Aussie’s Believe It Or Not

Muhammad Ali’s grandson recently had his bar mitzvah.

We’ve called former world heavyweight boxing champ Muhammad Ali “The Greatest,” “The People’s Champion” and “The Louisville Lip.” Now we might want to also call him “Zaidy” — and a very proud one at that.

The boxing news site “The Sweet Science” reports that the Muslim Ali’s grandson recently became a bar mitzvah. The 13-year-old boy, Jacob Wertheimer, is the son of Ali’s daughter Khaliah Ali-Wertheimer and her husband, Spencer Wertheimer.

“I was born and raised as a Muslim,” Ali-Wertheimer said. “But I’m not into organized religion. I’m more spiritual than religious. My husband is Jewish. No one put any pressure on Jacob to believe one way or another. He chose this on his own because he felt a kinship with Judaism and Jewish culture.” Accordingly, Jacob had his bar mitzvah ceremony at Philadelphia’s Congregation Rodeph Shalom on April 28.

Jacob’s mother also shared that the bar mitzvah’s theme was a celebration of diversity and inclusiveness (that sure beats Star Wars, sports or actor Max Greenfield’s SNL theme). “My father was supportive in every way. He followed everything and looked at the Torah very closely. It meant a lot to Jacob that he was there,” she said.

Lucky Ali’s forgotten so much, or otherwise he might give a hell of an interesting speech.

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

One incoming link

Aussie’s Believe It Or Not | Blogs about Israel aggregation
04 June 2012 at 8:06pm
[...] http://www.israellycool.com/2012/06/04/aussies-believe-it-or-not/ Rate this:Share ...

Facebook Comments

  • Pingback: Aussie’s Believe It Or Not | Blogs about Israel aggregation()

  • Norman B.

    According to the article, Ali has progressed from the Nation of Islam to Sufism, which is Islam’s most intellectual sect.

  • Tom

    With all due respect, this boy’s not
    Jewish and his bar mitzvah is worth, let’s say it in a nice way, NOTHING.
    Reading from the Torah? He’s a GOY!!!

    Oh my…

    • Norman B.

      By Orthodox standards, no. But if his Jewish father raised him as a Jew with no objections from his mother, then as far as I am concerned, he is a Jew.

      • Tom

        Ok, you can be concered as long as you want, i don’t care. There’s Jewish law: He can be Jewish, if he was born to a jewish mother or if she converted, with the intent to keep 613 mitzvot. No discussion. He can feel jewish and so on, but if he will want to keep the shabbat, he’s not allowed to do so, as well as learning Torah.

      • Shy Guy

        No, by the Torah’s standard, which is G-d’s standard.

        Goys will be goys.

        • Jim from Iowa

          Just for that comment you win a dream home…in Givat Ulpana. Enjoy.

          • ziontruth

            “…you win a dream home…in Givat Ulpana.”

            It figures. Netanyahu seems to have gone just the route you always call for. “The problems of building on Palestinian property,” he said. “We must take heed of the International Court in the Hague,” he said. Jewish leadership epic fail.

            • Jim from Iowa

              I always hold out hope for people to come to their senses, even you, ziontruth.

              • ziontruth

                “I always hold out hope for people to come to their senses,…”

                I wish I could share your hope, and especially, that I could apply it to you. But the time after time I’ve explained to you why Israel shouldn’t give back its meager lands to the bloodthirsty savages surrounding it—and why it is not in America’s interests that Israel do so either—have convinced me a brick wall would be far easier to persuade.

                • Jim from Iowa

                  You see a brickwall and I see a resolute clarion call for the two peoples to reason together. Why it isn’t obvious to you that your version of a one-state solution would be disastrous for Israel is perplexing, to say the least. Absent devine intervention, your way would lead to a very bloody, prolonged shooting war with Israel more isolated in world opinion. But, as I like to say, better a brickwall than a brick to the side of the head.

                  • ziontruth

                    “You see a brickwall and I see a resolute clarion call for the two peoples to reason together.”

                    I do not doubt your sincerity. However, you might take it from one Jew you probably admire, the one that formulated some theory of relativitywhatchamacallit, who defined “stupidity” as “Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.” I have told you time and again that the attempt to reach a peaceful agreement between the Jewish nation and the Arab nation regarding the Land of Israel has failed, and more than once (1947, 1993, 2005 to name three times). If you still hold that trying it once again would lead to a different result, my supply of words to you on the matter is simply exhausted.

