Conservative Movement Plans To Sue Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu


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eliyahu.jpgThe Conservative Movement in Israel has told Arutz 7 that they plan to sue former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu after he said that Reform and Conservative synagogues have “the fragrance of hell.”

It was widely reported in the Israeli media the past few days, that Rabbi Eliyahu Paskened  at his weekly Shiur that it is Osur for Jews to enter a synagogue which is not Shomer Torah Umitzvos.

in response to his P’sak Halacha, the Conservative Movement plans to file a lawsuit Rabbi Eliyahu for slander. Additionally, they called on him to retract his statement and “apologize to the millions of Jews whose dignity he hurt.”

(Source: Arutz 7)



  1. torayid, you’re right:

    What do they conserve? NOTHING! Shabbos? NO, Kashrus? NO, Taharas Hamishpacha? NO, Limud Hatorah? NO.

    Maybe they eat donuts on Chanuka or havה a mock Seder a few days before Pesach, in the afternoon.

    ה’ ירחם על עמו, וישלח לנו את משיח צדקו

  2. I grew up in the Conservative Movement. This is endemic of their leadership. But I can tell you, that today, the rank and file are coming from
    %100 ignorance. If you want to help a Jew like that, be a mentsch, be normal, and if you can, volunteer for Partner’s in Torah or the like.

  3. Whether he is right or not is irrelevant. The fallout for this will be huge. I can not imagine that a single Conservative or Reform Jew will hear about this and say “Hey maybe the Rabbi is right. We should do Teshuva”. The only message that they will get is “Those Orthodox think that WE are going to Hell. They hate us and think that we are not real Jews. Well, I hate them too”. This is just bad publicity. Iresponsible statements from people like “torahyid” only fan the flames bec. I hate to tell you Not every Jew knows and thinks the way you feel.

  4. You know, sometimes things lose the effect in translation. I believe that this case would be the opposite. The statement becomes more powerful and pejorative when you say ‘reeks of h***’ rather than the hebrew line of ‘re’ach shel gehinom’ emanting from those places.

    This statement, as well as a controversial one from R’ Ovadia Yosef a while back, are not public statements. They come from drashos that he says to his community, and people cherry pick little lines here and there to make a tumult. There is nothing wrong whatsoever with a Rav telling his kehilla about the ‘re’ach shel gehinom’ in a conservative syn. He wasn’t trying to be mekarev anyone by saying that. Everyone knows that you don’t throw the full peckel of kanaus while trying to reach out.

  5. In the virulently anti-religious court system of Israel, I would not be surprised if Rav Eliyohu is subjected to a heavy fine. Israel is not a real democracy; it is an oligarchy run by secular Jews who hate real Judaism. Remember what happened to Jerusalem mayor Lupolianski last year, when he dared to attempt a ban on the parade of immorality in Jerusalem–he was heavily fined by the courts.

  6. AH… herein lies a problem.

    Was his psak correct? Absolutely
    Was he right to publicize it? Absolutely

    But, it will offend the non-observant jewish groups… yes, it will. But does that mean we stay silent?

    If we stay silent about the true issur of going into their buildings, then more and more will see it okay to go to bar/bat mitzvahs of friends because, “we just CAN’T miss this one. They will be so offended if we don’t go, etc.”

    Yes, I understand sometimes feelings get hurt.

    One of my oldest friends in a member of a non-Torah “congregation” … (reconstructionists)

    About 10 years ago, I made a comment about the “Abomination” of the Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist groups.

    All my friend heard was intolerance and hatred, and we were semi estranged for years.

    Then when here daughter came closer to bat mitzvah age, my friend mentioned to my daughter how hurt they were that I would not attend, and share in their happiness. And why should the fact that I just happen to have a different custom hurt her daughter.

    Well, here is what I did.

    I waited a year, then got into a conversation with them, and quietly explained how I loved them and cared for them. I also explained that though I am truly forbidden to enter into any building even attached to one of those congregations, I love them and would not wish to totally miss out on sharing their event.

    So, I arranged to meet with the family under Kosher circumstances a few days before the Bat Mitzvah.

    I gave the girl a gift of a pair of candlesticks and discussed a tiny bit about the beauty of their use.

    She cried with happiness, and thanked me for taking the time to celebrate with her and her family, and that now that she felt the love from me, she understood that it was not hatred that kept me away from the actual event, but true belief that I may not.

    She asked questions. I answered them.

    She has since gone to stay over at my daughter’s home for Shabbos a few times, and has gone with her to shul. Always asking questions. She is curious now.

    We can keep the din of not going to their events, and we can publicize it, but it is the job of us individuals to carry out the observance of this ban with love and understanding that these precious jews ARE tinoikim shenishbau

    Why do we have to proclaim this ban/issur aloud? What is wrong with just keeping it quiet and avoiding possible anger from “those” people?

