Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau said on Wednesday that there had been no intention on behalf of the Chief Rabbinate to remove the municipal chief rabbi of Efrat Rabbi Shlomo Riskin from office when he was requested last month to attend a hearing for the extension of his service after reaching the age of 75.
“It saddens me that the saga over the continued service of Rabbi Riskin got out of all proportion,” said Lau, adding that comments ascribed to some members of the Chief Rabbinate on the issue were inaccurate.Sources within the Chief Rabbinate said that during the monthly meeting of the council of the Chief Rabbinate in May, senior members of the council spoke out vigorously against Riskin’s stance on issues such as conversion, which has become a matter of contention within the religious establishment.
Earlier this week Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef referred to Riskin in his weekly Torah lesson as “that person from Efrat” and said the rabbi “makes lots of changes and causes conflicts.”
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