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FACTIONS-----conservative 3

Nachalat Shimon Posted - 02 April 2001 14:55

I unfortunately have to attend a Conservative synagogue every week and my father told the people in charge that I would read Shir HaShirim for them this Pesach.

Being that Shir HaShirim isn’t exactly an obligation like Torah and Megillah, would it be permitted to read a chapter of Shir HaShirim in front of a small mixed-seating congregation (no microphone or any other such problem is present)?

MODERATOR Posted - 02 April 2001 16:14

Nope. You can't even pray in a Conservative synagogue. And you can't attend mixed services.

Nachalat Shimon Posted - 03 April 2001 16:14

It’s not even praying. It doesn’t include G-d's name at all. I daven alone on shabbos to avoid davening with them.

But I assure you there is no way to avoid attending the place at all, even to hang out for a few hours. That’s not even a question.

But even you will have to admit that Shir HaShirim is not technically davening, especially b'dieved...?

MODERATOR Posted - 03 April 2001 17:49

The prohibition is not "davening" per se, but services in general. You are not allowed to attend or participate in services in a Conservative Shul.

Chaim Posted - 08 October 2001 14:50

What about a Modern Orthodox synagogue where men and women are separated by a Mehitzah of only 40 cm? My Rebbe told me that the Mehitzah has to be at least 180 cm.

Am I allowed to read the Torah on Simhat Torah in such a synagogue?

MODERATOR Posted - 17 October 2001 16:24

There is a machlokes regarding the purpose, and therefore minimum size, of a mechitza.

Many poskim hold that a mehitza's purpose is to make sure you can’t see the women.According to them the Mechitza has to be as tall as the tallest woman, basically.

Others hold that the purpose of the Mechitza is to prevent mingling. They hold the Mechitza has to be 5 feet tall.

However, everyone agrees that you cannot daven in front of women who are improperly dressed.

Therefore, if you are davening in a shul where you can see the women, and they’re not dressed according to halachah, you can’t daven there according to everyone.

The 5 foot mechitza is only meant if the women are all dressed tzniusdik.

In practice, you should not daven in a place with a Mechitza that allows you to see the women if it can be avoided. There are pokim who hold that it is better to daven alone, even on Yom Kippur, than in such a place. Others would be more lenient. You should therefore try hard to avoid the situation if possible.

JewishPride Posted - 08 June 2003 20:15

What is wrong with praying in a Conservative shul? What happened to Jewish unity?

Ani chai m\'yom l\'yom.

MODERATOR Posted - 08 June 2003 20:21

Interesting. The Conservative movement leads a rebellion against Judaism and then demands we join their rebellion in the interest of Jewish unity!

No. Jewish unity means unity in practicing Judaism. It means NOT siding with the rebels who rebel against the King.

It means remaining loyal to Judaism.

It means NOT joining those who break off from Judaism and create another religion.

Why don’t you say we should pray in a Church of Jews for Jesus in the interest of Jewish Unity?

So, too, we do not pray in a Conservative Church, whether they refer to it as a Shul, or call their religion "Judaism."

JewishPride Posted - 09 June 2003 19:57

First of all I’m not conservative-but thanks for inferring that (what happened to benefit of the doubt???)

I was just asking a simple question.

Second, there is a HUGE difference between a Church and a Conservative SHUL. Whether or not you agree with the Conservative movement I'm sure you know that they follow Halacha and daven very much like Orthodox. Also, Jews for Jesus aren't Jews by any standard so there is no need for unity with them.

Third, there are many sects of Chassidim and other groups that consider Orthodox (modern or not) to be Christians. Where do you draw the line? After your own shul, but never before? Is that how it works?

Fourth, I wasn't aware that Judaism was one of those religions in which it’s all or nothing. In fact I'm pretty sure it encourages struggling with G-d and things like that. Aren't baalei teshuvas regarded as better than those who are born religious and stick to it?

So you're saying that all Jews who aren't Orthodox are the same as Christians so there is no need for them to even daven or keep kosher or be shomer shabbos ( am I correct in this assumption)

So what if in a Conservative shul, lets say that all the congregants were going to become ba'alei teshuvas but they didn't because they were told they were the same as Christians? Is it right to discourage people like that?

