Friday, April 28, 2006

Marc Gafni on his Post Orthodoxy Journey and his role as a Jewish Renewal Leader

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Background information on The Case of Rabbi Mordecai Gafni (AKA: Marc Gafni, Marc Winiarz, Mordechai Winiarz)
Born as Marc Winiarz, went to New York from the Midwest for high school and college, became a youth leader and rabbi, was accused of sexual assaulting two teenage girls, and attempted sexual assault of a young adult woman. He was also accused of cult like practices. In 1991 he left the Unitied States to start a new life in Israel, changing his name to Mordechai Gafni.

Marc Gafni: "I was a stupid kid and we were in love," the rabbi said. "She was 14 going on 35, and I never forced her"

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the spiritual leader of the Israeli community of Efrat, was going to revoke the rabbinic ordination he gave Rabbi Gafni many years ago when they had a close rabbi-student relationship. When Gafni heard of Rabbi Riskin's wishes, he wrote a letter "returning" his semicha to spare his former teacher any further embarrassment.

Rabbi Gafni serves on the spiritual advisory council of Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, a national organization based in Philadelphia; leds retreats at Elat Chayyim, a Jewish Renewal center in the Catskills; preached frequently at the Stephen S. Wise Temple in Los Angeles; and founded Bayit Chadash ("new home"), a New Age Jewish community in Israel that he said strives "to restore the spark of holy paganism."
Interview by Luke Ford with Rob Goodman on Wednesday night, April 26
Thursday, April 27, 2006

Rob visits "what everyone says is the heart of the new movement -- The Purple Festival [at Atlit Beach in Israel."

We see separate streams of naked men and naked women (some wear bathing suits) running into the ocean. They were organized and directed by Rabbi Mordecai Gafni.

A wave hits some of the women and they start choking on sea water. The men, 20 feet away, rush over and help their big-breasted Israeli sisters and bring them to shore.

Rob: "No wonder the old synagogue is empty. I'm all for smoking weed and dancing but when did that become religion?"

This festival is filled with hot chicks. It's presided over by homely old folks such as Gafni. Why must he get all the hot chicks? What happened to "From each according to his ability to each according to his need?"

There's great video of Gafni dancing around, waving his hand, and singing "L'cha dodi."

Gafni: "Let's say, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Shabbat shalom."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gafni is in Ashland, Oregon this weekend. People are actually paying to see him.

April 28-30th, 2006
Join Rabbi Mordechai Gafni in Ashland!

Weekend begins Friday evening and continues through mid-day Sunday, with teachings, singing, Saturday lunch, Sunday brunch, and so much more.

Gafni is the author of the bestselling books "Soul Print" and "The Mystery of Love."

Rabbi David Zaslow calls Gafni "one of the most brilliant, ecstatic, inspiring teachers in the cosmos!"
Value $135

April 29, 2006 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you aware that the Jewish Federation in Chicago was promoting Gafni for an event last week?

I think everyone should be contacting them.

4/21/2006 - 4/23/2006

Rabbi Marc Gafni 2006 JRC Scholar-In-Residence

303 Dodge Avenue
Evanston IL 60202

7:30 PM

Contact: Diane, in the office
Phone: (847) 328-7678

Visit the Web Page

What Is Jewish Enlightenment? Moving Toward an Evolutionary Model. Reb Mordechai Gafni is one of the leading voices today in Israeli and international religious life and spirituality. He will be leading a joyous weekend of prayer, niggunim, chant, study and deep insight. Reb Gafni is the author of the best selling book "Soul Prints: Your Path to Fulfillment". This is a rare opportunity to study with Reb Gafni in Chicago. Friday night 7:30 pm; Sat. 9:00 am through havdalah; Sunday 9:45 AM - 12:30PM. $100 per person, pre-registration required.

April 29, 2006 10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JRC Calendar of Events
2006 Scholar in Residence Weekend with Rabbi Marc Gafni
Date 21 April 2006
Location JRC 303 Dodge Ave.,Evanston
Contact JRC Office
Scholar-in-Residence 2006.pdf
The Mystical Meets the Rational:
Finding Meaning in a New Spiritual Language

Get ready for a full weekend of in-depth Jewish learning with the internationally reknown philosopher and spiritual master, Rabbi Marc (Mordechai) Gafni. This is an exciting opportunity in which we will engage in dynamic conversation on the future of Judaism.

Advance registration required. Free to JRC members; a limited number of spaces will be available to non-members at a cost of $100. Download the brochure (above) for a detailed schedule and registration form.

April 29, 2006 10:59 PM  

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