Modern Orthodoxy at a crossroads

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  • #817571

    Jothar
    Member

    The only reason the RCA backed down is because Avi Weiss changed the title from “Rabbah” to “Maharat”, a semantic change but not a substantial one. I assume most RCA members weren’t fooled, which is why they have this undercurrent of rebellion.

    #817572

    mw13
    Participant

    Sorry I’m a little late, but here goes:

    Pashuteh Yid:

    “This is the main problem: People like Avi Weiss and YCT believe that the primary point of the Torah is chesed, which is a very valid belief.

    If that is the case, then it raises many difficulties in some of our practices, which are legitimate kashyas, just like any other kasha in any sugya.”

    Well let’s think about this for a moment; if there are “legitimate kashyas” about any part of Yiddishkeit if one learns that “the primary point of the Torah is chesed”, then maybe that assumption is simply incorrect?

    “For example, they grapple with how one can be commanded to kill a child of certain nations. This is a very serious question. It is compounded by the fact that simple answers like they will grow up to be wicked, is also a justification for the Nazis killing our children.”

    I don’t see the question. Wiping out Amalek is right because Hashem said it is. Killing anybody else is wrong for the same reason.

    “So it is very convenient for the Chareidi world to just smugly say that our religion says so, end of story. Because that raises questions as to how we look on in horror when an Islamic terrorist kills one of our children. He believes just as strongly that his religion is the only true one, and has commanded him to kill Jewish children R”L (case in point, the Fogel murders).”

    He can believe whatever he wants, but he his beliefs are mistaken. Therefore, all of the actions undertaken in the name of these mistaken beliefs are objectively wrong.

    “So while one may disagree with Avi Weiss’s answers or his approach to these difficult questions, but I highly doubt anybody from the Chareidi world has any answers at all.”

    Well, you’re wrong.

    “It is convenient to just ignore things that one doesn’t want to face, and go around smugly patting oneself on the back for being a very religious person.”

    Really, it’s only a few days after Yom Kippur; can we try to keep the generalizing/bashing to minimum?

    “yes, we cannot change halachos, but excess baggage that has no basis in halacha, like requiring people to dress in black and white, can be discarded for the sake of not turning people away.”

    True. And if the most radical thing Avi Weiss did was wear a blue shirt (or a fluorescent orange shirt with pink polka dots, for that matter) then this conversation wouldn’t be happening. But that’s simply not the case.

    Feif Un:

    “The RCA has said that it doesn’t consider YCT a real yeshiva, and they’ve said that many things Avi Weiss does are wrong. They’ve been attacked for not doing more, not speaking out more often, etc. Why is that different than how chareidim treat NK?”

    I have personally heard many Chareidi Rabbonim question the sanity of the NK more times than I can count.

    (This is assuming that when you say NK you are referring to the wackos going around hugging murderers, not just the people who disregard the state of Israel. If I’m wrong, please let me know.)

    mosheemes2:

    “Can you name the Gadol of 1000 years ago R’ Weiss doesn’t respect?”

    All of them. By completely disregarding everything that the past and present Gedolim and the Poskei haDor have or have not done, he is clearly showing that he does not believe that their opinions have any more weight than that of him and his ilk. That’s disrespect in my book.

    yitayningwut:

    “He (Saul Berman) is editor of at least one of the Artscroll siddurim”

    Really? Do you know which one(s)?

    #817573

    mosheemes2
    Member

    Popa,

    Ok, you’ve totally lost me. The claim that’s been made here repeatedly is that R Weiss et al lack respect for Rishonim, the Mechaber, and basically every Gadol since Moshe. I’ve been saying that my understanding of the position of everybody or virtually everybody on the left fringe of Orthodoxy is that the Gedolim of previous generations would have agreed with their innovations had they been alive today, and therefore, while they may be wrong, their wrongness has nothing to do with a sense that they’re entitled to disagree with the Mechaber (as they think he would agree with them).

    The article from Saul Berman doesn’t just suggest that that’s true; it’s explicit in your excerpt. He admits that many people have suggested a reason for why women have different roles in Judaism, and rather than dismiss those views, he says he doesn’t believe that the people who expressed them actually held by them, You can think that that’s a dumb or just not particularly plausible opinion or that it’s kefira, but it means what it means and if he’d wanted to say it meant something else, I’m sure he has the vocabulary to do it.

    #817574

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    “For example, they grapple with how one can be commanded to kill a child of certain nations. This is a very serious question. It is compounded by the fact that simple answers like they will grow up to be wicked, is also a justification for the Nazis killing our children.”

