Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar is intensifying his battle on Reform and Conservative Judaism: In a letter sent Thursday afternoon to Israel's
rabbis, Amar urges them to pressure government ministers and Knesset members in a bid to stop the involvement of non-Orthodox movements in state and religion issues and prevent any influence they may have in this area.
At the start of his letter, Rabbi Amar describes a difficult situation the people of Israel are facing in terms of materialism and spirituality, and rules that "the most difficult thing is the plague of assimilation, which is eating up our pure and holy nation."
According to the rabbi, "There are countries in which it has reached terrible dimensions, and now this horrible disease is being spread in our holy country as well and no one pays attention."
The chief rabbi blames "those who call themselves liberal and reform and their friends and supporters" for the situation. "They're responsible for this terrible treachery and are supporting it openly without being ashamed, and now they are sticking their claws into the people residing in Zion and trying to dictate our lifestyle."
According to Amar, the representatives of these movements are "spreading fear in various and diverse ways and have established legions of fighters within the Land of Israel with the sole purpose of uprooting the Torah from Israel and undermining the religious courts and anything holy, in any way and with all measures, by threatening and influencing the ministers and the Knesset members and through the courts, etc, going from bad to worse."
Rabbi Amar rules that it is every Jew's duty to act against this trend and calls on the rabbis to "evoke and encourage" their community members to do so, "in writing and by heart," particularly those with access to ministers or MKs. He also recommends organizing prayers on this matter, especially during the holiday season.
The rabbi concludes his letter in a softer tone, calling for the return of Reform and Conservative Jews to religion. "They are our brothers and our flesh and blood," he writes. "And even if they have distanced themselves from the road of Torah and tradition instilled by our forefathers, they are still our brothers and we love them truly and pray for God to guide their hearts in the right direction."
Executive Director of the Masorti movement in Israel, Yizhar Hess, said in response: "Rabbi Amar is right. The non-Orthodox Judaism, both the Masorti and Reform, has already established a real position among the Israeli society.
"The hundreds of communities across the country show us that the Orthodox monopoly will collapse not just due to its corrupt conduct, but mainly because it has become irrelevant in the eyes of a growing public. Amar's hateful remarks speak for themselves."