Chief Rabbinate May Strip Job of Controversial Open Orthodox Rabbi Shlomo Riskin


shlomo riskinThe Council of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has decided not to immediately renew the tenure of Open Orthodox Rabbi Shlomo Riskin as chief municipal rabbi of Efrat, generating vociferous objections from political and rabbinic quarters, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Riskin, 75, will have to appear before the body for a hearing on whether his service as chief rabbi of Efrat should be extended for another five years before a final decision is made.

Several senior municipal chief rabbis on the council have objected to an extension for Riskin and expressed opposition to his stance on conversion reforms during its monthly meeting on Monday.

Riskin has, in the past, strongly criticized chareidi Knesset members for their stance on the government’s conversion reforms. Riskin defends removing Chief Rabbinate supervision of the conversion process.

“I do not understand the whole issue,” he said back in 2014. “Yes, I think there is a (Torah) commandment of ‘you shall love the convert.’ Yes, I think that the Chief Rabbinate until now did not know what it is to get someone who wants to convert treated properly, with love and care,” he fired. “How dare they say that my conversions were not done according to Jewish Law?”

“…The halakha itself talks about love. Don’t you know a very simple mishna: ‘be disciples of Aharon, loving peace and pursuing peace?’ Love people and bring them closer to Torah through love… I’ll tell you, in my opinion the chareidim are the biggest ‘Reformers’, in many many things, including opposition enlistment into the army because ‘there is nothing but Talmud (study)… There is no (early halakhic authority) who says that learning Torah physically protects peoples’ lives,” he said.

Riskin also has an ambitious program to fill Israeli society with female halachic adjudicators just experienced a significant advance. Riskin appointed a woman, Dr. Jennie Rosenfeld, to the position of Mahniga Ruhanit (Spiritual Leader) in his city of Efrat. Riskin explained that Dr. Rosenfeld will render halachic rulings on questions posed to her, and that there is no bar to women serving as rabbinic judges: “The only reason why women cannot be judges is if they are not accepted by the people,” he said. “When it is clear they are accepted and have halachic knowledge, they can render halachic decisions,” says Rabbi Riskin.

Riskin has founded the Susi Bradfield Women’s Institute for Halakhic Leadership, which aims to create a cohort of female halachic leaders, trained and certified, despite the stances of gedolim that women are not to receive semichah.

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. ‘there is nothing but Talmud (study)… There is no (early halakhic authority) who says that learning Torah physically protects peoples’ lives,”

    doesnt the gemorah say torah megnei u’matzlei both while your learning it and not while youre learning it. is a gemarah nothing?!! afrah lepumei. may he go away fast.

  2. There is no (early halakhic authority) who says that learning Torah physically protects peoples’ lives,”

    Of course it is not brought le’halacha because its a fact, not a halacha.

  3. Please see Gemara Makkos 10a (Yud amud alef) six lines from the bottom
    א״ר יהושע בן לוי מאי דכתיב
    עומדות היו רגלינו בשעריך ירושלם מי גרם לרגלינו שיעמדו
    במלחמה שערי ירושלם שהיו עוסקים בתורה

  4. Open Orthodoxy is the sand on the simple. They do not have a mind for good closure of good hope and they are lost on their values of poor contribution.

    This is a threat to human values in terms of the blind trying to blind the rest.

    Creatively hateful of Israel.

    Not for any jew.

  5. Halevai we should have more thoughtful Rabbonim like Horav Shlomo Riskin Shlitah. A gaon, a tzadik and a true leader.

  6. just because you changed your website doesn’t mean you can censor everyone who doesn’t agree with your outrageous artuicles and opinions. For the love truth post the insightful comments of Mr & Mrs Jerry Dass-Atzmi.

  7. Rabbi riskin is obviously a kocha leffel but he is entitled to his opinion( if he has sources for his opinions??)
    Unless a sanhedrin is fully reestablished and rules againt rabbi riskins opinions. he is free to argue his opinion as a minority opinion.