                    “…with Israel more isolated in world opinion.”

                    It is the fate of the Jewish nation to be isolated. Nothing we do could change that. Any attempt at courting the world’s love will only lead to more forceful and painful spurning and hatred. I have accepted this basic, immutable truth about Jewish existence. You don’t have to accept it—it’s irrelevant to you as a non-Jew, after all—but you need to realize how tiresome your suggestions that stem from not accepting it have become. Your advice to Israel is disconnected to reality, as well as out of touch with what a growing portion of Israeli Jews think.

                    “But, as I like to say, better a brickwall than a brick to the side of the head.”

                    The Arab imperialists wish to throw a brick on the side of the head of every Israeli Jew, and conceding our lands to them only serves to convince them that there would be no loss and only gain in doing so. But keep treating our enemies as if they were gentlemen and rational actors instead of the modern-day Nazi-compatibles they are. And keep trying to appease them on Israel’s expense; that’ll really make them lay down their arms and leave the rest of the world alone.

                    Here ends this line of discussion. I’ve said all I can, anything more would be a waste of words.

                    • Inessa

                      ” Your advice to Israel is disconnected to reality, as well as out of touch with what a growing portion of Israeli Jews think.”

                      The growing portion is still a small minority in Israel. The majority of Israelis support the idea of a two state solution, even if the fruition of it is pie in the sky currently. I agree that that the far right are closer to reality than the far left, who seem delusional. However, it doesn’t serve a purpose to disregard all opposing opinions, even when they are held by the majority.

                  • Inessa

                    Jim, luckily, as they say 2 Jews, 3 opinions. You seem to enjoy picking losing battles though.

                    • Jim from Iowa

                      Better to engage, even with those of opposing points of view, than taking the Lil’ Abner’s Mammy Yokum approach of precluding any discussion by proclaiming: “I has spoke!”

        • tom

          it took me a few hours to get that ;-)

          “boys will be boys”…because the right therm would have been “goyim will be goyim” (no offense there)

      • Norman B.

        The Torah is at the very least contradictory. Ephraim and Menashe should be goyim, since Joseph married the daughter of an Egyptian priest of On. However, in the present case, the boy is likely to have had his bar mitzvah in a Conservative or Reform synagogue. The Orthodox establishment in Israel is certain not to recognize his Jewish status, but since I live in a country where religion and state are separated, I take a more liberal view. I would sooner welcome him into our ranks than the haredi rabbis in Brooklyn who have been molesting children and intimidating their families into silence.

        • unpluggged

          Can you please clarify what “your ranks” are? Those who reject Torah? So you aren’t Jews by definition.

          And, by the way, concerning your Ephraim & Menashe statement — prior to the reception of Torah there were no obligations and there were no Jewish people.

          • Inessa

            There are many Israelis who aren’t Jews by definition of the Beit Din, but are Jews as a people, as defined by The State of Israel. Hence, in Israel, there is a separation of religion and state, (to a degree) because of the definition of the Right of Return since the establishment of the State of Israel. It might be an incovenient truth, but in some ways, these Israelis have more of a claim to “second class citizens” than Israeli Arabs. They serve in the Army, but they can’t get married in Israel. Not only that, but many others, who actually are Jewish by Halacha, then have difficulties because the Beit Din has decided to become increasingly strict in getting these people to prove their Jewishness. On balance, I have to agree with Norman – these people are in the Israeli Army ranks for one, which is more than you can say for the sanctimonious Hareidim.

            • tom

              “Jews as a people defined by the State of Israel” – please tell me you’re joking, because this isn’t funny.
              I always said that it’s a contradiction to say “Arab Israeli”. The word itself “Israel” or more precise the name “Israel” was given to the Patriarch Jacob and therefor it’s being misused.
              There’s no such thing as an “Arab Israeli”, there’s maybe an Arab living in Israel and you know what? They themselves state (which is logical) that they are closer to their Palestinian borthers. They also celebrate “Nakba”-day (aka the nonsense day)
              So no, they are not “Jewish People” chosen by the State of Israel.
              And: The Torah and the sages will tell us who’s Jewish and who’s not. Surely not some phoney lawmakers, who decide that the state and religion are separated, the same applies to all the phoney “Kaballists” aka this Berg guy, who can’t tell us who’s Jewish and who’s not. (all his fellows, liberal, reform, you name it)

              He can not be “Bar Mitzvah”, because he’s not obligated in Mitzvot in the first place…first learn the Gemara, Shulchan Aruch and all the other books of the Oral Torah, then you might have a point to make.