Also, another example: Many people say that Moshiach isn't coming because of all the less religious Jews (I'm not saying anyone here says that...) But according to you these people aren't even Jews. Am I missing something here?

There is one other thing that shows how amazing UNITY can be. In the Torah when Klal Yisrael was camped by Mt. Sinai before we got the Torah, it says, “And HE camped by the mountain." This line isn't referring to Moshe or Aaron or any one particular individual. It is referring to the ENTIRE Jewish people. We were so unified at that moment that we were like one person.

Last, the reason we even have Israel or anything in it (including the Kotel) is because of unity. We didn't get this far by arguing and calling each other Christians.

Ani chai m\'yom l\'yom.

MODERATOR Posted - 09 June 2003 20:55

First of all, Conservative Judaism does NOT follow Halachah -- they say they do, but they have a totally different definition of Halachah and the Halachic process than the Torah. Orthodox Judaism's "halacha" and Conservative "Judaism's" Halachah" are only homonyms. They’re not the same.

The so-called "halachic pluralism" of the Conservative movement, the bogus "Committee on Law and Standards" which acts as their lawmaking body with no halachic due process is merely a false way of creating new and invalid so-called "halachos".

The heretic, Mordechai Kaplan, in his "Judaism as a Civilization" decided that Religion is a human creation, and halachah has the status of "folkways." The heretic Solomon Schechter concocts his idea of Halachic "academic freedom" - meaning, halachah is no longer halachah as we know it, but a new, grotesque imposter thereof.
That resulted in a totally non-halachic religion, part of which follows:

"Mixed seating" in synagogue; retroactive annulment of marriages; counting of women in minyanim and giving them aliyos and letting them read form the Torah; ordination of women as rabbis; chilul shabbos: permitting driving to "synagogue"; permitting use of electricity on Sabbath; eliminating second day of holidays; Friday night davening; unauthorized reforms in the siddur; changing the cycle of Torah reading.

That’s for your "second". As for third, there are no such groups of Chasidim who consider Orthodox Jews Christians. Modern Orthodoxy has serious problems, but they follow - or at least claim to - the same system of Written and Oral Torah that we do. The Talmud has the same authority over them as it does for us; and they consider themselves bound to the Shulchan Aruch as do we. That constitutes the same religion.

Next, Judaism IS an all or nothing religion as far as the tenets of its beliefs. Meaning, if you believe in the right G-d, the right of G-d, the right Halachic process, the right Bible - written and Oral, and the right system of reward and punishment, then you are practicing Judaism. If not, then you are practicing a different religion. Nobody is perfect in fulfilling all the mitzvos at all times, but everyone has to at least TRY to do so, or at least BELIEVE in them, even if he does not always adhere thereto.

And you are making the common Conservative mistake (sometimes it is a purposeful misrepresentation) when they encounter the Orthodox position that it’s either Orthodox Judaism or no Judaism. You think that means you are not Jewish.

Wrong. You are Jewish, but practicing another religion. You are still obligated to fulfill the mitzvos because as long as your mother was Jewish then you are a Jew. That is true even if you don’t believe in G-d, or you are an avowed Christian, Muslim or Buddhist. So yes, even Christians, if their mother was Jewish, have to daven and do all the mitzvos.

As far a your q about baalei teshuva, Conservative Jews do not need conversion if they want to repent, and so your question is irrelevant.

(Note: An exception to this is a conservative Jew - or even an orthodox Jew - who was converted from another religion by way of a conservative conversion. Such a conversion is not valid and the person is not Jewish at all. He indeed does not have to daven or keep shabbos or eat kosher.)

As far as unity, as I said - unity with those who rebel against the King and His dominion is an oxymoron.

And your comment about Israel I'm not going to even touch here - please see the Zionism forums. Had we separated from the heretical Zionists it would have been much better for us.

Learner Posted - 17 June 2003 3:10

What makes you a Jew?

MODERATOR Posted - 17 June 2003 3:20

You are a Jew if (a) your mother is Jewish, and by that I mean her maternal lineage - mother, mother's mother, etc - goes back all the way to Abraham or to a valid female Orthodox convert to Judaism, or (b) you yourself are a valid Orthodox convert to Judaism.

