Chief rabbis warn PM: No deals with Reform

Rabbis Yosef and Lau say Reform movement must not gain influence in Israel, especially at the Western Wall.

Gil Ronen ,

A time for prayer and introspection
A time for prayer and introspection
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Israel’s chief rabbis, Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef and Rabbi David Lau, told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday that under no conditions may the Reform movement be allowed to gain ground, especially at the Western Wall.

Also attending the meeting were Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, and the heads of the haredi parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism (UTJ).

The Shas and UTJ leadership made clear that both parties would oppose any compromise recognizing the Reform stream or otherwise providing them with official backing.

They repeated the decisions made by the councils of sages that guide both parties, and said that haredi Jewry would not allow the Reform or Conservative movements “to gnaw at the nations’ holy places in any way.”

The parties issued a statement after the meeting, according to which Netanyahu summed up the consultation by saying that discussions on the matter would continue in an attempt to reach an agreed solution. This, Netanyahu said, was necessary “in order to deal with the legal challenge we face, because of various motions that are currently awaiting decision at the High Court.”

Netanyahu also said that he would “update the rabbis regarding the steps being taken to give a legal solution to the issue,” according to the haredi parties’ statement.



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