Tuesday, April 1, 2014

'Open Orthodox' or 'Neo Conservative'? by Rabbi Pruzansky

Arutz 7     "Open Orthodoxy", the Jewish movement which has been kicking up a storm in the US, has faced considerable opposition from the Modern Orthodox establishment there.

The term "Open Orthodoxy" was coined by Rabbi Avi Weiss, himself ordained as an Orthodox rabbi, who argues that "Orthodoxy" or Halakhic Judaism (i.e. faithful to Jewish law/Halakha) needed to be more "inclusive" and "flexible" to innovation than his contemporaries believed.

The movement has gained some traction in recent years, even as it is shunned by most other Orthodox rabbis, and has courted controversy by testing - and, as many respected rabbis insist, by outright crossing - the boundaries of Halakha.

Much of the criticism to the movement has come from the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), the main body of American Modern Orthodox Rabbis and the largest rabbinic organization in the world.

One of Weiss's most vocal critics is Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, a former Vice-Chairman of the RCA and Arutz Sheva contributor. [...]

"One of their most prominent ordained rabbis has even argued that the Avot [Biblical Patriarchs] never really existed."

Positions such as these are what makes Open Orthodoxy "almost a replication of the road that the Conservative movement took over 100 years ago", Rabbi Pruzansky reiterates.[...]

But despite all that, clearly there are many Jewish people who see Open Orthodoxy as filling a need... that something that is missing in their Judaism. How do you respond to that?

For Rabbi Pruzansky, this question drills down to the fundamental error committed by movements such as Open Orthodoxy: an attempt to adapt and rewrite Torah values to suit every demand or ideal of the contemporary western world.

"You can't slake every thirst, that's the bottom line," he explains.

In particular, he says the domination of Open Orthodoxy and similar fringe movements by feminist activists is an indication that they are not drawing their fundamental values from the Torah, but looking outside of it.[...]


  1. OO is not O. OO is heresy and its adherents are heretics.

  2. YU trains people to be well educated in Torah and in secular teachings. But there is a great clash between Torah and secular values. So it was inevitable that something had to give. The clash between Torah and secularism has surfaced with feminism and Gittin and similar issues. Avi Weiss is part of the movement that believes that Torah must have a respectable secular face. As one of Avi Weiss's people said, we do away with Gittin because to treat women like that is a disgrace and we reject it. So one of Avi Weiss's rabbis rejects the Avoth and Jewish history about leaving Egypt, and others reject Gittin. Once you cross the red line of accepting the Torah period you have Avi Weiss. And there are plenty of others out there. The bottom line is that we must choose between the clear teaching of the Torah authorities that are considered a disgrace by secular people and becoming Avi Weiss or others who do the same as he does but with less honesty.

    1. Not sure I agree with your connection of YU to the heresies of an unnamed rabbi.
      First, the criticism against that group is mainly from within YU and RCA.
      2nd, a wise Rabbi recently suggested here to do away with Gittin and Kedusha to do away with the problems of agunot, mamzerim etc.
      3rd, you don't need to be a YU graduate to become an apikores. Some people left Hareidi Orthodoxy to join conservative and reform (or create it).
      4th it is not so much secularism. Not all secular are pro feminist or anti Bible.
      Also, i don't know how representative the unnamed rabbi is of the Avi weis organization (i forgot its name).
      Finally, the Hirschian school also encouraged secular knowledge, but kept more people in the faith than the E. european schools which lost many more to the haskalah.
      but as i have said many times, denying major ikkarim, like the Torah, the unity of God etc, are absurd and crazy. which is ironic, since kabbalah has gone the way of Christianity, which was opposed by the Temple era rabbis, and thei concept of "logos". Now Kabbalah has a trinity of 10!

    2. R' Weiss started his own institute after he gave up all hope of moving YU to the left. To place the blame for him on YU is strange and unfair.

      What is the primary reason why you don't refer to him as R' Weiss? I assume it's not because he's a close friend of yours with whome you're on a first name basis. Is it because you consider him to be an Am Haretz, is it because of his Hashkafic positions, or is it because of his Halachic positions?

