An Open Letter to Glen Beck from a non-Orthodox Jew

Feb 23 2011 Published by under Chatter

Hey, Glen.

Look, I know we don't get along. We don't agree on much of anything. But still, we really need to talk.

The other day, you said some really stupid, really offensive, and really ignorant things about Jews. I know you're insulted - after all, four hundred Rabbis from across the spectrum came together to call you out for being an antisemitic asshole, and that's gotta hurt.

But that's no excuse for being a pig-ignorant jackass.

Where to start?

Well, first, you said that all of the Rabbi's that signed the letter were reformed rabbis.

There's no such thing as a "reformed" rabbi. (Unless, perhaps, we're talking about a Rabbi who comitted some sort of crime, and then tried to make recompense for his crimes.) What you were trying to talk about was Reform Judaism and Reform rabbis. It's a small difference, but it's an important one. Sort of like "protestant christians" versus "protesting christians".

See, the fundamental philosophy that Reform Judaism is built on is the idea that Jews should always be looking at our religion, and trying to reinterpret - to re-form - Jewish practices based on our understanding of the Torah, our understanding of the universe, and our understanding of ourselves.

To give one example: Reform jews are egalitarian - that is, they don't follow strict gender roles. Part of the reasoning behind that is that many people believe that the gender roles are a sort of accident. In biblical hebrew, everything is gendered. Every noun, every verb contains a gender. And when genders are mixed, male overrides female. So if you've got a single male child, that's a "yeled". If you've got a single female child, that's a "yalda". Many boys are "yeladim", and many girls are "yeladot". If you have a group of children that are a mixture of boys and girls, you use the word "yeladim". So without any context, when you hear the word "yeladim", it's ambiguous whether it means "children" or "boys". So according to many reform jews, the commandments that are normally taken to apply only to men don't only apply to men; it's been interpreted that way because of the linguistic ambiguity. But looking at it with modern eyes, there's no reason that a woman shouldn't be obligated to study the Torah just like a man, and the language is ambiguous - so we reform our practice to give men and women equal roles.

The key difference there is the tense of the word. Reformed describes a process that's completed: a group of german Jews in the 19th century reformed Judaism, creating a new movement. But Reform Jews don't believe that. They believe that reform is an ongoing process - that as we study and learn, both about the Torah and about the world and the universe, that we need to use that knowledge to continually reform our religion, and that through that process, we can make the world a better place.

Ok, enough about that. Next, you said that there are two kinds of Rabbis: Reform and Orthodox. That's thoroughly wrong. There are four major movements within American Judaism: Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Reform. And that's not a trivial distinction: Conservative an Reconstructionist Judaism aren't just a variation on Reform. They're very different. A reconstructionist synagogue, like the one that I belong to, is quite different from a conservative or reform synagogue. The services are different; the fundamental philosophy and approach to understanding our religion and our obligations as Jews are different. Reform isn't the same as reconstructionist; reconstructionist isn't the same as conservative; conservative isn't the same as reform. Muddling them together so that you can make some general statement about all non-Orthodox Jews means one of two things, both of which are quite possible given your track record: either you're astonishingly ignorant, or you're a malicious liar.

Moving on, you said that all of the Rabbis that signed the letter were reform. That's wrong. If you actually look at the letter, most of the rabbis who signed don't identify which movement of Judaism they come from. But there are several particularly prominent Rabbi's who signed it, and whose affiliations are listed:

  • Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, from the American Jewish University. Rabbi Artson is a Conservative Rabbi, and teaches at a Conservative Jewish rabbinical school.
  • Rabbi Dan Ehrenkrantz, from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Obviously, Rabbi Ehrenkrantz comes from the Reconstructionist movement, where he is a teacher at the Rabbinical school. (Full disclosure: I am a member of the reconstructionist movement, and I have donated money to the RRC.)
  • Rabbi Yael Ridberg, from the Reconstructionist Rabbincal Association. Also a reconstructionist.
  • Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus, from the Central Council of American Rabbis (CCAR). The CCAR is the primary organization of Reform rabbis. So with her, you're right, she's reform.
  • Rabbi Daniel Nevins, from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). The JTS is the main Conservative rabbinical school. Rabbi Nevins is a conservative Rabbi.
  • Rabbi Steven Wernick, from the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Again, a conservative.
  • Rabbi Eric Yoffie, from the Union for Reform Judaism. Another Reform Rabbi.

So, out of 7 Rabbis who's affiliation is listed, two are Reform. Less than a third. And the other 393 Rabbis don't have their affiliations listed. Skimming the list, I know three of the listed Rabbis: one Reconstructionist, one Reform, and one Conservative. I also recognize a couple of the names - there are at least two orthodox Rabbis in the list.

So you're completely wrong when you say that only Reform Rabbi's signed the letter.

Finally, and most importantly, you said:

Reformed rabbis are generally political in nature. It's almost like Islam, radicalized Islam in a way, to where it is just -- radicalized Islam is less about religion than it is about politics. When you look at the reform Judaism, it is more about politics.

That is pure, unadulterated nonsense.

The majority of Reform Jews are politically liberal. But then, so are the majority of Jews, period. Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, or Reform, the majority of Jews tend to the political left. Why is that? Because Judaism teaches us certain values, and those values tend to align with the left. Judaism teaches that taking care of the poor is a fundamental obligation of everyone. To Jews, charity isn't something nice that we do. It's a central obligation. In fact, in hebrew, the word that we use for charity is "Tzedakah". That's the same word that we use for justice, or to mean "the right thing to do". To a Jew, Tzedakah is a mitzvah. Mitzvah is another interesting word: it's frequently translated as "good deed", but in fact, the correct translation is "commandment" or "law". Justice - including charity - is not an option, not an act of kindness; it's a commandment, a fundamental obligation. We're taught that one of the fundamental obligations of a legitimate civil authority is ensuring the welfare of its poor.

So we do tend to lean liberal, because our religion teaches us that that's the right thing to do. But Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative Jews are no less driven by their deep, heartfelt beliefs and love of God, Judaism, and the Torah than Orthodox Jews. And none of the Jewish movements is overtly political. No movement of Judaism says anything like "you need to be a democrat", or "you're not allowed to vote for political conservatives". Because of what our religion teaches, we tend to be liberal. But political liberalism isn't a focus of any movement of Judaism - not Reform, not Conservative, not Reconstructionist, not Orthodox, not Hasidic.

