Shlomo Riskin: “Chareidim Are the Biggest ‘Reformers'”


shlomo-riskinShlomo Riskin, Rabbi of Efrat in Gush Etzion and founder of Ohr Torah Stone, strongly criticized chareidi Knesset members today for their stance on the government’s conversion reforms.

Arutz Sheva reports that in an interview with Galei Yisrael radio, Rabbi Riskin defended the proposed government decision regarding conversion which would remove Chief Rabbinate supervision of the conversion process, and criticized its opponents.

“I do not understand the whole issue. 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?”

In response the interviewer, attorney Dov Halberthal – who is himself chareidi – said, “They say it’s an issue of love replacing halacha.”

Rabbi Riskin replied, “It’s not ‘instead of halakha.’ 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.”

Halberthal continued to respond, claiming that applies to “Jewish people and not the Gentiles,” but Rabbi Riskin retorted: “there is no place in where it says that ‘people’ means ‘Jews.’ It means ‘human beings’ – period.”

Halberthal then presented the position of many in the chareidi world that “neither the halacha nor the Jews want converts,” apparently interpreting the Jewish prerogative to warn converts against the hardships of being a Jew as meaning Judaism opposes conversion entirely – a sentiment to which Rabbi Riskin responded harshly.

“That is against the halakhic tradition! 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),” he said, in a dig at chareidi opposition which has claimed those supporting the bill align with the Reform movement.There is no (early halakhic authority) who says that learning Torah physically protects peoples’ lives,” he said, in a swipe at the hareidi position that yeshiva study should itself be considered national service.

“There is room for dissenting opinions in Judaism,” Riskin declared. “There is no one who says that their way is the only way in Judaism – to say so is to be Catholic and follow the Pope,” he exclaimed.

Read more: Arutz Sheva

{ Israel}


  1. “Love people and bring them closer to Torah through love”

    Yes Rabbi Riskin. But not when it goes against Torah Hakdosha.

  2. I guess the ?”? ??? ???? ?? ?’ and the ???”? ????? ????? ???? ?”? ?’ ?’ are not early enough. The ?”? says that ???? don’t need to be guarded and the ???”? says you don’t collect from them to build walls and fix gates and hire guards. The ??? ???? says on this ???”?, that you don’t collect from them because the ???? don’t need to be guarded because their ???? guards them.

    Also there is a ??? ??? ????? ??? ?’ ?’ that says “???? ???? ?? ?”? ????? ????? ??? ??? ???? ?????
    ?????? ???? ???? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ???? ??? ?? ??? ????? ?? ???? ??? ???”? ????? ?????”
    I understand this is not Halachit but I think there is enough that no one should be swayed to his ????????.

  3. My father (a yu musmach and talmud of the rav soleveitchik) told me that once riskin had rav soleveitchik vistit his shul and rav soleveitchick upon seeing the mechitzah asked “where is the mechitzah? “. Riskin is not orthodox!!!!!

  4. Well, in Rabbi Riskin’s defense, conversion now in Israel is completely devoid of care towards the gair. There does need to be more love towards the gairim.

  5. #11 & #12:

    Do you see even a single post supporting what this “rabbi” says? NO! It’s not giving him credence! This article is sounding of the klaxxon alarm to wake us up! True Torah yidden need to know who these apikorsim are, what they are saying, and how the zionist government kow-tows to them!!

  6. Fraud!


    Let him at least cut to the chase!

    We ought to love everybody,so let us declare everyone in the world

    -particularly the palestinians whose DNA is 90% jewish-


  7. He’s no orthodox rabbi. He has committed a great chilul H’ by worshipping together with the xtian fundamentali st missionaries and trying to graft Judaism into their religion, r’l. He is the ‘reformer’, not chareidim who stick to Halacha. He should not be called rabbi and if he’s known and referred to as ‘rabbi’, it should be ‘Reform Rabbi’. Disgraceful.