    3. His "halachic positions" (lack thereof) dispel any notion of him being called rabbi.

    4. but as i have said many times, denying major ikkarim, like the Torah, the unity of God etc, are absurd and crazy. which is ironic, since kabbalah has gone the way of Christianity

      Eddie this statement is absurd. You continue to make these bizarre statements that you can in no way back up. You were given the chance two months ago to actually engage in the texts when I posted Rav Hillel's teshuva on the subject, but you decided to remain silent.


  3. "One of their most prominent ordained rabbis has even argued that the Avot [Biblical Patriarchs] never really existed."

    I don't know who made such a statement, but he/she is clearly a koifer on the whole Torah. Plus, probably a bit deranged as well.

    1. Eddie,
      I don't consider this fellow deranged. It is from an article in Yaset Neeman that said that this was the major intellectual in Avi Weiss's group and he claims that the stories in the Torah never happened but he is Orthodox. In other words, he accepts secular values that doubt the Torah but he was also trained in YU to be Orthodox so he is just doing what he was trained to do.

    2. This student of R' Weiss never went to YU. R' Weiss started YCT after giving up all hope of moving YU to accept his innovations, and that is where this student received his smichah. He then went on to become the first YCT student to receive Dayanus. He revealed his Hashkafic position after receiving his Dayanus, causing many (but not all!) YCT Rabbis to disassociate from him.

    3. Rabbi zev farber (the rabbi in question) never attended yu. His smicha is from YCT, rabbi avi weiss 's yeshiva.

      MiMedinat HaYam

    4. Firstly, the Rabbi in question never trained, learned or had anything at all to do with YU. Secondly , why would you ever rely on Yated for any information that was important to you ; and then use that information to smear and slander a huge swath of shomrei mitzvot and talmidei chachamim ?

    5. It seems that Z. farber (who incidentally qualified as a "dayan") is a major heretic, essentially like the worst of reform and conservative. I find it strange that he would deny the existence of the Avot, since secular thought cannot prove such an idea. In fact, some in the field of archaeology make really stupid arguments, which embarrass even an am haarez.. For example, they found that in the time of Abraham, or in the time of the 1st temple, some settlements in Israel had figurine, or idols. From this they deduce that there couldn't have been a Torah, since the Torah is monotheistic! They are either ignorant or deceptive of the fact that the Torah itself tells us that there were idol worshipers both in Avraham's time and in the first temple period.

      This idea that somehow "YU" is to blame is not at all convincing. Even YCT people refute Z. farber.
      Nathan of Aza was a frum Mekubal and peopel went to him for blessings. When he met Shabbetai Zvi, he saw certain "tikkun" in SZ, and claimed he was the Moshiach. So this heresy emanated from Orthodox kabbalah. would you therefore reject all kabbalah (based on the SZ debacle)?

    6. Rav Dovid Eidensohn, will you be apologizing for attacking YU based on the statements of someone who never attended it?

    7. The person who made those statements never attended church either. So he can't say anything about Christianity?

    8. Confused,
      When people heard that Farber and maybe others like him claimed to be Orthodox and yet denied the basic laws of the Torah and even Jewish history in the Torah, this was such a shock that people had no explanation for it and how it came to be. I was not at all shocked. I traced this kind of split personality back to the very reality of what Yeshiva University was, and how it was founded. On the one hand, the greatest Roshei Yeshiva and tsadikim taught in YU. One of them was treated by Reb Barufch Ber almost like his rebbe. And there were more like this. On the other hand, there was a secular department that provided the worst apikursos because YU was a regular Yeshiva and it was also a real college with the best secular professors, many who were deniers and who taught denial to the students. So, and this is my point here, to have somebody claim to be Orthodox and yet deny the Torah is not a sign of insanity. It s a natural outgrowth of spending half a day with gedolei hador and tsadikim, and the other half of the day with secular professors.

