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Poll: US Jews uninterested in shul
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1143498880827&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull ^

Posted on 04/20/2006 4:10:00 PM PDT by avile

Poll: US Jews uninterested in shul By GEORGE CONGER

Jews ranked second to last on the table of weekly worship attendance with less than one in six attending services, beating out only those who report no religious affiliation.

"This is a statistical cri de coeur from our people," Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles told The Jerusalem Post. "If things continue as they are we will produce a generation of Jews who will be irretrievably lost."

In a series of interviews conducted from 2002 to 2005, Gallup interviewed 11,000 adult Americans and asked, "How often do you attend church or synagogue - at least once a week, almost every week, about once a month, seldom, or never?"

Approximately 44 percent reported attending worship services weekly or almost weekly, the April 14 report stated. The results varied among religious groups and denominations with almost two-thirds of Mormons, conservative Protestants and Pentecostal Protestants reporting they attended weekly services.

Roman Catholics and members of the mainline Protestant churches - Lutherans, Methodists and Presbyterians - varied in attendance between 43% and 45%. Episcopalians came last among Christian denominations, reporting only 32% weekly attendance, while Jews reported only 15%.

Rabbi Gary P. Zola, executive director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, told the Post the survey was "very accurate snapshot" of worship attendance, but it did not accurately gauge the vitality of the American Jewish community.

He noted the survey did not distinguish among the different strands of American Judaism and stated that "you could find a different statistic" among the Orthodox than those drawn from "the more liberal-leaning wing."

"All of us who are concerned with the spiritual and religious dimension of the American Jew ought to be concerned about these figures," he said, but to "jump from that statistic to say that American Jewry is ill" was false.

"There is great vitality in American Jewry, but it is not being expressed" solely by worship attendance, Zola argued. "There are many different ways that you can legitimately wish to express yourself as a Jew and be involved in various aspects of the Jewish civilization, the Jewish communal experience," he said. "It is not possible to say the only measure of your commitment is synagogue attendance."

Zola noted that what the survey highlighted was the historic problem that synagogues were "not functioning in a way that is bringing in increasing numbers of American Jews that belong to the synagogue on a regular basis."

Wolpe was less sanguine. "Judaism requires a countercultural commitment," he argued. "If Jews do not develop a major, unshakeable passion for Jewish life and learning, observance will dwindle, as this study demonstrates. The results are a spiritual and cultural tragedy for the Jewish people and for America."

However decline was not inevitable, Wolpe argued. "At Sinai Temple we have instituted services that draw 1,000 people on a Shabbat morning and once a month, over 1,000 young people to Friday Night Live. It is through a combination of education, music and passionate preaching and teaching. There is no single, successful formula, but the best Jewish minds of our generation need support and aid in reversing this crisis," he said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: americanjews; culture; israel
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1 posted on 04/20/2006 4:10:02 PM PDT by avile
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To: avile
In case I'm not the only one who didnt know waht Shul meant. >> shul (shʊl, shūl) pronunciation n. Judaism. A synagogue.
2 posted on 04/20/2006 4:12:15 PM PDT by gondramB (You can always tell the pioneers by the arrows in their backs - Country music saying)
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To: avile

What is happening is that the non-Orthodox strains of the religion have been given over to PC-ism and secularism. Just like in any other religion, the strains that stand for nothing ultimately give their adherents no reason to devote themselves to it.


3 posted on 04/20/2006 4:13:15 PM PDT by thoughtomator (That new ring around Uranus is courtesy of the IRS)
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To: avile

OEY VEY!


4 posted on 04/20/2006 4:15:55 PM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: thoughtomator

Fear not...reform jews have a birth rate lowe tha nmost western europeans. Within 100 years there will be no more reforms jews left. Reform judiasm will be seen in the 6000 year history of judiasm as a failed curious experiment..worthy of only a footnote.

I saw somewhere that 100 reform jews in 3-4 generations wil result in less than 20 members, while 100 orthodox jews in 3-4 generations will result in something like 2000 memebers


5 posted on 04/20/2006 4:16:29 PM PDT by georgia2006
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To: thoughtomator

A pretty convincing answer to the question: How come so many Jews vote for liberal Democrats?