The one way that you're a tiny bit right is that Reform Judaism isn't really about faith. But that's not just Reform Judaism: it's all Judaism. It's hard for Christians to understand this, because it goes against everything that you associate with the word "religion". Judaism isn't about faith at all. Judaism is about actions. A good Jew is a jew who follows the mitzvot, the commandments. Even if you have no faith - even if you're unsure whether or not God really exists - you can be a good Jew. Because it's not about what you believe, but about what you do.

It's not just reform Jews who believe that. In fact, back when I was in college, I went to a lecture at the Lubavitch Chabad house, where an Orthodox Rabbi gave a talk in which he said that you could actually simultaneously be an atheist and a good Orthodox Jew! (Chabad is an outreach movement of very devout orthodox Chasidic Jews who try to convince Jews to become orthodox.) And there, in the home of a group who's fundamental ambition is to try to bring people into the fold of Orthodox Judaism, an Orthodox Rabbi was talking about how what you believe isn't really important. It's all about what you do. Follow the commandments, perform the mitzvot, and you're a good Jew, even if you don't believe in God. But no matter how deeply you believe, no matter how devoutly, no matter how much you pray, it doesn't matter if you don't follow through with the actions. The person in the front row of the synagogue every morning in his tallit and tefillin could be a terrible Jew, if he leaves the synagogue and doesn't perform mitzvot the rest of the day.

I know that that's difficult for a Christian - particularly for a Mormon - to understand, because it's just so foreign. But that's what Judaism is: it's as much -- in fact, it's more -- a system of rules teaching how to live than it is a set of beliefs and faith.

So, to sum up. Pretty much everything that you said about the people who signed the protest against you was wrong, and in the process of being wrong about them, you used the opportunity to tell some vicious lies about Jews who disagree with your politics of selfishness. The people who signed the protest aren't all Reform; they cover the full range of Judaism, from all of the American movements. (And if you were actually capable of reading, you'd know that.) Reform Judaism isn't in any way, shape, or form primarily political; nor are any of the other movements. And you are an antisemitic asshole.

88 responses so far

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Thanks for the overview Mark. I know it was motivated by the cretin but I for one gained additional understanding through your comments.

  • Kevin says:

    I would just maybe be a little cautious about returning the favor to Beck by lumping all Christians together.

    Catholics believe, at least simple version I was taught in Sunday School, 1) some official interpretations suggest you do not need to be Christian to "go to heaven," and 2) there is an emphasis on actions, some interpreting it to mean you must "do more good deeds than bad deeds." Catholics are ~ 1B in number, easily a huge part of "Christianity."

    I realize that these are not the same as your articulation of Judaism. But maybe not "just so foreign" as to be "difficult to understand for a Christian."

    I realize you are angry, but maybe don't blame Glen Beck's stupidity on his Christianity?

    Kevin

    • Yiab says:

      I didn't see any inappropriate lumping together of Christians in Mark's post. He wasn't saying that it was difficult for Christians to understand that Jews value actions, he was saying that it's difficult for Christians to understand that faith and belief are not really relevant at all in Judaism - and placing value in belief is something that almost all Christian denominations (including Catholics, by the way) have in common.

      • andre3 says:

        While faith is important for Catholics, it is not essential. Many Christians do not count Catholics as a Christian religion simply because many Catholic scholars and very devout Catholics believe that faith is not necessary to reach heaven (which you can argue is the ultimate end of being a good Christian). These Catholics believe that heaven is achievable even without baptism or even faith in Jesus and God if your deeds are good, even if you are a follower of another religion. This sounds a great deal like the Judaism described in this post.

        • Yiab says:

          While faith is important for Catholics, it is not essential.

          Thank you for agreeing to my point.

          By the way, the only time Mark said anything about Christians rather than specifically addressing Glenn Beck was to note that it is difficult for Christians to understand the lack of importance placed on faith in Judaism. That hardly sounds to me like blaming his stupidity on all of Christianity, or lumping all Christians in with him, or blaming his Christianity for anything more than one of his many misunderstandings/lies.

          • Kevin says:

            What has people a little upset was the causal link made between Beck's Mormonism to his difficulty understanding subtleties of Judaism.

            In particular, the difficulty was said to arise from that aspect of Judaism being so "foreign." The point that andre3 was making was that Judaism/Christianity are different with respect to emphasis on actions,belief and faith (as you are absolutely right in claiming), but not so different as to be incomprehensible.

            In fact, the clarity of Mark's post demonstrates that it's relatively easy to explain these points to Christians.

          • andre3 says:

            What I was really trying to say above is that there is, in some circles in Catholicism (with which I am most familiar), a similar discussion to the idea of actions/practice versus faith as there is in Judaism. So for some Christians the idea isn't completely foreign. I know several Catholics who still practice and don't believe in God (agnostic or atheistic) and who call themselves Catholics and are welcome into the Catholic church and community. This clearly isn't as strong of a group as the Jewish equivalent, but it is there and growing.

            Yiab, I think the proper thing to say is that it is difficult for SOME Christians to understand the lack of importance placed in faith in Judaism due to their religion. Kevin seemed to be saying that he thought Mark should use a similar phrase (this point didn't jump out at me from Mark's post, but I can see where he is coming from).

        • ix says:

          I think you meant to say fundamentalists where you said "Christians". Nobody with any notion of history or practice would consider Catholicism a non-Christian religion. I have also been led to believe that the problem other mainstream Christian doctrines have with Catholicism have nothing at all to do with whether or not they believe non-Christians can get into heaven. More with the whole papal infallibility and pay me to get into heaven bit.

          I'm pretty sure there are catholic priests out there that would still perform emergency baptisms if necessary, which I've always found a funny concept, but seems to suggest not all of them are that convinced about it either. :-)

          • andre3 says:

            It depends on what you mean by fundamentalist. A lot of non-fundamentalist (in my view) baptists believe Catholicism is a non-Christian religion much as many people consider Mormonism to be. Protestants tend to believe that you must have faith and a personal relationship with Jesus/God to reach Heaven.

            There was an interview with a professional hockey player a year or two ago about religion by the Washington Post that was telling. The player said, although he's not very religious, he's one of the few Christians he knows who plays hockey, with the rest being "atheists and Catholics".

    • While "Faith vs. Works" is one of those classic issues which divide differing Christian denominations, and the Roman church has certainly planted its flag in the "Works" side, the idea that faith could be entirely unimportant to a religion is really quite foreign to Christianity.

      I mean, the entire letter to the Romans? That's pretty foundational doctrinal material there - it's hard to imagine what that means in the absence of the idea of faith being important.

