Rishon L’Tzion HaRav Shlomo Amar Shlita released a statement during an interview ahead of Rosh Hashanah with Makor Rishon. The rav spoke of the threat posed to Yiddishkheit by the Reform Movement, stressing the need to combat this trend. Rav Amar added that the Reform is more of a threat than secular Jews.
The rav was asked what one is to do is one finds oneself without an alternative, that is to say the only shul in one’s area being a Reform Temple. Rav Amar stated that “It is better that one davens in one’s hotel, and not attend services in such a place.” The rav added that it is simply better not to daven at all that to daven with a Reform congregation.
Rabbi Uri Regev, head of Hiddush-Freedom of Religion for Israel, reacted to Rabbi Amar’s statement: It is sad that Rabbi Amar chooses the holiest time of the Jewish year which should celebrate Jewish unity, to pursue his sectarian fundamentalist views. Rabbi Amar’s misguided insights generate a schism and worse yet, so long as he occupies the seat of Chief Rabbi he is driving a wedge between Israel and the rest of the Jewish people. Rather than seek fault with fellow Jews, he would better delve into his own soul and realize that most Israeli and world Jews want to align Judaism with modernity and democracy. It is pluralism and diversity which Israel and Judaism need today, not religious coercion and sectarianism. What Israel needs most today is the full realization of its own founding promise “for religious freedom and equality for all”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)