Beck, Soros and Reform Judaism

By Ted Belman

Reform Judaism just issued this Press Release.

Reform Movement Denounces Glenn Beck’s Attack on Religious Values

NEW YORK — Speaking on his Tuesday radio show, Fox News host Glenn Beck brought up the recent letter that more than 400 rabbis signed and placed as an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal criticizing him for repeatedly comparing his ideological foes to Nazis. He claimed that this letter, coordinated by Jewish Funds for Justice, was dominated by Reform rabbis, and dismissed the Movement as akin to “radicalized Islam.” Reform rabbis, he said, “are generally political in nature. It’s almost like Islam, radicalized Islam in a way.” His comparison was “not about terror,” he stressed, but “about politics, and so it becomes more about politics than it does about faith.”

[Seems fair comment to me. T Belman]

In response to these remarks, Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism issued the following statement:

    We are deeply distressed by Glenn Beck’s profoundly offensive remarks about Reform Judaism and Reform rabbis. Beck’s sweeping dismissal of the religious faith of a million and a half North American Jews was both tragic and outrageous. 

    Reform Judaism, a proud and venerable religious tradition, does not accept Mr. Beck as the arbiter of what is spiritual and what is not, of who has faith and who does not, of what constitutes real religion and what does not. We respect his faith and demand that he respect ours. Our members, who — like others in North America — apply their religious values to the problems of the broader society, are happy to have Mr. Beck disagree with us on any position that one or more of us may take, but not to make pronouncements and sweeping condemnations that he has neither the right nor the knowledge to make.

    We are particularly incensed that Mr. Beck chose to compare Reform Judaism with “radicalized Islam.” While noting that Reform Judaism is not about “terror,” he implied the opposite — or, at the very least, that the religious faith of the largest segment of North American Jewry is extremist and fanatic.

    Mr. Beck’s comments are offensive to Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike. Speaking in sweeping generalizations about other religious traditions is offensive. Imputing radicalism and fanaticism to large religious groups is offensive. Dismissing the heartfelt religious beliefs of millions of North Americans is offensive. Mr. Beck should be ashamed of his comments, and we hope that he will have the good sense never to repeat them.

Firstly I should point our that my reading of what was attributed to Beck was that he was not talking about Reform Judaism when he referred to the “Movement” but about “Jewish Funds for Justice”. For the purpose of this post, I will assume that I am wrong in this.

Rabbi Yoffie attributes many things to Beck that he didn’t say or imply and then goes on to criticize him for saying it. Beck did not say or imply that Reform Judaism is extremist or fanatic. All he said was that it was “almost” like radical Islam in that they both reflect politics more than faith. I personally am against this comparison because there is no comparison in degree.

All religions must be subject to critical examination. Particularly Islam. It is totally legitimate for Beck and all of us, to say that Islam is political and criticize its politics or to criticize its values. Rabbi Yoffie would deny us that right when he says he “does not accept Mr. Beck as the arbiter of what is spiritual and what is not, of who has faith and who does not, of what constitutes real religion and what does not.” He goes to accept criticism of what any one may have said but complains when he makes “sweeping condemnations”. But isn’t one entitled to make such sweeping condemnations of Reform Judaism when 400 Reform Rabbis sign on to the statement or when the facts support such condemnations?

He accuses Beck’s speech as being “offensive”.  Maybe what he said was offensive. So what. All that matters to me is whether it is truthful or supported by the facts. Joffie seeks to restrain free speech in the name of political correctness. No thanks.

Islam’s values are embodied it its horrendous Sharia Law. These values must be attacked.

Now that Soros has attacked Beck for using Nazi tactics. Commentary weighs in .


Will 400 Rabbis Condemn Soros for Comparing Fox News to the Nazis?

by Alana Goodman

Recently, a George Soros-funded group called Jewish Funds for Justice issued a public letter from 400 Rabbis denouncing Fox News and Glenn Beck for using Nazi imagery to characterize ideological adversaries during broadcasts.

