Last November, he had called Reform Jews “evil” in a newspaper interview

Former chief rabbi calls Reform Jews worse than Holocaust deniers

The chief rabbi of Jerusalem, Shlomo Amar, called Reform Jews worse than Holocaust deniers because they reject traditional Jewish law.

Jerusalem Sephardic Chief Rabbi AmarJerusalem Sephardic Chief Rabbi Amar

From the JTA:

    Amar, the former chief Sephardic rabbi of Israel, in his weekly class last week referenced the Israel Supreme Court decision handed down hours earlier calling on the government to either reinstate the Western Wall agreement with non-Orthodox groups or explain why it should not force the state to honor the deal.

    Last November, he had called Reform Jews “evil” in a newspaper interview.

    “They don’t have Yom Kippur or Shabbat, but they want to pray [at the Western Wall],”Amar said during his lecture, first reported Tuesday on the haredi Orthodox news website Kikar HaShabbat. “But no one should think that they want to pray, they want to desecrate the holy. They are trying to deceive and say that extremist haredim invented” separate prayer at the Western Wall.

    “It’s like Holocaust deniers, it’s the same thing. They shout about Holocaust deniers in Iran, but they deny more than Holocaust deniers. In all of the Mishna and Gemara there was a women’s section and a section for men in the Temple. Did we invent this?” he also said, referring to the Talmud.

To put his view of Reform Judaism (a term that he uses generically) in context, we should remind ourselves that Rabbi Amar has described Knesset laws as gentile laws and Israel's civil judiciary as gentile courts. He has said that Jews may not come to judgment before the civil courts, and stated that Israel should be governed by Torah law; so long as it isn't, it's as if "they embrace Satan". He even added a liturgical touch in espousing these views: he cast all of this in the context of the High Holy Day prayers we just chanted in our respective synagogues - may all evil be consumed by smoke, and may this evil government disappear from the face of the earth.

What's interesting, though, about this particular pronouncement of his is that in addition to the anti-Reform sentiments, he also demonstrates his anti-historical Jewish perspective. What to him is in the realm of the "unheard of" and fabricated is actually what leading archaeological and historic scholars are in agreement on. Indeed, neither in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem (with the exception of Simkhat Beit haShoevah), nor in ancient synagogues, were women segregated from men in public worship!

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