Former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar spoke with Israel Hayom on various topics involving religion and state.
Addressing the efforts of the Reform movement to create an “egalitarian” prayer space at the Western Wall, Rabbi Amar called the Reform movement “evil.”
Rabbi Amar also called the “LGBT community” a “sect. It is a sect of blasphemy, that’s for sure. The Torah obligates the death penalty for it. It is among the most severe of transgressions. You need to know the truth. They say ‘inclination,’ ‘deviation’ - nonsense. There are urges, and one can control them if he wishes, just like any urge. This is one of the severest prohibitions.”
Rabbi Amar also related that he had refused to attend the ceremony marking thirty days since the passing of Shira Banki, who was murdered at the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem. “They asked me to come, and I did not agree to it. I wrote them, expressing great sorrow and opposition in the strongest terms to the act of [the murderer]. On the other hand, I told them, if you want to memorialize, take upon yourselves to change your evil ways. This is something forbidden by the Torah. I made a condition that [if they read the letter aloud], they should read the whole thing. They wanted to read half of it. I wouldn’t agree.”
“[This is out of the question] - to show understanding or tolerance for this. You must say the simple truth - it is completely forbidden, and there is no [way to permit it]. You must say things clearly. In the past, when I spoke about this, many secular people called and thanked me. People don’t want this. They want their kids to get married, to have kids of their own,” he said.
The Rabbi also rejected the notion of civil marriages - marriages not carried out according to Jewish law - between Jewish partners.
Regarding public transportation on Shabbat, the Rabbi said, “It is impossible to allow public transportation on Shabbat. It is not within our jurisdiction.”