6 posted on 04/20/2006 4:18:11 PM PDT by A Balrog of Morgoth (With fire, sword, and stinging whip I drive the RINOs in terror before me.)
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To: A Balrog of Morgoth

Within a generation, conservative Jews will outnumber left-wing Jews by the difference in birth rates alone.


7 posted on 04/20/2006 4:20:51 PM PDT by thoughtomator (That new ring around Uranus is courtesy of the IRS)
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To: georgia2006; thoughtomator; A Balrog of Morgoth



1 word, INTERMARRIAGE. Hey, people fall in love.


8 posted on 04/20/2006 4:30:37 PM PDT by LauraleeBraswell
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To: LauraleeBraswell
1 word, INTERMARRIAGE. Hey, people fall in love

I wasn't talking about just Jews. I suspect you'd find that, in general*, you'll find that the more secular a group of people is, the more likely they are to vote for the local socialist, err, Democrat.



*Yes, I know there are a atheist/agnostic freepers who's conservatism is beyond reproach.
9 posted on 04/20/2006 4:43:15 PM PDT by A Balrog of Morgoth (With fire, sword, and stinging whip I drive the RINOs in terror before me.)
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To: avile
I have never understood why so many Jews are agnostic or athiest. I just does not make sense to me. Can someone explain it I have read or thought of a few things. To follow the religion truthfully takes alot of time and pious ritual. Many lived under communist or socialist governments. After the Holocaust some did not want to be associated as a group so they gave up their religion.
10 posted on 04/20/2006 5:31:09 PM PDT by therut
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To: therut

There have always been a lot of Jewish intellectuals throughout history. Unfortunately, over the past two centuries, being an intellectual has become synonymous with embracing socialism, which is atheistic.

There's a lot of Jews who are torn between being proud of their intellectual lineage (from Spinozza to Einstein)and wanting to be viewed as thoroughly modern thinkers, which means rejecting religion.

It's sort of like cutting off your nose to spite your face.


11 posted on 04/20/2006 5:54:13 PM PDT by The Fop
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To: therut
It's hard to explain. If you take the ACLU, the majority of its national and state leadership is comprised of secular Jews.

They are working to support radical Muslims, who want to destroy them. It doesn't make sense.
12 posted on 04/20/2006 5:55:18 PM PDT by BW2221
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To: avile
Its liberal Jews who don't go to shul. I suspect a rabbi preaching liberal sermons is as exciting as a Democratic politician delivering liberal bromides. Why bother if you can get the same thing outside shul? Liberalism cum Judaism has no real future.

(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")

13 posted on 04/20/2006 5:58:12 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: avile

I go to shul, even though they all know I ain't Jewish...by birth or conversion that is.


14 posted on 04/20/2006 6:02:54 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: onedoug

So, if you don't mind me asking, why do you go?


15 posted on 04/20/2006 6:43:14 PM PDT by MC Miker G
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To: A Balrog of Morgoth
A pretty convincing answer to the question: How come so many Jews vote for liberal Democrats?

They worship the golden calf...

16 posted on 04/20/2006 7:07:16 PM PDT by Sir Francis Dashwood (LET'S ROLL!)
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To: therut

In Eastern Europe where the majority of Jews lived 100 years ago there was various levels of observance. However , the proportion of fervently religious was significantly greater than now in America.
Unfortunately whne many Jews came to America in the Ellis Island era, very few of those very observant came. Basically the least observant came at that wave and the current American Orthodox community is largely the survivors of Hitler.
The former are liberal irreligious and marched for civil rights but didn't rally against Hitler or for Israel.
The latter are the opposite.
The fromer voted for Gore the latter for Bush


17 posted on 04/20/2006 7:34:15 PM PDT by avile
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To: avile
"This is a statistical cri de coeur from our people," Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles told The Jerusalem Post. "If things continue as they are we will produce a generation of Jews who will be irretrievably lost."

David Wolpe is the same modern thinker who told his congregation, 5 years ago on Passover, "The Exodus never happened."

