As a secular with spiritual leanings, I have to shake my head at things like this. Do the Rabbis really believe they can control everything people do (or did) or think (or thought)? In light of the treatment of this man, and by this example, will the Rabbinate then go after everyone who practices (or practiced) YOGA in Israel as being no longer Jewish? After all, each and every yoga pose is a specific Tantric worship stance to a particular Hindu deity (whether or not the practitioner knows it)--so in effect, all Jews who work out with yoga routines are practicing Hindu religion. I don't practice yoga because I know too much about it, but still... people do all kinds of things for an infinite host of reasons. Do these men suggest that putting everyone under their bossy religious microscopes will suffice at managing an adherence to their ideas of truth and responsibility before G-d? Next, the facts of this situation make their conduct especially annoying because, historically speaking anyway, early followers of Yehoshua (who was believed to be the Messiah) were all JEWS following the teaching of another fellow Jew, correct? As were the followers of Bar Kochba, who believed the same about him and his identity. What about the Lubavitcher Rabbi, believed to be the same by his followers? All Jews. Does anyone dispute it? Next we peruse the Atheists. No one says that atheist Jews aren't Jews, even though they say and believe that there is no G-d of Israel and there never was. I'm sure, also, that everyone remembers the Ethiopians called into question on their "Jewishness." And then, what about all those pesky IDF soldiers working on Shabbat? Oh my goodness what will we ever do? Those "lawbreakers!" By such reasoning, those in uniform aren't Jews either. There is a truth here, and it is that inconsistency is the plague of small minds and small vision. Death of the Jewish People by assimilation is a concern (it can never happen), but so is death by stupidity. Ignorance of history is like a mine shaft that goes down deep into the darkness--you can get in but you can't get out. Jews have thought many things throughout history, and all one must do now is to take a look at the Knesset to see a microcosm of the same. A "one size fits all" rubric of enforcement is plainly ludicrous. The greater concern is that the extreme level of control the Rabbinate exerts over freedom of thought--the very MINDS of the people--is unreasonable, idiotic, and tyrannical--and dare I say it? Non-Jewish. It is clear that they have made themselves like idols who must be served without question, requiring from all obedience to a set of rules put in place by themselves--the mistaken clerics. And in true cult-like manner, they figuratively slit the throats of every secular or even religious Zionist who made their comfy stay in Israel possible. By the same token we now must wonder about the Righteous Gentiles who saved Jews at great risk to themselves. Were they just a bunch worthless goys G-d used like cattle to serve the Jews? I'm afraid that's the thinking. And is it repugnant. It is not a wonder that Israel garners a bad name for itself among the nations with this kind of thing. Jewish identity is supposed to be a light, not a bludgeoning rod. The fact is, those who hurt people like the man in this story (and there are countless other stories of the same) do it because they're drunk on power. They do it because they can. Do they really think a "point in time" analysis of a person's belief structure is the end all of end alls? Thinking changes. We are beings of change and growth (hopefully) and exploration. Besides, no one ever truly knows what anyone else thinks. That is between the individual only and G-d. THAT, and not some collective mind-control "hive" mentality, has been the hallmark of true Jewish spirituality. I say leave this poor guy alone. He's trying his best to obey his conscience and his own personal history. Time will tell on the other issues. In any case, when are the Rabbis' personal beliefs, private thoughts, and daily actions going to be brought under scrutiny and into the contest?
Jerusalem light rail conductors striking over new train schedule (Haaretz)