Chief Rabbi: Better Not to Pray Than to Pray Reform

Non-Orthodox groups have reacted angrily to Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar’s comments about them in an interview given to the Makor Rishon newspaper ahead of Rosh Hashana.

Asked whether it would be better for a secular Jew who happened to be away from home on Rosh Hashana to pray with a Reform congregation or by himself in a hotel, Amar said it would be preferable to pray by himself.

“More than this, its preferable not to pray at all than to pray with them [a Reform congregation]. I could write an endless amount of reasons [why this is the case] according to Jewish law,” he said in the interview published last week.

Secular Jews, he explained, had grown up secular and did not know how to be religious, “but when you turn this into an ideology this is problematic.”

Amar also said that non-Orthodox weddings were invalid and labeled Reform rabbis and leaders as “extremely problematic” for “marrying Jews with non-Jews together with a priest.”


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