January 6, 2011
The Rabbinical Council of California, unequivocally condemns the violence and intimidation perpetrated by some of an extremist faction in the city of Beit Shemesh, Israel. Despite their Orthodox appearance, they cannot lay claim to sharing the tradition we love and embrace, one that is pithily expressed in the Book of Proverbs (3:17): “Its ways are the ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are peace.”
We also recoil at the debased manipulation of images of the six million martyrs of the Holocaust, by donning the Yellow Star and the outfits of Auschwitz inmates to protest their treatment in a Jewish State that protects and sustains them.
As the umbrella organization of Orthodox rabbis in the Western United States, we pledge to lead our families, students and congregations in the soul-searching needed to determine the root causes of such aberrations of authentic Judaism, and to work to ensure that those causes will never take root in our communities.