    My opinion:
    1) We must keep reminding our own no not go into those buildings as many will go in if we do not remind them.
    2) If we are silent about this, do we have to be silent about keeping Shabbos next.

    If a threat of a lawsuit forces a rov to apologize for publicly stating this ban, next thing they will threaten a lawsuit the next time a Rov says that we can’t drink wine touched by them, or that there is a problem with counting a mechallel Shabbos B’Farhesya for a minyan.

    There are many, many areas of Torah observance that the non-observant can find offensive to them, and try to get us to keep quiet about.

    We may not do so. We may not keep quiet.

    But we CAN be loving, caring and understanding, and encourage them to come visit our shuls… just to visit… no strings attached.

    I know of a very FRUM rov who has told people going to Conservative/Reform “temples” the following: “It is forbidden to drive on Shabbos. Period. Better to stay home than to drive to shul. But, it is also forbidden to go to those temples.
    Why break two laws. If you are driving already, drive to an Orthodox shul, and save yourself from breaking the sin of walking into that Conservative temple. Yes, breaking Shabbos is a capitol crime, but you were doing so anyway.”

    This may sound outrageous, and I verbalized my shock and horror at that approach to him many times. He then pointed out to me (something I did not already know) that over 20 very frum men in our shul were originally members of conservative temples, who began by driving to his Orthodox shul on Shabbos. They are not truly observant, shomrai Torah U’Mitzvos, and don’t even hold from the community eruv.

    He would not tell me who most of them are, since he only had reshus from a few to tell about their past, but those he could shocked me. I thought they were all FFBs and would never have had backgrounds like that.

    I am not sure if I can agree with his approach, but I can’t argue with its success.

    But, remember, he never told them to drive on Shabbos. He told them it was absolutely ossur, and was a capitol crime! He only said, don’t multiply the crime by going to the conservative place. so, maybe what he does is okay. I will not paskin.

    But I have learned, that though we must be clear what is ossur, and we must do so aloud, we can be loving and not hateful.

    If we cow down to these treatened lawsuits, next we will be sued to allow their shochtim, or their sofrim or their conversions.

  7. Its time for our Gdolim to start talking about Yerusholaim Yehuda and Shomron and Anapolis, his remark about the conservative and reform is 100% RIGHT

  8. #9: He didn’t say THEY reek like hell. He said their TEMPLES reek like hell, which is the truth.

    #6 is right, there are no Conservative or Reform Jews, just Conservative and Reform clergy, and it is the clergy that is whipping up their congregants to hate Orthodox Jews. Why? Because, deep down they know the truth, and are trying to protect their own interests.

  9. Sefardim have less experience with non-orthodox institutions. Even less than fully observant sefardim, go to traditional synogogues. Even among ashkenazi poskim, there is some divergence of opinion on entering versus praying, building versus sanctuary, etc. I know of very prominent Roshei Yeshiva who visited an office in a conservative synogogue building to raise funds.

    But most often intemperate remarks along the entire spectrum have unfortunate consequences. Unlike some colleagues the Rishon LeTzion is normally very measured. I would like the whole story, in hebrew, w/o translation.

  10. Such a chutzpah! The only people that are being insulted are the liars and manipulators that “lead” the movement, the Conservative rabbits and their deformed temples.

  11. Thanks for you post DM. DM is correct. Reach out in the ways that you can–and of course in the purview of Halacha.

    I also rode in a car with a friend to an Orthodox shul when I started getting interested in Yiddishkeit. We parked up the street from the shul and came each week–nice people and great cholent! One day we looked at each other and said, enough is enough, we’ve got to stop driving.

  12. EMEShurts #14 – All that political garbage is not in our hands. The one above will protect us and our land. Look back at the holocaust the Nazis were by our door, but the one who doesn’t sleep nor slumber saved the holy residents of Eretz Yisroel from being exterminated. (I should not that during WW1 the Zionists stole funds that came from Jews in Europe earmarked for the old Yishuv causing hundreds of Jews to die from disease and hunger.)

  13. I don’t get what pretense they have to sue in the first place. I thought Isreal was a democracy with freedom of speech and freedom of religion? Why then shouldn’t he be able to give psak halacha on religious law? Is it considered discrimination to say that even though we share the same religion your practice of it is sacreligious?

  14. #24
    it’s assur because a frum Yid who enters a makom, is similar to conferring upon it a heksher in the eyes of someone who sees him entering.

    there is a BIG difference between accepting the Mesorah while failing to uphold it completely.
    as opposed to paskening that the Mesorah is false and paskening that one may therefore do whatever he wishes.

