By the Grace of G‑d
15th of Tammuz, 5719 [July 21, 1959]
Brooklyn, N. Y.
Greeting and Blessing:
In reply to your inquiry as to whether or not there has been
any change in my stand toward the affiliation of orthodox Rabbis or synagogues
with the New York Board of Rabbis or Synagogue Council -
I wish to assure you that there has not been, nor
could there be, any change in my stand on this vital and far-reaching question.
My considered opinion, as I have reiterated it on several
occasions privately and publicly, is based on the undisputable Halachic
decision formulated by Rambam (Hilechot Teshuvah 3:8), according to which the
doctrines and ideology of the Conservative and Reform movements can only be
classed in the category of heretical movements which have plagued our people at
one time or another, only to disappear again, having no basis in our
everlasting Torah, Toras Emes, Toras Chaim.
I have clearly stated my view that membership in the New
York Board of Rabbis, or Synagogue Council of America, or similar religious
bodies, strikes deeply at the roots of true Judaism. Such membership cannot
escape the logical inference that the Conservative and Reform movements are
recognized by the orthodox members of the said bodies as belonging within the
fold of true Judaism, differing only in degree or in minor details; whereas in
truth these movements deny the very basis of true Judaism. Protestations to the
contrary can only be regarded as empty words, refuted by actions.
May G‑d enlighten the eyes of those that still waver on this
vital question, to remedy the situation without delay. I hope and pray that
everyone, both Rabbi and layman, will use his utmost influence in that
M. M. Schneerson