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-d's 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 Jews' whims, and that Jews are not banned by their faith from marrying non-Jews.

The Senator's 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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