      And the creeds - they are, fundamentally, a statement on the faith of those reciting them: credo in unum deum. (Or, to be more blunt, take the first line of the Athanasian Creed)

      Sure, plenty of denominations reject "faith alone" as Luther getting a little carried away, but "works alone" is totally foreign to Christianity.

    • featheredfrog says:

      Kevin: According to Paul, it's faith, NOT actions: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” -Ephesians 2:8,9

      • Ye OIde Statistician says:

        @featheredfrog
        Which is quite clear, as the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches have always taught, since it was they who selected Ephesians for inclusion, back when they were a single entity. One understands "faith" as in the sense "to have trust in" rather than merely as one may believe a blog post or an internet rumor. We also read that one may have faith enough to move mountains but without good works is nothing; that there are three things that last - faith and hope and love - and the greatest of these is love. Likewise, James had some pointed remarks to make. The Christ himself is reported as saying that all sins against the Son can be forgiven, but sins against the Spirit will not be forgiven. This clearly links with what Paul had to say in Romans 2 about "those without the law" being a law unto themselves, to be saved or not insofar as they listen to the "law within themselves." This is why one should not quote-mine or proof-text but consider the whole thing.

        In brief:

        1. We are to do numerous things like feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick, loving our enemies, and so on. (This was a tremendous break with Greco-Roman civilization, best summed by the response of the Athenians to the Melians when they launched their unprovoked attack on that little neutral polis: "The strong take what they can and the weak suffer what they must.") This does not mean compelling others to help the poor at the point of the tax-collector's spear. That is simply the strong taking what they can with a smiley face. It means that *you* are to help the poor. That is why one need not be a contemporary liberal: contemporary conservatives actually donate more (%) of *their own* money to charity.

        2. But human nature is informed by "the selfish gene" (or "the original sin") and people on their own tick would be unable to stick to other-love for the long haul. In the end, the strong would take what they wanted.

        3. But with help, we can overcome self-love. This help is called "grace" and is freely available to any who ask from the One who is goodness itself. But even when it's raining soup, some are disinclined to grab their bowls.

        4. Unless they implicitly trust the One who sends it and who said that He was the Way. We trust that this Way is the right way. Hence, "grace through faith."

        5. So the passage from Ephesians not only makes sense in Orthodox-Oriental-Catholic theology, it makes sense in the context of the entire Scripture and the teachings maintained for roughly two millennia by Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, and Rome.

        6. It is in this sense that traditional Christianity (Orthodox-Oriental-Catholic) is orthodox while Judaism and Islam are orthoprax. The latter follows "right practice" -- obedience (submission/islam) to the letter of a long list of detailed laws, where the former considers its scriptures as describing "right beliefs" from which one may reason about the world.

        Hope this helps.

        Regarding Beck, I have no opinion, as I have never heard him.

  • Doug says:

    Not that I watch Glenn Beck (or any of the other cable news shows for that matter). But it appears to me as if the controversy is that basically Beck said some bad things about George Soros and said that he uses his wealth to fund political causes. The ADL and others have claimed that his is anti-Semitic because Soros is Jewish and that this sounds like archetypical Jewish conspiracy theories. Note also that this allegation was levied without

    1) Beck ever saying that George Soros was doing this because he was Jewish or using special Jewish influences or even mentioning he was Jewish.
    2) Any contrary evidence that what Beck said was without merit, George Soros is really incredibly wealthy, spends a ton of money on left-wing causes and also has severely manipulated economies using very highly levered trades (read up on the Bank of England).

    Now if this meets your standard of anti-semitism, then it only does so because Glenn Beck implied something about George Soros that his frequently been implied about Jewish people. Even if Glenn Beck didn't bring Judaism into the equation at all, what he said sounds just too similar to an all too common argument of your typical anti-semite.

    If that's your standard of anti-semitism that's fine, but let's apply it fairly. What else do anti-semites frequently say? Well one thing they frequently wish for is the destruction of the state of Israel. Therefore anyone who argues against Israel or supports causes that pose strong existential danger to it is also anti-semitic. Even if they don't say anything anti-Jewish, by your standard this position should be anti-semitic because it is just to associated with anti-semites.

    However Mark, I don't see you equally chastising pretty much the entire mainstream media, including CNN, ABC, NBC, MSNBC and CBS for cheering on the revolution in Egypt. The replacement of Mubarrak with Egyptian populists poses a grave danger to the state of Israel. Egypt is the largest Arab country, has dozens of advanced fighter jets and 92% of Egyptians see Israel as an enemy.
    http://justjournalism.com/media-analysis/egyptian-attitudes-to-israel/

    Also the "pro-democracy" crowds in Egypt gang-raped a Western journalist while shouting "Jew."
    http://www.candlelightstories.com/2011/02/15/egyptian-men-celebrate-defeat-of-mubarak-by-raping-american-journalist/

    If saying that George Soros is a wealthy puppet-master and manipulated politics and macroeconomics is anti-semitic, then in my book cheering on a blatantly anti-Israel and anti-semitic political movement in a neighboring country to Israel is also blatantly anti-Semitic. Yet a lot more influential people than Glenn Beck did this, and still I see no word of it from you. No strongly worded letter to Anderson Cooper or Peter Jennings or the New York Times?

    Could this possibly be because your accusations of anti-Semitism are being leveled against people you already disagree with?

    • Doug, there's so much wrong with your statement here that it isn't clear where to start. First of all, the primary problem that the letter from the four hundred rabbis addressed was not at all that somehow criticizing Soros was anti-semitic. Rather the letter says quite explicitly that their problems are 1) with Beck's repeated use of Holocaust imagery and calling opponents Nazis 2) that Beck responded to such complaints by attributing them to "left-wing Rabbis" who don't ever want the Holocaust to be discussed. that Beck's have included Soros who had to survive in Nazi Germany is simply more rancid icing on the rotten cake.

      You then proceed to bring up issues related to Mubarak which has zero to do with anything being discussed. Yes, our dear host hasn't discussed that. Here's some news for you: Mark is very busy. He can't discuss every single political issue, especially when this blog's primary focus is math, not politics.

      But since you've brought it up, let's discuss your remarks. You are correct that Mubarak's replacements are likely to be much more hostile to Israel than Mubarak was. That's also something which has been reported and discussed. That doesn't make the revolution a bad thing. (This seems to be a common attitude that democracy is all good until the demos decides something that one doesn't like.) And in any event, repeatedly calling everyone one doesn't agree with Nazis seems to be slightly difference in scale than a potential possible issue of not giving more coverage to a potential side-effect of a revolution. If you can't see that distinction then I'm not sure what more there is to say.