      YU was not founded after WWII when people realized that secularism was full of problems. It was founded much earlier at a time when nobody would tolerate an anti-secular Yeshiva, and there were almost none in those days. Even Torah ViDaas, run by gedolim, had to allow students to go to college and learn what people learned there, and so it was with other major Yeshivas. It was a question of emphasis so that YU founded much earlier than the other Yeshivas, was much more accepting of pure anti-Torah secfular ideas, not because anybody was evil, but because when it was founded, it succeeded only because of its compromises. Eventually, when after WWII a new world recognized the value of a pure Torah, there were other philosophies and a possibility of one learning in a Yeshiva that did not present a secular learner. Also after the war people realized that being secular would not prevent anti-Semitism, and Judaism was up for grabs. From this new world the Haredim became the strongest and fastest-growing part, but that is not the point of my remarks. I just want to explain that perfectly rational people who spent hours each day in a world where secularism was respected and even required in some quarters, that this blemish never went away and eventually, some followed its logical extension to being Orthodox and denying the Torah. This was in no way an attack on YU which was the only show around in its time and founded and led by gedolim. But its message, eventually, can produce people with problems. And yet, let us mention, that the greatest Torah leaders of the Haredei Yeshivas were first educated in YU. So people could and did go in different directions. Some of those great Haredi Rosh Yeshivas learned in YU and when they realized that they needed a pure Haredi Yeshiva they had to go to Europe. Only years later were there places like Reb Aharon's Lakewood.

  4. There are lots of problems in the Torah world and needs not being met. But this nonsense is not a solution. For goodness sake, it has been a very long and difficult exile. Of course we are wounded. But embracing post modern/nihilistic culture is no answer. But we do need to address the real issues. Or lose our kids.

  5. We should ignore Mr. Weiss like we ignore the C and R movements.

    1. I happen to agree with this comment but I did not post it. Someone is using my name. I am nat in all lowercase.

    2. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether Nat is really nat, and nat is impersonating Nat!

      Chaim (really)

  6. Rabbi Gil Student said:

    “Open Orthodoxy lacks all caution.
    They change first and evaluate impact later.”

    SOURCE: More on Partnership Minyanim, by Gil Student, 2014/3/3

    Rabbi Gil Student said:

    “The intellectual trends underlying Partnership Minyanim,
    and Open Orthodoxy in general, are unsurprisingly reflections
    of cultural trends in general [read: Gentile] society.”

    SOURCE: More on Partnership Minyanim, by Rabbi Gil Student, 2014/3/3

    Denying the unique Divine Origin of the Torah:

    Denying the Exodus from Egypt:

    Denying the existence of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs:

    Egalitarian Judaism? Need it Like a Hole in The Head:

  7. Weiss and his ilk crave legitimacy; that is why they are calling themselves "Open Orthodoxy" as opposed to, say, "Open Judaism".
    If they are Chas Vesholom successful to the point that the word Orthodox no longer guarantees belief in the Ikrim, what will Torah-true Jews call themselves? "Frum"? Could you envisage an "Open Frumkeit" somewhere down the line?

  8. The question is at what point is allegory considered an unacceptable way to explain the Torah. Many YU rabbis have stated that evolution is proven so the divine Torah's sections that seem at odds with evolution must be reinterpreted. They quote R' Saad ya Gaon for the use of such president. What about questions about the number of Jews in the desert? Or c"v Matan Torah?

  9. Here is a problem I have had ever since I heard about it a few years ago. Zev Farber was taken under the wings of Rabbi Michael Broyde for the purpose of assisting Rabbi Farber in getting his Yadin Yadin. I am still puzzled why an RCA Dayan would take a YCT guy under his wings. I believe Rabbi Broyde was hedging his bets as it related to the RCA/YCT issue, which is why he ended up immersed in his own scandal.

    1. R' Broyde trained him, but he made sure he wasn't the one who granted him his dayanus. Not all YCT bochrim are the same, and R' Broyde picked one of the smartest of them to see what he was capable of.

    2. Confused,
      Regarding your comments on R Broyde. There are people who fully fight Avi Weis and those who fight half way. And those who are not doing anything. In such a world, those with money and personality can do what they want, and that is what is happening. A major personality in the OU is quoted in the dinner of Avi Weiss as being a sponsor of it.Others oppose Avi Weiss. This issue is tearing the modern Orthodox apart, and it is tearing families apart. HaShem Yerashem.