18 posted on 04/20/2006 7:38:39 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 106-107)
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To: 1st-P-In-The-Pod; A_Conservative_in_Cambridge; af_vet_rr; agrace; ahayes; Alexander Rubin; ...
FRmail me to be added or removed from this Judaic/pro-Israel/Russian Jewry ping list.

Warning! This is a high-volume ping list.

19 posted on 04/20/2006 7:39:56 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 106-107)
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To: Alouette

No wonder there's a problem, if that's coming out of the mouths of the religious leaders.


20 posted on 04/20/2006 7:48:28 PM PDT by Alexander Rubin (Octavius - You make my heart glad building thus, as if Rome is to be eternal.)
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To: georgia2006
If the shoe was on the other foot and someone was talking about you the way you talk about these folks. You would be upset.

Ignorance piled on ignorance does not create wisdom.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

21 posted on 04/20/2006 8:13:38 PM PDT by dalight
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To: MC Miker G
Because I so register that concept of One God and Torah.

I love the univeralism expressd in Deuteronomy 4:19 and Malachi 1:11.

I love the sense of reason, which poses no conflict between a universe designed by God, and that allowded to develop through natural process. Even evolution, though yet unproved.

I love that God with all my strength and with all my mind and with all my heart. Yet that doesn't mean that I don't argue with Him, sometimes seemingly constantly.

I went to a conservative shul for awhile, but found them too politically liberal for me for the most part. Now I attend in a more orthodox setting, though do admit to some twinge at being separated from women. Though as Dennis Prager says, "If it comes to my concentrating on God or a woman's legs, a woman's legs will win out nearly every time."

So I think I know that answer, though I might argue with God some more....

My mom really did this for me. I used to church-hop with her throughout Christendom all my young life. I even sang in choirs therein - sometimes for pay.

Though I've often wondered why she didn't take me to a synagogue, where thankfully I finally convinced myself to go.

I suspect that might have been the end, and yet always the beginning of her search too.

22 posted on 04/20/2006 8:15:05 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: dalight

I had to reread the post and I still don't see why you are upset at this freeper. Why should they be ashamed. Look around, liberal reform Jews, just like liberal Christians or anyone else are not having children in the requisite numbers to reproduce themselves. Maybe you read something there that I am not seeing????


23 posted on 04/20/2006 8:24:06 PM PDT by antceecee (Hey AG Gonzales! ENFORCE IMMIGRATION LAWS NOW!!!)
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To: MC Miker G

It is becoming increasingly common to find non-Jews in attendance at orthodox synagogues all over.

Most think of themselves as 'Noahides'.

Orthodox services are public prayers and Torah reading. Music, singing (other than tunes used for prayers) and sermons are not central features.

Since everyone walks to shul and stays somewhere nearby, it's very easy to make friends by just tagging along if you're bold enough.

Most times there are classes on Sabbath afternoons suitable for those with little background.

It can be very much an enchanting experience.


24 posted on 04/20/2006 8:34:01 PM PDT by hlmencken3 (Originalist on the the 'general welfare' clause? No? NOT an originalist!)
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To: goldstategop

Aren't most Israels either "reform" Jews or secularists?


25 posted on 04/20/2006 8:40:21 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: avile

Sadly, for most Jews I know, being Jewish is more of an ethnicity or a club than a religion. The most devout Jew I know (outside of FR), is a Catholic.


26 posted on 04/20/2006 8:44:17 PM PDT by Antoninus (I don't vote for liberals, regardless of party affiliation.)
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To: BW2221
They are working to support radical Muslims, who want to destroy them. It doesn't make sense.

Yes it does. Their religion is socialism and they hate Americans more than they hate Islam. They figure they can take out Islam at their leisure after they've destroyed America.
27 posted on 04/20/2006 8:46:45 PM PDT by Antoninus (I don't vote for liberals, regardless of party affiliation.)
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To: avile

I schlep my kids at least twice a month. It's all about family and community. A good rabbi is a good draw. Ours has grown from 300 members to 300 families in seven years. Leadership is key.


28 posted on 04/21/2006 3:30:14 AM PDT by timsbella (Mark Steyn for Prime Minister of Canada!)
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To: Alouette
"David Wolpe is the same modern thinker who told his congregation, 5 years ago on Passover, "The Exodus never happened."

