What does religious mean?

Though this will offend some people; including those that I love, it is (I’m sure not surprisingly to anyone) my belief. I was asked are reform rabbis religious? Honestly, how would you answer that question?

Religious has many meanings. I know many people who are religiously reform Jews. What does that mean? They don’t keep many mitzvot; not Shabbes, Kashrus and etc. But they have a keen driven belief in some rituals and tikun olam; they meet sometime on Friday afternoon for dinner, light candles with a bracha, say motzi on challah, after eating they drive to the temple and have services. Saturday they go to temple only if there is a special service, they give tzedakah, they have sedorim. They consider the main mitzvah  is tikun olam; but without accepting the Torah as a guide; the interpretation of what is good for the world is very open. They have even given up on the need for their grandchildren  will marry Jews – so by next generation they’re Jewishness will be extinct. They think they believe in the 10 commandments and the prophets; but how they get around believing in G-d and keeping Shabbos is very flimsy. But they are very sincere, honest, chessdic people. They  can be incredible righteous people.


To be called religious in the real Jewish sense – there has to be a commitment to keep the Torah, recognize the Torah is our lifeline. A Jew who keeps everything though may not be religious in the sense of being committed – spiritually, emotionally; is he growing? Does he have a relationship with G-d? Does he love Torah? The mitzvot are given to us (and we are commanded to keep them) so we will be able to become better people.


But a person who calls himself a Reform Rabbi and is a leader guiding people and justifying what their congregants are doing is causing damage. If they have any real learning of Torah; they know how diluted and off base their group is going and how it is really a free fall with no guide, posts or clarity. Like the secular world – anything goes – and to call that Judaism is a shundah (like they used to say.) S/He is not religious – he should be honest and know better and recognize the demise of the Reform religion.


The people I know who are religiously reform are not unique – but there is no future in reform. Reform desperately accepts any definition of being Jewish – because of the lack of a future. Reform Judaism may be the biggest group (since they count many non-Jews into their numbers) but they are doomed.


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