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Orthodox Rabbis Call For A ‘Truly Pluralistic Israel’

As progressive, pluralistic orthodox rabbis associated with the rabbinic group Torat Chayim, we stand fully as allies with our sisters and brothers throughout the entire Jewish community in support of pluralism in America and Israel. We were disheartened to read that the Israeli government has rescinded its commitment to create a space for alternative and liberal groups to pray at the Western Wall and is moving to delegitimate all conversions but those done by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

Imposing one narrow version of Orthodox Judaism as the official standard for prayer and for conversion in Israel harms the unity of the Jewish people and it harms support for Israel in America. We encourage all Modern Orthodox Jews to publicly support freedom for multiple religious approaches to Jewish life. The Torah demands that we embrace humility in our dealings with fellow human beings. Pirkei Avot teaches: Do not demand to be the sole judge (of what is right or wrong in religious matters) for only God — and not humans representing God — has the capability of being the sole judge. This means that we should bring humility – not arrogance; and wonder – not certainty — to our relationships. The Sages teach that we are stronger when we disagree openly and respectfully while continuing to engage with one another and honor each other’s human dignity. We honor the different paths of our fellow Jews, even if we have our disagreements for the sake of heaven, and we yearn deeply to see a truly pluralistic Israel.

Signed,

Rabba Dr. Carmella Abraham

Rabbi Dr. Marc Angel

Rabino Daniel Askenazi

Rabbi Ben Berger

Rabbi Dr. Ariel Burger

Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo

Rabbi Menashe East

Rabbi Michael Cooper Emerson

Rabbi Dr. Zev Farber

Rabbi Avidan Freedman

Rabbi Marc Gitler

Rabbi Daniel Goodman

Rabbi Dr. Mel Gottlieb

Rabbi Ben Greenberg

Rabbi Dr. Yitz Greenberg

Rabbi Herzl Hefter

Rabbanit Bracha Jaffe

Rabbi David Jaffe

Rabbi David Kalb

Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

Rabbi David Kasher

Rabbi Ysoscher Katz

Rabbi Will Keller

Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn

Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz

Rabbi Yehoshua Looks

Rabbi Asher Lopatin

Rabbi Dr. Ariel Evan Mayse

Rabbi Avram Mlotek

Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman

Rabbi Micha Odenheimer

Rabbi Haim Ovadia

Rabbi Dr. Ariel Picard

Rabbi Aaron Potek

Rabbi Dr. David Rosen

Rabbi Abe Schacter-Gampel

Rav Hanan Schlesinger

Rabbi Gabriel Nachman Kretzmer Seed

Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller

Rabbi Daniel Raphael Silverstein

Rabba Ramie Smith

Rabbi Devin Villarreal

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

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