Rabbi Amar tells it like it is

Reform Jews are not in the same category as their leaders.

Tzvi Fishman

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In a newspaper interview published on Friday, the venerable Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Torah Sage Rabbi Shlomo Amar, made some statements that upset certain people. First of all, he called the “reformim” (Reform Jews) evildoers. Rabbi Amar meant the heads of the Reform Movement in Israel, and the activists who seek change by openly scorning the laws of the Torah and have destructive goals, which they insist on making public causes.

Rabbi Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, taught, we are to hate only the evil deeds of evil doers, but love the people themselves for the Divine Image which they possess and for whatever good qualities they have.

In a lecture he gave after the uproar began, Rabbi Amar, said this himself, emphasizing that his remarks were not incitement against individuals but against their deeds.

When it comes to America, it seems to me that the leaders of the reform movement and its so-called rabbis, could also be termed doers of evil because of their deliberate and blatant rejection of Torah, which has opened a wide path to intermarriage and assimilation, something unarguably destructive to the Jewish People. But, as Rabbi Kook teaches, our love should include these misguided people as well, and our hatred directed only to their evil deeds.

As far as the average Reform Jew in America, he or she is not necessarily connected to any political goal or agenda, but simply seeks some connection to something Jewish, no matter how phony or watered-down it may be. These people are “tinokot shenishbu,” meaning they are like Jewish children captured and raised by the goyim. In their lack of knowledge, they don’t know right from wrong. They are mistaken, not evil. I am sure this is what Rabbi Amar believes, and that his remarks were directed at the leaders of the “reformim” in Israel.

As far as his calling homosexual activists “a cult of abomination,” that does seem to be the very clear view of the Torah. Interesting that the word sodomy comes from the events in the Torah portion we read on Shabbat concerning the inhabitants of Sodom, which really doesn’t come across as a wholesome society. In Sodom, homosexuality was the going thing, and look what happened to Sodom.