As The Dayton Jewish Observer revealed recently, “Bark Mitzvah,” that is, Bar Mitzvah for dogs, is no joke. It is as serious as the “obituaries,” right next to which it was placed. Marginal as it may be, not a few Reform Jews (RJ) are doing Bar Mitzvah for their pets, enough to merit serious discussions in the respected Jewish publication Forward.
Bark Mitzvah is completely out of the experience of Israelis, who see such things as bolstering the argument that Reform Judaism is turning Judaism into a joke. But Reform Judaism is no joke, which is precisely the problem. Statistically, about 40% of American Jews identify themselves as RJs. On the other hand, the Israeli branch of RJ, which goes by the name of The Movement for Progressive Judaism, is marginal at best.
There are many differences between, for lack of better term, “Traditional Judaism” and Reform Judaism. The most important one is RJ’s disregard for assimilation. It also seems to me that the concept of Tikkun Olam (amending...
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