      Incidentally, we don't know who raped Lara Logan; given the chaotic situation and the prior assaults on Western reporters by Mubarak's people, it could easily have been from pro-Mubarak groups not the general protesters. So making conclusions from that event are unjustified.

      • Ye OIde Statistician says:

        Logan was not raped. She was "sexually assaulted," meaning she was groped and fondled. This is unfortunately common in Arab countries as a way of intimidating uppity women. Women deemed immodestly dressed in public have been accosted both verbally and physically. In one incident in the market of Amman Jordan, the harassers got a surprise, as the woman they picked was trained in martial arts. She kicked butt while the others in the market cheered her on.

        However, Logan's attackers were shouting "Jew! Jew!" and "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" has been a best seller in Cairo book stores for a while, so there is little doubt where the general public stands on this.

        • Yes, sorry, you are correct that it was sexual assault not rape. As to the other point, yes, the general Egyptian public is very anti-semitic and this is a general issue with much of the Arab world. That's not news to anyone nor is it terribly relevant to anything I said.

          • Nina says:

            I read reports that the chanting of "jew" was done to promote the crowd's aggression towards the female reporter as a means to get them to attack her.

  • Janne says:

    This piqued my curiosity. One question:

    A good Jew is a jew who follows the mitzvot, the commandments. Even if you have no faith – even if you’re unsure whether or not God really exists – you can be a good Jew. Because it’s not about what you believe, but about what you do.

    Does this mean that - at least technically - you could be an atheist, observant Jew? You consciously, deliberately choose to follow these rules while explicitly rejecting any supernatural source for them?

    • Vicki says:

      I have a friend who is an atheist convert to Judaism. She had long discussions with the rabbis, who assured her that her atheism was not a barrier to converting, if she otherwise felt that this was right for her. (Unlike me, she didn't want to be an atheist, but she couldn't find it in herself to believe, at least not then.)

    • Geoff says:

      I myself am an atheist and a Reform Jew. Although I don't believe in God, I still participate in services, tzedakah, and holidays, and I love it because you're allowed to believe what you honestly and rationally do believe about God and the Torah, and still be completely accepted as a Jew. Theoretically, Christians can even be Jewish if they wish to consider themselves as such, and follow the laws of the Torah (and many "Jews for Jesus" do exactly this).

      But the way I've understood it, most Christian sects only requirement is a single belief in Christ and so then once a Christian accepts that fact, all actions a become forgivable and so regardless of how strongly that Christian believes in Christ, those beliefs hold no motivation for moral decisions (since sins are forgiven).

    • And what does an atheist Jew do about saying the prayers that precede various ritual requirements — prayers that begin "Blessed are You, God, King of the Universe, who has ... commanded us to do [insert name of ritual here"? Doing the ritual without its associated prayer = violating the ritual; saying the prayer while opposing/disbelieving its words = hypocrisy.

  • Janne says:

    Agh, ignore the above post - I somehow skipped the paragraph where you explicitly bring up that point.

    • Yiab says:

      Even so, if you're looking for more information on the topic, you can Google "humanistic Judaism" to find at least a few organizations of atheistic Jews.

      While I would expect the statistics to show more atheistic Jews in Reconstructionist and Reform synagogues than Conservative or Orthodox, I wouldn't think any of those groups to look down on a member for not believing in God. Hasidim I don't know enough about to know if they'd feel the same way, though.

  • Julian Frost says:

    Mark,

    I know that that’s difficult for a Christian – particularly for a Mormon – to understand, because it’s just so foreign.

    Actually, a lot of us christians understand it quite well. Faith, without actions to back it, is worthless. That was one of the things I was taught. As Kevin says, please don't lump every christian in with a pig-ignorant, narrow minded fool like Beck. Oh, and I agree that he's an arsehole.

    • Yiab says:

      Actually, you demonstrated that you don't understand. Judaism doesn't say that actions are needed to back up faith, it's just that actions are needed and faith is not relevant.

      • Julian Frost says:

        Wow, Yiab. Based on my comments you divined that I didn't get that actions, not belief, was unimportant, and that I would never think that Mahatma Gandhi is a better christian than most christians, despite being a hindu?
        Oh wait, I do.
        And you're a troll.

        • Vicki says:

          Julian,

          I doubt you mean it this way, but when you say "Mahatma Gandhi is a better Christian than most Christians," that reads--at least to a non-Christian--as though you are using "Christian" as a synonym for "good person." That minimizes all other religions, and all secular systems of ethics. Gandhi was not a Christian, and was not trying to follow Christian teachings.

          Just for comparison, think about how odd it would sound if I said that a Christian friend of mine was "a better Jew than many Jews" because they always gave to charity, were truthful, and valued learning.

          • becca says:

            what? I think Gandhi was a damn fine Jew.

            Julian- there are some influential Christians who emphasize faith as central, and actions as important but never sufficient for redemption (some of whom were important in influencing American evangelical traditions, e.g. Calvinists of "The central assertion of these canons is that God is able to save every person upon whom he has mercy and that his efforts are not frustrated by the unrighteousness or the inability of humans." fame -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvinism) .
            That said, you are also correct to note that there are other Christians who emphasize actions, but not faith, as central to redemption. Importantly, Mark may not have been as accurate as possible here, because if anything, given their emphasis on the Old Testament and Covenants (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covenant_(Latter_Day_Saints)) the Mormons may actually have more in common with the Jews than he gave them credit for. Their devotion to going around on bicycles indicates a pretty strong commitment to action, after all.
            HOWEVER, the practical difference with Judaism, and the reason you never see Jews on bicycles, is because trying to *get people to believe in god* would be perceived as not as 'insufficient to save their souls' but 'profoundly irrelevant' and perhaps 'counterproductive' or even 'offensive'.

            The theological difference in Judaism is that *there is no redemption to speak of*. Heaven and hell, rewards and punishments, do not have the same defined place in Jewish faiths that they do in many Christian faiths. If you, as a Christian, were taught you must do good actions to be a good Christian, and that whether you had faith in god was essentially irrelevant, and that everyone else's beliefs or lack thereof in god were essentially irrelevant, and that none of this had anything to do with getting into heaven (if it exists), THEN you understand Judaism, at least a little. Also, you are a member of a very interesting group of Christians, and would you like to tell us more about the group and how they philosophically relate to other, better known, groups?

