Rav Avigdor Miller on There Are Jews and Then There Are Jews

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Q:
Are we supposed to think of the Conservative and Reform Jews as non-Jews or as Jews who are not frum?


A:
The question is, what do you mean by that? Certainly they’re not frum Jews. But they certainly are Jews. As soon as a Conservative Jew or Reform Jew does teshuva, he’s a Jew; he doesn’t have to go through any ceremony of conversion. So therefore, they certainly are Jews.

But there are Jews, and then there are Jews. In one sense, they’re Jews. And that’s because technically they were born from Jewish mothers. So in a technical sense they are Jews. But in the sense of sharing in the privileges of being part of the Jewish nation, no, they certainly have no share in those privileges.

The love that we have to feel towards our fellow Jews does not extend to Reform Jews. Now, some people don’t like to hear that, but I’m talking the truth. It’s hard to love your fellow Jew. It takes work. Some people bandy the word love around, they “love everybody” they say. The truth is that they don’t even love their own brothers and sisters. That’s the plain truth, and now they’re willing to love everybody?! The answer is that it’s a phony. It’s all a bluff. It’s so hard to love a fellow Jew. It’s very difficult. And now you want to go an extend it to everybody? Don’t be ridiculous!

In order to love somebody like you love yourself, he has to be like yourself. And if he doesn’t have your ideals, then you can’t love him like yourself. Certainly you should try to help them. Certainly. You have to help goyim too, sometimes. And a fellow Jew who is not observant, if you can lead him back to Judaism, that’s a very big mitzvah. So why not help him? But to say that you have to love him like you love yourself? No, that’s out of the question.

TAPE # 490