Friday, February 25, 2011
Unfair to Islam!
for comments he had made, and he responded by comparing "Reform
Judaism" with Islamic radicalism.
This week the following item was posted on a blog and has been making
the rounds. I attach it here in full. It is not written by me but I
do find it amusing.
When Glenn Beck Compares Reform Judaism To Radical Islam, He's Unfair To Islam
Submitted by Jonathan Mark on Wed, 02/23/2011 - 13:01
When Glenn Beck says that Reform Judaism is like radical Islam,
insofar as both are more about politics than faith, he's being unfair
to radical Islam.
Yes, both are deeply involved with politics and confuse their own
politics with God's.
But radical Islamists seems to be much more serious about their religion.
Reform rabbis often lead congregations whose overall culture is
indifferent to Shabbat and kashrut, indifferent to daily prayer and
intermarriage, and indifferent to religious literacy.
A radical Islamic leader, by contrast, is passionate and conscientious
about prayer, the Islamic Sabbath, Halal food, and Islamic family
purity. He would not be indifferent to intermarriage or classical
Only a Reform rabbi would officiate at an intermarriage on Shabbat
itself, as did Rabbi James Ponet at Chelsea Clinton's wedding. A
Radical Islamist wouldn't do that.
Not even the Ten Commandments are as important to a Reform rabbi as
intermarriage. The integrity of Shabbat (Commandment Four) was
considered so meaningless that the ceremony couldn't even wait until
sunset. With a Reform rabbi, officiating for Clinton, a political
figure, was more important than Shabbat, faith.
A radical Islamist would not have violated the Koran to perform an
intermarriage for a king.
It's hard to imagine a Reform rabbi who didn't frequently take
political positions. Among their political positions is that we
shouldn't be Islamophobic; we should know that jihad is a spiritual
struggle, not a violent one; that imams are moderates until proven
otherwise, that we shouldn't tar Islam because of extremists who are
violating Islam. So Reform rabbis themselves say Islam, even radical
Islam (is there any other) is a religion of peace, a religion of
It's had to imagine a Reform rabbi who isn't infatuated with the great
Reform legends of fighting for Darfur, being part of the (imaginary)
black-Jewish alliance, advocating for gay and transgender rights,
hating Bush and Sarah Palin, cheering Obama's pressure on Israel, all
of which these Reform rabbis will attribute to their faith but it sure
sounds like politics.
Reform rabbis love "dialogue," the idea that all problems in the world
-- between religions and between nations -- are just a big
misunderstanding because we're all basically the same and want the
Radical Islamists don't give a damn about dialogue. They don't think
all religions or all people, infidels included, are the same, because
radical Islamists take their own faith that much more seriously.
Reform rabbis are "troubled" that settlers live in Canaan, that Ariel
Sharon walked on the Temple Mount, that Moses, a Jew, used
disproportionate force in killing an Egyptian. Hebron is not loved for
its holiness, as faith would have it, but thought an obstacle to
peace, as politics would have it.
Radical Islamists have faith that the Temple Mount is theirs, and the
Western Wall, too. They have faith that they are Abraham's children
and belong anywhere in Canaan. Radical Islamists don't care that
Moses, an Egyptian, killed an Egyptian. Hebron is loved for its
holiness, as faith would have it, not something to be negotiated, as
politics would have it.
Radical Islamic leaders don't go around saying that religion just
means being ethical and good and voting for Democrats, the way most
Reform rabbis do. Radical Islam believe that faith demands personal
service to God, not just service to each other.
Radical Islamic leaders don't define their faith so singularly with
one political party, as do most Reform rabbis, who seem to believe
that Judaism never, ever, says no to liberal dogma. Their Reform
Jewish faith, to hear so many tell it. is indistinguishable from their
Reform Jewish poliitics. To many Reform leaders, the left can disagree
with the Torah but the Torah can never disagree with the left. When in
conflict, the Torah must adapt.
To a radical Islamist, whose faith comes before politics, the Koran
doesn't adapt, everything adapts to the Koran.
Radical Islamists seem to have more fire in the belly when it comes to
Reform rabbis seem to have more fire in the belly when it comes to
their "progressive" politics.
So Beck is absolutely wrong. Radical Islamists and Reform rabbis are
polar opposites when it comes to balancing faith and politics.
There are many Reform Jews that I love and greatly admire. These are
my people. I'd rather be the worst Reform Jew than the very best
Islamist. And I wish that Reform rabbis were, in fact, more about
faith than about politics.
Dennis Prager, the talk-show host and author, is a Reform Jew who
actually talks more about the importance of faith and religion than he
talks about politics. Debbie Friedman, another great Reform Jew, was
unique in how she restored the idea of blessing and God to the Reform
sensibility. There are other Reform Jews like Prager and Friedman who
prioritize faith over politics, but I don't get that sense from too
many Reform rabbis.
I despise, fear and fight radical Islamic politics but I love and envy
their devotion to their faith. I love how even in the midst of the
Cairo revolution, they stopped to prostrate themselves in prayer. When
was the last time you saw Reform Jews at a political demonstration
stop to say Mincha? And by the hundreds?
Here's some more on Beck, on related issues, from the Zionist
Organization of America, from BigJournalism.com regarding the Jewish
Fund For Justice's anti-Beck campaign, and from David Suissa, an
exciting columnist for the Jewish Journal in L.A.
How many people who have opinions on Beck have actually seen him in
action? Check out this clip of Beck speaking about Israel, threats to
Jews, and attacking Iran.
Beck's a better man than George Soros, and he's a better Jew, too. If
something bad, God forbid, ever happened to Israel, I'm convinced it
would bother Beck more. One guy cares about me and the two countries I
love. One guy doesn't.
I don't like it when someone who cares about us so much is hated, is
laughed at, because his caring is imperfect.
2. Notice the two "rabbis" participating in the "I am a Muslim" Rally
coming up for NY City
3. J Street Exposes Itself
by Isi Leibler
February 25, 2011
4. PC Crowd uninterested in mass murders of Libyans:
5. The New Axis of Evil = J Street + Kadima:
6. I already posted this but am posting it again. Fiddler on the
Roof is a play about Jewish powerlessness in an impoverished czarist
Russian village. In the following clip, you can see the Israeli army
band performing in Red Square to the applause of the locals. The band
is not very good (Israeli military music is to music as Israeli
military intelligence is to intelligence.) Nevertheless, here we
have the Israeli army band playing songs from Fiddler, as well as
others, in Red Square. You will not be able to watch it with dry
eyes! If you have not seen it already, open it!