Jeeze Louise, an episcopagan rabbi! Just like "priests" and "ministers" who say Genesis was a myth, Jesus was just "a nice guy" and a "revolutionary", that Moses didn't really receive the Law from the Lord on Mt. Sinai, etc., etc., etc. Rhretorical question - why be a rabbi (or priest or minister for that matter) if you don't believe? Intellectually dishonest to say the least. "Reform" Judaism is just as spiritually bankrupt as its "liberal Christian" counterparts. People need bread and these yahoos give them stones.
29 posted on 04/21/2006 5:43:00 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (Illegals - taking the rights Americans don't have - tell them No Tu Puede)
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To: georgia2006
Fear not...reform jews have a birth rate lowe tha nmost western europeans. Within 100 years there will be no more reforms jews left. Reform judiasm will be seen in the 6000 year history of judiasm as a failed curious experiment..worthy of only a footnote.

Except that Reform Jews are most open to converts and mixed marriages. When my wife converted, we started in the conservative synagogue, but were not exactly welcome there, because neither Patti nor I cut our connections with her Christian parents and sisters.

The Reform synagogue has been much more welcoming to us. And to other converts, as well.

30 posted on 04/21/2006 5:47:04 AM PDT by Celtjew Libertarian
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To: onedoug
I went to a conservative shul for awhile, but found them too politically liberal for me for the most part. Now I attend in a more orthodox setting, though do admit to some twinge at being separated from women. Though as Dennis Prager says, "If it comes to my concentrating on God or a woman's legs, a woman's legs will win out nearly every time."

The two are not mutually exclusive. As in, "Wow, God did some good work on that one."

31 posted on 04/21/2006 5:49:09 AM PDT by Celtjew Libertarian
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To: antceecee
First, this post was about attendance at weekly services. The leap to political view points and birthrates is completely unsubstantiated by this person's offhand comments. But, the contempt for Reform Judaism is unmistakable. Millions of people with good minds are praying for something like Reform Islam to show up and save the world.

The same contemptible statements could be made about white people as a whole. Such statements are being tossed around by several groups. But, prosperity is the more common cause of lowering birth rates as well as nearly 100 years of developing programs that focus on reducing the need to have many children as a "retirement plan." This trend, social security, the disintegration of the nuclear family, birth control, no fault divorce, two income families are all sources of reduced birth rates for all but the most established (2nd Generation + ) demographic groups in the US. The pews in Catholic churches are not filled with white families with 12 and 13 kids like they were even 20 years ago. So don't lay this at the foot of one congregation of Judaism and make all sorts of generalizations which have nothing to do with anything.

Its not about race, its not about religion as such, its about demographics and US values and politics.

Reform Judaism today is decidedly liberal, but you can find many congregations of all faiths lost in the woes of 20th Century moral relativism. Each person in the US has seen the failure of so many "experiments" of the 2nd half of the 20th Century.

But, even these failures have brought new truth and enduring successes. Its just that now is a time to do this learning.. to separate the discovery of the dignity and contribution of women in a modern society which is enriching and life affirming from the evil of death by "choice" and the denigration of the dignity of men and the denial of the great wonders of the institutions known as motherhood and fatherhood.

The "Great Society" turned out not to help the poor as much as it was the engine of the destruction of the dignity and the community of all who were sucked in by it.

And the rise of Secularism as an Ideal and its placement as the official "religion" of the US by courts attempting to extract a separation between Church and State have also been exposed as a great and enduring mistake.

But, now we know why. Admittedly the price was high. But, moving forward, each Religious community needs to reflect and learn. So don't look down your nose at Reform Jews. Try looking in your own mirror. They will wonder more in the desert, or perhaps they will find their way. This is all in God's hands.

32 posted on 04/21/2006 5:53:44 AM PDT by dalight
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To: avile
There's a problem with this, however. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Christian observance -- at least in many denominations -- is more centered around the church than home.

In Judaism, a lot of religious ceremony is done at home. Except for the high holidays, attendance at Synagogue isn't demanded. Lighting the Sabbath candles and the Pesach Seder are home-based traditions and are the centers of those observances.