In order for your conversion to be valid you have to (a) commit yourself to be completely religious - with all the details - and (b) go through a process of conversion by an Orthodox Bais Din (rabbinic court). If you are a man you will also require circumcision.

The conversion process of the Judaism-in-name-only religions, such as Conservative Judaism, Reform Judaism, Reconstructionist Judaism, Jews for Jesus, and Messianic Judaism, are not valid.

lesakein Posted - 17 June 2003 12:40


You mean going back to Yaakov Avinu!

P.S. For all you programmers out there, this is a beautiful example of recursion.

MODERATOR Posted - 17 June 2003 12:45

You're right. Maternal linage to Yaakov Avinu. My bad.

Note: Recursion is doing a procedure over and over but rather than in a repetitive way, it’s accumulative.

Lchapes emes Posted - 17 June 2003 22:40

Say you knew your lineage back about 5 generations of mothers, and all of them were considered completely Jewish. But really, a couple of extra generations back in the maternal lineage there was a woman with a not so kosher conversion (say she didn’t immerse right, or one of the beis din was a heretic, or whatever would invalidate it).

So for all anyone knows in the present day, you are Jewish, treated Jewish, etc. Does that make your Jewishness a halachic reality?

If by some miracle this is later found out, are you counted as having been Jewish or as having never been Jewish?

MODERATOR Posted - 17 June 2003 22:51

You were never Jewish.

Torah Jew Posted - 13 November 2003 3:15

I am invited to a bar-mitzvah at a conservative shul.

I was planning on davening at my regular orthodox minyan and then go to the conservative shul and just listen to the Bar mitzvah get an aliya and show my presence and leave.

P.S they have a microphone.

Punims Posted - 18 November 2003 3:09

Aren't you not allowed to go into the sanctuary of a conservative shul?

MODERATOR Posted - 18 November 2003 3:36

During prayers you for sure can’t enter. You can’t even go into the entrance during prayer time, even if you’re not going to the sanctuary.

That’s mar'es ayin.

But even without that you can’t walk into the sanctuary any time. It is a Bais Vaad l'Minus - a place where heretical beliefs are disseminated - and comes under the prohibition of al sikrav el pesach baisah, in the Gemorah Avodah Zorah (17 or 18a - I don’t have it in front of me now).

wickles Posted - 21 October 2004 15:50

I am female. I daven in a shul where the mechitza is higher than the tallest woman... on ground level.

There are about 5 steps, each containing 2 benches. I sit in the top row. When I stand up, I don't believe I am shorter than the mechitza. Is that a problem?

MODERATOR Posted - 21 October 2004 16:05

If the men can see you, it’s prohibited.

modernandfrum Posted - 12 November 2004 7:22

Why can’t you go into a conservative shul? Its not avoda zarah?

Also aren’t there some conservative shuls that don’t give women aliyahs and things like that...maybe known as conservadox?

If the shul itself and the minyan and davening are kosher can you go into that shul even if the people who are participation may not have 100% orthodox beliefs?

MODERATOR Posted - 12 November 2004 8:01

If they do not believe in the authority of Torah shebal peh, which the Conservative movement officially does not - then their synagogues have the status of a Bais Vaad l'Minus, which is prohibited to enter, as per Gemora Avodah Zorah 18a.

Elchonon Posted - 14 November 2004 19:05

I work in shul during the week where the sanctuary has a mechitza of 3 feet, and the congregation is in between conservative and modern orthodox ( there is no microphone). Can I enter it?

MODERATOR Posted - 14 November 2004 19:07

I have no idea what they believe in. If they don’t believe in the authority of Torah shebal peh, then you cannot enter the place.

But in any case, you cannot daven there, even if there are no women present. It is a shul without a mechitza.

proud2bfrum Posted - 14 November 2004 19:29

So back to mixed seating...

Does seating have to be separate at weddings since there isn't Tefilah?

MODERATOR Posted - 04 January 2005 10:13
Yes. It does. The Levush paskens that at a wedding with mixed seating you are not allowed to make the Brachah "shehasimcha bim'ono" since such an assembly is not a simcha but the opposite.

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