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June 01, 2009



Re: Reform ideology: Have you read R. Antelman's polemic work "To Eliminate the Opiate"? He submits that the founding of Reform was an Illuminati scheme to overthrow Judaism and the old world order. He is given to invective and hyperbole but if even only a small percentage of his claims are true, it is on the one hand quite dismaying, but on the other hand helps explain so much.


I did not and thank you for pointing me to that. Professor Scholem did claim that Sabbateans were behind Haskala and Reform. His speculations about possible influences between Sabbatean and Reform Judaism in Hungary were criticized by Jacob Katz for lack of historical evidence. I understand that some more recent research based on archival research confirms that many of the founding Reform families in Prague were from Sabbatean families.


Yes, R. Antelman also cites those sources. He also claims, though, that the Sabbatean/Frankist cults themselves were developed by the Illuminati as part of their plot, as was the communist movement. Maybe he is overreaching. However, the links between these various utopian subversive movements were interesting. For example, Abraham Geiger, a founder of Reform, had his salary and the costs of running the first Reform seminary in Breslau paid for by the Bund, a political party which later became known as the International Communist Party. Geiger's brother-in-law was Heinrich Oppenheim, one of the leaders of the failed Communist revolution in Germany in 1848.

steve mcqueen

If your reading is correct it is not a good reflection of our community that the only way a serious talmid hacham can make statements on issues of public concern is through the medium of childrens literatue!


>"[Pinchos Lipschutz's] concern for a fellow Jew he was about to attack was touching."

I don't know about you, but this sounds like sarcasm designed not to sound sarcastic. I know R. Reinman goes on to condemn others who he feels are asid litein es ha-din, but I can't help the feeling that he was not quite so touched by Lipschutz heads-up that he was going to publish an "attack" on him.

Natan Slifkin

"Although R. Reinman does not cite him, Immanuel's opinion is, in fact, the view of Maharshal"

Also Chassam Sofer (in his chiddushim to Maseches Niddah p. 18a) concerning a discussion by the Rishonim about an aspect of human anatomy. He writes that “after investigations in books and from scholars in the field of anatomy, it is impossible for us to deny that the reality is not in accordance with the explanation of Rashi and Tosafos and the illustration of Maharam Lublin, and we have nothing other than that which the Rambam wrote in his compendium… and therefore I have not bothered at all in explaining the words of Rashi and Tosafos in this topic, because it is impossible to sustain them according to the reality, and you – know this!”

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