don’t feel liek being Kosher, don’t try to justify it and water down Judaism

  • “Good to know that pluralism is still impossible, except perhaps on Jewlicious.”

    Uh, yeah right. Oh, I get it – you made a funny.

  • I think, sadly, we’re all forgetting one thing, and that is the most important basic element of our faith, which we hopefully all agree upon is the belief in the One Indivisible Merciful Creator of the universe who has created and creates all things and sustains each of us and the entire universe at each moment through the Merciful One’s abundant mercy and loving-kindness. Any Jew who affirms this belief and sincerely tries to act in consequence of it, should happily welcomed as a fellow Jew, and arguments should remain that just arguments, but not major fights or denunciations.

  • Pluralism sucks. Tolerance rocks, though.

    It is insane for anyone to claim that they actually believe that everyone else’s viewpoint is just as valid as their own. Come on. I may think that Muffti is wrong on a religious issue, and he, likewise, may think that I am a superstitious moron. Everyone on this site thinks that some of the regular posters have it all wrong. But, by and large, we get along well (which is easy enough with a few thousand miles of wire and empty space separating us). That’s not pluralism at all. Just tolerance. A non-pluralistic person has a strong opinion. A tolerant person thinks other people have their right to a strong opinion.

    The real question, then, is whether R’ Lazar was lacking in tolerance. Was he trying to directly harm the reform movement in Russia or simply expressing his disagreement with their party line?

  • Everyone on this site thinks that some of the regular posters have it all wrong.

    Not at all, I am everyone’s beloved poster here and all agree with me…always.

  • Doh! Always an exception. Of course, T_M, you’re right…

  • Fineline, Muffti thinks you are a superstitious smart guy. That’s what makes it sooooo sad. 🙂

  • Thanks Muffti, for such a sweet insult. Don’t be sad though. I’m quite happy. (Who wouldn’t be with this fella [ed.] for a son?)

  • Muffti approves. A. [ed.] looks to be pretty jewlicious.

  • Oh he is, he is. Though, he’s Jewlicious in some ways that might make Muffti sad.

    On Shabbat, he turned to my wife and said (in that cute way that kids under two tend to talk): “Abba davin shul?” “I want Abba davin at home.”

  • Nope. Muffti doesn’t hate either. You’ll have to forgive him if he rolls his eyes once in a while, though…

  • To reiterate the first post by jessi,
    I don’t think that anyone is against Jews who claim to be ‘reform’, just that they are being led astray.

    In hebrew, current and past Chief Rabbis of Israel declare that the only Jewish conversion is in the shulchan aruch. Anything else is bogus.

  • How self-serving.

    I officially declare that only converts who visit Jewlicious regularly are real Jews.