Pro­duc­ing con­tent on the Web since 1995.


some say­ings of ר‘משבצונה“ל

For many years I have worked hard, and strug­gled with mas­ter­ing virtuous. Now, in addi­tion, I’m work­ing on becom­ing more virtual.
This is an expres­sion of that effort.
* * * * * * *

השיבנו ה‘ אליך ונשובה חדש ימינו
כעוד לא היו
* * * * * * *
ומביא גאלה…
לצאצאיהם

Add to Technorati Favorites

twitter / rebmark

Bookmark and Share

All pho­tographs are by Mark Hurvitz unless they are obvi­ously not (or credit oth­er­wise is given).

The pho­tos in the ban­ner at the top (only a shal­low sliver of a much larger photo) are either from our home or our trav­els and are offered for their beauty alone (though a brain-teaser for me: “Where was that?”).

reform and "ol malchut shamaim"

what does the Reform move­ment have to say about “ol malchut shamaim”?

Emil G. Hirsch Jew­ish Reformer 1886.04.09 p. 9
“Mod­ern schol­ar­ship has spo­ken and its voice can­not be hushed. It has shown that Moses is not the author of the Pen­ta­teuch; that Sinai is not the cra­dle of what is high­est and best in Bib­li­cal Judaism… that the whole appa­ra­tus of priestly insti­tu­tion­al­ism is of non-Hebraic ori­gin: the ver­i­ta­ble “laws of the Gen­tiles.” The Abra­hamitic rite, the dietary and Levit­i­cal laws, sac­ri­fi­cial rit­u­al­ism, the fes­tal cycle and the like, are not indige­nous to the Jew­ish soil.“
Quoted in Michael Meyer, Response to Moder­nity a his­tory of the Reform Move­ment in Judaism. Oxford Uni­ver­sity Press, 1988, p.273.

more…

Meyer, Michael. Response to Moder­nity a his­tory of the Reform Move­ment in Judaism. Oxford Uni­ver­sity Press, 1988, p.273:
[Kauf­mann] Kohler described the later tefilin (phy­lac­ter­ies) and mezuzah (bib­li­cal inscrip­tions on the door­post) as : “tal­is­mans” whose ori­gin was in prim­i­tive blood daub­ing and called the wear­ing of the Talit (prayer shawl) “fetishism.” Such laws, spurned by Reform Jews in prac­tice, seemed totally dis­cred­ited by dis­cov­ery of their par­al­lels else­where in the ancient Near East.” [CCARY, 2 (1892): 126–128; 17 (1907): 205–229; Kohler, Hebrew Union Col­lege and other Addresses (Cincin­nati, 1916), 306.]

Meyer, Michael. Response to Moder­nity a his­tory of the Reform Move­ment in Judaism. Oxford Uni­ver­sity Press, 1988, p. 196–197:
“Schorr did not negate rab­binic Judaism entirely. He acknowl­edged that the Tal­mud con­tained pre­cious and ven­er­a­ble pre­cepts that played an impor­tant role in the spir­i­tual his­tory of Judaism. Like other Reform­ers, his respect for it sim­ply declined pro­gres­sively as later Rab­bis more and more lost the dar­ing which had char­ac­ter­ized their fore­bears. The Phar­isees and early Tan­naim had been will­ing to abro­gate old laws and insti­tute new ones in accor­dance with their par­tic­u­lar sit­u­a­tion. Leg­is­lat­ing for their age alone, They had not sought to bind the hands of suc­ceed­ing gen­er­a­tions. But with the can­on­iza­tion of the Mish­nah at the end of the sec­ond cen­tury and there­after, rab­bin­ism ceased to be a free process of adap­ta­tion and became the mul­ti­pli­ca­tion of oner­ous restric­tions with lit­tle con­cern for con­tem­po­rary cir­cum­stance. Instead of advanc­ing reli­gious devel­op­ment, rab­bin­ism had increas­ingly held it back. More­over, the Rab­bis had mis­read the Bible. Their lit­er­al­ism, for exam­ple, had made them find tefilin (phy­lac­ter­ies) in the text of the Torah, pre­vent­ing them from real­iz­ing that the com­mand­ment “Bind [God’s pre­cepts] as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a sym­bol on your fore­head” (Deut. 6:8) had to be under­stood merely as a metaphor for remem­ber­ing, not as man­dat­ing a par­tic­u­lar rit­ual act.”

if not from “heaven”, from where comes the author­ity of the con­tem­po­rary rabbi?

Meyer, Michael. Response to Moder­nity a his­tory of the Reform Move­ment in Judaism. Oxford Uni­ver­sity Press, 1988, p. 370:
“In 1965 a spe­cial CCAR com­mit­tee on rab­bini­cal sta­tus con­firmed the exis­tence of a state of cri­sis long in the mak­ing. Pre­dom­i­nantly it saw the cri­sis as one of wan­ing rab­bini­cal author­ity. Reform rab­bis no longer felt they were effec­tive lead­ers. Lack­ing the author­ity of revealed texts to which more tra­di­tional col­leagues could appeal, they found that respect for their posi­tion and per­son did not pre­vent the encroach­ments of tem­ple offi­cers and boards. Lay lead­ers had begun to regard rab­bis rate exec­u­tives who were expected to per­form in accor­dance with their desires and expectations.”