    3. My remarks about people raised in two opposite worlds, Haredi Orthodoxy for Torah study and secular non-religious professors for secular studies, are not about any one individual who did such and such. I explained that for generations America only had YU and only after the war was there a serious haredi presence, made stronger by the realization that being secular did not help German Jews. I wrote above about those who are strongly influenced by many hours a day with secular even anti-religious professors, and the needs in some places to be truly respectable and respected by a secular world.
      I have spent much time here, most of my time in fact, attacking, not YU people but Lakewood and such rabbis. My 13 pages on Rabbi Shlomo Miller is the longest I ever wrote on this or other issues here. If I can quote the gedolei hador in Israel, the Shulchan Aruch and its commentators, all of whom say that coercing a GET such as Rabbis Miller and Kaminetsky and many major Rosh Yeshivas and rabbis commanded the community to do is completely wrong and makes mamzerim, and if that was the opinion of Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashev in his published teshuvose, how can the Lakewood rabbis command everyone to humiliate and break the husband until he gives a GET? They are also treifeh. And where does this treifeh come from? Part of it comes from the corruption of somebody's cousin or close friend, and some of it comes from the corruption of living in a world where people must choose the woman suffering in marriage over the husband. And part of it comes from an avoda zoro created by the modern Agudah element Rosh Yeshivas that anything they say is "Daas Torah" and this overrides anything in the Shulchan Aruch or elsewhere. And part of it comes from Rosh Yeshivas who study the Talmujd and have no idea about the laws of Gittin, other than what they make up and call it "Daas Torah" rachmono litson.

    4. "And part of it comes from an avoda zoro created by the modern Agudah element Rosh Yeshivas that anything they say is "Daas Torah" and this overrides anything in the Shulchan Aruch or elsewhere."

      That is a very interesting point. But it applies to all claims of "Daas Torah", unless you have a Kohein Gadol who is ritually pure and has Urim v'Thumim.
      In fact, I had a discussion once with a Rosh Yeshiva of a small Brisk (antimodern; anti-zionist) Yeshiva, about failures of the "Gedolim" before and during the war. he said we do not have Urim v'Thumim. The same RY claimed that people who don't accept the Daas torah of the Yated world are reform!

      But Reb Dovid's arguments are essentially ad hominems. That one man, who got orthodox semicha has become an apikorus b'ikkar, does not really prove anything about YU or Torah im Derech Eretz. He didnt pick up his ideas from YU. There was a time when Hareidi Yeshivot in Europe were losing 50% of their students. Does that mean the yeshivas were all bad?

    5. your story is obviously made up as no "Brisker" would be a fan of "Yated world." Stick to things you know about.

    6. Eddie,
      Your points are completely valid, that this one man is fortunately not a sign of a Yeshiva other than Chovivei Torah perhaps. But I feel my point is also valid. Where does a person have the guts to get up and say he is Orthodox and doesn't believe that there were Avoth or Egyptian exile or the escape from Egypt? If everyone else in the Orthodox world was a true believer in the Torah, brought about by exposure to great rabbis who did believe, and if they were free from the influence of secularism and feminism, I don't know if he would say this. My point is, that I see incredible danger in Chovivei Torah. Not because it is a new breaking point in Orthodox, although it is that, but because there is fertile ground out there from people who live in a secular world, who are bothered by the conflicts between secular and Torah, and who have not had the cure of being close to a true tsadik and gadol, which may be the majority. And if I am right, I see great danger, as the issue of Agunah will destroy the belief in a true GET, powered on by the Agudah-Lakewood Rosh Yeshivas who are now major mamzer producers, and encouraged by those in the modern Orthodox world who are even close to the opposite of Torah in many ways, and what is left? To repeat: I don't consider this a battle against Avi Weiss. I feel that Avi Weiss succeeds because everyone else, the Lakewood Rosh Yeshivas, the Agudah "Gedolim" rachmono litslon, and other mamzer producers, have poisoned the world with the idea that the Shulchan Aruch is wrong when you have a cousin or friend whose dauighter needs as GET. And that is just the beginning. But once these treifeh corrupt people did their thing, Avi Weiss is the man who knows how to spin the bottle until it comes up with those who don't believe anything except that they know that they are Orthodox.

