Reform movement’s quarrel with Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu over his remarks connecting Holocaust with Jewish Reformism is somewhat misplaced; a connection is indeed traceable. Common Germans resented Jewish influence on their lives: Jews in German streets, businesses, and government. Such influence was made possible by abandoning havdala, Jewish isolation. Jews traditionally isolated themselves from Gentiles for ritual purity and to resist assimilation, but isolation also considerably alleviated tensions with nearby peoples. The less Jews communicated with natives, the less Jews annoyed them. Once the Jews broke the wall of ritual isolation in Germany, it was only a matter of time until massacres begun. Similar situation developed in Russia where Jewish paupers, businessman, socialists, and later – communist officials vexed native population. This reasoning doesn’t intend to justify the murderers, but only to explain their actions.

Russia and to lesser extent pre-Nazi Germany restricted Jewish assimilation. Jews there left ghettos but remained annoyingly distinctive and institutionally inferior, thus assuring actionable anti-Semitism. America quickly assimilated its Jews, but even there broken isolation led to high anti-Semitism until 1960s.

Reformism institutionalized absence of ritual isolation by removing the rituals. Reform Jews behave just like their Gentile neighbors. Reformism, of course, did not cause Holocaust – Nazis killed even Christianized Jews – but crowned Jewish thrust for assimilation which heavily contributed to the catastrophe.