            Anyway. It's dangerous as hell to say who is or isn't a "real" member of any religious group, all the more so when it isn't even your group. That was the fundamental idiocy of Beck.

          • Julian Frost says:

            Valid point Vicki. Perhaps I should have put it as "an excellent example for Christians to follow", which I do believe.

          • Julian Frost says:

            Becca, in answer to your question, I'm a Catholic. I've read a fair amount of literature. One of the points that stuck was that you had to do good works. As one of the priests put it, the Eucharists are not enough. When you knock at the Pearly Gates and say "Please let me in. I've got my Baptismal Certificate" God will reply "Fine and good, but where's your Work Permit?"

          • Ye OIde Statistician says:

            The medievals had a doctrine derived from Romans 2 of "the naturally Christian man.*" They often cited Socrates as an example of a man who was Christian without ever knowing it. I have no reason to doubt that Gandhi might also have qualified.

            (*) Don't sweat it. They wrote in Latin. The word used was homo, which has no sexual distinction in its proper locution, not vir, which denotes a specifically male man.

        • Nina says:

          To be fair, you said that faith without actions to back it up is worthless, which is not the same as suggesting that actions are the source of worth- indeed it suggests that you need both. Perhaps you meant something different, though the response to your comment was not out of line.

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Maryn McKenna, Drug Monkey and David Manly, ScientopiaBlogs. ScientopiaBlogs said: An Open Letter to Glen Beck from a non-Orthodox Jew http://dlvr.it/HQp2F [...]

  • Nevertheless since its earliest days Reform Judaism has asserted that a Judaism frozen in time is an heirloom not a living fountain. The great contribution of Reform Judaism is that it has enabled the Jewish people to introduce innovation while preserving tradition to embrace diversity while asserting commonality to affirm beliefs without rejecting those who doubt and to bring faith to sacred texts without sacrificing critical scholarship.

  • Shana says:

    Thanks for your explanation - very well written and informative (and I'm a Reform Jew who attended a Conservative Synagogue as a kid, & grew up in an interfaith home).

    I get what folks are saying about not lumping all the Christians (& Mormons) together and I think that is fair, as no group wants to be lumped together, right? Maybe I'm just fortunate but I know a lot of folks of varying religions (and denominations of Christianity) and most of them are open to the idea that Judaism isn't faith-based. Sometimes my explanation is even met with some intrigue and further questions.

    And seriously, how is Beck/Fox getting away with this shit?!

    • Phil says:

      @Shana - they get away with it because they have a huge audience and the advertisers love it. There apparently have no shame in how wealth is acquired. That, in itself, speaks volumes about the mindset of the producers and advertisers. That millions would support this kind of garbage is testimony to the fear that Tea Partiers and their supporters have of (big assumption here) losing control of the belief/stereotype that "AMERICA" is a white, Christian country. I say this from the perspective of a well-educated mixed-race male with ancestors of widely varying spiritual beliefs (Christian, Atheist, Jewish, Buddhist, to name a few) who passes for 100% white Christian most of the time. Turn off all things Fox and don't buy anything from companies that advertise on Fox.

  • Michael says:

    While most American Jews are only concerned about action and not belief I think it's not quite right that it's totally irrelevant. For instance Orthodox Judaism has several classifications of people who don't have the "right" beliefs (eg. apikores, kofer) and those have real consequences (eg. I believe some orthodox congregations won't call a known atheist up to the Torah) -- of course most people probably don't mind on a personal level but I still think it is an issue in some circles.

  • Christina Pikas says:

    Thank you Mark. I learned a lot from this. I never understood how there could be atheist Jews.

  • Estraven says:

    Thank you very much for the very clear, interesting, level-headed explanation.
    And for the last sentence, a needed proof that you are actually human.

    I'm not an expert in the various branches of Christianism, but I've been a devout Catholic for a very long time and I can tell you HAVE to believe in God. There are a number of atheists who nevertheless respect and follow Catholic principles, but they do not fulfill the requirements of the Catholic religion. I am pretty sure the same applies to at least some major Protestant denominations.

  • Nobody22 says:

    Way to split hairs.

    My beef is essentially

    Muddling them together so that you can make some general statement about all non-Orthodox Jews means one of two things, both of which are quite possible given your track record: either you’re astonishingly ignorant, or you’re a malicious liar.

    I find this to be an either/or fallacy. It seems he glossed over some differences in his description of Jews and used some words in ways you didn't like them; but an open letter to Glen (isn't it Glenn) Beck seems over the top. Was he really trying to teach about Judaism or just rebut the dissent over (apparently) his speaking about current issues using Holocaust imagery? I wouldn't know, I don't watch/listen to him. If you don't like what he has to say, do the same.

    Obviously you felt strongly enough to use this platform to encourage others to ally against Glenn, even risking splintering your readership on the issue. IMO, stick to the math.

    • ix says:

      There was a real point that Glenn Beck was making, which apparently someone needs to spell out to make it clear. What he is really saying is that there are "good" jews (orthodox jews) and a [minority] contingent of "bad" jews (his "reformed" rabbis). The implicit claim he's making is that the non-orthodox jews are really just liberals in disguise, not really proper jews at all and nobody should listen to them (hey, that's about as sophisticated as the guy gets). At the very least, his claim that there is some sort of singular political movement of liberal jews out there is ridiculous on the face of it and is exactly why Mark's elucidation makes sense.

      Also, I don't think Mark will lose much sleep over the Glenn Beck viewership side of his audience.

  • J-Dog says:

    I am not accusing Mr. Beck of anything, I'm just asking a question, but I have heard that Mr. Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990. Could this have affected his ability to reason? It has also been reported that Mr. Beck has never denied raping and murdering a young girl in 1990.

    • Nina says:

      I've also read about this, and it is indeed revealing that no-where has he denied it. It is beyond me to draw a conclusion about this, since he refuses to comment (as suspicious as this is)

  • Mark, this was an amazing post and I learned a lot. Thanks for posting it buddy.

  • Michael says:

    Thank you, Mark. I must admit, most of what I know about Judaism comes from people like Glenn Beck. I truly enjoyed this article.

    @ Nobody22, I sincerely doubt Mark has risked alienating any significant portion of his readers. People who enjoy being spoon-fed their political knowledge by Glenn are not exactly the type of people who care about anything that involves analytical thought.

  • Michael says:

    @ J-Dog, I sincerely hope you don't truly believe that. That's a horrible thing to say about anyone, regardless of whether or not he/she is an asshole.