              Unplugged already answered your other points.

              About your comment on molesting children, I think you should be ashamed of yourself for making such a comment.
              It’s like saying all Mexicans are drug smugglers or all Americans kill Indians, you get the point. Really unnecessary.

              • Inessa

                I wasn’t referring to Arab Israelis, I was referring to people of Jewish heritage, who are not Jewish by Halacha, but who have the right of return to Israel. I do believe in the notion that if there was Israel, there would not have been the Holocaust. I’m not saying I agree with the definition, but the fact is that there are hundreds of thousands of Olim in Israel, who are not Jewish by Halacha, but who were persecuted as Jews, or who just chose to make Aliya. I can guarantee that their Teudat Zeut classifies them as a Jew. It becomes an issue if they go to marry. That is, for all purposes and intents, they are classified as Jewish, and get officially documented as Jewish by the government of Israel, but not recognized (correctly) as Jewish by the Beit Din. So no, I’m not joking. They have full recognition as part of a Jewish people by the government of Israel, but not by the Religious authority. I didn’t make up the rules. However, as a Jew I did have an unpleasant run in with the Beit Din on Haifa. Apparently they had a problem with my documents from Australia (certified by a chabad rabbi), because they were in English!
                And I didn’t make a comment about molestation of children. But while on the topic, I don’t know about the US, but in Australia it had been an issue that had tarnished the whole community, because when it has occurred, the community rallied behind the perpetrator, hushed it up, assisted to smuggle the disgusting vermin to Israel, obstructed justice. Sadly, it was definitely the case that they believed that a different set of rules applied when the worst possible excuse for a human being happened to be sufficiently pious.

                • tom

                  ok, so I misunderstood that. Nevertheless, there’s still a HUGE difference between a “State”-defined Jew and a Halachic-Jew, the truth, I don’t care what the State defines them. They’re not Jewish. Just btw, I have two relatives, who married in our family in Israel, they went to a religious (I wouldn’t call it Orthodox) gyiur and they haven’t kept anything and therefor they (and their children) are not Jewish.
                  About the story in Australia: I have relatives there too and heard about the story. Since I don’t know a lot about what happened there, I can’t give an opinion about it. What I do know though, is that many communities (in NY for example) try to play it down, to quieten the accusers, etc. because of reputation and so on. I find that disturbing and wrong. If it was up to me, I would put these guys in front of a rabbinical court and if they were found guilty, hang their picture in public and warn everyone about it.

                  • Jim from Iowa

                    Your argument perfectly lays out why this matters to pro-Israel gentiles as well. Is Israel going to remain a secular, liberal democracy as its founders and the Israel constitution intended, or will religious Jews succeed in transforming Israel into something else? Is Israel a nation of laws or of men who decide ad hoc which “man-made” laws are to be superceded by “God’s law?” Who wins this battle is of vital interest to all lovers of Israel whoever they are and wherever they reside.

                    • Inessa

                      Unfortunately, Jim, the battle will remain as a stalemate, and the answer to your question is “neither”. There is some truth to the notion that Israel’s enemies keep it united and without the threat, it would implode. I like to think, optimistically that these eternal conflicts existing paradoxically, are also part of Israel’s uniqueness. They cannot be resolved because they are polar opposite, but only in Israel can they coexist without destroying each other. The idealistic secular views of Israel’s founders, would have disintegrated into a second Russian revolution, as many of them pushed for religion to be excluded altogether. On the other hand, the religious viewpoint would have condemned hundreds of thousands to their deaths if Israel had existed before the holocaust.
                      As a result, there are many things that balance precariously in Israel. To claim a right of return to Israel, one needs to have at least 1/4 Jewish blood from any direction (so not by religion), or even less if you can trace Jewish lineage on maternal line (so by religion). Non-Jewish existing spouse (male or female) of Jewish migrants are allowed full migration rights. Civil marriage and gay marriage outside of Israel is recognized, but you can’t get married in a civil marriage (officially) in Israel. My distant relative is fully Jewish. He became engaged to a girl whose maternal great grandmother wasn’t Jewish. All other family members were Jewish. She had all her rights of passage through a childhood of antisemitism, and was classed as “Jew” both in Russia and in Israel. She served in the army, completed her education, but when she wanted to get married, they had to go to Cyprus. Paradoxically, these “mixed” couples can get married legally in an orthodox church, but not in a civil marriage.
                      Reform and conservative rabbis and cantors do part of their training in Israel (ie their institutions are in Israel, and are recognized as as educational institutions, like yeshivot), but no religious Jewish authorities other than orthodox are recognized legally and conversion through them is not recognized. It’s maddening, but then, it’s also kind of awesome that they kind of decided to agree to disagree, and co-exist, like divorced parents who manage to keep it together for the sake of the children.

