Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Israeli MK Denounces Reform Judaism as a "Fake Religion"

Back in July Bezalel Smotrich, an Israeli MK of the far right Jewish Home party, made a speech denouncing Reform Jews as fake and insisting that their conversions are not to be recognized.
Smotrich told a gathering of his party’s volunteer youth that he was “not willing to recognize Reform conversions and their fake religion.” (The Times of IsraelJuly 28, 2016.)
Also at about the same time legislation was passed that allowing religious authorities to exclude Jews they do not approve of from using ritual baths.
On Monday the Knesset passed into law a bill that permits regional religious authorities to turn away individuals from using the state-run ritual baths. The legislation seeks to circumvent the Supreme Court’s February 12 ruling that Israel’s non-Orthodox Jewish communities may use state ritual baths for their conversion ceremonies. 
“This is the first time that a mikveh, a place of purity, has become a place of exclusion,” said Yesh Atid MK Aliza Lavie on Monday. The lawmaker said the legislation sends a message to Diaspora Jewry that the State of Israel doesn’t “count you in. Not at the Western Wall, or in marriage, or in conversions, at the mikvehs too — you have no place in the State of Israel.” (The Times of Israel, July 28, 2016.)

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