    7. I can't address your points, since I do not know who Avi weiss is - I've never met him or read/heard anything he says. I also am not too familiar with the other yeshivas you mention, other than their glorious past.
      But all i can give is a joke, which belongs more in Adar, but is relevant to the "open orthodox" fellow who denies the Torah.

      There was once a group that called themselves open heterosexuals. One brave member of the group decided he was a feigele, and married another man, but still considered himself heterosexual. Now this reminds me of what that "rabbi" Farber says, about lehavdil the Avot.
      Just as we cannot rationally understand the absurdity of the fellow in the joke, so there is nothing rational about Farber. If he were to call himself reform, then fine, that solves the problem. Then Chovovei can call itself an inter-denominational group. But i don't know what their "openess" is. And if they have accepted farber as being one of their own, or wish him to leave.

  10. Another way of describing Open Orthodox is contained in:
    The Rise of Social Orthodoxy: A Personal Account, Jay Lefkowitz
    Modern Orthodox have found themselves fully immersed in debates centered around the two great cultural fault lines of our generation: women’s rights and gay rights. Although many in the Modern Orthodox movement have tried to resist the pressure to afford women a more active role in synagogue services and have simply refused to acknowledge a role for homosexual couples within Orthodoxy, both of these walls are increasingly being breached.

    The breach has been most pronounced in the case of women’s rights. Over the last decade, there has been a burgeoning of new “partnership” synagogues, in which men and women, divided by an Orthodox mechitza (a partition, so the sexes are separated when praying in synagogue), both participate as leaders in the services. And in the past few years, a prominent Orthodox rabbi, Avi Weiss, has begun to ordain women to serve as congregational rabbis. He has even established a women’s rabbinical college in New York. But the most recent indication that Modern Orthodoxy continues to bend to the zeitgeist comes from two of the most prominent Modern Orthodox high schools in New York City. These schools declared that girls are now permitted to wrap teffilin around their arms and foreheads when they say their morning prayers. Underscoring the tension inherent in being both “Modern” and “Orthodox,” rabbinic leaders at both schools made clear that even though such a practice was halachically (that is, legally) permissible, it was a communally “complicated” issue and would not be “recommended.”

    Likewise, although Modern Orthodoxy has not followed Conservative and Reform Jews in approving gay marriage, a group of prominent Modern Orthodox rabbis issued a joint statement in 2010 urging members of their communities to accept homosexuals. And now gay couples are joining Modern Orthodox synagogues.

  11. http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-rise-of-social-orthodoxy-a-personal-account/
    All of which raises the question: Are the Modern Orthodox in America really Orthodox?

    As a matter of doctrine the fundamental tenet of Orthodox Judaism is the belief that on Mount Sinai, God transmitted to Moses both the written law (the Torah) and the oral law (the Talmud and certain other rabbinic texts). That is why Orthodox Judaism is generally resistant to changing interpretations of the law, except where there is some precedent for it in traditional law. To be sure, many Modern Orthodox rabbis and some of their congregants are steadfast in their faith and look to halacha to guide all aspects of their lives precisely because they believe it is the revealed word of God. But if unwavering acceptance of the Torah as divine is the precondition for Orthodoxy, then the term “Modern Orthodox” may well be a misnomer for many Jews who identify as Modern Orthodox. They might more accurately be described as Social Orthodox, with the emphasis on “Social.”

  12. http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-rise-of-social-orthodoxy-a-personal-account/
    Kaplan’s Reconstructionist movement, from its inception, has remained a tiny minority within a minority. And yet, nearly 70 years after his excommunication, Kaplan’s perspective is surprisingly resonant within that of the Modern Orthodox world. As both the UJA and Pew data revealed, many Modern Orthodox Jews are more focused on living a Jewish life than they are on theology or a rigid set of rules. Modern Orthodox day schools teach evolution unapologetically, notwithstanding the literal text of Genesis. And they have begun to accommodate gay and lesbian students, notwithstanding the literal text of Leviticus, with one school even establishing a club as a forum for students to discuss matters of sexuality and identity. Notably, in Modern Orthodox day schools, much to the chagrin of their teachers, many students have taken to observing what they call “half shabbos”—the practice of going to synagogue and keeping the Sabbath, but using their iPhones and Blackberries to text on the Sabbath, despite the rabbinical prohibition on using electronics.
    Yet despite such halachic foot-faults, these same Modern Orthodox Jewish teenagers and their families lead lives that are completely focused on Jewish values, ideals, and rituals. The adults attend synagogue regularly, participate in Torah and Talmud classes organized by their synagogues, donate significantly to Jewish communal organizations, and travel to Israel frequently. Their children study in dual-curriculum schools (often for 13 years); many then take a year off before college to study Talmud in Israel; and a great number spend their summers in Zionist Orthodox camps.
    Unless one were to look very carefully, I would appear to be the very model of an Orthodox Jew, albeit a modern one. But I also pick and choose from the menu of Jewish rituals without fear of divine retribution. And I root my identity much more in Jewish culture, history, and nationality than in faith and commandments. I am a Social Orthodox Jew, and I am not alone.

