Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar has sent a letter to hundreds of Orthodox Rabbis, urging them to help overturn the Israeli government’s recent decision to recognise and fund Conservative and Reform rabbis.
In the letter, Rabbi Amar condemned the move, lamenting “the hand given to the uprooters and destroyers of Judaism who have already wrought horrible destruction upon the People of Israel in the Diaspora by causing terrible assimilation and the uprooting of all of the Torah’s precepts. And now they seek recognition in the Land of Israel as well … this will not pass!”
The government made the unprecedented decision last month in response to a High Court warning that without national legislation, they would be forced pass a petition filed in 2005 by the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism which asks for equal funding.
Rabbi Amar has called for recipients of the letter to attend an emergency meeting of the Council of the Chief Rabbinate next Tuesday in order to convince Israeli political leaders of his point of view.
The government has pledged to pay the wages of 15 non-Orthodox rabbis so far, but the proposed financing is also being held up by Religious Services Minister Yaakov Margi, of Shas, who has threatened to quit if the decision is not overturned.