Comprehensive interview with Rabbi Shlomo Riskin in Israeli media

A recent detailed interview with Rabbi Shlomo Riskin appeared in the original Hebrew in Makor Rishon earlier this month, with select paragraphs translated into English below.   Partial translation of Rabbi Riskin’s interview “If I could ask God one thing, I would ask: How is it possible that the Talmud is the most pluralistic piece …

Reflections on the Agunah Crises by Rabba Sara Hurwitz

Featuring: Rabbi Michael Chernick Responses by: Rabbi Elliot Dorff Rabba Sara Hurwitz Rabbi Daniel Siegel Rabbi Mark Washofsky Rabbi Deborah Waxman By Rabba Sara Huriwtz Co-Founder and President of Yeshivat Maharat In 1776 , in Germany, a young man named, Isaac, son of Eliezer Neiburg of Mannheim, was engaged to marry Leah, daughter of Jacob …

Social justice, rather than immutable precedent, must govern the civic life of Jewry

Featuring: Rabbi Michael Chernick Responses by: Rabbi Elliot Dorff Rabba Sara Hurwitz Rabbi Daniel Siegel Rabbi Mark Washofsky Rabbi Deborah Waxman By Rabbi Deborah Waxman President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College / Jewish Reconstructionist Communities The ongoing existence of agunot in the aftermath of World War I and the inadequate responses of modern rabbinical authorities to the …

The Chief Rabbinate vs. The State of Israel and the Jewish People

Criticism of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate is nothing new. It has often been voiced in the RRFEI newsletter and resources, as well as in Hiddush’s materials. It covers a myriad of issues, which in recent years include its delegitimization of Modern Orthodox attempts at addressing the Rabbinate’s failures in the areas of conversion and kashrut …

RRFEI Special Edition: Articles on Halakhic prenuptial agreements

Featuring: Rabbi Michael Chernick Responses by: Rabbi Elliot Dorff Rabba Sara Hurwitz Rabbi Daniel Siegel Rabbi Mark Washofsky Rabbi Deborah Waxman   Dear Friends, This special series of RRFEI articles features an original work by Orthodox Rabbi Michael Chernick, Professor Emeritus of Rabbinic Literature at HUC-JIR, New York, with responses from Rabbis Mark Washofsky, Elliot …

NEW public opinion studies on marriage freedom in Israel

Exploring Israel’s Jewish and Arab sectors, as well as the Zionist Orthodox community This week, new perspectives regarding Israelis’ views on marriage freedom and related issues were presented to the public. After years of polling Jewish public opinion, Hiddush initiated a special study of both Israel’s Jewish sector and its Arab sector, and its findings …

71% of Israelis attach importance to Marriage and Divorce Freedom

Having been immersed for some decades now in Israel-Diaspora relations, I often reflect upon a short story that Martin Buber included in his iconic “Tales of the Chassidic Masters;” one Jew asks his friend, Yankel, do you love me? And Yankel responds, Moishe, how can you ask such a question? Of course I love you. …

Rising flames of resistance to the Western Wall agreement

Since last week’s RRFEI bulletin [link], the flames of religious detraction against the Kotel agreement have been rising. This has been covered widely in the Anglo Jewish and international media; below, RRFEI provides you with the original Hebrew pronouncements of: the Chief Rabbinate, the Ashkenazi Council of [Great] Torah Sages [link], the Sephardic Council of …

Public opinion poll: only 63% of Israelis would abide by civil court rulings over religious edicts

“In a situation when Jewish religious edicts were in conflict with civil court rulings, which would you follow?” Two weeks ago, the RRFEI bulletin [link] included an analysis of the Supreme Court landmark ruling on access for non-Orthodox converts to public mikva’ot, demonstrating that there is a lot more to this than first met the …

Pashkvil published in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods: “The cry of the great rabbis of our time is that the Western Wall is to be desecrated and trampled upon.”

Last week, more than 500 posters were put up in Israel in the neighborhood of Meah Shearim and other ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods that include the following quotes: “We are shamed. Disgrace has covered our faces. Strangers have come into My Temple, Beit Adonai. The cry of the great rabbis of our time is that the Western …