Conservative Judaism Opening Doors to Gay Rabbis?

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This is jarring news, positive news. I know very little about conservative Judaism and have the gut feeling that this line of Judaism differs from the orthodox.
But even then, what will Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell say about this? I can’t wait.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

43 comments on “Conservative Judaism Opening Doors to Gay Rabbis?

  1. elementary teacher says:

    I totally oppose any such rally and have no knowledge of the one referenced.
    Alicia Hill

    Reply

  2. yippiegirl says:

    You are the only smart people on the internet discussing the alleged “death to israel rally”.
    Thank g-d somebody got it. Fuuuuuck.

    Reply

  3. MP says:

    Wow. I’m so glad I’ve missed this “conversation.” A little sejour in Carroll’s home state with no Internet. The fur is flying! Can’t even see the claws anymore.

    Reply

  4. Pissed Off American says:

    Bu…bu…bu…but teacher! He wants to see beheadings and machete wackings. After all, anything less is clearly anti-semitic.

    Reply

  5. elementary teacher says:

    Hon — could you rush me over that industrial strength auto vac? and some oversize hoses? What a mess. Mr. At It Again has had another truth accident.
    Here’s a short list of video titles readily available on the Internet:
    Envoys rescued in DR Congo
    Congo prepares for poll
    Congo copper
    Historic Elections in Congo
    Vote counting begins in Congo
    DR Congo poll results due
    Tense truce called in Congo
    Tight security for DR Congo vote
    The Democratic Republic of Congos central prison in Bukavu is
    Tense Truce Called In Congo
    Congo – Genesis
    Congolese Head to the Polls
    _39290931_congo17_werge_vi.ram
    congo1hi.mov

    Reply

  6. Pissed Off American says:

    ROFLMAO!!!!! What did I tell ya? Uh oh, those nasty “anti-semites” over at Amnesty International dared call attention to these slimey murderous bastards that are razing Lebanon, murdering Palestinians, and ignoring the UN resolution by blockading Lebanon….
    “ADL Calls Amnesty International Report “Bigoted, Biased, And Borderline Anti-Semitic””
    http://www.adl.org/PresRele/IslME_62/4878_62.htm

    Reply

  7. Carroll says:

    Posted by Bullet Bob at August 30, 2006 02:00 PM
    This is funny…
    “When asked if he wants to see the elimination of Israel, Breeze said: “The President of Iran has an excellent idea. . . . I would like to see them move Israel to Virginia and put all the current Virginians in a concentration camp. Then we’ll see how popular Israel is [in the United States].”
    Because if Israel has been established in the US back in 1948 and behaved the way they did in Palestine they would totally extinct by now…there is no group on earth as violent over their land as Americans…the Palestines have been pussycats in comparision to how American would have reacted.

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  8. alec says:

    from the article that bob posted above:
    While he said his group – the Center to Prevent Corporate Media Lying – has other members and financial donors, Breeze wouldn’t name them. And he acknowledged some of his past protests against media coverage of the Iraq war that he held in front of the KSL studios included paid participants from the homeless shelter.
    Some demonstrators Wednesday also may be paid.
    “They’re called ‘vicarious protesters,’ ” he said.”
    hahaha! great. paid partricipants from the homeless shelter? so you are going to be there too, bob?

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  9. Bullet Bob says:

    hey, don’t shoot the messenger here!
    Salt Lake City to issue permit for the ‘Death to Israel’ rally
    http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_4242208

    Reply

  10. alec says:

    …and i’m sure that poa and alicia were just as outraged and vocal when 3.8 million people were being slaughtered in congo between 1998-2003, right?

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  11. alec says:

    but, i’m sure that poa and alicia would be one of the 6% that can locate congo on a blank map, right?
    ignorance is bliss.

    Reply

  12. Pissed Off American says:

    Whats next, accusing Amnesty International of being “anti-semitic” because they don’t have a video of tribesmen beheading little kids on thier website?

    Reply

  13. Pissed Off American says:

    Hey, POA, could you pass me the phone, hon? I gotta tell Mr. Social Justice that he can cancel his flight. Turns out the Congo’s okedoke. Their population GROWTH RATE is 2.6!
    Posted by elementary teacher
    LOL.
    Hey, if Den hasn’t already won your hand, can I advance an offer????

