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Eban Defends All Currents of Religious Jewish Experience

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Abba Eban, Israel’s former Foreign Minister and now a member of the Knesset, said here Monday night that Israel must recognize the plurality and diversity. of Jewish religious experience and rejected any formula that would tend to discriminate against “all the recognized currents of faith in Judaism.”

The Israeli diplomat, in making this statement at the Rockdale Temple’s 150th anniversary celebration, did not directly mention the present compromise efforts proposed by Yitzhak Rabin’s government which would freeze for one year the registration of immigrant converts. Eban, a member of the Labor Party, did say, however, “I am certain that I am not alone in my party in refusing support to any formula, however clever and acrobatic, which might be dictated by discrimination between all the recognized currents of faith in Judaism.”

The Israeli diplomat, in making this statement at the Rockdale Temple’s 150th anniversary celebration, did not directly mention the present compromise efforts proposed by Yitzhak Rabin’s government which would freeze for one year the registration of immigrant converts. Eban, a member of the Labor Party, did say, however, “I am certain that I am not alone in my party in refusing support to any formula, however clever and acrobatic, which might be dictated by discrimination between all the recognized currents of faith in Judaism.”

Earlier in his address Eban stated: “The ecumenical spirit must prevail among all those who have given their allegiance to the Torah. The Israeli people must come to terms with the pluralism and diversity of the Jewish religious experience. It is not necessary…to recognize that it exists. All religious Jewish worship commands our respect. I therefore hope that in my party and in others there are those who would stand firm against any measures which would cast doubts on the sanctity of rabbinic actions, whether Orthodox. Conservative or Reform. For after all. Israel is the center but is not the totality of Jewish life.”

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