'They are terrorizing the rabbis'

Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem responds to criticism of his comments of LGBTs and the Reform Movement, says they are trying to destroy tradition.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rabbi Amar
Rabbi Amar

The Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem and former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Shlomo Amar, responded to attacks on him for his statements regarding the Reform Movement and the LGBT community.

In an interview with Israel Hayom, Rabbi Amar called the “LGBT community” a “sect. It is a sect whose acts are without doubt an 'abomination.'" He also called Reform Jews "wicked."

Several police complaints were filed in response to Rabbi Amar's interview, which was widely criticized on the left and led to demands that he be dismissed from his position.

Rabbi Amar responded to the criticism Thursday night. "They told me that they are angry because I said that homosexual act is an 'abomination.' They want to bring us to delete - heaven forbid - to delete what was written in the Bible. They are terrorizing the rabbis so they will not speak out. [In this vein, as a rabbi,] you cannot even say that there should be no desecration of the Sabbath, because the public wants more and more Sabbath desecration."

Rabbi Amar believes that the harassment of the rabbis will not end. "Tomorrow they will say 'don't do hakafot' (dances on Simchat Torah). Why? Because...they want to get rid of the mechitzot (separation between men and women in synagogues)." he told the Hebrew haredi news site Kikar Hashabat.

Rabbi Amar said that he is against violence and incitement and that he is not afraid of losing his position as a result of his words. "I raised my voice everywhere to forbid people to raise a hand and there was no violence, heaven forbid, even no uttering of insults. And when a wicket man murdered a girl [at the gay parade], I came out against it strongly, calling him what he is - a despicable murderer."