    Reply

  14. elementary teacher says:

    Hey, POA, could you pass me the phone, hon? I gotta tell Mr. Social Justice that he can cancel his flight. Turns out the Congo’s okedoke. Their population GROWTH RATE is 2.6!

    Reply

  15. alec says:

    hmm… i could be wrong, but i don’t see any videos about the 3.8 million people killed between ’98 – ’03 in the democratic republic of congo.
    i guess it wasn’t worth their time.

    Reply

  16. Pissed Off American says:

    And as an aside, if one discusses death on the African continent, it is important to note Bush’s AIDs policies, that discourage distribution of condoms, and science based education. AIDS prevention through abstinence might be a relatively harmless bit of a pipe dream to hawk domestically, where it will only result in the infection of a few thousand kids a year, but on the African continent it is a policy that has the potential to kill HUNDREDS of thousands.
    So much for the information age.

    Reply

  17. Pissed Off American says:

    Carroll, Amnesty international is working to expose the human rights tragedy in the Congo, (as well as travesties occurring world wide, not the least being the situation in Gaza.)
    http://tinyurl.com/qkwef
    I find it interesting that a poster would snivel about AIPAC being mentioned on a thread about Judaism, then the same poster would turn around and use the situation in Africa to belittle the compassion or humanity of posters that are in disagreement with his attitude and opinions of the Isr/Pal situation.
    The fact of the matter is that the astounding amount of money that we send to Israel on an annual basis is obscene when one considers the horrendous amount of death that is occurring world wide due to ethnic violence, drought, and famine, and disease such as the AIDs epidemic sweeping Africa. Israel has suffered approximately 1100 deaths since Sept. of 2000 due to the Isr/Pal hostilities. And the quality of life in Israel far surpasses the norm for the rest of the middle east, and comparing it to the quality of life in the Congo is not an exercise that warrants comment. The deaths and misery suffered throughout the African continent make Israel’s 1100 deaths globally inconsequential. Yet how much money will we give to Israel this year in comparison to aid we will give to African nations? As you correctly point out, our coffers are committed to the falsely represented debacle in Iraq, and to the support of a rogue terrorist state, Israel.
    Who here would deny that we would rather see our billions spent to save millions in Africa, rather than spent to abet the crimes of Israel, such as we have seen perpetrated on Lebanon and Gaza?

    Reply

  18. alec says:

    Thanks,.. I think!…now I am so mad all over again I won’t be able to sleep…I hadn’t seen the AI video but I saw some other ones on news sites…I am so depressed and furious over this horror I can hardly contain myself.
    alicia and carroll:
    just curious, but what do you think about the horror in congo? do you only reserve sleepless nights for small scale wars that take place between israel and her neighbors? does amnesty international have any videos of 3.8 million people being killed between ’98 and ’03??
    the organization that i work for conducted a poll and only 6 out of 100 people surveyed could locate the democratic republic of congo on a blank map.
    so much for the information age.

    Reply

  19. Carroll says:

    Howdy ET
    Thanks,.. I think!…now I am so mad all over again I won’t be able to sleep…I hadn’t seen the AI video but I saw some other ones on news sites…I am so depressed and furious over this horror I can hardly contain myself.
    I copied off the AI letter and will fax it in the morning to the security council members. In fact I may call their offices too…it would be interesting to ask them if other people around the world are also contacting them about this. If you want to call, click on the UN SC link and then click on each member and their home page will appear with phone and contact info. Probably be a good idea to look at staff listing and ask for a certain person’s office.
    http://www.un.org/sc/members.asp

    Reply

  20. elementary teacher says:

    Carroll, Howdy,
    When you have a moment, perhaps you can check out the video on the war crimes: http://www.amnesty.org/

    Reply

  21. Carroll says:

    Well Alec
    Plenty of us care…and I am sure some of us have signed petitions and called our politicans on this ongoing disgrace to the human race.
    And if we could get our politicans noses out of AIPAC’s ass and Israel off our bank account and Bush,Inc.DoingBusinessIn the ME impeached maybe we could do something about it.

