Israeli MK Apologizes, Says Comments On Reform ‘Misinterpreted’
02/06/14
Photo Galleria: 

JERUSALEM — Israeli lawmaker David Rotem apologized for comments attributed to him that members of the Reform movement are not Jewish, saying his words were “misinterpreted.”

“Comments attributed to me regarding the Reform Movement have been misinterpreted by elements within the media. I have never said belonging to the Reform Movement makes anyone less Jewish,” Rotem said in a Facebook post Thursday. “While as an Orthodox Jew, I have theological differences with the Reform Movement’s perspective, I maintain the greatest respect for all Jews, regardless of their denomination and background. I apologize for any misunderstanding and all offense generated by the content of my comments yesterday.

“I hope that this clarification can generate the necessary debate on how to further unify the Jewish People, both in Israel and the Diaspora, around our shared vital interests and concerns, rather than limiting it to the differences that exist among us,” he concluded in the post.

Rotem said he had agreed to meet with a group of Reform Jewish leaders next week.

He came under fire from religious and other Jewish groups for remarks he reportedly made Tuesday during a meeting of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, which he chairs, on changing Israel’s child adoption law.

“The Reform movement is not Jewish … they are another religion,” he reportedly said in comments attributed to him late Wednesday in the Israeli media.

Rotem, a member of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party, a major coalition partner, told Army Radio on Thursday morning that his comments were a “big mistake.” He told the radio station that the Reform movement is “another Jewish religion” in the same way that the haredi Orthodox are.

editor@jewishweek.org
 

 

Last Update:

02/12/2014 - 04:28

Comment Guidelines

The Jewish Week feels comments create a valuable conversation and wants to feature your thoughts on our website. To make everyone feel welcome, we won't publish comments that are profane, irrelevant, promotional or make personal attacks.

Reform Jews who have been born through matrilineal descent of Jewish mothers are Jewish. period. No orthodox Jew anywhere disputes that fact.

The problem is with non-halachic gerim (converts), children of said converts, and children of Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers, whom Reform views as Jewish.

As to whether theologies that diverge from orthodoxy are Jewish or not - that is another question.

He didn't say Reform Jews aren't Jewish. Any person born of a Jewish mother is Jewish, and no Orthodox Jew denies that. He said the Reform Movement isn't Jewish, which is 100% correct. Traditional Judaism, as it has existed for thousands of years, is premised on divine revelation to Moses of both the written Torah (ie the 5 books, contained in a Torah scroll) and the oral Torah (which was eventually codified in the Mishna and explicated in the Gemara, or Talmud and the binding nature of Jewish law through which Jews elevate themselves spiritually and strive to become a holy people. Reform Judaism rejects all of that -- it rejects divine revelation (and in many cases Reform Rabbis deny the existence of God) and the binding nature of Jewish law. They are simply not practicing Judaism as it has existed for thousands of years. They have created an "ethical culture society" with some Jewish trappings and watered-down Jewish ritual. So, Reform, as a movement, is not Judaism.

Hello, what you say may not be right. Regarding your second sentence, I have a friend who is a so-called patrilineal Jew, and the fact is she has never been anything else, meaning that she "failed" to affirm what her mother was brought up with (if anything). I believe Christians are not so by birth, but only if they have been baptized (their thousand-year tradition).

Add comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.