    Your logic breaks down pretty comically. Imagine if I were to write "J-Dog has never denied using crystal meth every day of his childhood from age 5 to 15." That is probably a perfectly true statement yet obviously it is purposely misleading.

    • Brian says:

      I think that was the point... Beck does that sort of thing all the time... It's sort of a "Have you stopped beating your wife" situation.

  • David says:

    @Michael, the whole 'raped and murdered a girl in 1990' thing is just a daft internet meme intended to satirise Beck's method of discourse and subject him to the same sorts of allegations and insinuations he uses when attacking liberals.

    When you call it 'perfectly true' yet 'obviously misleading', that's actually the whole point of the exercise. Mind you, it is telling that Beck hasn't denied the insinuation yet, despite having every opportunity to clear his name on his regular television show.

  • J-Dog says:

    Thank you David! You saved me from having to send a long and involved reply to Michael. So, I can just short-term it and say "Internet Memes - Look into it!"

    And I am not saying that Mr. Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990, I am just reporting what somebody else has said. My personal opinion is that Mr. Beck is way to pudgy and slow to actually catch, rape and murder young girls! No, Mr. Beck is much more likely to catch, rape and murder turtles, or other slow-moving animals than to rape and murder young girls.

  • Tyler says:

    Beck is a Mormon, therefore you can't expect him to understand anything about other religions.

    He might as well be Scientologist.

  • Composer99 says:

    Personally, I would put any lack of comprehension regarding subtleties in Judaism on the part of Glenn Beck down to his own inability or unwillingness to comprehend rather than on his religious background.

  • lura says:

    Thanks to all of you. Those of us who have access to logical thinking appreciate your thoughts and explanations.
    My question is..how is it that this undereducated former clown has a major program on FOX? What little credibility they have is blown by having Beck on. Not only is he uneducated he constantly has 'defrocked' historians, doctors and all kinds of other types who have revised history in their own weird worlds.
    I too hope that my family and I can have our own planet to live on forever in eternity. Wish I could converse with my former neighbor De. Carl Sagan. He would be able to advise me how many planets are still available. Or I could have George Noory speak with the spirit of Brigham Young and find out the numbers and locations.
    Even more so, I could wait until after my last breath and find out for myself. From a Jewish-Episcopalian in the manner of Goldwater.
    Lura

    • Vicki says:

      Credibility? The only kind of credibility Faux has ever looked for is the kind that comes from repeating something over and over and thereby being believed.

      They aren't interested in truth or news: their purpose is promoting a particular narrow, oligarchic worldview that claims to be "conservative" even as it tries to tear down large parts of society. (For example, if the president is a Republican it's disloyal to criticize him; if a Democrat is elected, suddenly it's entirely proper to criticize everything he does, including things you defended when a Republican did them.) If the truth doesn't fit their goal, they will cheerfully broadcast lies.

  • GrammarNazi says:

    As long as you're nitpicking, could you PLEASE not spell "Rabbis" with an apostrophe? Apostrophes are properly used in exactly two cases: contractions ("John's sick" = "John is sick", or "John's been gone a while" = "John has been gone a while") and posessives of nouns ("John's disease"), but not pronouns.

    An apostrophe is never correct when pluralizing anything, including the 1990s or the Oakland As.

    • While I don't agree with your last sentence (and if you cite Bob the Angry Flower as an authority, I'll cite the Oatmeal) and think that your moniker is a very inappropriate choice for this particular post, agreed on your first sentence.

      Mark, typo correction: "Rabbi's" should be "Rabbis" the three times it appears.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Actually the A's are okay for two reasons:

      1. That's how the franchise spells it, and since it's their team, they make the rules.
      2. This is use #3 for the apostrophe: the contraction (nat'l, e.g.). The apostrophe is an indication of a contraction of the full name of "Athletics".

  • James Sweet says:

    Wow, I have so much to say about this post, and here I am stuck on a mobile phone. I hope I remember to weigh in tomorrow....

  • Robert says:

    As a libertarian, I am far more concerned by Beck's continuous claim that he is a libertarian. Though, I suppose he says worse things.

  • alex says:

    Wow. This article is really enlightening. I had no idea that judaism has so well distinguished movements. Thank you, Mark, that was very interesting.

  • James Sweet says:

    Great post, even if the passion resulted in an uncharacteristic number of typos and spelling problems :) The emphasis on being a good person has always been one of the things that really appealed to me about Judaism. And the friendliness to atheists has put it on my short list (along with UU) if my wife ever does talk me into doing the church thang for the social/community aspect. (It's doubtful this will ever happen, because for strictly personal reasons I find it extremely uncomfortable being in any kind of church... but who knows)

    I did not know about the Reform/Reformed distinction -- and in fact I think I erroneously thought it was Reformed Judaism before reading this post. Thanks for pontificating on that. It was both fascinating, and increased my respect for Reform Judaism.

    FWIW I think you are a little too kind towards Orthodox Judaism, what with its institutionalized misogyny... but your vision of what Judaism is supposed to be about addresses virtually all of my objections to religion. This is coming from a pretty committed and unapologetic anti-theist. I've said as much before about your stated beliefs Mark... the very worst thing I could say is that some of it seems a bit superfluous to me, but hey, you're not asking me to believe it, so what do I care if it's a bit superfluous? If all theists saw things the way you do, I would have virtually nothing to say about my atheism -- what would be the point?

    One minor nit:

    I know that that’s difficult for a Christian – particularly for a Mormon – to understand, because it’s just so foreign.

    The "particularly for a Mormon" was a rather strange thing to say, since Mormons fall pretty heavily on the "works" side of the whole faith vs. works debate amongst Christians. Other commenters have expounded at length on how an emphasis on works is not the same thing, since virtually all sects of Christianity -- Mormons being no exception -- believe that faith is a crucial piece, regardless of whether they think faith without works is wholly inadequate; in contrast to (many) Jews who believe that works without faith is just fine. But saying "particularly for a Mormon" was a strange aside, since Mormons are closer to the Jews on this point than most Protestant denominations.

    (To be clear, I'm not trying to be a Mormon apologist... I could go on for hours about all the things wrong with Mormonism. The fact that they at least believe you have to be a good person -- unlike some Protestant denominations who don't even care if you are good, as long as you are super ass-kissy towards Jesus -- is one of the only nice things I have to say about Mormonism.)

