“Every morning we say the blessing [thaking God that He] ‘didn’t make me a woman,’ not like that one from Efrat, who makes all kind of innovations, who says we shouldn’t say that blessing, that women and men have equal rights…this doesn’t hurt women. He doesn’t understand."
Above: Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Sefardi Haredi Chief Rabbi Lashes Out At Modern Orthodox Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Blame the victim.
That's what the haredi Sefardi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yitzhak Yosef did when he lashed out at Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Saturday night.
Riskin is the Modern Orthodox head rabbi of Efrat, a moderate West Bank Jewish settlement he helped found more than three decades ago, and is the head of a wide network of schools and yeshivas. Before immigrating to Israel, Riskin headed the largest Modern Orthodox synagogue in Manhattan, Lincoln Square.
Riskin holds liberal Orthodox views on conversion to Judaism and inclusion of women. Yosef does not, and the country’s chief rabbinate, which Yosef and his Ashkenazi counterpart control, want to strip Riskin of his official position over them.
“Every morning we say the blessing [thaking God that He] ‘didn’t make me a woman,’ not like that one from Efrat, who makes all kind of innovations, who says we shouldn’t say that blessing, that women and men have equal rights…this doesn’t hurt women. He doesn’t understand,” Yosef said according to a report in Ha’aretz based on a report on the haredi news website Kikar HaShabbat.
Yosef also reportedly accused Riskin of "making a new war."
In response to Yosef’s outburst, Riskin reportedly said only that “wisdom’s best defense is silence.”
Yosef’s outburst appears to confirm earlier reports that the Chief Rabbinate’s attempt to remove Riskin is ideological and not a technical issue related to his age, as the Yosef and his colleagues had previously claimed.
Riskin has wide support among Zionist Orthodox and Modern Orthodox rabbis, and the religious council of Efrat has already made clear that it will continue to employ Riskin no matter what Israel’s haredi-controlled Chief Rabbinate says or does.