Shas minister causes anger by declaring Reform members non-Jews
Religious Services Minister David Azoulay (Shas) caused an uproar on Tuesday by criticizing Reform Judaism, saying he does not consider members of the denomination to be Jews.Yet this is nothing new for Shas, whose past members have sometimes said very degrading things about Russians too. The irony is that Azoulay isn't somebody I'd call Jewish either, because he probably isn't Zionist, and likely didn't serve in the army to defend his country. In that case, I don't see what his beef is with the Reforms, if they're anti-Israel, because even he could be.
Azoulay told Army Radio that these are "Jews who lost their way" and he hoped they would "return to the midst of Judaism according to Jewish law."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later issued a statement saying he rejected Azoulay's "hurtful remarks about Reform Judaism, which do not reflect the position of the government."
People like Azoulay are also against the Conservative movement, and while they've plummeted in quality today, my grandparents from the father's side of the family were Conservatives themselves, which means Azoulay has declared them non-Jewish too, and by extension, me. And here after all the hard work my grandfather, who died in 1972 before I was born, did when he served in the US military's artillery units during WW2 working to save people like him from extinction. My grandfather would've done everything he could to protect Azoulay and other Shas politicians from anti-semites, and how does he thank them? By declaring them filthy.
This article on the Times of Israel brings up a Reform who is a Zionist, and sadly, it makes no difference to people like Azoulay, because they're not Zionist themselves. It also tells that Naftali Bennett too issued a rebuttal to Azoulay's remarks.
But what Azoulay did could provide the left with ammunition to use against the right, another reason why modern Orthodox movements should distance themselves from Shas and United Torah Judaism, who also parroted his statements.
I think the modern Orthodox movement would do well to set up different sects like the different ones seen in both Catholicism and Protestantism, that would basically be separate from most of the current ones. And converts to Judaism should decidedly consider trying out conversion at home, or in water pools around the country that could be historic, but aren't owned by synagogues proper. If anything, they shouldn't seek to join Ruth's path through the auspices of the Haredi movement that rejects both them and Ruth.
Update: Azoulay's still not sorry about the slur he used on Reformers.