                    • ziontruth

                      “Your argument perfectly lays out why this matters to pro-Israel gentiles as well. Is Israel going to remain a secular, liberal democracy as its founders and the Israel constitution intended, … Who wins this battle is of vital interest to all lovers of Israel whoever they are and wherever they reside.”

                      Seems a lot of pro-Israel folks are “pro-Israel unless Israel does this or becomes that.” Must stay secular or I’m not pro-Israel anymore, must give up the “settlements” in Judea and Samaria or it doesn’t have my support, etc.

                      I keep being reminded of that passage from Pirkei Avot: “Any love that is dependent on a thing will vanish once the thing vanishes; love that is not dependent on a thing will never vanish.” Non-Jews have no obligation to love us Jews or our nation-state, only not to harm us or support those who do, but if you say you love us, then please, let’s not see an array of attaching strings at the end of that love.

                    • Halevy

                      Jim you said:

                      or will religious Jews succeed in transforming Israel into something else?

                      Israel was not meant to be a liberal democracy. For most of it’s history ancient Israel was a Torah-ocracy. It’s my belief it will be again in a decade or so. You’d be surprised at how Torah awareness is growing in Israel.

                      This should only increase support for Israel in the international area, not least because Xtian supporters want that. Some are already looking out for a red heifer :)

                  • Inessa

                    I think that was Norman’s point. He wasn’t saying all Haredim are child molesterers, but when it has happened, these communities have banded together and protected the perpetrator. These people are meant to be the guiding light and authorities of religious and spiritual matters. Instead, they seek to protect the rotting scum, because being otherwise observant, earns some brownie points, and apparently means their reputation should be protected. They also believe that the victim is “better off” if the whole thing is forgotten, so of course no counseling. This pattern has been repeated enough to confirm that this is their attitude.
                    There are other examples, which are not as bad, such as a well known brothel in Melbourne having a separate entrance for religious orthodox men!

              • Inessa

                For the record, the people of Jewish heritage, who are not jewish per se have “Jew” in their Teudat Zeut, the Arab Israelis have “Arab”. The Arabs are recognized as Israelis, but not as Jews.

                • tom

                  I’m not sure about that…having “Jewish” as a default value in your passport/id…I would have to check that.

                  • Inessa

                    Definitely the default ID for the person who is of Jewish heritage, but not their spouse, if they are completely not Jewish. I don’t know the exact statistic, but I read somewhere that over 50% of migrants from the former Soviet Union since 1989, are not Jewish by halacha. Again, I don’t know the exact numbers, but we’re talking hundreds of thousands. Some of them have gone through giur, but certainly not the majority. However, they serve in the army, and form an integral part of Israel’s society. Personally, I tend to weep a little every time I come to Israel and realise how much more Russian it becomes, but it is what it is.

        • ziontruth

          “The Torah is at the very least contradictory.”

          The Torah is not meant to be read by itself, privately interpreted. When one reads it with its authoritative Orthodox commentaries, all the contradictions vanish.

          “Ephraim and Menashe should be goyim, since Joseph married the daughter of an Egyptian priest of On.”

          The Midrash says she converted before the marriage, but in any case, this issue is less applicable because it was before the giving of the Torah. Similarly, Rashi says the Twelve Tribes (the sons of Jacob) married Canaanite women whom they had required to relinquish idolatry.

          “…but since I live in a country where religion and state are separated, I take a more liberal view.”

