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November 22, 2014 / 29 Heshvan, 5775
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Yisrael Beitenu MK Says ‘Reform Movement Is not Jewish’

Reform leaders too often make themselves look silly by bending the Bible for their own convenience.
MK David Rotem: Reform Jews may be Reform but that doesn't mean they are Jews.

MK David Rotem: Reform Jews may be Reform but that doesn't mean they are Jews.
Photo Credit: Flash 90

Likud-Beiteinu Knesset Member David Rotem, chairman of the Knesset Committee on Constitution, Law and Justice, said Tuesday “The Reform movement is not Jewish… they are another religion.”

The Reform Judaism in Israel movement said in an e-mail to its members, “The expression ‘another religion’ was not used by MK Rotem by accident. The Israeli Law of Return uses this exact term to exclude non-Jews from making Aliyah, and therefore according to him, Reform Jews have no place in Israel. ”

Israel Reform Movement’s Executive Director, Rabbi Gilad Kariv responded, “We were witness to this unrestrained declaration of MK Rotem about non-orthodox streams of Judaism. An assertion such as this makes it impossible for MK Rotem to continue to chair discussions on sensitive issues such as conversion, who is a Jew and other topics that are associated with Religion & State matters and the relationship between Israel and the diaspora.”

That may have won over a few Orthodox liberals, but Kariv then showed the Reform movement’s penchant for interpreting the Bible for its own principles of showing how little it knows and quoted Proverbs 3:17, which states, “Its ways are the ways of pleasantness and all her paths lead to peace.” It follows, according to him, “We must all ask ourselves, with which religious heritage MK Rotem identifies.”

Chances are that the MK would answer, “I identify with the Torah and Jewish Law as handed down by sages and Torah scholars and not with some kind of instant heritage created by those whose Judaism is defined by their own personal interests.”

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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19 Responses to “Yisrael Beitenu MK Says ‘Reform Movement Is not Jewish’”

  1. Absolutely ridiculous,

  2. I just love when Jews tell other Jews they aren’t Jewy enough.

  3. I can’t believe these idiots…. We are a people…we are all Jews…stop the crap already….

  4. Jeff Rosner says:

    There are many individuals that are not Jewish (by Halacha) in the Reform Movement; Men and Women who have not undergone proper conversion, children of mothers who have not undergone proper conversion. Therefore what he said makes sense. In Israel this can cause problems with children being born that are not halachically Jewish. Here in the USA, it's not a problem as Reform Judaism doesn't last more than 2 generations in anyone's family unless they make Teshuvah and go to Torah and Mitzvot (BT).

  5. Harlan Messinger says:

    If it's true that Reform Judaism is a distinct religion from theirs, then it ought to follow that Orthodox religious authorities in Israel no longer have jurisdiction over the lives of Reform Jews there. It should further follow that Reform Judaism should have its own authorities, and that Reform Jews, rather than having to get married by an Orthodox rabbi or having to travel to another country to get married as they do now, should be able to be married in Israel by their own clergy just as Christians and Muslims and so forth are.

  6. Bear Klein says:

    In a trait to common to many other peoples some are always looking for the differences in others. Their are very few Jews and one should look for the the commonalities between those who observe some customs differently in lieu of making large ugly statements. about differences.

  7. Paul Jonas says:

    What a sad man so uninformed and dangerous.

  8. Ralph Moran says:

    Even a Rabbi can be blinded by self and not G-Ds word. I am not a Rabbi but I see G-D in everything and I praise him for all that he has done. No longer do we pray "Next year Jerusalem" G-D is Alpha and Omega.

  9. Gideon Jones says:

    He said the Movement wasn’t Jewish, not the people. There is a difference. A HUGE difference.

  10. JoAnn Morris says:

    Saying Reform Jews are not Jewish just because he don’t see eye to eye with them…how stupid.

  11. Guess there was a limit to the number of words. I did wish to change one sentence before sending & add a little more. I'll wait to see if any of my first comment that went through gets posted.

  12. Bear Klein says:

    I was glad to read that Rotem said the following, "Belonging to the Reform Movement does not make anyone less Jewish," Knesset Law, Constitution and Justice Committee chairman David Rotem (Likud Beytenu) said Thursday.

    "Comments attributed to me regarding the Reform Movement have been misinterpreted by elements within the media. I have never said belonging to the Reform Movement makes anyone less Jewish," Rotem wrote on Facebook.
    Related:

    Israel to fund non-Orthodox rabbis in reform victory

    The statement followed reports that, in a Tuesday Constitution Committee meeting, Rotem said Reform Jews are "not Jewish" and "another religion." Rotem explained on Thursday that, "while as an Orthodox Jew, I have theological differences with the Reform Movement's perspective, I maintain the greatest respect for all Jews, regardless of their denomination and background. I apologize for any misunderstanding and all offense generated by the content of my comments." "I hope that this clarification can generate the necessary debate on how to further unify the Jewish People, both in Israel and the Diaspora, around our shared vital interests and concerns, rather than limiting it to the differences that exist among us," the lawmaker concluded.

