Guy Pines
Guy PinesShai Franko

Secular television presenter Guy Pines has mocked a new campaign to promote the Torah commandment of family purity among Jewish women, which is being led by Ruthy Leviev, daughter of the well-known businessman and philanthropist Lev Leviev.

During Shabbat, with religious Jews not using social media or internet and thus unable to post an immediate rebuttal, Pines lashed out at the initiative on his Twitter account, writing, "Now that they're not here, as it's Shabbat, I'll write what I really think about this missionary campaign. I think that anyone who believes in the secular Israeli religion and in its good values and who doesn't suffer from any guilt feelings with relation to Judaism, should oppose this campaign just as I do. There is no such thing as 'impurity' with regard to people. Therefore, there is no need to purify oneself. That just a lie."

Last week's program, "Good evening with Guy Pines," reported that Leviev was promoting the initiative via a number of means, including female and secular presenters who are being paid to do so. (Despite calling themselves secular, these woman do observe the Jewish laws of family purity.) Leviev's daughter told Keshet 12, which hosts Pines' program, that, "Everything that starts up, starts with TV personalities. It doesn't matter if it's a product, a yoghurt, or anything else. So of course they are paid, just like they would be paid for anything else in business."

Responses to Pines' Twitter posts were mixed, including a good measure of criticism. Journalist Akiva Novik wrote (also on Twitter), "Tweets like this one are basically a huge insult to the 'Israeli secular religion.'"

Journalist Ariel Shenbal added, "Guy Pines waited until Friday night to write his learned opinion on matters of purity and impurity, and he doesn't even hide his reasons why: 'Now that they're not here...' This is Pines' narrow, ant-like world, a world in which there is only one true belief, with no other side of the debate that needs to be heard or considered - a worldview that is sterile and utterly self-righteous. What a shame that this is where we are at."