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Eichler: Christianity is Closer to Yiddishkheit than Reform Jewry

eichlerIn light of recent legislation seeking to lower the bar for marriage registration and giyur in Eretz Yisrael, MK (Yahadut Hatorah) Yisrael Eichler lashed out in Knesset against the Yesh Atid party as well as Bayit Yehudi for the latter’s support of the bills.

Eichler calls the recent legislation pertaining to marriage registration and giyur an effort to uproot Yiddishkheit. Speaking to Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) on Monday morning, 1 Kislev 5774, he called the recent legislation “A wave of bills from the Reform Movement, part of the weapons of mass destruction seeking to eliminate the Jewish identity of the State of Israel.”

He continued, “A Reform Jew is one who lies for he says ‘I am a Jew’ while practicing a life of denying everything’ [to do with Yiddishkheit]. Christianity is closer to Yiddishkheit than the Reform. After all they have done in Germany and assimilation in the United States; they are now cutting the branch upon which the State of Israel rests.”

Eichler explained the recent legislation doesn’t serve Torah interests. “The founders of the state put these laws into place to give the state a Jewish character and to prevent the Palestinians from coming and shouting ‘ליסטים אתם’, that you stole the land. If the state removes the veil of its Jewish identity it then reverts to as if it does belong to the Palestinians.”

The Knesset has already passed the liberalized marriage registration bill into law and the Ministerial Law Committee has passed the giyur bill. The latter, if passed into law, will significantly ease the giyur process by taking it out of the hands of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and placing under the Ministry of Religious Service, which is run by Bayit Yehudi.

Ironically, while Bayit Yehudi will run the giyur process, leading dati leumi poskim have expressed stern opposition, including Rabbi Yaakov Ariel Shlita and Rabbi Dov Lior Shlita.

Last week, Rehovot Chief Rabbi Simcha HaKohen Kook expressed harsh opposition to the marriage registration law, warning it will lead to increased cases of mamzerus.

The Chief Rabbinate has also announced opposition to the current version of the bill, leading to the Eida Chareidis calling for the establishment of sifrei yuchasin to protect future generations.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

9 Responses

  1. The same is true of Islam, or any other religion or philosophy that accepts that the world was created by a Creator, rather than be the force of random forces – and that holds the Creator wants us to do something and we are obligated to obey. Reform doesn’t hold by a creator, and doesn’t hold there are any obligations imposed by the creator (since they hold there is no creator).

  2. In essence he iss saying, and akuperma seems to agree, that it is worse to be an atheist or perhaps an agnostic than an idol worshipper. Perhaps this is true perhaps it is not. Here’s hoping Eichler has firm halachic backing for that statement.

  3. apashuta,

    regarding goyim, as long as they believe in 1 G-D its not considered avoda zarah for goyim, atheism however is a violation of the first of the sheva mitzvos

  4. apushatayid : But comparing a goy who recognizes the Creator, recognizes there is a single all powerful Creator, and recognizes the concept that the Creator has give us “shoulds” we are obligatged to do – that’s what we are favorably comparing to a Reform/Secular Jews. It’s not really a hiddush. With Christians and Muslims, it’s fairly clear they don’t disagree with us on the basics, only on some details of the mitsvos, plus they are into false prophets. There is no hiddush in preferring such goyim to Secular/Reform Jews, since the latter deny the existence of a Creator, deny the reality of creation, and totally reject the existence of any commandments (since from their perspective, there is no one to issue such commandments).

    The political implications of this are significant. If the forces inthe world line up with one side believing in a Creator and his imposed morality, and the other side denying the existence of a creator and feeling that no moral code exists beyond their own legislated one that they make up as they go along – we find us (frum Jews, whether MO or NK, and all points in between) on the same side as pious Muslims and Christians (and perhaps some others). Both in America and Eretz Yisrael that would be a radical realignment.

  5. Apushutayid:

    Look at Sanhedrin 103b. There, the worst king of all, identified as Yehoyakim. Ay, Achaz, Menashe, and Amon worshipped idols and convinced many others in Klal Yisroel to follow them? They couldn’t control their ta’ava, but deep down, they wanted a relationship with Hashem. Yehoyakim, though, ignored Hashem – an early form of atheism.

  6. #3 goyim cannot make up their own religion and add to or subtract from their Misswoth (7 Misswoth Bnai Noah). Both Christianity and Islam are in violation of this.

  7. Is the concept of shituf avoda zara for a goy? The overwhelming majority of xtians of all denominations believe in the “trinity” in some form. This is not the place for a discussion on xtian polemics, and dont want to turn it into one, I just want to be sure eichler is on solid halachic grounds when he calls reform jews worse than people who are halachic idol worshippers.

    He also seems to be dismissive of the fact that lumping all “reform jews” into the same basket is foolish. For many, especially outside eretz yisroel, their only contact with torah observant jews are through statements such as the one made by eichler.

    This doesnt mean I disagree with eichler, it just means he should do away with the political rhetoric and puffery.

  8. Akuperman. Hindus believe in a “creator” too.

    I also know many reform jews who are not atheists, but agnostics. Having doubts of there is a creator is not the same as unilaterally declaring there is c’v no creator.

    Rhetoric and puffery to make a point are not always smart. They may score some cheap political points but in the long run hurt more than help.

  9. Reform Judaism is unquestionably monotheistic. Christianity, not so clear that it is. The Rabbi makes a difficult statement.

    And what is wrong with having the Ministry of Religious Services handle conversions? It is run by a respected rabbi, Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan. As long as his boss Naftali Bennett, a non-rabbi, stays out of his business, there should be no problems. By contrast, the number of problems with the official Rabbinate are legion.

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