Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deri Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

This evening, Channel 2 Newspublished parts of a speech of mine, in which I referred to certain communities that call themselves "liberal." In the course of my remarks I warned against the threat to our identity as Jews.

I said that those communities that pretend to present themselves as religious are turning to liberal areas which, in many cases, clash head-on with Halakha and our tradition.

I said these things out of deep concern for the preservation of Jewish tradition. The seeds of reforms that are budding from these communities are liable to lead us, some decades from now, to a full reform and cause serious harm to the Jewish tradition.

My words were expressed in pain, they are not new. These are quotations by senior rabbis from the religious Zionist movement who expressed themselves even more sharply than I did, and who also expressed deep concern for the future of the Jewish people.

Rabbis such as Rabbi Tzvi Tau, Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, Rabbi Micha Halevy, Rabbi Eliyahu Zini and others share my concern over the seeds of such reform. The same rabbis lead the struggle against these phenomena, while strengthening the Chief Rabbinate, fighting for proper conversions etc.

I do not have anything against religious Zionism, and [these rabbis] certainly do not either. We all have a common goal: To connect between Jews and not, heaven forbid, to separate. As the days of Elul approach, the days of repentance, we will continue to be concerned about the spiritual future of our brothers and love them, while expressing our fear of what is coming and while stubbornly attempting to restore the hearts of those beloved brothers to our Heavenly Father.

Wishing a good month to the entire people of Israel.