Rabbi Shlomo Riskin filed the suit Wednesday in Jerusalem District Court against Samuel Wasserman. The suit alleges that Wasserman and two other men conspired to set up and entrap Riskin in order to allow Wasserman to use that to file a $2.3 million dollar libel suit against Riskin.
Above: Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Top Modern Orthodox Rabbi Files Countersuit Against Enemy
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the chief rabbi of the moderate West Bank Jewish settlement of Efrat and the former top rabbi at the Modern Orthodox Lincoln Square synagogue in Manhattan, has reportedly filed a $260,000 countersuit Wednesday against a fellow Efrat resident, Samuel Wasserman. The suit, filed in Jerusalem District Court, alleges that Wasserman and two other men conspired to set up and entrap Riskin in order to allow Wasserman to use that to file a $2.3 million dollar libel suit against Riskin.
The dispute between Riskin and Wasserman allegedly stems from Riskin’s support for Wasserman’s now-ex-wife during the couple’s long and acrimonious divorce.
The scam allegedly worked like this:
• An employee of Elnatan Rudolph and Shimmy Braun, two US businessmen, was sent by the pair to Riskin to ask about Wasserman’s reliability.
• Riskin allegedly replied that Wasserman is a “swindler.”
• That supposedly caused Rudolph and Brown to abandon a potential $1.5 million deal with Wasserman, and Wasserman sued Riskin.
But Riskin’s suit claims Wasserman and Rudolph were already business partners before Rudolph’s employee was sent to speak with Riskin, supposedly to determine whether Wasserman was a suitable person for Rudolph to enter into a business partnership with.
An independent investigation published in the Makor Rishon newspaper’s weekend supplement Tzedek today reportedly confirms many of Riskin’s claims and shows that Wasserman and Rudolph co-owned a US bank account at the time Rudolph’s employee was sent to speak with Riskin – throwing considerable doubt on Wasserman’s claim that Rudolph’s potential partnership with Wasserman was ruined by Riskin’s opinion of Wasserman. Adding to that doubt is that Wasserman reportedly refused to comment on his actual business relationship with Rudolph when Makor Rishon asked him.
[Hat Tip: Yochanan Lavie.]