Illustration: Moses Breaking the Tablets of the Law by Gustave Dor'eIf you have read some of my articles or seen some of my comments on other articles, then you might know that I have two basic objections concerning Rabbi Shlomo Riskin:
· His Torah commentaries are in actuality Talmud commentaries
· He repeatedly states that rabbis are partners and co creators with God.
Accordingly, when the Jerusalem Post recently did an article about the possibility of Rabbi Riskin being removed from the list of “approved” rabbis, naturally I asked in the comment section: “If Rabbi Risken is removed as a rabbi, will he still be God’s partner?”
This led to my connection with Nissim Azoulai, who, as far as I know, is not a rabbi; has never published anything; yet considers himself an authority on religious issues merely because he is an orthodox Jew.
This is fine, except for one problem: unlike Rabbi Risken, when Nissim does write something he doesn’t use his real name, nor does he post his picture. When confronted by me, he seemed genuinely confused and asked: What difference does it make ?
The difference is that when you use your real name you have to be careful what you say. When you use an alias you can say anything with no fear or reprisals or legal action, not to mention the embarrassment of making in-correct statements.
So, for example, I posted a $100,000 Torah challenge in the Jerusalem Post, which is STILL up and running if you would like to submit an answer. One man was absolutely sure he could prove me wrong. He submitted his answer and also demanded I apologize and never make such claims again. Unfortunately, his answer was wrong. In fact, his answer could be described as: “ridiculous”. Let me assure you he was quite embarrassed about his submission and I never heard from him again.
In short: This man argued that the Torah says Sarah is the mother of the nation…My reply was: Okay, let’s say for argument's sake you are correct: Sarah is indeed the mother of the nation. Is Sarah the mother of Rebecca? Is Rebecca the mother of Leah ? Is Leah the mother of the Canaanite wife of Judah ?
Yet, not only does Nissim use a false name, he also decided to use a golden idol as his image (i.e. an Oscar). Personally, I really don’t care, but one would think that an orthodox Jew could have selected a more relevant image such as: the Star of David, a menorah, a page out of the Torah or Talmud, or any one of a hundred neutral images. Nevertheless, I am not a psychiatrist, so I will not venture a guess as to what his selection signifies, but it certainly seemed strange to me.
Another point that I would like to mention, before getting to the main issue of this article, is that Rabbi Risken clearly stated over the years that ONLY rabbis were God’s partners. Nissim, however, expanded this to include ALL orthodox Jews. In other words: when Miriam merely equated herself with her brother Moses, she was turned into something which resembled death. Rabbi Riskin, however, as a legal scholar, feels that he is entitled to leap frog right over Moses and equate himself with God. Now, following the rabbi’s example, little Nissim Azoulai feels that he too is the equal of God.
Let me just add to this that the Chabad Movement claims the reason Moses has been almost entirely eliminated from the Haggadah service is that they feel Moses is a superhuman being, who the average Jew would have difficulty in relating to during their daily activities. Hence the Haggadah is chock full of rabbis who have absolutely nothing to do with the Passover story and mentions Moses only once.
Thus one would think that Rabbi Risken would be satisfied to compare himself to this “supernatural being” who is described in the Torah as “God’s servant”. But no, Rabbi Risken repeatedly declares he is the equal of God himself (as does his lap dog Nissim). One can hardly wait to see what punishment “God’s Partner” will call down from the heavens if he is removed as a rabbi…..
Regardless, before I advised him that his real name would appear in the Jerusalem Post and that I would quote him, Nissim was very happy to declare: “all orthodox Jews are God’s partners”, “the ten dishonest spies were not really dishonest”, “Moses was turned into a leper because he doubted God’s word, not as a sign that he was God’s messenger”….etc., etc.
After he realized he would be quoted then Nissim started to write things like: “not every statement needs to be a manifesto”, “the term ‘orthodox’ is not accurate or meaningful….”
But, for us in the here and now, the question has to be:
What difference does it make if Nissim and Rabbi Riskin equate themselves with God? How does that affect my daily life?
The answer is quite simple: The written Torah is considered to be: “the word of God”. Rabbi Riskin and Nissim consider the Talmud to be sanctioned by God and thus equal in authority to the written Torah.
Thus, Nissim wrote: "The proximate cause of the downfall and exile of the Jewish nation was the promotion of a denial of the Oral Torah in the runup to the destruction."
In other words: In Nissim’s “holier than thou” opinion, the fall of the second Temple was due to the fact that the people rejected the oral laws of the rabbis, not the written laws of God…
The fact that the Jews of that time forcibly converted tens of thousands of Galileans and Edomites to Judaism, an act which is illegal and has no basis whatsoever in the written Torah, is irrelevant. The fact that the second temple was rebuilt and expanded upon by an Edomite murderer to satisfy his own ego is totally irrelevant. I mean: Why would God be angry about that?
So, when the Israeli government forces thousands of Jews to fly to Cyprus in order to be married, don’t think this is based upon the laws in the written Torah, because it is not. The written Torah speaks extensively about intermarriage, there is not a single word about conversions. There is not a single convert mentioned in the Torah, while, everyone knows that Moses himself was married to two gentiles. Finally, while the Tanach tells us the story of Ruth, even the Rashi admits that Naomi could not have performed a conversion all by herself on the road to Bethlehem. This is obvious, since today if a woman even attempts to conduct a prayer service at the Western Wall, she will initiate a riot and runs the risk of being arrested. Yet we are expected to believe that Naomi performed a conversion all by herself…..
In conclusion, Rabbi Riskin has declared that if the rabbinout removes his authority to be a rabbi, he shall continue anyway to perform his functions….(i.e. he will ignore the dictates of the rabbinout).
This is similar to the truck drivers in the United States during the Viet Nam war. The truck drivers were very much against peace demonstrations and very supportive of the government, because they were not the ones being sent to fight in the war. BUT, as soon as it was announced that there would be price increases on diesel fuel, the truck drivers were out there demonstrating against Washingon, burning tires and causing civil unrest.
Rabbi Riskin, had no problem supporting the idea that thousands of Jews had to fly to Cyprus each year to be married by a Christian mayor or other high official, yet, as soon as his own personal interests are at risk, then he is willing to defy and ignore the rabbinout….
Well, why not? After all, he is God’s partner, isn’t he ?
Perhaps you might be saying to yourself: “Hey! Hey! Hey!….If Sarah isn’t the mother of Rebecca and Rebecca isn’t the mother of Leah and Leah isn’t the mother of Judah’s Canaanite wife, then why does the law of Israel state that Judaism passes thru the mother ?
The answer is quite simple: The rabbinout believes that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his 12 sons were NOT really Jews. Hence the laws which apply to “real Jews” do not apply to them.
In other words: Rabbi Riskin and Nissim are God’s partners while Moses was merely God’s servant. And what about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? They weren’t even Jews, so who cares what they did ?