Published On: Sun, Jun 7th, 2015

Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Involved In Dueling Civil Suits

He is counter-suing for defamation against someone who sued him for defamation.


Shlomo Riskin

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin is fighting back against a man who has sued him. The Chief Rabbi of the Israeli city of Efrat filed a 1 million Shekel ($260, 000) suit against Samuel Wassermanin in a Jerusalem District Court.

Wasserman, a resident of Efrat, had previously sued Rabbi Riskin for 9 million Shekels ($2.43 million) for defamation. That suit claims that the Rabbi defamed Wasserman, a businessman, by telling two people who were interested in making an investment with him, Elnatan Rudolph and Shimmy Braun, that Wasserman was not to be trusted. Wasserman maintains that this cost him a deal worth $1.5 million.

Rabbi Riskin counters that Wasserman set up the meeting between him and the prospective investors, expecting that Riskin would tell them not to trust Wasserman. He points out that Rudolph already had a business relationship with Wasserman.

The Rabbi’s suit alleges that Mr. Wasserman set him up because Rabbi Riskin presided over a bitter divorce between Mr. Wasserman and his ex-wife in which the Rabbi ruled against the businessman.

Israel’s religious newspaper Makor Rishon found that Wasserman and Rudolph actually had a joint bank account in America.

Rabbi Riskin is seeking damages for fraud, defamation and making false accusations. His lawyer Gilad Corinaldi, said, “after a long painstaking work, by both legal and intelligence officials, and a worldwide investigation, we exposed the conspiracy against Rabbi Riskin.”

“The attempt to harm a rabbi of Israel through fictitious claims, particularly an exemplary rabbi who is a national asset to the intellectual public in Israel and world Jewry, is a very serious act.”

The two civil suits come as Rabbi Riskin is fighting to keep his job as chief rabbi of Efrat. Israel’s Rabbinate has a mandatory 75 retirement age and Rabbi Riskin will soon be that age. But he does not wish to retire and wants to stay on.

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