Following the political storm the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Council has extended the tenure of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, who serves as chief rabbi of the community of Efrat. Recently there were rumors that due to Rabbi Riskin’s liberal hashkafa, the council was not going to extend his tenure, compelling him to retire as he reached mandatory retirement age, 75. The council decided not to oust a serving rabbi and Rabbi Riskin’s tenure has been extended for five years.
The Efrat City Council came out in an audible voice in support of the city’s rav, insisting they will not accept a replacement. Yesh Atid MK Dr. Aliza Lavie accusing the Rabbinate of targeting Rabbi Riskin because his hashkafa is not in line with that of the Chief Rabbis of Israel.
Rabbi Rafi Feuerstein of Tzohar Rabbonim and many others came out in support of Rabbi Riskin, standing firmly against the rumored Chief Rabbinate Council decision.
Harel Goldberg, the legal counsel for the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, on Sunday 11 Tammuz released his legal position paper on the matter, explaining he cannot defend a position not to extend Rabbi Riskin’s tenure under the law should the matter reach the Supreme Court.
YWN notes that Chief Rabbi of Efrat Rabbi Shlomo Riskin has previously referred to “J” as a “model Rabbi”, and called him “Rabbi J”. [VIDEO IS BELOW]
Some excerpts of the 5 minute video:
Shalom to all. My name is Shlomo Riskin. I am the Chief rabbi of the City of Efrat…..I am an Orthodox Rabbi…and an Orthodox Rabbi who is very profoundly interested in religion in general, in Christianity, and especially in the persona of Jesus in particular….I was truly fascinated by the personality of Jesus, whom to myself I have always referred to as “Rabbi Jesus”….because I think he is indeed a “model Rabbi” in many counts…and he lived the life of a Jewish Rabbi in Israel in a very critical time in our history…..I have constantly come back to the study of his personality and his teachings which are very strongly rooted in Talmudic teachings…..”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)