Conservative Jewish Movement Advocated Rabbinic Authority for Kosel Hamarovi, Historic Document Shows

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“The Kotel is a holy site for all Jews, not only for Jews who reside in Yerushalayim and in Eretz Yisroel, but for Jews all over the world…It is important that the establishment of all regulations pertaining to prayer and ritual there be in the hands of the Rabbinate in Eretz Israel…”

This was the recommendation of Cyrus Adler, a prominent Conservative leader in 1930 in his “Memorandum on the Kotel,” which was presented to the Special Commission of the League of Nations on behalf of the Rabbinate of Israel, the Jewish Agency, Knesset Yisrael, and Agudath Israel in Israel.

“It is remarkable just how far the Conservative movement has strayed from the principles of its founders on the subject of the Kosel Hamarovi,” said Rabbi Pesach Lerner, the Executive Vice President Emeritus of the National Council of Young Israel and a member of the Executive of the Coalition for Jewish Values. “Although the Conservative movement now advocates changes in the jurisdiction and status of the Wall, the former Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary actually pointed out that his position was “following ancient Jewish custom that has not changed in more than 1300 years!”

The remarkable document located in Israel’s State Archives points to the extraordinary unity and consensus of Jews about the holiness of the Kosel Hamarovi. The fact that some of the most widely recognized Orthodox Jewish movements signed off on the document authored by a Conservative rabbi begs the question of why the Conservative movement today repudiates the views of one of its most prominent luminaries and does not subscribe to the concept that the Kosel is the central unifying site for the Jewish people.

In addition to serving as Chancellor of the Conservative Seminary, Cyrus Adler was instrumental in the founding of the United Synagogue of America, the American Jewish Historical Society and the American Jewish Committee.

“If only today’s leaders of the Conservative movement had the historical perspective and appreciation for the vision and honesty of Cyrus Adler, the holiness of the Kosel would never be challenged,” said Rabbi Lerner. “If only the Conservative leaders understood and respected the views of their founders, Jewish unity would not be challenged,” he said.

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}

6 COMMENTS

  1. “It is remarkable just how far the Conservative movement has strayed from the principles of its founders”

    Why is this news? They stray from the Torah regularly, and they have NO principles.

  2. please dont give a hechsher to the conservartives of yester year. they’re just as treif.
    this article is like saying ‘kosher….chzir feesel’

  3. The Conservative movement in its early days was there as a compromise to allow the people to do what they want to while trying to keep them from straying too far from Torah. That philosophy has been abandoned.Nowadays the Rabbis of the Conservative movement try to jstify and teach that their way is in fact the correct way. This has led to the creation of a their own belief system which in turn has moved very close to Reform.
    In short, today’s Conservative movement is not the old Conservative movement and cannot be placed in the same bucket.

    • This is evidence of the purity of Torah. If you set up a new way to think a scoffer or short-comer will be more comfortable, you have thrown out the whole Torah.

      Light and inconsequential is not permissive culture. It seems ok today and the sinner might come to see your rabbi… but when your ‘rabbi’ is a fraud, you have no authority and the sinner is appeased. Look how far reform has strayed and now conservative is just the same.

      No men for Torah. Ridiculous.

  4. Lerner’s points are so disingenuous – I don’t agree with conservative movement but they don’t need to have same position and can say facts and circumstances change so that position changed. There’s plenty to take issue with – this (IMO) is purely sticking a thumb into the conservative movement’s eye (spiking the football). no reason for gleeful happy dance – get real

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