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New York - RCA Statement Both Condemns & Justifies Israeli Minister Azoulay’s Remarks About Reform Jews

Published on: July 8, 2015 10:51 AM
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New York - Following explosive comments made by Israel’s Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay questioning the authenticity of Reform Jews, the Rabbinical Council of America, the largest association of Orthodox rabbis, is in damage control, issuing a statement affirming that Reform Jews are, in fact, Jews.

The RCA statement reads in part: “. . . All Jews, regardless of their observance or belief, are full members of the Jewish people, and are our brothers and sisters. . .

The RCA, representing traditional standards of religious practice and definition of Jewishness, has well-known objections to some of the fundamental tenets of Reform Judaism. There is no question, however, that we certainly embrace all members of the Jewish community.  This is clearly the undisputed position of Jewish law.  In addition, our late teacher Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik spoke of a covenant of peoplehood that is defined by our shared history and common fate that binds together all Jews as one people.  The ties that bind us to all other Jews are strong and eternal.”

RCA Executive Vice President Mark Dratch added that he is concerned Azoulay’s remarks “will hamper the efforts we all support to bring all Jews closer to their religious legacy, and alienate many with whom we work daily to strengthen both the State of Israel and our own community.”

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While calling Minister Azoulay out for his “intemperate statement,” the RCA also defended him, saying it seems from the “context” that Azoulay was challenging the validity of Reform Jews’ “religious expression” and not their “essential Jewishness.”


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Read Comments (8)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 08, 2015 at 12:22 PM elyeh Says:

As we approach Tisha B'av, it is good to remember the Churbon (and what led to this) and not to follow the hatred typified by the story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza.

It seems like similar hatred might be present in the statement and behavior of Israel’s Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay.

2

 Jul 08, 2015 at 12:28 PM Serendipity Says:

on the contrary, i believe Azoulay was referring to their "essential Jewishness.” That means whether they were born of a Jewish mother and/or converted al pi authentic halacha.

3

 Jul 08, 2015 at 12:36 PM ayoyo Says:

A jew is a jew even when he sins, and nobody can repudiate that statement

4

 Jul 08, 2015 at 12:39 PM Anonymous Says:

Azoulay will backfire. The reform jew will be more considered in his own anger and resentment against Israel and therefore they will continue their negativity with more hostility.

Overall, this is a marking point for Jewish inter-jewish relations.

There is no continued hope for kiruv if you damn the worry of the poor.

Such is that, we must not forget that we can help the reform jew learn more about Torah, grow with Israel, encouragement to read and study Tanakh and find Eventually a Torah life.

This is not a war of the future to be our folly.

We must find a place in our own values to include the entire K'lal Yisrael in our seldom but often experiences with the non-orthodox jew and we must stand as Ambassadors for Torah.

There is no place in our community for hostile aggression.

Torah must be our future and if we condemn the reform for being outside our interests, Hashem will condemn us for being outside of his.

This is not very intelligent.

Make Kiruv and hope that the reform and conservative sham will be limited and eventually pulled from society.

That is our goal.

5

 Jul 08, 2015 at 02:24 PM Anominous Says:

I think Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay should be considered to be fired by whoever hired him. His statement is a hillul Hashem, if it was done as presented by the media. We need a religious leader, or representative, that unites all Jewish people. This guy doesn't seem to be doing that. He probably does not have the mental and heart skills for the job.

6

 Jul 08, 2015 at 06:29 PM gadol Says:

Reply to #1  
elyeh Says:

As we approach Tisha B'av, it is good to remember the Churbon (and what led to this) and not to follow the hatred typified by the story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza.

It seems like similar hatred might be present in the statement and behavior of Israel’s Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay.

What in the world does questioning ones jewishness or religious expression or whatever, have to do with hatred ? That is such a typical liberal knee-jerk reaction, and the easiest way to deflect any type of criticism. And besides, from a reform jews' perspective, what is Tisha B'av and the story of Kamtza etc. never happened anyway!!

7

 Jul 08, 2015 at 08:35 PM Godol-Hador Says:

Reply to #1  
elyeh Says:

As we approach Tisha B'av, it is good to remember the Churbon (and what led to this) and not to follow the hatred typified by the story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza.

It seems like similar hatred might be present in the statement and behavior of Israel’s Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay.

To "Elyeh" and other well meaning commenters.
Yes. No question. A Jew born from a Jewish mother is 100% Jewish even if he sins daily r"l and does not keep Mitzivos
Having said that.
Do u all not believe that reform conservative and other tradition breaking forms of Judaism have done more damage and destroyed Judaism as much as any other enemy of the Jewish people??
Judaism is Torah based. And regardless of PC we need to realize and declare once and for all that reform is spiritually evil and destructive to the Jewish nation
Stupid comparisons to kamtza and bar kamtza ( which was baseless hatred. This isnt baseless) are usy made by the reform and other liberal groups who wants to be accepted notwithstanding their complete lack of adherence to any of the basic Jewish cardinal rules.

8

 Jul 09, 2015 at 09:30 AM Benny Says:

Reply to #7  
Godol-Hador Says:

To "Elyeh" and other well meaning commenters.
Yes. No question. A Jew born from a Jewish mother is 100% Jewish even if he sins daily r"l and does not keep Mitzivos
Having said that.
Do u all not believe that reform conservative and other tradition breaking forms of Judaism have done more damage and destroyed Judaism as much as any other enemy of the Jewish people??
Judaism is Torah based. And regardless of PC we need to realize and declare once and for all that reform is spiritually evil and destructive to the Jewish nation
Stupid comparisons to kamtza and bar kamtza ( which was baseless hatred. This isnt baseless) are usy made by the reform and other liberal groups who wants to be accepted notwithstanding their complete lack of adherence to any of the basic Jewish cardinal rules.

Well said.
I will add one more point:
Reform and conservative geirus and their gitin are illegitimate, having said that - that means all the children from those so called "converted" ladies are not Jewish, and the children that were born from another marriage after those gitin are in a big trouble.
They are the ones who bring a real churban to the whole Jewish community!

9

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