    Reply

  22. alec says:

    i guess there is no staying on topic here.
    and what about other issues in the world, the ME aside. from reading this blog you’d think that there is nothing else of consequence happening in the world.
    for instance, anybody ever heard of congo? runnoff elections scheduled for october 29. nearly 4 million people dead in a 5 year war that lasted from ’98 – ’03.
    it saddens me that nobody cares… or worse yet, that nobody even knows.
    i’m leaving for brazzaville in next month.

    Reply

  23. wesawthat... says:

    as of 7:56 pm cdt http://www.baztab.com is coming up for us in arabic. maybe they havent gotten round to our server yet. lol.

    Reply

  24. Carroll says:

    POA
    I think it has already been shut down ..none of the search engines like goggle will let it through. Course I have noticed goggle has been censoring on it’s own for quite a while now anyway.
    Evidently it is an anti reformist paper and their publishing this has something to do with it.
    BREAKING; Baztab: American soldiers fight in lebanon’s border
    Daily Kos
    July 27, 2006
    Some minutes ago, Baztab, an Iranian news site close to Revolutionary Guards, reported that America’s army has launched a joint military base with Israeli forces near Lebanese border and US soldiers now are covertly fighting against Hizbollah.
    Yesterday baztab also reported that Israel Defense Forces soldiers who were abducted by Hezbollah on July 12, exposed secrets to Lebanese army, including IDF maneuvers for a massive attack on Lebanon in the fall, also this fact that the abduction caught Israel by surprise and forced an early invasion.
    According to Haaretz, Baztab’s claims are likely part of a psychological warfare or an attempt to coordinate stands between Iran and Hezbollah, in an effort to explain the fighting in Lebanon to the public.”
    The paper was shut down last year by Iran gov itself for being anti-reformist and then the Iran courts ruled against censorship and reopened it.
    I didn’t find anything on a search that indicated it was linked to any terrorist group or activity other than just advocating against any western imposed reform of Iran..which seems entirely a Iran internal political matter.
    The part about US troops may have been an embelishment for the anti-reformist in Iran but it looks as if AIPAC just doesn’t want Americans to have access to it.
    That’s is a really stupid move to me..any censorship is just going to add fuel to the flame and send people to Iran blogger sites or the European papers if they want to find out what Baztab is saying…so it is really pointless and just exposing AIPAC’s overreach in the US.
    Maybe you can find out if it has indeed been censored, as I said I can’t get it to come up at all..not even in Persian.

    Reply

  25. LF says:

    Thanks, anon, as you explained some parts better than I did, and I had a typo where I wrote “Deconstructonist” once instead of “Reconstructionist” which is the correct term.
    One technical correction on what you posted as it is “Reform” Judaism and not “Reformed.” Reform rabbis take that very seriously.

    Reply

  26. wesawthat... says:

    hi anon thanks, we are only going by what rabbi ysroel dovid weiss teaches and has taught. it would appear that either you’re mistaken or the good rabbi is lying. which is it?
    more info:
    neturei karta http://www.nkusa.org
    and also true torah jews against zionism http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com
    we are only looking for what the real truth is here. according to rabbi weiss the real truth is that g-d fearing true torah jews have been living amongst the arabs and muslims in peace and harmony for centuries and it wasnt until zionism which was started around 1880 did all this trouble begin.
    also rabbi ysroel dovid weiss via video from youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-JrU54W6qU

    Reply

  27. anon says:

    Wesawthat, you could not be more wrong or more offensive in your description of the branches of Judaism. Ashkenazi and Sephardi refer to geographic differences, basically identifying where the Jews ended up after being exiled from Israel after the Roman conquest and the destruction of the second Temple. Ashkenazi Jews ended up in central and eastern Europe (most Jews in America, having come from Europe, are Askenazi.) Sephardic Jews are those who ended up in the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. There is no difference between the two on who is seen as being biblically correct. That’s hogwash.
    As far as religious distinctions go, which is what Steve was referring to, the 3 main categories are Reformed, Conservative, and Orthodox. Recent years have also added Reconstructionist. And, beyond Orthodox, there are many Hasidic sects (the guys you see with the long hair around their ears and broad black hats). The religious differences between these groups generally reflect the level of observance. There are 613 Commandmants in the Torah, and an Orthodox Jew will strive to observe each and every one. Conservative Jews may choose to observe fewer, but most observe the Sabbath and acknowledge many of the holy days in some way and many keep Kosher. Reformed Jews are far more liberal in their level of observance, most don’t keep Kosher, and most don’t observe many holidays beyond 4 or 5 key ones. You’ll also find differences in the length of the service, the amount of Hebrew in the service, and whether men and women sit together (they don’t in most Orthodox services). As someone else said, Reconstructionist falls between Reformed and Conservative (more liberal views on many issues than Conservatives, but more formal, longer services than Reformed).
    What makes this news on Conservative Judaism interesting is that the leadership of the Conservative movement tends to be more “conservative,” hewing more closely to the religious line of the Orthodox, but allowing adherents more freedom to choose their own level of observance. Hence, a change at the top is essentially playing catch-up to the social mores in the congregations, but it is still a big change for the big wigs.

