Jun 21, 2012

From the #RabbinicalAssembly: A Statement on Incitement by Israeli Chief Rabbi Amar -- @rabbiassembly



June 2012 - Tammuz 5772 

Incitement by Chief Rabbi Amar

Amar Letter  

The Rabbinical Assembly is outraged by a letter issued on official Israeli government stationery by Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar calling for a rally at his office this coming Tuesday. The language used in the statement is inflammatory and inciting, referring to our members as "terrorists" whose "sole intention is to do harm to the holiness of Torah." 


The State of Israel and the Jewish people have learned the most bitter lesson in the murder of our beloved Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin (z"l) that incendiary language can result in devastating consequences. We speak as a worldwide Conservative community in demanding that this threat to Masorti rabbis' physical safety, not only their personal integrity, be defended. The Talmud (Arakhin 15b) teaches that hateful speech has the potential to kill. Rabbi Amar's language places all Jewish people at risk of violence, all because Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein directed that non-Orthodox rabbis in agricultural communities could be paid salaries from non-religious budgets. 


The vast majority of the world's Jews do not conform to the unfathomably hateful language of one of the two chief religious leaders funded by the Government of Israel. We ask that the resources of the Jewish state be devoted to teaching and propagating a love of Judaism and the Jewish people. As the Talmud concludes (Arakhin 15b), "What is the remedy for slanderers? If he be a scholar, let him engage in the Torah, as it is said: The healing for the tongue is the tree of life."


Rabbi Gerry Skolnik, president

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president


Download the letter (full translation)