Even the Modern Orthodox are victims in the kulturkampf waged by Orthodox parties.
Rabbi David Ellenson
Special to the Jewish Week
The avalanche of controversial events surrounding issues of religion and state in Israel and the attacks on liberal expressions of Judaism — even in Modern Orthodox form — have been unending in recent weeks, and there is no end in immediate sight.
What unites Jews throughout the world as one nation and one people? What is the most critical factor responsible for our amazing persistence as a unique historical entity, despite being scattered throughout the globe, subject to persecution and pogrom?
“The International Rabbinic Fellowship (IRF), an Orthodox rabbinic organization with over 180 members, is appalled … by media reports that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel is threatening to not renew Rabbi Shlomo Riskin’s appointment as Chief Rabbi of Efrat. At a time when American Jewish communities of all denominations are growing increasingly pessimistic about the rigidity and narrowness of the rabbinate and its policies, Rabbi Riskin remains one of the few reasons to be hopeful that a more inclusive and humane approach to halacha is still possible in the State.”
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin said that, should Israel’s Chief Rabbinate attempt to dismiss him as chief rabbi of Efrat, ostensibly because of disagreements over who has authority over Israeli conversions, he would not accept the decision.
WASHINGTON, DC—Rabbi Shlomo Riskin first met Pastor John Hagee when he attended a rabbinic installation in San Antonio, Texas. At the time, Riskin was planning to develop a center for the study of Christian-Jewish relations in Efrat, Israel, where he is now the chief rabbi.
In wake of Israel’s recognition of Reform and Conservative rabbis, Rabbi Chaim Druckman gives them the back of his hand. Exclusive Jewish Week interview.
Rabbi Chaim Druckman, this year’s winner of the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement, the country’s highest honor, raised some eyebrows this week with his dismissal of the Israeli government’s decision last week to, for the first time, recognize Conservative and Reform rabbis.
The move, by Israel’s attorney general, not only recognizes them as rabbis but also pays 16 of them who work in rural settings.