New York - RCA Statement Both Condemns & Justifies Israeli Minister Azoulay’s Remarks About Reform Jews
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.”
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.”
More of today's headlines“Ramallah - In a potential blow to President Mahmoud Abbas, a Palestinian appeals court ruled on Wednesday in favor of maintaining parliamentary immunity for his rival...” Ramallah - Rival To Palestinian President Wins Ruling Upholding Immunity “Vienna - American delegates negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program have traveled to Austria eighteen times over the last two years. They have logged hundreds of...” Vienna - US Team Negotiating With Iran 'Insulted' By Accusations Of Politics