Israel´s Sephardic Chief Rabbi: ´Terrible damage´ wreaked by Conservative and Reform (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Yair Ettinger 06/18/12)
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Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar wants to scuttle the state´s plan
to recognize some Reform and Conservative rabbis and pay them with
Amar plans to convene the Chief Rabbinate Council in an attempt to
recruit Israel´s Orthodox rabbis to fight the decision. Attorney
General Yehuda Weinstein advised the High Court of Justice about the
decision last month, and it was given the status of a high court
Meanwhile, the Knesset Finance Committee, which is chaired by United
Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni, is not hurrying to approve funds for
this purpose, and Religious Services Minister Yaakov Margi has
accused two justices who heard the Reform Movement´s petition of
acting out of personal interest.
In an interview last night with the Kol Berama radio station, which
is identified with Shas, Amar said the Reform and Conservative
movements "uprooted all the foundations of Torah" and that there´s a
need "to explain the terrible damage that they wreak."
He said he had written a letter to Weinstein, saying the attorney
general should have consulted with the Chief Rabbinate before giving
his unprecedented agreement to recognize non-Orthodox rabbis.
"We view such a thing as the planting of a seed that will yield
fruits that are not good fruits or kosher fruits, but that bear
within them grave risks to the Jewish people from every direction,"
"We know that the greatest danger to this generation is the
assimilation that is eating into us and depleting us, and they give a
hand, haphazardly and easily, to this terrible phenomenon, aside from
what they uproot - actually uproot - from the foundations of Torah."
Rabbi Gilad Kariv, the director of the Reform Movement in Israel,
said the chief rabbi´s intentions "prove the degree to which the
Chief Rabbinate has lost its state function and the degree to which
it is disengaged from the strong desire of the broader Israeli
public, which is fed up with the Orthodox monopoly.
"It would behoove Rabbi Amar to resign from his state post; then he
will be free to wage public and political battles just like any other
citizen in the State of Israel," Kariv said. "But until then, it
would be appropriate for him to internalize the principles of
democracy and avoid exploiting his state position to incite against a
public of tens and hundreds of thousands who identify with the
approach and the path of Reform Judaism." (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz
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