With forced retirement perhaps on hand, Rabbi Riskin goes out to look for a new job…
Posts Tagged ‘Efrat’
Rabbi Riskin said he hopes the Rabbinate will climb down from their tree, in an interview he gave on Galei Yisrael Radio on Tuesday, as reported by Kipa.
The extension of Rabbi Riskin’s tenure as Chief Rabbi of the town of Efrat is under evaluation by the Israeli Rabbinate because he has reached the retirement age of 75. Only, it appears that the consideration as to whether to extend the Rabbi’s term is based on Rabbi Riskin’s legal/halachic positions, which places him in direct opposition to the Chareidi/Shas controlled Rabbinate.
Rabbi Riskin said, “I don’t want to believe that because of the halachic issue of conversion, which is such an important issue in the State of Israel today, that they [the Rabbinate] would want to terminate my services in the Rabbinate, but so it appears.”
Rabbi Riskin made it clear that he respects the Rabbinate and believes it serves an important role, but he thinks “the Rabbinate should accept opinions that are important, halachic pluralism, when of course it is within the halachic consensus. I don’t do anything that is outside the halachic consensus to open the gates of conversion…”
Rabbi Riskin continued, “I support the establishment and the institution of the Rabbinate, I believe it is important, but it must be a Rabbinate that talks to all of the nation of Israel, and halachically it must be prepared to accept halachic opinions that are not exactly Ultra-Orthodox views.”
“I hope… they’ll come down from their tree. I honestly don’t understand them… if this is true.” he finished off.
Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin is planning take his case to the Supreme Court of Israel if necessary, and Efrat Mayor Oded Ravivi says he is adamant Riskin must stay on, “regardless of what the Chief Rabbinate of Israel says.”
Ravivi warned that he would not tolerate political interference from the country’s rabbinical council officials when there is a “clear consensus that Rabbi Riskin is performing his duties faithfully.”
In an interview Tuesday with the Hebew-language “Kipa” website, Ravivi slammed the threat by the Chief Rabbinate not to extend Riskin’s term of office in his city.
“I watch this process in wonder and amazement,” Ravivi said. “Overall there is a consensus here that Rabbi Riskin is doing his job exceptionally well.
The parliament understands that the rabbi must respond to the definition of “creating for yourself a rabbinic authority” – someone to whom one can turn in time of spiritual and moral need – half of these voters who support the rabbi are city council members, 25 percent are synagogue members and 25 percent are simply those who are spiritual followers.
“Rabbi Riskin is one of the founders of this community,” the mayor continued. “Is there anyone who is a more integral part of this city? He is part of the infrastructure and the living spirit of this place.
“The Rabbinate decides not to reappoint him – so does that mean he will no longer bless celebrations here? People will no longer consult him? I would bet that the reality will not change, even if the Chief Rabbinate does decide not to extend his appointment,” the mayor said.
Meanwhile, Riskin himself has said that he will appeal the issue to the nation’s Supreme Court. In addition to serving as the Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Riskin also heads the Ohr Torah Stone institutions as well.
“I read the newspapers and hear that the matter is about conversions and the fact that I was supposed to set up a conversion court along with other town rabbis,” Riskin explains.
“I wanted to open the gates for people from the former Soviet Union who live here in Israel, born to Jewish fathers. There is an issue here that must be resolved, and that can be resolved, if conversion courts will become more embracing,yet 100 percent according to Jewish law.”
The Chief Rabbinate met in Jerusalem on Monday to discuss whether to extend the term of Efrat’s Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, but it postponed a decision until he appears personally for another hearing.
An extension of Rabbi Riskin’s term requires a special meeting because he is now 75 years old, but the Kipa website reported, “Senior officials in the Rabbinate plan to hold a discussion on his term of office and not automatically renew it in order to block his re-appointment because of his opinions. If there will be another discussion of the entire Rabbinate, a majority will vote against Rabbi Riskin.”
Rabbi Riskin supports establishing more religious courts to oversee conversions, a move that is stiffly opposed by the Hareidi establishment. He also has been active in promoting women’s rights in the Orthodox world, another move that the Hareidi establishment considers near blasphemy.
Rabbi Riskin’s office told The Jewish Press that it was not aware of the report by Kipa, but previous rabbis over the age of 70 have been asked to retire, regardless of their opinions. The spokesman for the Rabbinate told The Jewish Press that there have been cases where the term of a rabbi over the age of 70 has been extended, depending on his health.
Nevertheless, Monday’s discussion raises several questions to which the spokesman for the Chief Rabbinate said, “I don’t know.”
He said that Rabbis Riskin will be asked to appear personally, probably in the next several weeks, to answer questions about his health.
If that is the case, why didn’t the Chief Rabbinate ask for his medical records?
I don’t know.
Why didn’t the Rabbinate invite Rabbi Riskin today?
I don’t know.
Will Rabbi Riskin’s views on conversion be discussed in the upcoming hearing?
I don’t know.
However, the spokesman did confirm that the issue of conversion was not discussed today.
A decision to retire Rabbi Riskin, the founding rabbi of Lincoln Square Synagogue on the Upper West Side of New York City, without any other basis than opposition to his views could spur a legal battle in the Supreme Court. The Religious Affairs Ministry is now under the control of the Shas party, which may influence the Rabbinate’s decision in favor of ousting Rabbi Riskin.
Shas party leader Aryeh Deri is close to Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, son of the late Rav Ovadia Yosef who founded the Shas party and was its spiritual leader until his death less than two years ago.
Hopefully, this report by The Jewish Press.com will arouse public opinion, influence the Rabbinate, and pave the way for the distinguished rabbis to extend Rabbi Riskin’s term.
Arab stone throwers lightly injured a woman near the Husan Bypass in Gush Etzion, which is between Efrat and Betar, off of Highway 60.
The stone throwing is continuing against IDF troops arriving at the scene.
The injured woman is being treated for minor cuts and panic, but she doesn’t need to be taken to the hospital.
A person was injured in an Arab stone-throwing attack on Road 60 between El Hadr (Beitar turnoff) and Efrat North in Gush Etzion.
Stones hit a bus’s windshield, and one person was lightly injured in the face.