Friday, January 1, 2010
Shlomo Riskin Makes A Retraction: Again!
Shlomo Riskin recently retracted certain statements about "jesus" and x-tianity. Again. This is his second apology in under a year's time, for words that were "misinterpreted." Remember the first time he spoke like a bona fide missionary? The first video featured a smiling Riskin gobbling about how the x-tians are "grafted" onto the Jewish branch, and some other insane ramblings about "resurrecting god." Statements right out of the missionary textbook. Absolute heresy.
His explanations are predictable. The same garbage about how he was taken out of context, and how his full statement was altered. We're supposed to buy that his words were taken out of context? What does he expect from missionaries when he uses the term "rabbi jesus"? (May his bones be ground to dust!) Nothing he says should change anything. Knowing what makes Riskin tick, I say with certainty that he'll do it again in the future.
This is too serious an issue to chalk up to carelessness. Riskin is an educated man who learned under Rav Soloveitchik, with the logical and analytical framework of the Brisker Derech. He knows how halachically problematic his statements are. The only logical explanation there is, is that he's doing it on purpose. He must like the attention he's getting for his radical views that are out of the ballpark of conventional Jewish thought.
So let's give him our undivided attention, those of us committed to the basics of yahadut. Here's an opportunity to show the world "achdus" (unity) in action, by uniting on an issue that should be understood across the Torah divide, from the soup kitchens of the Satmar community to the halls of Yeshiva University. If Riskin can't accept the fundamentals of Judaism which reject x-tianity as an idolatrous weed, then he needs to be vomited out from the Torah committed camp before he contaminates more Jewish souls.
In his latest video, Riskin babbles about his interest in religion in general and x-tianity in particular. Perhaps he should start with some basic history, about those heroic Jews in the times of the Crusades who slaughtered their families and themselves, rather than kiss the cross. Hysterical fathers with tears in their eyes and broken hearts did the unimaginable to protect the Jewish soul, when they placed the sword upon the throats of their loved ones. Such mesirut nefesh (self-sacrifice) epitomizes the only authentic Jewish approach in a time of shmad. Fawning over idolaters is akin to spitting on the Torah and the legacy of these martyrs.
A most grotesque desecration of The Almighty's name was committed by the "Chief Rabbi of Efrat". An abomination which was captured on video (just like the first) and posted on Youtube. Now it's out there on the world wide web. Forever. (As an aside, it really raises some troubling questions about the possibility for proper repentance. I'll save that discussion for another time.)
Shame on you, Shlomo Riskin. Every Torah committed Jew understands that something is wrong here, everyone besides yourself. If you can't act like a Rabbi, why don't you resign from your post and join the Hartman Institute, where you're words won't be misunderstood. I'm sure Duvie will welcome you with open arms.