Rav Druckman on the Rav Riskin controversy

Someone I know well had an opportunity to speak with Rav Druckman about his view on the Rabbi Riskin and Chief Rabbinate disagreement. I have written about it herehere and here.

I have also written about my great displeasure that Rav Druckman supported Rav Elon here. I have not changed my mind one iota on the Rav Elon issue. He was found to have perpetrated inappropriate contact with some men/boys. I have expressed my negative view about Rav Druckman’s judgement on that issue and I continue to stand by it.

They did not ask Rav Druckman directly about his support for Rav Elon, but Rav Druckman’s aid, expressed the view that they had all begged Rav Druckman not to show any support for Rav Elon. It seems Rav Elon had come to Rav Druckman, crying and saying that he was not guilty of what some had claimed and that he gave Rav Druckman a promise that he would not even get close to such situations again.

Be that as it may, one can only hope, forlornly, that Rav Elon will not re-offend. That being said, I do not support Rav Druckman’s approach.

The other interesting part of the conversation was directly with the octogenarian Rav Druckman, who said that he literally loved Rav Riskin and had huge Kavod for him, but objected to his approach. Rav Druckman claimed that when he was involved in Geyrus, he taught (the mainly Russian) converts everything about Judaism and was guided by the strict Halacha, with the urgency to make sure that there wasn’t a genealogical mess in Israel as a result of an influx of Goyim (or “half Jews”). Rav Druckman felt that Rav Riskin’s approach would downplay the Chief Rabbinate’s role even further. Although Rav Druckman felt that the Chief Rabbinate was no where near an institution it should be and was highly politicised and controlled largely by Charedim, nonetheless, it was a State Institution that was a buffer against Conservative, Masorti and Reform elements in Israel. He felt for this reason alone, it would be better to continue to have one state Orthodox institution for conversion. I tend to agree. Throwing out the baby with the baby water may be more cataclysmic than any of Rabbi Riskin’s proposals and wish to break from the mould (sic) of Charedi hegemony.

Rav Druckman

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

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