          My taking of a less liberal view is not because Israel is a theocracy—it isn’t—but because of the Reform and Conservative movements’ very troubling record in keeping American Jewry going. It’s been hemorrhaging Jews to assimilation (intermarriage), which, contrary to the stance that “we’ll consider them Jews anyway,” invariably get jettisoned out of the Jewish collective. Only the Orthodox have sustained positive demography.

    • Inessa

      He is not Jewish by Orthodox Halacha, but by the Progressive Movement (AKA Reform, AKA Liberal) he can consider himself Jewish. In Israel, there is only Orthodox Beit Din, so he wouldn’t be considered Jewish, by the religious authority. However, he would be considered Jewish as far “Right of Return”. For years, Sochnut have actively campaigned to encourage Jewish people, especially young people from Ukraine, Russia, Moldavia etc to migrate to Israel, regardless of their Halachik Jewish status. People like this boy are included in the Jewish section of Israel’s citizens statistics.
      I guess one positive is that this boy may consider converting properly when he grows up.

    • ziontruth

      “With all due respect, this boy’s not
      Jewish and his bar mitzvah is worth, let’s say it in a nice way, NOTHING.”

      Could be worse, Tom, could be worse. How much worse? Look up “Bark Mitzvah.” It would be screamingly funny if it weren’t so abjectly sad.

      • tom

        wow, this is insane. First I laughed very very hard, but then I found this article:

        Bark Mitzvahs for Dogs

        and I thought to myself: “these people are out of the friggin’ mind!!!! This can’t be true! Dogs? In Judaism? For religious purposes?”

        I have nothing to add. Maybe the women singing, microphone on Shabbat, “Gospel”-like singing, men and women sitting together, women reading from the Torah, woman-rabbi, you get the point – this is all *almost* nothing compared to this…just very very INSANE. American stuff I guess, “the land of the free”, right?

        How about a dog rabbi? Like the “holy cows” in Hinduism?

  • Katya Segura

    As someone who is converting Reform, I understand and accept that there are people who will not agree with me or assent to my definitions. I do not, however, understand or accept that anybody should speak or behave insultingly or abusively towards me.

    Expressions of hostility to a young Reform or Conservative Jewish boy, and the use of phrases like “Goys will be Goys” are frighteningly close to bigotry, if not, in some cases, outright racism. You have the right to your opinion, but please do not cross the line into abuse of those you disagree with. Thank you.

    • Norman B.

      Agreed. Not long ago, we read on Shavuot Ruth’s declaration “Your people shall be my people and your God, my God.” That is what the boy effectively declared when he mounted the bimah on his bar mitzvah. Furthermore, the discovery of DNA testing should remove the main objection to patrilineal descent.

      • ziontruth

        Katya Segura,

        “I do not, however, understand or accept that anybody should speak or behave insultingly or abusively towards me.”

        They do wrong who insult or abusive Jews who hold to Reform or Conservative. It is the ideologies themselves, the Reform and Conservative movements and not those who are entrapped in them, that should be attacked.

        Norman B.,

        “Not long ago, we read on Shavuot Ruth’s declaration ‘Your people shall be my people and your God, my God.’ ”

        But this mere declaration did not suffice to convert Ruth to Judaism. In the passage where Boaz tells her to wash her clothes, Rashi comments that it means he told her to cleanse herself of the filth of the worship of false gods. Torah Judaism has always held that the worship of HaShem is according to His rules in the Torah and not by one’s own ideas.

        “Furthermore, the discovery of DNA testing should remove the main objection to patrilineal descent.”

        Why should it? Since when did genetics ever play a role in determining Jewishness? Not even in Biblical times, for as you have mentioned above, Efraim and Menasheh were already brimming with exotic Egyptian genes. If you make it all about genes, then you’re left without an answer to those anti-Zionists who say the Arabs here are more “genetically worthy” of this land than a “white European Jew from Brooklyn.” Anti-Zionists are filthy anti-white racists; surely you don’t want to hover too close to their genetics-based view?

