Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

6 Nisan 5759 - March 24, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly







Opinion & Comment
About Cooperation with Conservative, Reform -- and So-called Orthodox
Rabbi Nochum Eisenstein

The huge demonstration in Israel and America against the Conservative and Reform certainly left an impact on all Orthodox Jews. The united call from all of our Torah giants to protest against any recognition of their heretic groups impressed on all of us the great danger inherent in these groups.

It is therefore paradoxical that I must mention again attempts by so-called Orthodox groups to cooperate with the Conservative, Reform and other heretical groups in various ways which give them credibility. The now defunct Synagogue Council of America and the still existing New York Board of Rabbis were the showcase of cooperation between Orthodox, Conservative and Reform. They were prohibited by all our gedolim in 1954-1955. One of the main "heterim" of the so-called orthodox participants who disregarded the prohibition of the gedolim and took part in these organizations was and is that these organizations deal only with non-religious issues which are common to all Jews, but I showed ("Clarifying the Nature of Orthodox Judaism," Yated, parshas Vayeiro) that this claim is a total farce.

A new interdenominational rabbinic group was formed in Washington, D.C. last month which includes "orthodox" conservative, reform and reconstructionist rabbis. Even though the group, which calls itself North American Board of Rabbis (NABOR), was opposed by the secretary of the "orthodox" Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) (and by conservative and reform spokesmen as well), still no action has been taken by the RCA to prohibit its members from joining NABOR. In fact, the president of NABOR is a member of the RCA.

Apparently, the RCA's criticism of NABOR was political and not a matter of religious ideology. This is also evident from the fact that the RCA continues to allow its members to join the banned New York Board of Rabbis. NABOR, which is being well-funded by some high-powered individuals, is continuing with no major protests from the orthodox establishment to discredit any so-called "orthodox" member of this organization. The publicity this slick organization is releasing continues to cause confusion. These two examples are only the tip of the iceberg of the ongoing cooperation by so-called Orthodox groups with the Reform and Conservative.

In a related matter, the Mercaz Harabbonim -- Chicago Orthodox Rabbinate must be commended for its ongoing efforts to fight any de facto recognition of the conservative and reform. The Mercaz launched a non compromising campaign several years ago against allowing the conservative to use the orthodox mikveh for any of their "conversion ceremonies."

Several groups are attempting to establish a so-called mechitza minyan in a suburban Chicago conservative temple, in spite of the fact that HaRav Moshe Feinstein in Igros Moshe Orach Chaim (III,25 and IV,91) prohibits it. Another very respected Orthodox organization also advertised a presentation of theirs in that same temple. Our yasher koach to the Mercaz Harabbonim of Chicago which is trying to stop all "orthodox" activities in that temple.

The month of Nisan is the month of geula and we must be strong in our conviction to oppose any cooperation and recognition of the Reform and Conservative before we can be zoche to true redemption.

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