Will the same group now speak out against Soros’s new allegations that Fox News is using Nazi tactics?

Here’s an excerpt from Soros’s tirade against Fox News on CNN Sunday morning:

    “Well, look, Fox News makes a habit — it has imported the methods of George Orwell, you know, newspeak, where you can tell the people falsehoods and deceive them,” Soros said. “And you wouldn’t believe that an open society and a democracy, these methods can succeed. But, actually, they did succeed.  They succeeded in — in Germany, where the Weimar Republic collapsed and you had a Nazi regime follow it.  So this is a very, very dangerous way of deceiving people.”

In the Jewish Funds for Justice letter repudiating Glenn Beck – which was published in the Forward and the Wall Street Journal – the group unequivocally criticized the use of Nazi and Holocaust comparisons to smear political opponents.

    “In the charged political climate in the current civic debate, much is tolerated, and much is ignored or dismissed,” the organization wrote. “But you diminish the memory and meaning of the Holocaust when you use it to discredit any individual or organization you disagree with. That is what Fox News has done in recent weeks, and it is not only ‘left-wing rabbis’ who think so.”

In the aftermath of the anti-Beck letter, several Jewish leaders suggested that the Jewish Funds for Justice campaign was politically motivated because it only targeted conservatives. A Jewish Funds for Justice communications official told me she was aware of Soros’s remarks, but was unable to provide comment on them as of the time of this posting.

February 24, 2011 | 9 Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

9 Comments / 9 Comments

  1. Until the Third Temple is built on the Temple Mount and Gershon Salomon’s version of the Temple being built is fulfilled, no form of Judaism that exists is a legitimate following of the Torah and Prophets. Until Israel’s borders are defined by Torah and the Ark of the Covenant is found and can sit in the Third Temple, no “Judaism” can really suffice. I offer no apologizes for “Christian replacement theology” either and go by RANDALL PRICE’S WORK in the book entitled: THE TEMPLE AND BIBLE PROPHECY. I highly recommend this read as all points of view are covered adequately and fairly.

    In TRUTH, all religions started with S$$$$$$$$$$Satan$$$$$$$$$$ and end with $$$$$$$$$$$$Satan$$$$$$$$$$$$$. MONEY is what dominates all religions.


    The world is out of alignment with God’s Will.

  2. I am a freqeent viewer of Glenn Beck’s television program, and a great fan. I’m also a Reformed Jew.

    Sometimes, Mr. Beck “shoots from the hip” and says dumb things. Nobody is perfect. No, I wouldn’t compare even the likes of Rabbi Yoffe with “radical Islamists”. Maybe radical progressives…(who kiss radical Islamist booty to no end, so I can see where he can get confused on this issue).

    Bill Levinson:

    You can e-mail Glenn Beck at the following address:

    Mind you, he gets a bazillion e-mails. Don’t expect a personal reply.

    I am disgusted with the likes of Rabbi Yoffe. I’ll bet my own Rabbi is, too.

    My own Rabbi was privately horrified by Obama, and supported McCain. Of course, he could not do this from the pulpit, due to tax issues, but he confided to me one-on-one in frustration during the ’08 campaign that “…if Hitler were on the Democratic ticket, most Jews would vote for him.”

    The problem is not with Reform Judaism per se, but with the seperate issue of secular liberalism/progressivism as the religion of many Jews. Maybe not the majority, but plenty of Reform Jews – such as myself – are conservative and Republican. I would also say that the solid majority of Jews here in the U.S. are staunchly pro-Israel, regardless of affiliation. To the extent that such Jews supported Obama in ’08, it wasn’t because they ‘didn’t care about Israel’ – as I suppose many Israelis assume – but because Obama pushed their liberal buttons on domestic policy, and from there, lied through his teeth about his “support” for Israel, and many Jews wanted to believe him, wanted to be fooled.

    The human powers of rationalization, when someone tells you what you want to hear, are limitless.