There's also a smaller bias, in that there are Jews who live in communities, where there is no active congregation. Where I grew up, there was a synagogue, but after the last rabbi left in 1969 and the last cantor around 1974, services were irregular. Some communities have a handful of Jews with no temple available to go to. That's not a complications Christians in the U.S. have.
33 posted on 04/21/2006 5:56:34 AM PDT by Celtjew Libertarian
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To: RobbyS
Most Israelis have some religious observance. About 10% are secularists and another 10% are orthodox observant. The rest are somewhere in the middle. So the situation in Israel is the reverse of the situation that obtains among American Jews - the difference being Israelis can't escape being Jews and reminders of one's Jewishness is reinforced not only by government religious institutions run by orthodox parties and society at large but also by the deep hostility of Israel's enemies. Very few Israelis would convert or abandon Judaism outright if offered the chance. As it is, the prospects of Jewish survival in Israel are better even with all the problems that Israel has, than it is for Jews in the Diaspora where most of them face problems stemming from assimilation and the secular nature of Western societies that makes it harder to keep their identity and transmit Jewish values to future generations. Jews in some respects had a lot easier time of it when they were under constant persecution. Freedom offers more security but it also poses a considerable challenge in keep faith with one's ancestors.

(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")

34 posted on 04/21/2006 5:59:37 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Sir Francis Dashwood

And you should see the size of their calves!!!

(Hmmph! How did this become a Hillary-bashing thread?)


35 posted on 04/21/2006 6:18:11 AM PDT by dangus
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To: timsbella

>> I schlep... <<
Yes, we have an authentic Jew on FR.
hehehe.
I miss NY...


36 posted on 04/21/2006 6:21:28 AM PDT by dangus
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To: dalight

>> But, the contempt for Reform Judaism is unmistakable. Millions of people with good minds are praying for something like Reform Islam to show up and save the world. <<

Well, that's because unreformed Islam is pure evil. As a Catholic in a very religiously mixed state university, I noticed, the more religious a Jewish person was, or even a Hindu, the more likely I was to get along with them. The LESS religious a Muslim was, the more tolerable they were.


37 posted on 04/21/2006 6:25:01 AM PDT by dangus
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To: goldstategop

Ala "Fiddler on a Roof." "Tradition " is something that the "modern" world despises because it does establish a separate identity which goes counter to the dominent culture. This culture denounces conformity to any standard except its own, and that standard changes from generation to generation, so that we are constantly called upon to reject our own parents and grandparents.


38 posted on 04/21/2006 6:27:25 AM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: dangus
I don't know that unreformed Islam is pure evil. I know that Islam is capable of pure evil however and that the words and the text of the Koran are the source of this evil. I have met Muslims that are quite observant yet are also sweet and gentle people just the same. But also remember, that in the story of David, King Saul was cast aside for refusing to commit an atrocity. Where as David, an adulterer and murderer is known as "Beloved" by god.

The reform movement as it was created out of the "Pittsburg Platform" slips the webbing of much of the "form" of Orthodox practice but attempts to point directly to the nature of God and mans relationship with god. In that they have cut free of the writings, they are subject to wondering.. and struggling. But, those who worship books and words and forget to worship god are also just as subject to the vicissitudes of wondering and struggling. Its the nature of the problem, finding, accepting and living in God. Its not easy.

In that you see the light of god in people who commit themselves to god.. and find them attractive is not surprising. In that Secular Jews like Secular Christians seem to be lost, selfish and empty is also not a big surprise.

Just understand, that the sample of impressions and individual contacts is viewed through a lens of our own filters and desires so that we miss much that doesn't reaffirm our prior expectations.

39 posted on 04/21/2006 6:47:19 AM PDT by dalight
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To: Celtjew Libertarian

"In Judaism, a lot of religious ceremony is done at home. Except for the high holidays, attendance at Synagogue isn't demanded. Lighting the Sabbath candles and the Pesach Seder are home-based traditions and are the centers of those observances."

You make an excellent point. And in fact, if faith is in the home it will endure. Going to your place of worship and having no carry over on the days in between makes attendance a moot point. These are the traditions children remember and hold on to when they are adults.


