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September 20, 2000

Agudath Israel's September 20, 2000 statement about recent Senator Lieberman comments

In reaction to comments made by Senator Joseph Lieberman on the "Imus in the Morning" radio program this past Friday, including his disparagement of a traditional Jewish blessing and his denial of any Jewish religious ban on Jews marrying outside their faith, Agudath Israel of America issued the following statement:

As an observant Jew who finds himself in the world spotlight, Senator Lieberman has a great opportunity to help American Jews and non-Jews alike better understand Jewish beliefs and practices. And whenever he has done so, as through his much-admired dedication to the Jewish Sabbath or dietary laws, a kiddush Hashem (sanctification of G-dís name) has resulted. Unfortunately, Senator Lieberman effected precisely the opposite when he implied, on a nationally syndicated radio program, that the Jewish liturgy is subject to individual Jewsí whims, and that Jews are not banned by their faith from marrying non-Jews. The Senatorís statements misrepresent basic foundations of our faith, and carry the tragic potential of misleading countless Jews on issues of fundamental importance to the future of the Jewish community.

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