        The Halachah has set the definition of Jewishness in stone: Either matrilineal descent or halachic conversion. Although a lot of Jews recently have attempted to accept the children of a Jewish man and non-Jewish woman as Jews de facto, in reality those have always ended up being complete non-Jews. Mendelssohn’s descendants are an early case in point. Abraham and Isaac both refused to have their sons marry Canaanite women because the influence of the wife on the husband is too great to withstand alone, so it would lead them to worshiping idols (which is what happened with Ishmael and Esau). The sons of Jacob could marry Canaanite women because they had each other to make sure no one was going astray. But Jews today are in danger of spiritual perdition except in the Noah’s Arks of Orthodox Judaism.

        • Norman B.

          What is matrilineal descent if not genetics?

          • ziontruth

            “What is matrilineal descent if not genetics?”

            Probably, insurance that a child born to a pogrom rape is still within the Jewish collective, otherwise we’d have lost much more than the many we still did.

            Matrilineal descent might be argued as proving Jewishness is a genetic affair if it were the only criterion. But conversion, which is open to anyone regardless of genes, means Jewishness is not a genetic affair. Granted, it would be the same if it were patrilineal descent + conversion, but that’s not what the Halachah says, so it’s a moot point.

            • Katya Segura

              ZionTruth – I disagree with a lot of what you say, but I just wanted to thank you for saying it openly and respectfully. xx

        • Halevy

          With matrilineal descent only too, Jewishness vanishes in the third or fourth or sometimes even second generation. What worked then may not be good for today. Mass media and such influence as TV, movies did not exist then.

        • Halevy

          so it would lead them to worshiping idols (which is what happened with Ishmael and Esau).

          Yishmael did Tshuva, Esau didn’t.

    • Shy Guy

      the use of phrases like “Goys will be Goys” are frighteningly close to bigotry, if not, in some cases, outright racism.

      Since you’re quoting me, all I did was play on the phrase “boys will be boys”.

      However, if you think that “goy” automatically insinuates a negative term for a non-Jew, then you are mistaken, especially for Hebrew speakers here.

      And if you think that “goyim” collectively are a “race”, well, good luck with that.

      But while I’m here, I will tell you that what you yourself are converting to is not to Judaism and you will not be a member of our nation. But that’s your personal decision to delude yourself as you wish.

      Maybe some day you’ll move up the ladder, as indeed many have done who were sincere in their journeys to becoming Jews, when they realized that the Reform and Conservative movements are 200/150 year old abandonments of Judaism and nothing more.

      • Jim from Iowa

        Lord knows, you are capable of saying offensive things. But as a goy myself, I didn’t find the play on words offensive in any way. I do suppose that the term “goyim” as used by English speakers can have a pejorative connotation. But, to me, goyim is a funny-sounding word and seems to be used in good-natured ribbing for the most part.

        It is unseemly to suggest, as you did in your response to Katya, that Jews are superior to non-Jews, and that Jews who follow other traditions than yours are not even worthy of the name. That is offensive. But maybe that was more of your “edgy” humor. You do seem to have problems with those outside your group of the “selected” ones.

        • Shy Guy

          I do suppose that the term “goyim” as used by English speakers can have a pejorative connotation.

          It really does depend on the context very often.

          But, to me, goyim is a funny-sounding word and seems to be used in good-natured ribbing for the most part.

          Example :)

          It is unseemly to suggest, as you did in your response to Katya, that Jews are superior to non-Jews,

          Where did I say such a thing?

          and that Jews who follow other traditions than yours are not even worthy of the name.

          What name? The one they stole from us, appending the word “Judaism” on their false movement? It is as false as North Korea proclaiming itself to be a “Democratic Peoples Republic.”

          That is offensive.

          As usual with you, facts bother you something awful.

          You do seem to have problems with those outside your group of the “selected” ones.

          I’m doing fine. You constantly seem to be the one with problems.

          • Jim from Iowa

            Maybe I should take it as a sign of progressive thought on your part that you called Madonna a “pop tart” instead of a “pop Shiksa.” (works better as a pun, as well).

            Employing “climbing the ladder” imagery certainly suggests superiority when some are placed on a higher rung than others based on their religious affiliation. Or did I read too much into that, too?

            • Shy Guy

              “pop Shiksa.”

              RACIST!

              Employing “climbing the ladder” imagery certainly suggests superiority when some are placed on a higher rung than others based on their religious affiliation. Or did I read too much into that, too?

              I view truth as superior to falsehood in every sphere in life, whether religion, science, business, media, etc.

