Daily Israel Report

Chief Rabbi Declares War on Funding Reform 'Rabbis'

Rav Shlomo Amar: can such a decision be made without consulting the Council of the Chief Rabbinate?
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/17/2012, 8:26 PM

Rabbi Amar gives a blessing
Rabbi Amar gives a blessing
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Sephardic Chief Rabbi, Rav Shlomo Amar, lashed out Sunday against the recent decision by the Attorney General and Legal Advisor to the Government, Yehuda Weinstein, to grant official recognition and funding to 'rabbis' from the Reform movement.

Speaking at a ceremony for new rabbis and rabbinical judges at Beit HaKnesset HaGadol in Jerusalem, Rav Amar said: "I do not know if they understand the meaning of the deep danger in this thing."

Rav Amar said that he learned of the official decision when he was traveling, and no one had told him of it in advance. He then wrote letters to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and to Weinstein, against the decision.

"I attempted to sway the heart of the prime minister, who is the person responsible for the nation and leading it at this time," he related. "I argued – can one make such a decision without consulting the Council of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, which is the official rabbinate? Can one grant recognition without hearing its opinion?"

Rav Amar has yet to receive replies from Netanyahu and Weinstein.

Next week, the Chief Rabbi is holding a large scale discussion of the subject with the participation of many other leading rabbis. They will decide on steps to take in order to bring about a cancellation of the decision.