Rabbi Dov Lior, chief rabbi of the West Bank town Kiryat Arba, continues to take a hard line against Reform Jews. In the past, the rabbi had issued a religious ruling stating that one should not go into a Reform synagogue, nor attend any events sponsored or held by the Reform Movement.
On Monday, however, the rabbi issued an even harsher edict, mandating that sofrei stam, or Jewish scribes, should not sell Torah scrolls, tefilin or mezuzahs to Reform Jews.
Rabbi Lior issued this edict on an internet forum belonging to the Beit El Yeshiva. A sofer stam wrote the rabbi and told him that that he was asked to fix a Torah scroll for, and sell mezuzahs and tefilin to, a Reform Jewish congregation.
The scribe asked the rabbi whether he could fix Torah scrolls for Reform Jews, and whether these scrolls were even considered kosher. He also asked the rabbi whether he could sell tefilin and mezuzahs to this congregation according to Jewish law.
Rabbi Lior replied emphatically that the scribe should not get involved with the congregation at all so as not to be “privy to a transgression or sin”. In his reply he takes a very harsh line against the Reform movement, which seeks to amend certain facets of Judaism to bring them in line with modern realities.
“Granted if the tefillin are used by a Jew, then this is a great mitzvah indeed,” stated the Rabbi, “but there is a more public issue at hand, namely adorning the Reform synagogue and giving legitimacy to this movement.”
Rabbi Lior thus strives not to grant any recognition to the Reform movement, even at the expense of not performing a great Mitzvah, due to his outspoken and public opposition to the movement.