Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, then Israel’s chief Sephardi rabbi, visiting Granada’s Alhambra, May 31, 2011. (Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images)
JTA By: JTA
JERUSALEM (JTA) — The chief rabbi of Jerusalem, Shlomo Amar, called Reform Jews worse than Holocaust deniers because they reject traditional Jewish law.
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.