    Lastly I want to take one more look at just how fucked-up this quote is from Beck:

    It’s almost like Islam, radicalized Islam in a way, to where it is just — radicalized Islam is less about religion than it is about politics.

    Even ignoring the highly offensive (not to mention deeply confusing) comparison between Reform rabbis and radicalized Islam, this statement is bizarre in and of itself. The problem with radicalized Islam is that it's all about religion and absolutely nothing else -- not even basic morality or human welfare. I suppose you could make the argument that it is also about politics, but this is true only because religion has subsumed literally everything else in the radical Islamic worldview. Politics and religion are synonymous, so to say that it's less about religion and more about politics is just nonsense words.

    It's also very strange to be bringing up a comparison to radical Islam in a conversation attempting to promote Orthodox Judaism over other forms... I think there are some meaningful parallels to be drawn between Ultra-Orthodox Judaism and radical Islam: the severe institutionalized misogyny, the explicit denigration of outsiders, the penetration of religious dogma into all aspects of life, the attempt to form a separate justice system when forced to coexist with a secular society, etc...

    I don't mean to pick on Islam or Judaism here; it's hard to find a major world religion without some serious assholes. It's just really weird that Beck equates the biggest assholes in the Muslim religion with the wing of the Jewish religion that has the least assholes. But then again, I don't think Beck really thinks about anything that comes out of his mouth...

  • Timothy V Reeves says:

    I think you'll find that Beck's appeal depends on him not making fine distinctions.

  • MBR says:

    >Because Judaism teaches us certain values, and those values tend to align with the left. Judaism teaches that taking care of the poor is a fundamental obligation of everyone.

    Coming from an extended family and friends of NYC Christians and Jews from all camps, Seattle JuBu's, etc., I certainly appreciate Judaism's flexibility, tolerance, and focus on tradition and deeds over rote and faith -- but I think you are showing your own prejudices here. While your statement is true about the Jewish community affiliating with the left, like most people's political leanings, this tends to be more about emotional "inertia" and what one is exposed to as a child, etc., then continuing research and issue-based decision making - of course, you may be an outlier here. Though I can see the actual ideological agreement between many leftist policies and many Jewish views, I believe the case you site above is ridiculous - although I'm not sure I agree with the stats I've seen of conservatives giving many times more to charity than liberals, I certainly don't find any reason to believe that they give any less; moreover, the idea that spending government/taxpayer funds on the poor though social programs automatically equates to "taking care" of the poor certainly is not to be taken as fact. Certainly personal charity and good works, taught by both Christianity and Judaism, is true, working charity.

  • MBR says:

    >he problem with radicalized Islam is that it’s all about religion and absolutely nothing else
    Really? ISTM that radicalized Isalam is about as much about religion as were the Crusades, or any movement that's about keeping a political power-base in force, or keeping people in the dark and full of hatred. It's really almost nothing about religion.

  • Namnezia says:

    "Does this mean that – at least technically – you could be an atheist, observant Jew? You consciously, deliberately choose to follow these rules while explicitly rejecting any supernatural source for them?"

    While I understand the notion of being a good Jew and not believing in God are compatible in some branches of judaism, I really don't think an Orthodox rabbi would agree that you can be an atheist and a jew. After all, the first four of the ten commandments ARE about praising God. And many of the mitzvot ARE about keeping daily prayers, etc.

  • The leftist opinions among the American Jewish population can be explained: According to both the American Jewish Identity Survey and David Bernstein's anecdotes, a substantial percentage of potentially-Jewish conservatives have converted to other religions. I also suspect many right-wing Jews have moved to Israel, which might explain changes in Israeli politics.

    In other words, Glenn Beck did not have to invoke any weird conspiracy theory in order to explain being criticized by rabbis. That doesn't mean he was antisemitic (an antisemite would have assumed that Jews are naturally on the Other Side instead of looking for an explanation), but it does mean he was mistaken.

  • I am a 57 year old awakening jew, and am very impressed with this dialogue.

    Too many people love to hate.

    Too many people hate to think.

    Our Becks foment ignorance into hatred; they gain power excusing the negative passions of unthinkers, encouraging anger at the scapegoat du jour.

    The beer company should sue the media mogul for wrecking the integrity of the family name; that would be fitting.

  • jakesalope says:

    What is the point attempting to reason with Beck, or most of the talk radio crowd? They are immune to logic and reason and simply lump everyone they have an issue with into a mass of enemies. And these enemies are all engaged in a massive conspiracy against the Forces of Light and Good which they and their knuckledragging fans belong to. I don't think Beck is an anti-semite, just a completely stupid, narcissistic right aing crackpot devoid of reason just like his ugly alter ego Savage. After all, he sells a fake revisionist history where the Progressives are the root of all evil, where Hitler and the Nazis learned everything from studying the progressives in the USA. It is sad there are so many stupid know nothings who are so defective they take such childish rubbish seriously but intelligence and reason are not mass produced.

  • ossicle says:

    Beck is an arse and I'd be delighted to hear of his death-by-truck.

    However, I'm completely unsympathetic to this post because I despise group-identifications ("I'm a Jew," "I'm Irish," "I'm a black woman," etc. etc.) and everything to do with them.

    For me, when you blarf at enormous length about this stuff you become a combination of a foolish clown and a Comic Book Guy-like guy who goes on and on with great seriousness about the correct rules for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.

    I'd thank Santa til my dying day if everyone would just wildly, thoroughly abandon their obsessions with their ancestries and in-groups, and strive to maximally develop as unique individuals. (I realize this is almost impossible for most Jews, raised as they are.)

    Very popular opinion, I know! -- no doubt most commenters agree with me. :p

    -Oss

    • Dunc says:

      It's real easy to despise group-identifications when you're not a member of a group which society in general insists on imposing a group-identification on. Actually, it's equally easy to despise them when you are, but you quickly realise that it doesn't make any god-damn difference what you think because the rest of society is going to keep treating you as an incarnation of a stereotype rather than an individual anyway.

      I’d thank Santa til my dying day if everyone would just wildly, thoroughly abandon their obsessions with their ancestries and in-groups, and strive to maximally develop as unique individuals. (I realize this is almost impossible for most Jews, raised as they are.)

      And there you go... I'll take "auto-contradiction" for $1000 please. How about you stop making assumptions and generalisations about vast groups of diverse people based on their "ancestries and in-groups" first, and we'll see how it goes?

  • nursecrd says:

    Nicely written. I do listen to Glenn Dreck and to Lush Bimbo from time to time, especially when I need a good belly laugh. What I cannot understand is how anyone can believe the nonsense those two idiots (my apologies to most idiots) spew.