    1. There was recently an article on the Israeli news site, Walla, about the haredi community. It spoke of a growing number of hareidm who continue to dress as haredi, for social reasons, but privately live more and more secular lives, including hillul shabbes, eating treif and even sexual orgies. This is quite apart from the growing OTD phenomenon where yeshiva people are going totally secular, atheist and eating anything.
      So it might score some political points to knock the MO world, but the hareidi world has many social and religious problems. They may not be as open to discussing it, but they exist.

    2. I assume that when you say "the menu of Jewish rituals" you refer to Jewish laws. Your position, as defined by the Torah, is Apikorsus - as I'm sure you are well aware. Any distinction between the attitude you describe, and that of the Reform and Conservative, is not a qualitative one. To our great sadness, most Jewish people nowadays do not believe in the Torah, רחמנא ליצלן. May Mashiach come soon!

      I am highly dubious, however, as to your claim that such Apikorsus is rampant within the MO world. That it is rampant, is unfortunately true. But in the MO world? I think that perhaps there are communities which you identify as MO, but the main body of the MO does not - precisely because of their Apikorsus. Are you claiming that such Apikorsus is institutionalised, or just common in the minds of many people you have spoken to? Are there any MO Rabbis you could cite who also hold such views?

    3. Chaim makes a good point, and although I am not familiar with the USA, in the UK, the main orthodox shuls are called United Synagogue. They have a large membership, which is the majority of Uk Jews. however, despite this being a Modern Orthodox Kehilla, most of the members are not fully orthodox in practice, i.e. they might drive on shabbat, or not keep kosher, but for whatever reasons they stay within the orthodox rituals of bris, barmitzvah and burial, with a few Holidays in between.

    4. Reading the comments I am reminded of a teaching of the Vilna Gaon. If you don't rise higher and higher, you will sink lower and lower. Some Orthodox and some people in the Torah community are rising higher and higher and some are going in a different direction. But we have to define "higher and higher." It would seem to mean praying and learning with more fervor and more hours in a day. But I feel it means something else, based upon my observation of the great rabbis I saw in my youth. My rebbes, the few who escaped Europe in WWII, were fighters. If I fight here on the blog, tooth and nail, to defend the traditional Torah, I learned this from Reb Aharon Kotler. I saw him in action. I was once talking to him while he ate supper and three rabbis came in, and in seconds, there was WW55. They were conversing about a book, and I decided that if anyway I am a chutpah person to talk to Reb Aharon, I may as well compound the felony by going over and seeing what the fuss is all about. I did, and the rabbis were so engaged in furious fighting talk about this book, that is, they were in agreement that something had to be done, that they didn't notice me at all, and I went over and saw what it is. If I would say what it was, many people today would not understand. But that is why I learned. One inch in the wrong direction means light the candles and make war. Fighting brings us "higher and higher" and acceptance of the wrong books and the wrong other things, seemingly very minor, lead to going "lower and lower." That is why this blog is all alone in its ability to protect the Torah, and it has called out some big numbers and nailed them. But a lot of other people think that all of this fighting is just a shame and wrong. They never spent a lot of time with the great Gedolim of yesteryear, and so they invented a new "Daas Torah" and it is a new Torah and it changes and changed.

