In the first letter, dated March 26, 1991, Rabbi Riskin tries to hire Rabbi Baruch Lanner to recruit for him. Lanner would be great for bringing people through the door.
By this time, the accusations of child abuse against Lanner were widely known in Orthodox life.
Shlomo Riskin supported the controversial rabbi Mordecai Gafni through the 1990s, trying to find him jobs, including one in Australia.
In the second letter, dated February 15, 1999, the late PLO leader Yassir Arafat expresses to Shlomo Riskin his “profound support for your idea of a establishing a joint School of Business for Palestinians and Israelis.”
This proposed school was to bring in millions of dollars in donations to Rabbi Riskin. There was one donor who was only willing to give money if it would promote peace. So Rabbi Riskin found somebody with a connection to Yassir Arafat. He then wrote a letter to Arafat saying we should make peace together. All he needed was a letter back from Arafat and he got a couple of million dollars out of it.
All Jewish leaders down through the centuries have referred to Jesus of Nazareth as a false messiah. Over the past hundred years, some rabbis such as Riskin have taken to calling him a failed messiah.
There’s a big difference.
The traditional Jewish perspective was that Jesus of Nazareth was up to no good and that Jews have nothing positive to learn from him and his movement. That he and they are fundamentally theologically corrupt.
The new approach is to embrace Jesus and Paul as brothers, a radical departure from 2,000 years of the Jewish tradition.
Rabbis with this new approach find it a lot easier to fundraise from evangelical Christians such as Pastor John Hagee.
For similar reasons, Mordecai Gafni circa 1983 and then took it back in 2004 when he believed a false newspaper report (Maariv) that Gafni supported same-sex marriage.
In a shocking video making its way around the Internet, the Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, is seen praising “J”, and even referring to him as “Rabbi J”.
In the modern Orthodox community, Rabbi Riskin is more than a ‘rabbi’ but an icon, one who has set the path for many modern balei tshuva, who has set a path for aliyah and incorporating a life style which emulates his mentor, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik zt”l.
While according to a growing number of followers Rabbi Riskin has adopted a controversial position on Christianity and perhaps other matters as well, including Israeli politics, this latest video will prove to be the ’straw that broke the camel’s back’ according to many, and time will dictate the ramifications of this highly irregular documented statement of this highly respected rabbi’s views on “J”.
The video is currently posted on Jewish Israel, and the following are 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 VIDEO LINK: Click HERE to watch the video.
When a prominent Anglo Israeli Orthodox rabbinic leader cites the new testament