Please, sit down. I am the Movable Internet Rabbi and while I am not ordained in any way known to man, and an more of a lay internet rabbi than anything else, in addition to being a humorist and an outspoken man of candor, let the letters begin. Anyone with a serious or humorous question about Jewish life is welcome to use this free service, and good questions are always welcome. Here is the first one.
Dear Movable Internet Rabbi, (MIR),
I live in Australia. Both my wife and I are Jewish. Although my wife
and I keep kosher (with the exception of strict
”shechitah” meat because we can’t afford it, and mixing meat and milk
because we think the halachic ruling is overkill,) we have run into a
small problem that troubles us and
sometimes make us feel less than Jewish, even in our own communtiy
here. Maybe you can offer some advice?
You rse, in our town, the only mohel around
is an Orthodox Jewish man and he told us he won’t do a bris for us
because we are Reform Jews. Why?
the Orthodox rabbis in town have also gotten to other circumcision
doctors and mohels here
because they wont do it for our soon to be born son, either.
This is frustrating, considering we know Orthodox families that drive to shul
and don’t keep kosher at all. And we are considered by the rabbis as
not Jewish enough
because we’re honest about how we practice our faith? The hypocrisy is very
upsetting. Any advice or calming words?
This is indeed vexing. I am on your side. Although my father always told me that we Jews need the
Orthodox, because they have kept the faith alive for many dozens of hundreds of years, and because of that we should always respect them and try to understand them, at the same time, somestimes they go a little too far
in their interpretation of things. So I empathize with you and your wife, and sympathize with your problem. A bris is a bris is a bris. Why can’t the good Orthodox rabbis see the light of God and do the mitzvah? Insted, by acting
like stubborn people. they risk alienating you and your wife from being and remaining Jewish. What’s more
important? Arcane religious “laws” or being a mensch to those in need? Your son deserves a good bris and good
mohel, but please no sucking the blood out ritual, that’s dangerous! So my advice to your local Orthodox rabbi and his colleagues is to get with the program and minister with love and compassion to you and your wife, too, even if you
don’t follow all 929 laws. We need the Orthodox, but they need the rest of us too. Am I right or am I wrong?
Shalom aleichem to you and your wife in Western Australia, where-ever THAT is!
a Jewish friend to Jews everywhere, and to non-Jews as well!