Monday, January 24, 2005

Rabbi Gafni/Win(i/y)arz Series Part 2: Rabbi who attacked legitimacy of reform movement now has "Wisdom chair" at largest Reform synagogue in CA

1 Comments:

At 6:04 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Hilarious, here Gafni claims that Reform Judaism is illegitimate
"What's Jewish about Reform Judaism?"

Now Gafni has a "Wisdom chaim" at the largest Reform synagogue in California.
http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/Gafni_Mordechai.html#Wisdom

Proving what a sap Rabbi Eli Herscher and others in the Reform movement supporting child molester Rabbi Mordechai Gafni truly are.
see: http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/Gafni_Mordechai.html#Herscher

Source:
THE NEW ORTHODOXY THE NEW RABBI OF THE BOCA RATON SYNAGOGUE EXPECTS TO MAKE WAVES.
Sun-Sentinel
July 24, 1987
By CAROL BRZOZOWSKI, Staff Writer

The name Mordechai Winyarz may not ring a bell in Palm Beach County yet.

But as the Orthodox rabbi settles into his new position as the first full-time rabbi for the Boca Raton Synagogue, he has hopes of being a ''clanging cymbal'' for God.

Winyarz, 26, just may do that. If he were a Christian, his style would be called evangelical.

Winyarz immediately is forthright about his lifestyle, should there be any questions on the topic: ''I'll be making about
$40,000 to $44,000, I drive a 1984 Topaz and I own eight suits.''

Winyarz has come from New York to the fledgling Boca Raton Synagogue, the only Orthodox synagogue in Boca Raton, and one of three in Palm Beach county.

Its construction is the bloodline for the Orthodox body. Orthodox Jews walk to the synagogue on the Sabbath and its construction has made it easier for the Jews to worship.

''People were moving here because they knew we were here,'' said Dr. Gary Lieber, a spokesman and founding member of the synagogue.

Just a few weeks into his position, Winyarz is making plans in an effort to get involved. He is constantly on the telephone, talking with religious and secular community leaders. On the drawing board is a plan for some type of ''demonstration'' in regards to the papal visit.

''Judaism has got to be a moral and social force,'' Winyarz said. ''Not just to make pronouncements, but to become involved.''

''We were looking for someone to shake the bushes, to make the synagogue a dynamic place,'' Lieber said of the search for a rabbi. ''We're looking to make the congregation the Jewish center in south county. With a mouthpiece like him, we want to let people know we're here. We've essentially done the groundwork.''

Winyarz ambitiously speaks of a few of his plans, one of which is to create a national Jewish retreat center on the synagogue's property.

''Why not?'' he said. ''The assumption is that everything operates out of New York. (Studies show) there are 75,000 Jews in Palm Beach County.''

Yet South County Jewish Federation studies also show that the affiliation rate of local Jews is 13 percent, half the national average.

''Boca in general is extremely materialistic and completely
self-involved,'' Winyarz said in interpreting the statistics.
''Younger people come to Florida to escape and be unaffiliated.''

Winyarz said he doesn't condemn the acquisition of material goods and adds that Hebrew scriptures show that God created the world and the world is to be enjoyed.

As a spiritual leader, Winyarz said he will attempt to guide his
congregation into emphasizing aspects of life that transcend material goods.

''So you've got the Porsche, the pool and the boat. What happens when you die? What do you have then? What did life mean? There must be a purpose to life. Living a meaningful existence is more pleasurable than owning a Porsche.''

Thus, the synagogue becomes what he calls the ''pleasure center.''

Winyarz did not say how much membership in the synagogue will cost, but said, ''Any Jew can come to High Holy Days even if they can't pay. And no Jew ever will be turned away for lack of funds -- ever, ever.''

Although the Boca Raton synagogue structure is complete, Winyarz said there is still more work to do on the inside and the work that is being planned will introduce some new twists on established ideas.

For instance, men and women are seated separately in Orthodox synagogues and typically women are out of the sight of the men, either behind a screen or in the back of the synagogue.

Plans for Boca Raton Synagogue (the word ''Orthodox'' is intentionally omitted) still separate men and women, but women are not out of sight. Structurally, the synagogue is in a semicircle, focusing on the center of worship: the Torah and the Eternal Light.

''There will be an opportunity within the synagogue context for women to express themselves in a public manner, which is completely within the (Hebrew) law,'' Winyarz said. ''Men or women will be able to get up and give a talk about a religious issue.

''We will have orthodoxy with a small 'o' and Halakhah (Jewish law) with a capital 'H.' ''

He calls it the new Orthodoxy. Orthodox Judaism usually evokes the
stereotypical image of long beards, curly sideburns and black coats -- and a separation from the rest of society.

The ''new'' Orthodox Jew is the upwardly mobile doctor, lawyer, stockbroker or other person integrally involved in society, yet set apart from others in similiar professions by a belief system that emphasizes religious law and spiritual values.

A prime example of that was Winyarz's ''outreach'' lectures on Wall Street. He once did a lecture on Wall Street called ''Jewish Sexual Ethics.'' He also conducted lunchtime scripture studies in a prestigious Manhattan law firm.

Orthodox Judaism is attractive to young Jews, Winyarz said, because ''young people are looking for something that's real. People intuitively sense that which is authentic and I think there's a desperate yearning for authenticity.''

Winyarz is an example of the attractiveness of Orthodoxy to young Jews. He had become so immersed in it that by 23 he was teaching Bible at Yeshiva University.

''There's nothing as exciting as traditional Judaism,'' Winyarz said. He wants to turn what he feels is a stereotype of Orthodox Judaism from ''backward, anti-feminist, anti-science'' to ''real exciting, progressive system of life.''

In New York, winyarz recruited young people by walking into public schools with a shofar (the administration did not know of his actions). Children who recognized the shofar -- a ram's horn used for ceremonies -- were targeted as recruits for his Jewish Public School Youth Project. He turned his efforts into a string of clubs with a budget of $500,000.

If Winyarz initiates the project in Florida, he won't be staging any press conferences.

''It would be difficult to do it in Florida schools,'' he said. ''If I do it, I won't announce it.''

Winyarz is critical of some other Jewish and non-Jewish religious groups (For instance, he asks, ''What's Jewish about Reform Judaism?'') although he adds that he believes he will have a good working relationship with other clergy.

''I believe we have the most correct system,'' he said of Orthodox Judaism. ''I believe there are moments of truth in others.''

Caption: (Staff photo/MARK RANDALL)Rabbi Mordechai Winyarz says Orthodox Judaism is attractive to young Jews because of its ''authenticity.'' PHOTO (1)

 

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