Photo Credit:
Shas MK David Azoulay.

 

Minister for Religious Affairs, Shas Knesset Member David Azoulay, ridiculed approximately 2 million Jews Tuesday with the incredible statement, “A Reform Jew, from the moment he does not follow Jewish law…. I cannot allow myself to say that he is a Jew.”

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His vile libel comes on the heels of the Netanyahu government’s rollback of religious reforms passed in the previous administration and which broke the gridlock that the Hareidi establishment has held over the conversion process and the approval for private and public eating facilities to be certified as kosher.

There are tens of thousands of Reform Jews who indeed are not Jews according to Jewish law because of  intermarriage. Jewish law states that if the mother is Jewish, so is the child.

But for the time being, most Reform Jews in the United States and elsewhere are Jews by birth, regardless of whether they follow Jewish law.

MK Azoulay’s rant comes during the first week of the “three weeks” of a semi-state of mourning over the destruction of the First and Second Temples on the Ninth of Av, which is observed at the end of the period.

Every year, rabbis preach that the sages teach that the Second Temple fell because of “senseless hate” among Jews,” and that every Jew today must express unlimited love.

And how does the Shas MK express his love? He told Army Radio today he cannot call them “Jews” and added:

These [Reform] Jews took the wrong path, and we need to make sure that every Jew returns to the lap of Judaism and [we need] to receive everyone with love and joy.To my sorrow, most of the Reform Jews in the Diaspora have erred. They are like babies who are hostages, and we want to make sure that every Jew will return  to Judaism according to Jewish law.

The most infuriating part of MK Azoulai’s remarks, worse than refusing to recognize Reform Jews as Jews, is his arrogant pretense that “we need to receive them with love and joy.”

The Hareidi establishment, of which the Shas Sephardi party is a major leader, does everything in its power to turn Jews off from Judaism.

Reform Judaism is not Judaism, and Reform rabbis are not rabbis, no more than alternative medicine is “medicine” and their practitioners are “doctors,” but to publicly say – or even privately think – that they are not Jews is nothing less than a blood libel.

Reform Jews never will be accepted with “love and joy” by the Israeli Hareidi establishment no more than MK Azoulay will accept national religious Jews with “love and joy.”

No matter how much Talmud we learn, and no matter how often we say the same prayers that Hareidim say – except for the addition of the Prayer for the State of Israel and the IDF that are absent from almost all Israeli Hareidi prayer books – it is not good enough for the their establishment.

Unlike the Agudah Hareidi movement in the United States, which practices “kiruv” – reaching out to non-Orthodox Jews to bring them closer to Judaism – the Hareidi  leaders in Israel are interested in power. They don’t accept others who do not dress like them, obey them like robots and contribute to their yeshivas.

There was an unconfirmed claim by the Women of the Wall yesterday that guards stopped a woman at The Western Wall because she was wearing a kippah.

The guards allegedly asked the woman to go with them to the police station, a request she refused.

Instead, she was escorted to a taxi stand outside the Western Wall Plaza.

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Why is the saying that is so wrong?
    Reforms: marry non Jews, eat pork, don;t keep kosher, and for most, don't care about Israel. TO me, that is no Jew.
    I can't believe the Jewish press publishing a report with a headline like this.
    where do you stand JP?

  2. Ignorant and hateful people exist everywhere. This labeling of Jews into this or that label (reform, haredi, etc.) is just another way to split people into this block or tribe. We are the good guys and the other guys are the bad guys or inferior.

    Better find reasons for what you have in common and not where you differ. Azoulay could have more impact if his hand reached out to other Jews in kindness instead of slapping them with ignorant insults.

  3. I am a reform Jewess and proud of it. Prod. Julia Neuberg is one smart and objective woman. Interviewed by Joanna Lumley Sunday night 'The Search for Noah's Ark'. Rabbi Neuberg I met thirty years ago and a more objective Rabbi one could not hope to meet. Ha'Shem lives in our souls, our tenacity and survival instinct be we Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and I have to say I have little time for those who live off the state of Israel with the excuse they are praying for the sins of our people! BS to this, I am a Jewess and damn proud of it, when it comes to death if there 'ain't' a humorous Rabbi nearby I'd rather die alone with the Schma on my lips and Ha'Shem who will take the spark that is my life and place me among the universal energy. Crap to those who hate us that do not follow the Torah to the letter, the Jewish soul is unmistakable.

  4. Sorry the JP did not accept the positive criticism meant to gather and not divide. This is not a light matter and if the reform Jews put their pride aside, what prevents them from delving in our beautiful and sacred books. Let's get together!