  13. This is no different than the orthodox blaming the SHOAH on the reform movement. It is apparent that any Jew who does not adhere to the O or UO versions of observance is not really a Jew their view.
    It is sad that with all the hatred of the Jew thrughout the world, we have this type blind hatred of one Jew vis a vis another Jew.

  14. Reform "Judaism" with its total abandonment of halacha is farther from normative Judaism than Karaite Judaism is. The Karaites still believe that Biblical Law is in effect. Those who follow Reform "Judaism" may still be Jews, but the religion is not Judaism. Rotem's apology was due only to political expediency.

  15. This man's opinion makes me furious. I am not going to quote a whole of Hebrew words like others here. Many of you are forgetting some of us lost whole groups of relatives in WWII. All we have left is our name, we can't prove we are orthodox or Heredi. All we have to go on are a few fragments of information which appear to disjointed. I located Rabbi Haberland who may have been the brother of Frank Haberland. He arrived in the UK before 1902 from Poznan, settled in the Jewish quarter of London Bethnal Green in the East End. There are nineteen other locations of my family name in Poland/Prussia. There are Haberland's in the States. Some of whom are ridiculous enough to believe they are high brow German! If so why did their parents manage to get out of Poland before end of WWII. High brow Germans joined the German army, the SS or Nazi party. I am not ashamed to have a Jewish name and I am no Catholic or otherwise. Many times as a young woman I was refused jobs at interview on account of my name? Are you Jewish? You know I couldn't answer because I didn't know. I was raised in an Orphanage I was lucky not to be sent to Australia as a domestic. Yes I am searching for my ancestors one was a Rabbi. The rest were merchants of glass, tailors, Wig makers, Hairdressers, Musicians even an old violin surfaced a while back. So Sir I may well have come from an Orthodox Jewish line. The worst thing of all I am not accepted a)because I returned to the faith almost 30 years ago and one can only do so through Reform. I could take things a step further but why bother. I will never be able to live in Israel, my daughter lives in Italy and I am around 35 years off my grave. All those stuck up Jews out there who think they're Jewish Royalty you are breaking an essential Mitzvot. Do unto others as you would yourself. Humanity and altruism this is the mark of a true Jew. Don't give me this is a Christian concept, where did they get this from? Judaism and the MAN Jesus was a Jew crucified for being a pain in the neck to the Romans and the ancient Sanhedrin. Some are still at!

  16. can you give me the verse in Torah that explains your comment, "children of mothers who have not undergone proper conversion. Therefore what he said makes sense."… oh wait, it is not found in Torah… it must therefore be, as the article states in its closing thoughts, "… some kind of instant heritage created by those whose Judaism is defined by their own personal interests.”" Now, at one point, this understanding was new… not found in Torah. Perhaps we would all be better off if we took Torah for the perfect truth, and focused on what it truly says instead of our personal choices of expression. Do we all need black hats? Should we all wear blue jeans and tie-dyed shirts? Or can we just say, "I love the God of Israel, I love Israel and I will bless, and not curse, His anointed."

    Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/yisrael-beitenu-mk-says-reform-movement-is-not-jewish/2014/02/05/

  17. Jeff Rosner says:

    The standards of conversion in Halacha come from Shulchan Aruch (code of Jewish Law) which is based on Gemara and Torah. The Torah discusses the people immersing before the Torah was given at Mt. Sinai. To learn about proper conversion go to http://www.halakhicconversion.org/

  18. I don't really care about anyone's opinion other than what Torah states. I do not wish to become Orthodox, so the extra stuff is of little interest to me. Sorry, but this is my honest opinion. If it isn't in Torah, Yahweh did not command it; rather some man came up with a "style" or a "religious rule" based on their religion, not Torah. Torah explicitly states that " ויכתב משׁה את כל דברי יהוה "… What I am saying is that if we stick with holding people to the words in the book, and give room for personal expression that s not dictated by Torah, nor does it violate Torah, we could live in a more peaceful existence. I agree with the others here who say it is bad enough that those who hate Israel hate us – why should we be hated by those who love Israel as well? Challenge me on Torah, I will take it to heart. Challenge me on religious rules not found in Torah and you are wasting your breath… I don't care for them, I don't need them… I am good with my relationship with my God, I am happy in my personal study of Scripture and the excitement I get from finding new things, (even after studying for 30 years – you can never know all of Elohim's wisdom, nachon?), and I am happy with my community of believers. I have nothing against other people's expression – if it works for you, good. But be careful not command others to adhere to rules that are man-made. There is a Torah decree against that, so it must be adhered to.

  19. Is this David Rotem a pharisee?

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