Esor Ben-Sorek
Esor Ben-Sorek

The Stinging Bite of a Vicious Lion

More vicious than the animals of the jungle, the mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion, has outdone them.

In his recent broadcast over the ultra-orthodox radio station Kol B’Rama, Mayor Lion has proclaimed loud and clear, “There is no place for Reform Jews to pray at the Western Wall”.

Can there be a more bitter expression of judenhass (hatred of Jews) since Wilhelm Marr invented the word antisemitism in 1879 in Germany?

Moshe Lion is a disgrace not only to all Jews (not counting the ultra-orthodox fanatics) but to all decent members of humanity in the world.

He has lowered himself and is beneath the dignity expected of the mayor of our holy city of Jerusalem.

The vicious Lion of Jerusalem needs to know facts. Reform Jews outnumbered orthodox Jews at the first Zionist Congress in Basel. They were among the first to support the ideas and ideals of Theodor Herzl.

When orthodox Judaism denounced Zionism (as many do to this very day), it was the Reform Jewish delegates to the Congress which unanimously supported Herzl’s program.

The greatest leaders of the Zionist Movement in the diaspora were Stephen Wise and Abba Hillel Silver, both renowned Reform rabbis. Streets in Israel are named in their honor.

More Reform Jews visit Israel than other Jews. Reform Jews contribute more to Israeli institutions than other Jewish denominations.

Reform Judaism has grown in strength and in its support of Zionism and Israel since its beginning in Germany during the reformation of 1848. In the initial years, the German Reform rabbis designated Germany as the homeland of the Jews in place of far-away Jerusalem. But since the end of World War II when six million Jews (among them a million Reform or liberal or progressive Jews) the Reform movement has made a 180 degree turn and is among the finest contributors and supporters of our Jewish homeland.

The religious seminary for Reform rabbis is prominently located in the center of Jerusalem. Hundreds of Reform rabbis were educated in Jerusalem, the city now managed by the vicious lion named Moshe.

The State of Israel belongs to every Jew in the world regardless of religious affiliation or not. The holy Western Wall is a sanctified place where every Jew is permitted to worship provided that the traditions of Judaism are observed.

Women at the Wall can worship in an area separated from men by the accepted Jewish tradition. The wearing of a tallit and tefillin, not required of women under strict Jewish law dating from earliest centuries, is an abomination in the eyes of religiously observant Orthodox worshippers.

There is a place for every devout Jew to offer prayers to our One and Eternal God under the guidelines established by Jewish law and traditions.

Without any doubt, Mayor Lion would be exceedingly happy to accept monetary donations from Reform contributors to Jerusalem’s projects growth. Why then will he happily take money from Reform Jews while at the same time denying them their religious right to pray at the Wall?

Of course his reason for making his vicious anti-Reform Jews statement is due to his obligation to the ultra-orthodox and haredi components of his city upon whom he depends for election and re-election.

Disgusting is the silence of corrupt criminal Netanyahu. He has not the courage to step forward and to criticize and condemn the remarks of Jerusalem’s mayor. Like him, Israel’s prime minister is beholden to the religious bloc in his right wing party.

For our prime minister, desperate to hang on to power, politics comes before principles.

The Reform movement in Israel should make a public statement demanding an apology from the city’s vicious mayor.

Lions belong in the jungle. Not in Jerusalem’s City Hall.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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