  5. JP is standing on the right place. And JP is honest by calling the saying wrong because it's senseless hate. We are surrounded by a hateful World, and when a Jew does the same thing, against an other Jew, he is committing a greater sin than a Gentile. When he is an Israeli MK the sin is tenfold.

  6. IT IS SO SAD TO SEE PEOPLE LIKE AZOULAI BEING DIVISIVE. AND : TO ELIEZER BARAK: THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR NOT BUYING BONDS FOR ISRAEL. WE MUST SUPPORT THE STATE THAT FACES SO MANY PROBLEMS. HAREDIM ALSO SERVE IN THE ARMED FORCES.

  7. huh? What happened to the individuals relationship with Hashem? Is it not that is how who is who, is decided. Not a politician. Not anyone but the two in the relationship. All other groups crumble when one thinks they should control everyone else. Judaism stands apart with a focus on relationship between individual(s) and Hashem. The community supports its members who seek out this relationship regardless.

  8. Many Jews in the Diaspora have not been afforded the opportunity -where not openly penalized – to study Judaism in the fullest form. That does not mean they are Reform but less educated. Reform Jews may be well educated and the Rabbis scholars of our texts but less bonded to customs that stand out more fully from the non-Jewish majority (by belief or compromise). They are not hated but unless linked to the community of Israel by our vertical passports of Ketuba and ties to Synagogues, a year of study is not too great a task to set before ensuring new Olim will never regard Orthodoxy (not restricted to Haredi standards) as either quaint or past it's prime. A documentary about Herzl revealed he wanted Jews to convert in order to be accepted as modern Humanists alongside Europeans until assimilated Dreyfus was scapegoated by the French military. Humanism is also a religion that places the wishful thinking of men about an invisible ideal of freedom above the realities of how we treat one another. Observant Jews are self-governing and only advance the cause of freedom. Immigrants normally study the national customs of the people they join when applying for citizenship there. Why would Israel be different when Diaspora Jews haven't acquired the pertinent orientation to our way of life?

  9. The Jewish Press says that MK David Azoulay begins the Three Weeks with senseless hate against reform Jewish. This assertion is false. What he said was, “Any Jew who observes the Torah and commandments is for us a Jew… A Reform Jew, once he does not follow the religion of Israel – then let us say, there is a problem. I cannot allow myself to say that he is Jewish.” (1) He is entitled to his own opinion, and, in fact he stated his position as his own opinion; (2) A Jew is anyone born of a Jewish mother or converted according to what HaShem taught is at Sinai; (3) Anyone who is not born of a Jewish mother, or who is not converted according to what HaShem taught is at Sinai, is not a Jew. Period. I was unaware that the Jewish Press had become another liberal rag. Shame on you!

  10. Alan Kardon alan this is hardly the place to discuss this suject in full how ever the refom movement is and was from the begining not representing jewish values in religion morals or pollotics Reformed jews on the other hand inocently believe the dogma there leadership has fed them im also a liberal but a line item liberal not a P C auto liberal i use torah logic and ethics to deciffer good from bad MR Berkowitz is wrong not for saying that the dems are bad but for thinking the republicans are any better

  11. hatefull ugly things to say thank you but we have enogh hate going around your help is not required maybe you should smoke a good stiff joint and relax that hate thing you havegoing on dont pain all people with one brush its just not cricket mate

  12. Alan Kardon listen close and ill tell you a secret he dosent speak for charadi jews he speaks for sephadic jews whom if i may say with out predgedus have this supper race thing going on its fading every generationbut its still giving off that arogant oder no offece intended

  13. I ask for sanity again in this matter. Please separate between emotional thinking and facts. All Jews are Jews Reform, Conservative or Orthodox. Yet your Jewishness is according to your mother's status and if she is a Geyoret it is according to her converting ACCORDING TO HALACHA. Currently reform conversions are not acknowledged as enough. I am not a Rav but I accept higher level of determination in that matter. Both Shas and Bayit Yehudi will agree on that point and I wish it was clarified better by both sides.

  14. While I don't condone or agree with his comments, to say that the chareidi establishments in Israel does not practice kiruv is ridiculous. Thousands of chareidim led by their leaders reach out to the secular Israelis through Lev Lachim and many other organizations.

  15. and there are plenty of Jews who fall into categories not Reform nor Conservative nor Orthodox… as for conversions, depends on whose authority you accept. Different groups, even different orthodox groups, do not all agree on the standards. And then there are the differences between Ashkenaz and Sephardi…

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