  • Vicki says:

    Ossicle--

    How about getting rid of the group-identifications white, Christian, man, and American? Or would that be too difficult, or require you to do too much of the work? I realize it's easier to tell people who are being attacked for being something other than Christian to drop their self-identification than to take the equivalent message to all the people who keep insisting that the United States is and/or should be a Christian nation.

    I don't have to identify as a woman, but (a) I will be so treated whether I do or not, and (b) telling people "I'm not a woman" when they're used to thinking of you as one carries non-trivial risks, including ostracism, employment discrimination, and loss of one's spouse/partner.

  • Pierce R. Butler says:

    Justice – including charity – is not an option, not an act of kindness; it’s a commandment, a fundamental obligation.

    Unless of course the other person(s) involved happen to be Philistine/Palestinian, in which case the apparent commandment is to decry people talking about justice as "anti-semitic".

    Which is just to say that rules against hypocrisy are secondary-to-trivial among the majority of those who hold to any religion (and no few atheists...).

  • mitchell says:

    I have been an orthodox Jew for 8 years along with my family -we learn grow, practice marital laws and Tznias laws. reform Jews unfortunately mold things to their liking. We pray everyday they and all of us will follow the Torah and Shabbos and Messiach will come. Glen Beck, you did nothing wrong in my opinion. Jews have always been our own downfall, especially liberals, when hashem turns from us for not following his ways--hey wait, here is another wakeup call RIGHT NOW liberal Jewish friends. Look around-the wolves are surrounding the sheep... take the warning now. Study gemara, learn Torah, and you will discover, making up your own "Reform" is NOT the interpretations of the written or oral laws. It's yours....

  • Solm Buddie says:

    Hy how about taking the time to learn a few things about Latter Day Saints (aka Mormons) before you lump them in with other Christian Sects, and Glenn Beck.

    You Sir are an anti-Christian bigot!

  • Solm Buddie says:

    And an Anti-Mormon, Mormon basher.

    Mormons would defend your right to be an idiot before most other *Christians* would.

    Moron

  • Peter Wadeck says:

    "The majority of Reform Jews are politically liberal. But then, so are the majority of Jews, period. ".

    The last time I looked, in Isreal the birth rate of Orthodox Jews was about 7/family. The birth rate for the rest is about 1.5/family - which means they are disappearing. Eventually, as this trend continues then Israel will be 100% Orthodox, or at least a majority. This is important to consider when comparing the Jewish sects. This is what you would expect considering Lev. 18:24-28, or as the most famous Jew said: "Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the world" Matt. (another Jew) 5:5.

  • Phineas says:

    Glen Beck is a Papal hack. Read the protocols written by Roman Catholic Jesuit priests to smear Jews. This has been admitted to by Vatican Jesuit Priests who fled the Roman Cult. The Vatican bragging rights Protocols say they (ROME) provide their own opposition. Glen Beck, Bill O'Rielly, Sean the papist Hannity, and Alex (CIA Mockingbird program) Jones are all Roman Papists. They all claim to be Pro-Israel yet bash Israel? They are pro Rome controlled Israel, not Israelite controlled Israel. Watch as Rome rallies the Muslim (sword of Rome) hoard, Russia and Persia/Iran or GOG and Magog of the bible against Israel. While the US Government a Roman Proxy army acts as if it is against this yet supports it out the back door with contradictory rhetoric. This is why a Roman Papist 2nd degree Prince Hall free mason named President Obama trashes Israel while claiming to support it. Has anyone seen the Middle East countries that would NOT go along with attacking Israel are all under siege now? Egypt, Libya to name a couple? Anyone in the Middle East who refuses to go along with the coming war on Israel will be toppled, or bankrupted now.

    And the pagan Romanized Christians will follow suit. While REAL Christians who keep the Sabbath and the old Laws, are silenced or smeared.

    Soon you all will see the Roman Inquisition in the United States against any NON-Papists, and Liberal Roman Catholics who doubt the Popes infallibility.
    Ever wonder why the USA is being filled with South of Texas gang members and Roman Catholic Warriors we call Hispanics? How about the millions of Muslims? Islam is called the Sword of ROME by ROME! Mohamed was age 25 when he married his first wife a ROMAN Catholic NUN of 40 years of age. He was Jesuits trained and the Jesuit scribes wrote the Qu-ran/Koran.

    Get ready Israel and the USA your day is coming as your countries are the only two left not completely under ROMES control. The Inquisitions are coming in less than 5 years.

    The messenger...

  • Kaija says:

    Did read the religious debate in the comments, but wanted to add my thank you for writing a thoughtful and educational post in response to a stupid faux news actor. Incidentally, though we show a lot of American media here in Canada, Fox News is not allowed because Canada has a law that says a legitimate news source cannot blatantly lie or report untruths (this is the same in many Scandinavian and European countries as well).

  • Fischer Karl says:

    I know this is not going to be published. But again (it is not the first time I am asking this question). What is the relation to math ?

  • salli yarrow says:

    Glen Beck gives info that can be easily authenticated, and all the comments i've read here are worthless

  • salli yarrow says:

    all these comments are worthless and of no value to anyone

  • Jim Brown says:

    Mark, where did you learn Judaism, the back of a cracker jack box? Reform Jews don't follow strict gender roles? Are you serious?

    The entire Jewish foundation resides on the word "Father".

    Time to get a larger yarmulke. Yours has cut the circulation off to your brain.

  • k says:

    Hey. I was just wodering: do you think Orthodox Jews are closer to God in any way?

  • An Israeli Jew says:

    but I should have known better, trying to engage anyone using an abusive language such as "pig-ignorant jackass".

  • With the potential for voter fraud in the MA election, I wonder if Jimmy Carter will show up to assure fairness. He travels all over the world for that purpose. This time, he could cut travel expenses by get ting on the bus with the SEIU or Acorn crowd.

  • Jesuah says:

    Sounds like the early deists worship is raising its fem head again.
    In clear opposition to the word of the old testament.
    Of course we all know that these are out-date, out of time views,
    perhaps you have read about the idol worship and fertility nonsense of the pre-one God ages.
    A period (female) is the clearing out of old barren eggs repeatedly to make way for seed.
    Make sure it falls on fertile (good) soil (lol) and not on the multiple of other carrier grounds available.
    The Patriarchs of old are being overun by female deist. Perhaps? A hard swallow!

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