Rabbi Shlomo Amar

Conservative rabbis protest chief rabbi’s inflammatory remarks

Rabbi Shlomo Amar

Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar recently issued a letter on official Israeli government stationery calling for a rally at the headquarters of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel this coming Tuesday, in protest of an order by Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to fund a limited number of non-Orthodox rabbis.

The letter, shockingly, refers to non-Orthodox rabbis as “terrorists” whose “sole intention is to do harm to the holiness of Torah.”

In a statement, the Rabbinical Assembly, the international umbrella organization for Conservative rabbis, warns that such “incendiary language” can have “devastating consequences.” The assembly views Amar’s comments as a threat to non-Orthodox rabbis.

“The Talmud (Arakhin 15b) teaches that hateful speech has the potential to kill,” the statement reads.

“Rabbi Amar’s language places all Jewish people at risk of violence, all because the attorney general on behalf of the government of the state of Israel directed that non-Orthodox rabbis in agricultural communities could be paid salaries from non-religious budgets.”

The Rabbinical Assembly finds it ironic that Amar’s rally coincides with the annual meetings of the Jewish Agency which advocates for the unity of the Jewish People.

“We call upon those in attendance at the Jewish Agency meetings to utilize the important opportunity of being together to call for lawful, restrained and appropriate behavior on the part of Israeli officials,” the statement reads.

 

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