    Reply

  28. alec says:

    poa:
    i’m sure steve would appreciate it if you/we would stick to relevant comments re: his postings. AIPAC has nothing to do with the subject of “Conservative Judaism Opening Doors to Gay Rabbis.”

    Reply

  29. Carroll says:

    Well, this is interesting really….maybe a trend following other trends in other religions. I know next to nothing about all the various sects within Judism so can’t have an opinon about what it means.

    Reply

  30. Pissed Off American says:

    Well, I guess the Israelis think Americans are just too damned ignorant to decide for themselves whether or not a website is credible. The worst aside to the following story is that the described website WILL undoubtedly be removed from our ability to view it, even without our perusal to see if in fact the allegations advanced by Israel seem credible. Are the Israeli’s now involved in the censoring of information that is accessible to Americans? Can they simply point their fingers and mutter about terrorism and anti-semitism, thereby dictating what we as Americans can view, read, or discuss?
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/755379.html
    AIPAC urges U.S. to shut Iranian Web site
    By Yossi Melman
    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is urging the United States government to disconnect an Iranian news site from American Internet servers, charging that the site has ties to terrorist organizations. The allegation is based on a report published by Haaretz last month.
    According to the Haaretz report, the site, Baztab, published details about a month ago of what it termed “an interrogation” of the two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah on July 12. Baztab’s report claimed that the soldiers had admitted that Israel planned a military attack on Hezbollah in September or October, and the kidnapping had foiled this plan.
    Based on this report and other information published on the site, AIPAC concluded that Baztab, which is supported by an American server, has ties with a terrorist organization. It therefore asked the U.S. Treasury Department to order the site shut down.

    Reply

  31. Frank says:

    Circumcision becomes even more of a hazard for the male lumpen.