    I don’t see the question. Wiping out Amalek is right because Hashem said it is. Killing anybody else is wrong for the same reason.

    “So it is very convenient for the Chareidi world to just smugly say that our religion says so, end of story. Because that raises questions as to how we look on in horror when an Islamic terrorist kills one of our children. He believes just as strongly that his religion is the only true one, and has commanded him to kill Jewish children R”L (case in point, the Fogel murders).”

    He can believe whatever he wants, but he his beliefs are mistaken. Therefore, all of the actions undertaken in the name of these mistaken beliefs are objectively wrong.

    Spoken like a true believer. However, the Nazis were (and Hamas is) also true believers. You now have no Tainos against them, as they did what they believe(d) to be “objectively right”.

    #817575

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Or the other way I usually put it:

    “For example, they grapple with how one can be commanded to kill a child of certain nations. This is a very serious question. It is compounded by the fact that simple answers like they will grow up to be wicked, is also a justification for the Jews killing our children.”

    I don’t see the question. Wiping out Jews is right because Allah (Or Hitler) said it is (see Sahih Muslim). Killing anybody else is wrong for the same reason.

    “So it is very convenient for the Wahabbi world to just smugly say that our religion says so, end of story. Because that raises questions as to how we look on in horror when an Israeli terrorist kills one of our children. He believes just as strongly that his religion is the only true one, and has commanded him to kill Arab children R”L.”

    He can believe whatever he wants, but he his beliefs are mistaken. Therefore, all of the actions undertaken in the name of these mistaken beliefs are objectively wrong.

    #817576

    amused
    Participant

    me2: Berman & company wouldn’t dare say outright in black and white what he feels, since he knows if he is brutally honest he will lose the people he is trying to entrap with his heresy.

    #817577

    mosheemes2
    Member

    Amused (and really this goes for everyone here, since this seems to be the underlying assumption being made),

    You’re entitled to believe that, but then, and I mean no offense by this, you don’t really have anything useful to say about Modern Orthodoxy. Your problem with Saul Berman isn’t his stance on woman’s issues, it’s that he’s a liar and a heretic. And the answer to the question of why Avi Weiss is still a member of the RCA is that the RCA’s been promoting the work of a lying heretic since at least 1973 (Tradition being the RCA journal). Suffice it to say that the RCA does not see it that way.

    #817578

    Feif Un
    Participant

    Jothar wrote the position of the Moetzes on Weiss’s ordaining women. Here is the statement from the RCA:

    In light of the opportunity created by advanced women’s learning, the Rabbinical Council of America encourages a diversity of halakhically and communally appropriate professional opportunities for learned, committed women, in the service of our collective mission to preserve and transmit our heritage. Due to our aforesaid commitment to sacred continuity, however, we cannot accept either the ordination of women or the recognition of women as members of the Orthodox rabbinate, regardless of the title.

    That seems pretty clear cut, just as the Moetzes’s statement is.

    #817579

    Jothar
    Member

    Shorter version of this thread- the laymen are fooled, the RCA rabbis are not- and that’s why they want the RCA to make a strong stance.

    #817580

    Jothar
    Member

    RCA Statement In Regards To Rabbi Avi Weiss & His ‘Rabbah’ [& His Response To RCA]

    All avi weiss did was change the title from rabbah to maharat and the RCA said “ok”. Yet all the articles Avi Weiss puts out makes it clear this is nothing but semantics. Let those who want to be fooled be fooled. The RCA rabbis aren’t buying this cow pie.

    #817581

    Toi
    Participant

    do you think the amaleikim wont and shouldnt dislike us when you kill their children? let them hate us. we wont care. Hashem said to. your argument has no shaychis.

    #817582

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    do you think the amaleikim wont and shouldnt dislike us when you kill their children? let them hate us. we wont care. Hashem said to. your argument has no shaychis.

    It has no shaychus for those who sincerely believe that Hashem is in charge, and had the Holocaust not happened, the 6 million would have died in another way. No Shaychus for those who believe that Hitler was a tool of the Ribbono Shel Olam, just like Paraoh (who granted, there is a discussion why Paraoh is blamed for something that Hashem decreed, but that is a different issue).

    However, for the “never again” crowd, for those who blame the Hamases & Nazis of the world as if they have their own power and they are not a tool of Hashem, for them the arguement is strong. Because logically they are correct, based on their own reasoning. And on that point, you cannot blame them.

