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Monday, March 5, 2012

To Correct pboisei And Others About Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism

Reform Judaism does believe in Israel as the chosen people in the privilege-and-responsibility sense. Reconstructionist Judaism believes in responsibility chosenness. Mordekhai HaKohen (Moredechai Kaplan) specifically founded Reconstructionist Judaism on that principle and other principles: "Kaplan rejected several traditional Jewish categories, most notably Chosenness. He felt that the term was misunderstood and too often taken as a sign of Jewish superiority, when instead it was conceived as an expression of Jewish obligation to God and humanity. So, too, Kaplan rejected the idea of a personal messiah (that is, that God will send a messiah in the form of a human being). He wrote the "Sabbath Prayer Book" in which he expunged both notions from the prayers. Some Reconstructionist synagogues employ a different version of the Torah blessings to this day, avoiding the phrase "...asher bachar banu mi-kol ha-amim..." (...Who chose us from all the peoples...)."


Reform Judaism "views the idea of the Chosen People as a metaphor for the choices we make in our lives. All Jews are Jews-by-Choice in that every person must make a decision, at some point in their lives, whether or not they want to live Jewishly. Just as God chose to give the Torah to the Israelites, modern Jews must decide whether they want to be in a relationship with God."
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