  13. When Chareidism goes off the rails we get riots, slander, and Taliban-like rituals leading to things like Lev Tahor and chilul HaShem on a massive public scale.
    When Open Orthodoxy goes off the rails we get a woman leading Kabbalas Shabbos.
    Which is worse?

    1. Of course, Garnel - let's ignore the outright Kefira, which dooms its adherents to losing their Next World. (You probably think that riots are still worse, as long as they are Chareidi.) We'll just cite the example that suits us.

      If "Rabbis" publically announcing that they don't believe in Yetzias Mitzrayim or Matan Torah doesn't constitute a "Chillul Hashem on a massive public scale" in your book, then you are far from Torah indeed. It seems that your idea of "Kiddush Hashem" is as meaningless as the Reform's "Ikkar" of "Tikkun Olam". Hashem Yerachem.

    2. Now, now Chaim, I didn't offer approval of either side, just asked which is worse.
      Tell me, did you ever learn the midrash about why the Generation of the Mabul was destroyed and the Generation of the Dispersion wasn't?
      As full of kefira the Open Orthodox are they are also full of love for their fellow Jews. Meanwhile we have a new post over at an approved Orthodox blog today where the author calls anyone who disagrees with the Chareidi position on the draft "Amalek".
      I don't think a rabbi who espouses the position that the Torah isn't true should be listened to as a rabbi but I'd rather hang out with him than a true believer who was likely to strike me over the head with a rock if I disagreed with him.

    3. Sorry to surprise you, but the generation of Dispersion was indeed destroyed - they lost their Olam HaBo as the Medrash and Rashi point out. In this they were like the Mabul generation. The difference is that they didn't perish in this world, because they were not rampant with theft, adultery and murder. But their rebellion against Hashem lost them their Olam HaBo.

      So your comparison doesn't stand. Whatever your own virulent anti-Chareidi opinions, they have not rebelled against Hashem; their Next World is intact and glorious. The Open Orthodox's supposed Ahavas HaBrios might save them from a flood, but not מדינה של גיהנם. So I know who I'd "rather hang out with".

      This is all acc. to your fantasy about love for fellow Jews. But the Torah's opinion is quite different. It tells us in many strong terms to HATE those who attempt to seduce people to defect from Hashem. That is why a מסית is killed, and we are to have no mercy upon him. If you believe in Gehinnom, then you know that the OO are sending Jewish Neshamos there wholesale with their Kefira. That is love of Jews? If you love Jews, you try to educate them about the truth, not grant legitimacy to their pseudo-Jewish ideologies.

      And of course, to compare people "Amalek" is much worse than to compare people to the דור המבול, isn't it?

    4. right now, Gei-ben Hinnom is visible from Ir Hakodesh, and is occupied by many Palestinians.

    5. Eddie, the less serious your comments are, the more I enjoy them. The problem is that sometimes I lack the Chochma necessary to determine the earnestness of your comments... your writing has a great poker face!

    6. Chaim, what exactly do you have a problem with in my comment above?

      It is factual, and it is accurate - unless there is a Jewish settlement there that I was unaware of.

    7. It was factual, and accurate, and, as you knew and know, completely irrelevant to the thread. It therefore earned the adjective of "not serious". I honestly can't tell if your present question is tongue-in-cheek or not - but who cares?

    8. Yes, Chaim, and I don't care much about your comments either. Suffice to say that both Azazal and Gei-Ben Hinnom are within a short distance of the Old City, and are very this-worldly places!

  14. There was an orthodox rabbi, who was an ilui, he studied in gateshead Yeshiva, one of his teachers was Rabbi Dessler. He then was touted to become a future Chief rabbi of Great Britain. This Rabbi, lousi jacobs became an apikores, in that he denied the authorship of the Torah. He was kicked out of Jews College in london, and set up a "masorti" congregation, which is like conservative.

    I have previously avoided any of his books, but i saw some lectures he gave on video.
    It seems that the Farber rabbi is just repeating all of Jacobs' ideas.
    I find his arguments unconvincing. Partly because they are also "dogmatic" of his school of thought. Partly, because of his accent, which reminds me of many comedians from Northern England who would tell jokes and speak in cheap nightclubs.

  15. I just read these comments again after several years - very interesting. Seems like an attack on the entire hareidi yeshiva world in America.


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