    #817583

    shlishi
    Member

    Who cares about what those antisemites and others think. They’ll hate us regardless of whether there is reason to or not. (There isn’t.) Besides, one is a theoretical passage that no one uses to kill anyone (we don’t know who the Amaleikim are), and the other is murderers actually killing people today.

    #817584

    Toi
    Participant

    GAW- i think this ios the first time we ever agreed on something lol. what i mean is that if this dude theorieticaly believes in Hashem then its on thing to let women daven for the amud; quite another to wrip pesukim out of the klaf.

    #817585

    mw13
    Participant

    GAW:

    “Spoken like a true believer. However, the Nazis were (and Hamas is) also true believers. You now have no Tainos against them, as they did what they believe(d) to be “objectively right”.”

    No, I have a massive taynah against them; because their base belief is incorrect, everything they do in its name is wrong. And yes, I know they will say the same thing about us. So what it boils down to is who’s beliefs are right and who’s are wrong.

    Put it this way: Two people have a first-class ticket on an airplane – for the same seat. The question of who gets the meals, who gets to sit, etc. are all dependent upon who’s ticket is real and who’s isn’t.

    And yes, I realize that until Moshiach comes it will be impossible to convince the rest of the world that their base beliefs are wrong, but ani ma’amin bi’emunah shelaimah that this is the case. Therefore, I can and will live my life knowing that I have the real ticket, and therefore everything I do is completely justified.

    #817586

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    No, I have a massive taynah against them; because their base belief is incorrect, everything they do in its name is wrong. And yes, I know they will say the same thing about us. So what it boils down to is who’s beliefs are right and who’s are wrong.

    Put it this way: Two people have a first-class ticket on an airplane – for the same seat. The question of who gets the meals, who gets to sit, etc. are all dependent upon who’s ticket is real and who’s isn’t.

    And yes, I realize that until Moshiach comes it will be impossible to convince the rest of the world that their base beliefs are wrong, but ani ma’amin bi’emunah shelaimah that this is the case. Therefore, I can and will live my life knowing that I have the real ticket, and therefore everything I do is completely justified.

    Exactly. The action flows from the belief, so only the belief is challenged, not the resulting actions (directly).

    AKA, Lishitasam, they are correct.

    GAW- i think this ios the first time we ever agreed on something

    I can think of at least a few more (such as the conservative thread last week). As far as the main point of the thread, I disagree with R’ Adlerstein, but only because who cares what the RCA thinks? Not me. Now if my Rov, Rebbe, Rosh, Moshgiach or Posek said something about it (such as with the Hechser Tzedek thing), then I’d probably care. In the meantime, they have to do what they think Hashem wants, and I will do what I believe Hashem wants.

    #817587

    Jothar
    Member

    The other issue I have with the RCA piece quoted by feif un is that Avi Weiss keeps telling the media he’s ordaining women as rabbis. His own website says as much as well:

    Women as part of “rabbinic staff”, serving as spiritual leaders. In other words, women serving as rabbis. Avi Weiss is fairly explicit about what he’s doing, even post- “retraction”. Hoda’as baal din keme’ah eidim. Someone is getting duped, and it’s NOT Rabbi Adlerstein or the media.

    #817588

    mw13
    Participant

    GAW:

    “Lishitasam, they are correct.”

    Lishitasam they will always be correct, no matter what we do or say. That does not concern me. I only care how I can be right in wanting to wipe out Amalek, while the Muslims are wrong in wanting to wipe out the Jews. And I believe that problem is answered.

    #817589

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    PY: Because that raises questions as to how we look on in horror when an Islamic terrorist kills one of our children. He believes just as strongly that his religion is the only true one, and has commanded him to kill Jewish children R”L (case in point, the Fogel murders).”

    MW13: Lishitasam they will always be correct, no matter what we do or say. That does not concern me. I only care how I can be right in wanting to wipe out Amalek, while the Muslims are wrong in wanting to wipe out the Jews. And I believe that problem is answered.

    So you do not look on in horror, but are comforted that your religion is correct, and theirs is wrong?

    #817590

    mw13
    Participant

    “So you do not look on in horror”

    Whatever makes you think that?

    #817591

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Whatever makes you think that?

    That does not concern me. I only care how I can be right in wanting to wipe out Amalek, while the Muslims are wrong in wanting to wipe out the Jews.

    #817592

    Toi
    Participant

    GAW- as long as your rebbe doesnt say anyhting…i wrote before, and i propose now, that your misreading; the reason why main stream rabbonim havent come out in force is because the majority of torah observing, Hashem fearing jews know this guys a wacko without any formal instruction.