    The fact that most Jews would not vote for Obama for re-election today, that Obama’s support among Jews has dropped like a stone in the past two years, tells you that Jews here – never mind the pronouncements of the likes of twits such as Rabbi Yoffe – really do care about Israel. There can be no other explanation for this drop in support, as most Jews here still support Obama’s domestic agenda.

    I have no doubt whatever that my own Reform rabbi chafes mightily under the “leadership” of Rabbi Yoffe. I don’t know whether he offers any dissent up the “chain of command”, but I hope he does.

  3. Look behind you, leftist Reform Judaism, those are your carcasses strewn in the wilderness. Your anti-YHWH, anti-man teachings rattle as a skeleton in the Wind. The Children have left you behind.

  4. I’ve only known one Reform Jew in my life: and he is a follower of Torah and a sincere believer in Hashem. So much for some of the “atheist” accusations here. As for the political stereotypes, I note that Bill Levinson is Reform Jewish, and very much a Zionist. I guess the main difference between Reform and Orthodox Jews, is that the Orthodox are more likely to badmouth Jews who aren’t like themselves.

    It’s interesting, to see Modern Orthodox Jews associating Reform Jews with American political movements. Modern Orthodoxy was founded recently in America, but Reform Judaism has older, German roots. Conservative Judaism also has American roots; so a case can be made that the more American an American Jewish sect is, the more conservative it is. The same could be argued for American Christian sects, with the purely native Mormons, Baptists and Assemblies of God being the most conservative and the European-connected Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists and Episcopalians being the most liberal.

    The Ultra-Orthodox are from another planet, and they live accordingly. Apart from them, Apart from them, the most politically conservative Jews in Israel are the Modern Orthodox, with American connections, and the largely secular Russians. The most liberal Jews in Israel, on the other hand, have strong historical ties with Europe.

  5. Soros,of all people,talking about the evil individuals who caused the Holocaust.What does he want from George Orwell.Whatever Orwell’s failings were,being a Nazi agent wasn’t one of them.Soros can’t honestly say the same about his past.
    (1)I disagree with Beck’s comparison of the Reform movement with Islam.In my opinion the Reformed are to be compared to the Black Liberation Theology garbage.The Black Liberation jerks believe in traditional Christianity merged with soft Marxism.The Reformed movement believes in a warped,watered down Judaism combined with soft Marxism.Throw in Earth worship & Extreme ecology & all of the other trendy ideas of the day & you have Reformed Judaism.Eric Yoffie is not the Head Rabbi,he is the chief Druid of the “Hanukah Bush” people,he is the one who makes the Bracha over the Shrimp Salad.
    (2)400 MUST BE A SPECIAL NUMBER FOR YOFFIE & HIS REFORMED MINIONS!400 Rabbis who signed the letter against Beck (Reformed…Extreme anti Zionists?).400 is also the number of real Rabbis who marched on Washington in 1943 to beg Roosevelt to help the Jews of Europe who were being murdered by the Nazis.Steven Wise,Reformed head of the American Jewish Congress did everything he could to see to it that they did not reach Roosevelt & present their case.Wise & his Reformed Movement spent the war years blocking help to Europe’s Jews!
    Wise & his People were worth more to Hitler in his plans to murder Jews than 2 SS divisions.Is It possible that Yoffie & the Jewish Funds for Justice are really the 2nd coming of Wise & the American Jewish Congress in disguise?
    (3) Learn about Wise,that great hero of Reformed Jews,see what hell he inflicted upon the Jewish people.When you have done this you can imagine what horrors Yoffie could enable if given the opportunity

  6. We are particularly incensed that Mr. Beck chose to compare Reform Judaism with “radicalized Islam.”

    Such a comparison, I believe, is a poor one. My understanding is that Reform Judaism is very “liberal”, sometimes near atheist,
    and in that way is like liberal Christianity. Certainly, Reform rabbis and libral Christian theologians often have very similar
    political views, including views about Israel.

  7. Reform is a dead end. It’s just Left/Liberal BS pretending to be religion. I’m completely secular, by the way.