40 posted on 04/21/2006 6:57:56 AM PDT by timsbella (Mark Steyn for Prime Minister of Canada!)
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To: dangus

Shared values makes for good friends. I think that's why Freeps works so well.


41 posted on 04/21/2006 6:59:28 AM PDT by timsbella (Mark Steyn for Prime Minister of Canada!)
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To: The Fop
There have always been a lot of Jewish intellectuals throughout history. Unfortunately, over the past two centuries, being an intellectual has become synonymous with embracing socialism, which is atheistic.

There's a lot of Jews who are torn between being proud of their intellectual lineage (from Spinozza to Einstein)and wanting to be viewed as thoroughly modern thinkers, which means rejecting religion.

The ancient Israelites were intellectuals, but their intellectuality was manifest in the study of Torah, the highest possible human endeavor. Similarly, even during the current Exile there have been times and places where Jews excelled in secular learning even while remaining true to Torah. However, the "enlightenment" changed all that. Jewishness is now interpreted as free-thinking dissent against chr*stian religiosity, and ancient Jewish rejection of paganism has been transmuted into rejection of G-d.

Spinoza and the other famous Jewish intellectuals of recent history were heretics (why Einstein is treated as some sort of Gedol HaDor amazes me). True Jewish intellectuality still exists and always will exist among the true Torah Sages and their students. Unfortunately, this world is very insular and largely invisible to the outside world.

42 posted on 04/21/2006 7:22:16 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Vayavo'u Venei-Yisra'el betokh hayam bayabbashah, vehamayim lahem chomah miymiynam umissemo'lam!)
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To: Alouette
David Wolpe is the same modern thinker who told his congregation, 5 years ago on Passover, "The Exodus never happened."

Of course. The Exodus is a myth out of that "chr*stian" Bible, and "everyone knows" that the essence of Jewishness is to deny "chr*stian" myths. And people wonder why G-d allows Holocaust-denial to exist.

How was your Pesach, Alouette? I hope it was happy, holy, and kosher.

43 posted on 04/21/2006 7:25:42 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Vayavo'u Venei-Yisra'el betokh hayam bayabbashah, vehamayim lahem chomah miymiynam umissemo'lam!)
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To: thoughtomator

Basically yes. But there is more to it than that. In part its because they took it too far. Many Jews don't speak Hebrew or read Hebrew but the services are in Hebrew, so that makes it difficult. Also the liturgy is a bit arcane, repetitive. It's customary to do it a certain way but I'm not so sure people find relevency in repeating the same phrases.

Liberal judaism has become practically Kumbaya sessions, it makes a mockery. Orthodox judaism is too foreign for this young generation of Jews. Some kind of neo-orthodox revival needs to come about. I'm not a rabbi so I couldn't say exactly how, but impo I'd cut out a lot of the repetition stuff and do more Talmudic give and take. Open the floor to debate on topics. It would take a learned, patient man to do it.

The fact is that much of the practice was put to format 700-1200 years ago... but Judaism itself is much older. There is no telling for sure how Moses prayed. Later passages from David, Solomon and others were added to the daily prayer. Maybe it needs to mix it up a little.

I saw on CNN (sorry, I was in a hotel room they didn't have fox news) that there is an Orthodox Rabbi in lower Manhattan who is doing services a little differently.. getting some heat from the orthodox community but is attracting a lot of formerly secular Jews. But no matter the heat, bringing Jews closer to Torah is a mitzva, so Kudos to him even if he had to strip out King David's poetry from the prayer books and make the service more community oriented.


44 posted on 04/21/2006 7:54:32 AM PDT by monkeyshine
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To: dalight

