Progressive Orthodox Rabbis Stand With Reform Leaders Attacked At Kotel

We are appalled and outraged by the events at the Kotel this week, when Reform rabbis and lay leaders were physically attacked by Kotel security guards. The Reform leaders were engaged in an act of civil disobedience to push for implementation of the Kotel agreement, which the Netanyahu government disavowed after months of negotiation. One can agree or disagree with civil disobedience as a change strategy, but responding with violence is not acceptable, especially at our holiest site. It also involves several Torah and rabbinic prohibitions. This is not the way of Torah.

We affirm our belief that the Kotel belongs to all Jews, and call upon Prime Minister Netanyahu to implement a practical and equitable solution to allow for a pluralistic prayer space at the Kotel.

We condemn in no uncertain terms recent Orthodox claims that Reform Jews are “worse than Holocaust deniers,” “idolaters,” and “not Jews.” Although we have significant theological and Halachic differences with Reform Judaism, Reform Jews are our brothers and sisters, and Reform rabbis and leaders are admirable in their dedication to Klal Yisrael. They are people with and from whom we can learn, and without their contributions to our people we would be impoverished.

Rabbi David Bigman

Rabbi Dr. Ariel Burger

Rabbanit Dr. Carmella Abraham

Rabbi Yehoshua Engelman

Rabbi Daniel Geretz

Rabbi Dr. Mel Gottlieb

Rabbi Steve Greenberg

Rabbi Dr. Yitz Greenberg

Rabbi Herzl Hefter

Rabbi Tyson Herberger

Rabbi David Jaffe

Rabbi David Kalb

Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

Rabbanit Rachel Keren

Rabbi Fred Klein

Rabbanit Oshra Koren

Rabbi Daniel Landes

Rabbi Asher Lopatin

Rabbi Avram Mlotek

Rabbi Dina Najman

Rabbi Micah Odenheimer

Rabbi Dr. Ariel Picard

Rabbi Gabriel Kretzmer-Seed

Rabbi Daniel Raphael Silverstein

Rabbi Devin Villarreal

Dr. Sharon Weiss-Greenberg

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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Progressive Orthodox Rabbis Stand With Reform Leaders Attacked At Kotel

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