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Wednesday, December 12, 2012 

Non-Orthodox Judaism should be recognized in Israel

A Zionist Orthodox rabbi took a trip abroad and came back with the following discoveries:
After returning from a trip to the U.S., Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, one of Israel's most prominent Zionist Orthodox rabbis, said that steps should be taken to welcome non-Orthodox Diaspora Jews, as a way to fight growing assimilation and loss of Jewish identity abroad.

Cherlow wrote that Torah and Zionism no longer play the roles in the identity of Diaspora Jews that they once used to.

He said that many non-Orthodox Diaspora Jews do not want to identify with Israel "because of the occupation, the racism, the control of another people by force."
Boy, look at what assimilation led to - leftism! Not that it's entirely relevant to the main issue, but it's still something to be worried about, and if you look at how Satmar and Neturei Karta think and act, it's not just a problem with non-Orthodox sects. Even some Orthodox, or more precisely, ULTRA-Orthodox, buy into the narrative that delegitimizes half of Israel's territory in favor of the lie of a "palestinian Arab people".

Now, here's the direct part to ponder:
Cherlow explained that another part of the problem is that many non-Orthodox Diaspora Jews do not feel wanted in Israel.

"In Israel, the religious movements to which they belong are not recognized and also those who do not affiliate with any movement do not want to identify with a state where there is a religious monopoly," he wrote. "Their conversions are not recognized, nor are their prayers (Women of the Wall), etc.”

To be more welcoming to non-Orthodox Diaspora Jews, Cherlow recommended a reconsideration of rulings on a number of issues, such as conversion.
Speaking as someone whose family once went with the Conservative sect in the US before moving to Orthodox as a default, I would welcome them, though there are some drawbacks to their belief system in recent years that I find dismaying. But for the most part, the Conservative sect in my childhood was not hostile to Israel/Zionism, and that doesn't seem to have changed much.

Recognizing non-Orthodox Judaism in Israel could help to dislodge any hostile mentalities that might stem from the resentment of not being recognized as legitimate here, and sects like Reform wouldn't have as many bad issues then that could be used at ease to cause problems. So I do think steps should be taken to remove some of the most domineering of Haredi rabbis who've monopolized the Western Wall according to their beliefs while demonizing other sects of Judaism, and don't be surprised if their standings on Zionism aren't the reason why they have any issues with non-Orthodox sects.

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