Again, in re-reading the post and also my post to you in 21 I don't see why you have your hackles up. I don't see any contempt.
No one is looking down their nose at Reform Jews, their low birthrate mirrors that of many liberal (and conservative) Christians, agnostics and atheists.
What grabbed my interest personally in reading the article was Rabbi Wolpe's comment about attendance in Los Angeles; as most of my Jewish friends and business associates live in West LA and they are quite liberal and many even pretty much agnostic when it comes to religion. Being Jewish is more of a special club to them... someone here said it's more of an ethnicity than a religion to some.
Your statement to me is quite well written and I can agree with most all of your post, but I don't understand why you are upset. The article was highlighting Jewish attendance at services so naturally the discussion is centered on Jews. The same discussion can be turned toward liberal Christians and Catholics. As a Catholic I would not find it offensive. or contemptible. Liberal Catholics and white Catholics in general do not have children in requisite numbers to reproduce themselves, Catholics from Phillipines, Asia and Latin American countries, however do fill the pews at my church with 5 to 6 kids on Sunday.
Personally I like to factor in the fact we live with today, in that it takes both parents working to support a household, at least here in So Calif. I think that has severely limited the birthrate, as it is harder to raise 5 or more kids when both parents have to work. I don't know how the immigrant families do it, but I noticed that many live together with several generations in one house. Perhaps the fact they have Grandma and Grandpa under the same roof to help with the kids gives them the ability to sustain a larger family.
So you see, we are all reflecting on the issues brought up in this article. No one is looking down at anyone.


45 posted on 04/21/2006 9:22:42 AM PDT by antceecee (Hey AG Gonzales! ENFORCE IMMIGRATION LAWS NOW!!!)
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To: timsbella

No, I was quite liberal at the time. Just most of the Muslims I knew were real a**holes. Angry, selfish, klannish, boorish, rude, egotistical, pushy... the sorts of traits that in most religions spirituality tends to counter.

But then Islam isn't really a religion... It's simply totalitarianism, like Nazism and fascism, from a time before the notion of the absence of any god caught hold.


46 posted on 04/21/2006 1:08:17 PM PDT by dangus
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To: antceecee
Again, in re-reading the post and also my post to you in 21 I don't see why you have your hackles up. I don't see any contempt.

It was the don't worry they'll all be gone in 100 years bit that I took exception to..in post 5.

There are 900 reform synagogues in US today up from 0 in 1885. So someone was projecting the absurd, and implying Reform movement is a problem that is solving itself.

----------

Still there are keys to Jewish attendance issue that were addressed in this thread.. that you only find synagogues in cities so Jews in rural areas have to make due at home and that many ceremonies are performed at home.. sabbath observations and passover and almost every holiday can celebrated at home.. with family.. so folks go for things like study and weddings and bar mitzvahs ceremonies.

As I said before, low birthrates come from prosperity. This is a long recorded demographic trend. And Gramma and Grandpa certainly are the keys to having and maintaining large families that and farms and such. People trade material wealth and comforts for children when they can because kids are a pain no way around it. They are a blessing but anyone who has raised one knows how it ages you..

Frankly, life cannot be a race to see who can have the most kids because in the end.. we get outcomes that fall out of uncontrolled population explosion. What has tipped the scales has been feminism and abortion intervening to take women out of child production altogether.. (One could argue that there is nothing feminine at all about feminism anymore)

47 posted on 04/21/2006 3:31:17 PM PDT by dalight
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To: dalight

I wish I could have had more children. I only had one child. I would have given anything to be able to have a larger family. Having a child changes your life. Yes you are a lot more broke, but the blessings of being a family far outweigh any material wealth.


48 posted on 04/21/2006 5:02:52 PM PDT by antceecee (Hey AG Gonzales! ENFORCE IMMIGRATION LAWS NOW!!!)
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To: antceecee

There is no thing in this world more precious than your children, more meaningful, or more worthy of any sacrifice. We stopped at two. Funny, we speculated the name of another, and the two talk of this one as if he is a missing child, the brother they never had.


49 posted on 04/21/2006 5:34:47 PM PDT by dalight
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To: Celtjew Libertarian

I got some news for you. If you didn't do a halachic orthodox conversion--THEN YOU AIN'T JEWISH.

you wife can pretend to be Jewish--BUT SHE AIN'T. AND NEITHER ARE YOUR CHILDREN

being a Jew is not what is convenient for you to be accepted. It's about being a JEW and living like one.

Reform rabbi's would convert a dog to judiasm if someone asked them.
They have no standards of anything, and are 100% wrong in their entire approach to Judiasm, and life in general.

no offense to you or your wife personally--Just pointing out facts.


50 posted on 04/24/2006 7:52:48 AM PDT by Jaysin
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