    #817593

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    GAW- as long as your rebbe doesnt say anyhting…i wrote before, and i propose now, that your misreading; the reason why main stream rabbonim havent come out in force is because the majority of torah observing, Hashem fearing jews know this guys a wacko without any formal instruction.

    Agreed (although wacko may be too strong, “misguided” may be nicer). Also I am decently sure (but not positive) that my Rov doesn’t belong to the RCA.

    #817594

    Jothar
    Member

    Toi, they’re not worried about educated Jews. They’re worried about uneducated Jews.Furthermore, there is the matter of being part of a group granting legitimacy to a non-orthodox rabbi.

    #817595

    shlishi
    Member

    No Jew is killing any Amaleiki’s. We don’t even know who they are! So what is this pathetic comparison between Arabs killing Jews to Jews killing Amaleiki’s? They don’t. It is today only a theological concept in theory, not practice like how Muslim terrorists murder infidels.

    #817596

    Jothar
    Member

    The relevant poskim re: female being ignored by Avi Weiss are, besides the ones who signed on the kol korei: The Sifri, the Yerushalmi, the Rambam in hilchos melachim 1:5, tur choshen mishpat perek 7, shulchan aruch choshen mishpat perek 7 (either :5 or :6), and all the nosei keilim mentioned on all these sources, along with thousands of years of mesorah. Even Saul Leiberman is against him:

    The end of the matter is that it is clear from the sources that being called by the title “rav” (“Rabbi he shall be called”) reflects on the fitness to issue legal decisions and to judge, and we should not empty the title “rav” of its meaning from the way it has been understood by the Jewish people throughout the generations. Since a woman is not fit to judge, and she cannot become qualified for this, she cannot be ordained by this title (even if we see it as a mere expression, refer to the Tosafot, Avodah Zarah 5a, paragraph heading “Ella”).

    Let us not make ourselves objects of derision and jest.

    Respectfully,

    Saul Lieberman”

    #817597

    mw13
    Participant

    GAW:

    What I meant to say is that it does not concern me that they can falsely claim that they are right; as long as I can feel comfortable that I’m doing what is actually right I’m happy. I by no means meant that what the muslim terrorists are doing to our brethren does not concern me.

    #817598

    Toi
    Participant

    jothar- if its the guys that cant tel the dif. between orthodoxy and weissism that we’re worried about, then either way theyd find something. conservative for example.

    #817599

    mosheemes2
    Member

    R’ Lieberman makes an assumption in metzius there that the title Rav implies a fitness to judge. I can’t say I’ve read, or have any interest in reading his proofs for this, or in debating Conservative movement hashkafa on this site, but R’ Weiss certainly disagrees about that metzius and certainly (and reasonably) sees nothing wrong with arguing about it. It’s just objectively true that the person working as the assistant to the Rabbi of a Modern Orthodox shul, whatever their gender or title, has significantly less authority than basically anyone who’s ever held the title Rabbi in any community ever. I still disagree with R’ Weiss, but at least it’s worth trying to understand what he’s saying.

    #817600

    Jothar
    Member

    The Maharat website says “spiritual leaders”,”rabbinic staff”. What about that does NOT mean serarah? It’s a straight-up violation of the Rambam.

    #817601

    mosheemes2
    Member

    And R’ Weiss would disagree with you about that (if he didn’t would those words sound as carefully chosen as they do?). You can think he’s wrong, but you can’t think he doesn’t care about the Rambam.

    #817602

    Sam2
    Participant

    Or he could hold like R’ Soloveitchik that the Rambam is a Da’as Yachid in this issue.

    #817603

    Jothar
    Member

    moshemes, I can very well think that he is arguing on the Rambam- it’s black-and-white, as well as the tur and shulchan aruch in choshen mishpat. They all say “no”. I am not a lawyer, but the “no really meant yes” defense never works in secular court either.

    Sam2,

    1. No such R’ soloveitchik and 2. no such “daas yachid”, unless you mean daas Echad Yachid Umeyuchad.

    #817604

    Jothar
    Member

    What has become apparent from this thread is that people ARE buying Avi Weiss’ nonsense and he does have power. So the RCA dilemma comes back- disassociate themselves from Avi Weiss or disassociate themselves from Orthodoxy?

    #817606

    Toi
    Participant

    jothar- so nwhats the dilemma? what youre saying is- do we still agree that the torah is binding and unalterable or not. thats one of the 13 ikrim- why is the decision so difficult?

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