Breaking Point: A British rabbi is urging British Jews to be “biblical” and not use the “script of the world”.
The Jewish Agency of Great Britain (JAF) is calling on people to “understand and be Biblical” with their scripts.
The Jewish agency says people who don’t understand the “Jewish and Biblical” scripts should “take it up with their rabbi”.
“The Bible is the Torah and the Hebrew Bible is an ancient book of the Torah,” Rabbi Moshe Pareh, the head of the JAF’s Hebrew language department, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“It’s been translated into many languages, but it is in the Torah itself.
The Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, is the Bible, it’s the word of God, and the word is the Hebrew word for ‘the word of the Lord’ – it’s ‘the Word of God’.”
The JAF, a government body that helps people understand and use the Hebrew language, has written to British Jewish leaders asking them to “take the Hebrew script and the Jewish script into consideration”.
Rabbi Parew, a senior rabbi in the central Israeli city of Eilat, told Today the Hebrew scripts were “very important” for Judaism.
But he said the “Scripture is being hijacked by those who are not Jewish or have no connection to Judaism”.
“It has become a tool to be used against us, to make us look like we are a bunch of extremists, like there’s a conspiracy to destroy us,” he said.
Racism and anti-Semitism have been on the rise in the UK in recent years, as British Jews have moved away from the Conservative Party, according to a recent survey by the Anti-Defamation League.
Earlier this year, a study by the think-tank concluded that the proportion of Jews who identify as Conservative has risen to just under 12% in the last decade.
It said this is largely down to the growing number of British Jews living abroad, a trend that is expected to continue in coming years.
Mr Parehe said that “the script has become the tool of the powerful”.
Mr Jabb, the former head of a rabbinical court in Israel, told the BBC that the script was “very, very important” and he hoped it would continue to be so.
He said that the Jewish communities in the US, France and elsewhere were also under threat from a “script war”.
But Mr Jabb warned that using the script “will not help any of us”.
He called on Jewish organisations, communities and individuals to be wary of “the pressure” that the scripts “are being put under”.
“When you’re going through the motions of writing a script, there’s all sorts of pressures and pressure to do that.
When you say you’re not going to do it, you’re being forced to do something, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
The Jewish community in the United States has been under increasing pressure to adopt a “Biblical” script in recent decades, as Jewish organisations have pushed for the creation of a new national bible in the wake of the Holocaust.
In December, the Conservative-controlled House of Representatives voted to pass a resolution calling for a “New American Bible” in the midst of the global Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
The US is currently in the middle of a nationwide debate over whether to officially adopt a new bible, with various factions in the Republican-led Congress pushing for a more traditional version of the bible to be created.