Rabbi facing wailing wall

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Rabbi Shlomo Amara Has History of Controversial Statements

Former chief Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amara attacked progressive Jews after a contentious court case. The Israeli High Court of Justice ordered its government to reconsider its decision to suspend the resolution of creating a state-recognized egalitarian prayer section. It would be located at the southern end of the Western Wall.

Shlomo Amar is the Sephardi chief rabbi of Jerusalem and his aggressive views are not new to Jews as in an interview in 2016 November he made his view clear. He referred to reformed Jews as being evil citing the agreement to create the egalitarian prayer space as an example.

The rabbi also went on to label homosexuality as an abomination to human kind. The public did not agree with his views which lead to protests outside his offices. Formal charges were also filed with the police as activists stated he was inciting the public to murder homosexuals.

The rabbi current comments came when he was discussing a petition by a feminist prayer group. The petition was questioning the government’s decision to freeze an agreement that would allow for egalitarian prayer services at one of Judaism’s holiest sites. The government passed this decision back in June.

The Reform and Conservative movement and Women of the Wall (the feminist prayer group) got a small victory when the court ordered the government to reconsider its decision or provide ample reasons on why it stopped the agreement. The court told the government if it failed to do so, the court would intervene.

The following is an extract from the rabbi’s rant after the court ruling, “They don’t have Yom Kippur or Shabbat, but they want to pray [at the Western Wall]. But no one should think that they want to pray. They want to desecrate the holy. It’s like Holocaust deniers, it’s the same thing. They shout, ‘Why are there Holocaust deniers in Iran?’ They deny more than Holocaust deniers.”

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