    Reply

  32. LF says:

    I am posting this for one of my posters…Steve Clemons
    I tried to post but it is as hard to explain Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Judaism as it is to differentiate Catholicism and evangelical Christians (fundamentalists, no birth control or abortion, women can’t sit with men in synagogue, etc.), and Conservative Judaism came from Europe and later–maybe 19th century–and less strict on those things but still pretty conservative. Not about gays per se, but Conservatives would be more like Episcopalians, Lutherans, whatever. Reform Judaism started in Germany in 19th century and is/was the most liberal, more like Unitarians. And so it was for over 100 years in US
    Reform were first to allow women to become rabbis, and I don’t think even 20 years ago that gays could be rabbis in Reform. Indeed the Deconstructionist, 4th type now, Jewish branch is the most liberal on gays and lesbians and has only come to be started here in U.S. I believe in the past 20-25 years, maybe less than that–where gay men can be rabbis. In terms of how traditional religious services (length of services, how much in Hebrew v. English, etc.) are, Reconstructionist is kinda between Reform and Conservative. I am not very practicing or observant and was raised Reform, which is the most liberal–but on social issues Reconstructionist is more liberal.
    I found this on-line about ordination of women as rabbis:
    The role of women in the rabbinate has been hotly debated within the Jewish community. The Reform movement was the first to ordain women rabbis, in 1972. The Reconstructionist movement, followed suit by graduating their first woman rabbi in 1977. The Conservative movement lagged slightly behind, ordaining their first woman rabbis from its rabbinical school in 1983. The Orthodox movement has yet to officially accept women in its rabbinate, although a few Orthodox women have ordained in some seminaries.
    However, the Reconstructionist ordained gay rabbis before Reform did. Again here are the facts from article in Jewish Journal of LA:
    Jewish law, meanwhile, divides along denominational lines. The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College was the first to ordain gay rabbis, starting in 1984, and endorsed officiating at gay marriages in 1993.
    The Reform movement has been ordaining gay rabbis since 1990. Reform rabbis have been performing same sex-ceremonies since the 1970s, and in 2000, the movement passed a resolution endorsing rabbis who choose to officiate and supporting the personal autonomy of those who don’t.
    Both the Reform and Reconstructionist movements endorse civil gay unions.
    So the gay and lesbian Jews today often are in Reconstructionist congregations that, of course, are open to all Jews. Come down to Atlanta, and I’ll take you to the services of temple I joined that is Reconstructionist because that’s where my daughter and her husband go. I don’t like the services that are too much in Hebrew, too long, too traditional for me, but I like the social justice programs and liberal attitudes in general.
    I mention all this because I don’t think I could blog a good explanation though I assume someone will–You at least said that you aren’t well informed. From the 7 or so comments, it’s amazing how poorly informed your readers who post are.
    But you are correct that it would be very major if Conservatives ordain gays—It would be the equivalent of having all Christian religions in U.S. ordain gays–execpt for Roman Catholics.
    I know most about how Reform Judaism started in U.S. in mid-to-late 19th century because it was in Cincinnati by Rabbi Wise. I just happened to be researching Adolph Ochs, who was born of German-Jewish immigrant parents in Cincinnati about 1858 and bought the New York Times in 1898. But before that Ochs married in 1884, and this part fascinated me:
    In 1884, Ochs married Effie Wise, the daughter of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise of Cincinnati, who was the leading exponent of Reform Judaism in America and the founder of Hebrew Union College . His only daughter, Iphigene Bertha Ochs , married Arthur Hays Sulzberger , who became publisher of the Times after Adolph died. Her son Arthur Ochs “Punch” Sulzberger subsequently became publisher of the Times.
    So now you know a bit more about ordination of gays in Judaism and how the Ochs and Sulzbergers are related to NY Times.

    Reply

  33. Pissed Off American says:

    “…….
    Steve,
    Your comment filtering system is overreacting. Attempted to post links to 3 progressive Christian organizations earlier, and all were sent “for review”
    …….”
    I have had the same problem previously. I tested various ways of posting the links I wanted to appear, and came to the conclusion that they were being blocked because of the number of links I was trying to insert in an individual post. Steve has had problems with spam here, where there are numerous product endorsement links or porn links appearing in single posts.
    Try posting two links at a time in individual postings, rather than three.

    Reply

  34. alec says:

    great, steve. another post on “jewish” subject matter for all the anti-semites that frequent this blog to regurgitate all over.
    disgusting and offensive.

    Reply

  35. wesawthat... says:

    our understanding is that there are in actuality two branches of judiasm the sephardic and the ashkenazi.
    the sephardic are descendants of the biblical jews and the ashkenazi are descendants of (non jewish) tribes some say from germany and some say from the russian steeps and who converted to judaism ostensibly to serve as protectors.
    the sephardic are mostly regarded as the g-d fearing true torah jews while the ashkenazi are mainly the zionists. g-d fearing true torah jews believe that judiasm was hi-jacked by the ashkenazi at the holocaust because you see they targted the sephardic for extermination.
    so that created a vacuum within judaism for the ashkenazi who practice zionism to take over. the good news is that the sephardic’s numbers have been increasing and soon the true word of g-d will not be able to be drowned out by the ashkenazi and their goy puppets. :->

    Reply

  36. Test says:

    Steve,
    Your comment filtering system is overreacting. Attempted to post links to 3 progressive Christian organizations earlier, and all were sent “for review”.
    Progressive Christians Uniting
    Christian Alliance for Progress
    Center for Progressive Christianity
    I’d add Tikkun which offers a Jewish perspective on progressive religion – all four referenced on March 20th.
    PUBLIUS

    Reply

  37. Test says:

    test of comment filtering accuracy.

    Reply

  38. Trip says:

    Conservative Judaism is very different from Orthodox.

    Reply

  39. gq says:

    Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell do not represent mainstream Christianity. The sooner moderates and left of center people realize this, the sooner they will be relegated to obscurity.

    Reply

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