              The fact that we disagree on what the truth is on certain topics is a given. But I will not back down or be politically correct when, as I see it in this case, someone comes along and proclaims that she’s soon going to be part of the family.

              BTW, my climbing the ladder reference was referring to converts who often initially wanted to become sincere Jews out of their love for what they misunderstood was G-d’s Torah and will but stumbled into the reform and conservative clubs unaware of their contradiction by definition to Judaism.

              • Jim from Iowa

                Arguing a point until you’re blue in the face — which of the 613 mitzvot is that one?

                • Shy Guy

                  Why are you picking on yourself?

      • tom

        In Ivrit we say: “you took my words out of my keyboard” ;-) or
        “הוצאת לי את המילים מהמקלדת”

        I really have nothing to add. Shy Guy, well done! *two thumbs up*

        To Katya Segura
        Shy Guy wrote:

        Maybe some day you’ll move up the ladder, as indeed many have done who were sincere in their journeys to becoming Jews, when they realized that the Reform and Conservative movements are 200/150 year old abandonments of Judaism and nothing more.

        Remember these words, as the problem with Conservative/Reform conversions is very clear: People who convert through these movements are not in search for the truth or convert because they realized that Hashem is the Creator of the world and the He gave the Jews the Torah. And very important: His mitzvot are binding and can’t be changed.
        The truth hurts sometimes, but that’s life.

        • Norman B.

          First, how do you know what motivates people who convert through Conservative/Reform Judaism? Second, if the mitzvot are binding, shouldn’t we restore animal sacrifice, which predated Solomon’s Temple?

          • Shy Guy

            First, how do you know what motivates people who convert through Conservative/Reform Judaism?

            I agree with your diagreement with Tom on this matter.

            There are a 1000 reasons why this or that non-Jew/gentile/goy (something for everybody) would “convert” to Reform or Conservative.

            Second, if the mitzvot are binding, shouldn’t we restore animal sacrifice, which predated Solomon’s Temple?

            Once the Temple was built, sacrifices could not be brought elsewhere.

            Rebuild the Temple and watch PETA stomp their feet and gnash their teeth.

  • Let him Box Dickie

    Let him go box with Dickie Silverstein, who insists all Jews are fascists and racists.

    • ziontruth

      Stop it, will ya? Dicksilver is scum, no argument, but it’s enough to pray for him (to be miraculously brought to his senses) or leave the matter of retribution to a Jewish court of law or (eventually) to God; more than that is overreach.

  • Katya Segura

    The reasons why a person might convert to Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform) are probably as varied and individual as the people themselves. It is probably useless to make any broad generalizations in this regard.

    My theological beliefs are rather unorthodox (in both senses of the word), and I understand that they do not qualify me to fall within the fold of “Orthodox Judaism”. I do, however, feel called, very deeply, to walk the path of “Israel”, of “wrestling with G-d”, and to strive to be a “Light unto the Nations”. This is why I feel that my path is a Judaic one (however unconventional), and that my soul is, in some basic sense, Jewish.

    I fully understand that other people are going to disagree with me, on many topics, not least the nature of “G-d” and the proper way to connect to Her/Him/It. That’s all cool – it’s par for the course in life. I also appreciate the irony involved in begging others for “recognition” of my Jewish “insider status” when “The Jew” has been the perpetual “outsider” in so many historical settings. I am not looking for you approval, just as you are not looking for mine. So it is best simply to proceed with mutual personal respect and an acknowledgement of our ideological differences.

    I do understand that the word “Goy” has no pejorative connotations in Hebrew in and of itself, by the way. In English, however, it is often used as a term of religious, ethnic or racial disparagement. (And yes, I know that “Jews” aren’t a “race”, and, indeed, that “race” is a dubious concept in the first place.) I got the pun on “boys will be boys” – I’m not daft and I’m not humourless – but that expression seemed to me to be a crude quasi-ethnic negative generalization. I’m glad to accept that it wasn’t meant that way, but maybe consider how you would feel if somebody wrote something vile like, I don’t know….”you can take the n***er out of the jungle……” That’s kind of how it felt to me. Maybe I was being oversensitive.

    Again, I would like to thank everybody for explaining their views so clearly and explicitly. It has made this a safe space to tangle in some very thorny and delicate issues. Kx

Israellycool is testing Sovevos. Click for more info.