  15. #7 I ik the idea of being mekarev people is to have them embrace yiddishkeit- which I highly doubt they will do if you call them slimeball. Furthermore each shevet spoke a different pronounciation of lashon hakodesh. Remember shevet ephraim couldn’t say shiboles??? I don’t know which divine voice told you that your’s is the way- but try and be slightly more tolerant of other yidden. I highly doubt mashiach will come anytime soon if we try to up the ante on the I am holier than you game.

  16. To enter while davening is going on is ossur to all opinions that I am familiar with.

    To enter the building for a catered affair during the week, when there is no davening going on, here is what I hear from most:
    1) If the catering hall is in the same building, still ossur. I guess it is a maaras ayin situation where the other guests will see you there, etc.,
    2) If the catering hall is in a separate building but on their campus, some will not allow it, while some will still ossur it.

    I know that the Kof-K will not even allow any company under their hashgacha to even make a delivery to a catering hall in a Conservative/Reform/Reconstructionist temple.

    I know, I worked as a mashgiach, and one of those temples asked our company to supply food for some event they had.

    We phoned the Kof-K and were told that our truck may not even drive onto their parking lot. So the owner had a driver deliver the food to the street corner, and someone from that place had to come with a dolly and get the food.
    We also were not permitted to have any mention of the company name on any container, just to make sure no one thought it was under their hashgacha.

    Personally, I do not walk onto the premises of any such organization. There are enough catering establishments around we people can cater an affair without haveing to use those places. Remember, to cater an affair there, is supporting the establishment, and thereby like making a contribution.

    I can’t think of any Frum Yid would would donate one penny to a Conservative Temple. Having affairs in their halls, is like making a large donation to them.

    So, everyone who knows me knows to never expect me to walk onto the grounds of one of those places, so if they want me to attend, they will seek a caterer elsewhere.

    Personally, I would rather make a chasuna in an ugly hall owned by a Frum organization, thereby supporting them, than to use any hall that is even a neutral hotel hall, no matter how gorgeous it is.

    My own Chasuna 2 1/2 years ago was in Krasna Yeshiva in Willi. It is not the most beautiful hall, but I wanted the money from my chasuna to help support a yeshiva, instead of a hotel, or fancy hall.

    After all, the space is rented for the chasuna, whether the caterer includes it or you pay separately. So, choosing a Yeshiva is giving money to support the yeshiva. That made my chasuna feel more beautiful for me.

    My chosson’s tish was in a classroom. That was beautiful in my opinion. I even love my photos showing the Yeshiva hallway walls….no waterfalls, not a single photo op location, but a building where Torah is learned every day.

    I only wish there were more schnorrer’s at the chasuna. I had money in my pocket waiting to give to those collecting for tzdaka, and only one came in. That is the only advantage of the fancy halls, more schnorrers to give you more opportunities for mitzvahs.

    Another problem I have heard from mashgichim whose kashrus organization did allow to cater in buildings attached to Conservative places, was that the staff was more loyal to the Temple’s management & “Rabbi” … and it was VERY difficult to maintain the control that he could easily have elsewhere. He told me, he would never again work at an affair their, unless there were a minimum of 3 mashgichim, and that the Temple’s “Rabbi” and employees needed to be barred from the kitchen and dining room, for the duration.

    Another story I heard from another mashgiach, was that the “Rabbi” wanted a drink that had been locked away by the mashgiach, as it was not on the approved list from the kashrus org. The rabbi wanted a certain liqueur for his wife. So, he took his keys, went to the stock room, and brought out a new bottle of the drink that was banned, and was pouring drinks for family and guests.

    When the mashgiach confronted him, he said, “Oh, that is silly, it is just Liqueur. What can be treif about that.” and to top it off, this “Rabbi” was pouring those drinks into the glasses supplied by the Glatt Kosher Caterer, and stirring with their keilim.

    Last I heard, they left all those keilim at that temple and subtracted their replacement cost from the hall rental…. obviously, the “Rabbi” was not a happy camper, and invited them to never cater there again. They said that was their intention anyway.

    Other problems crop up at affairs in those buildings or buildings attached to their property.
    No matter how kosher the caterer is, and no matter how good the mechitza is, there tends to be guests from the temple at these affairs, and they often fail to respect the mechitza and/or tznius minhagim.

    I heard of one where the Rov who was hired to be mesader kiddishin walked out and refused to stay and do the chipa, when he saw women not approprately dressed crowding around the Chipa.

    So, all in all, better idea to choose a frum place to begin with, even if it is not as pretty.

  17. This is an old psak Rav Solivechik paskened this way many years ago and if i am not mistaken so did Rav Moshe. Rav Eliyahu is 100% correct it is not us the orthodox that deviated from the correct way it is them. They have to learn to live us the frum Jews.