11 July 2015

Caveat Emptor

25 Tamuz 5775
Shavua Tov

"Let the buyer beware..."

Just because something (or someone) advertises itself as "Orthodox" doesn't mean it is!
The Birth Of A New Denomination, And Secession At The RCA
...Since the early ‘90s, Orthodoxy has undergone a number of great shifts. Responding to a precipitous move to the right within Modern Orthodoxy, a plethora of institutions and organizations have emerged. These include the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA), Edah, YCT and YM, the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, and the International Rabbinic Fellowship (IRF). In Israel, too, Beit Morasha, Beit Hillel, Ne’emanei Torah Ve’Avodah and others were founded, and today women are being ordained (receiving semikha) from Yeshivat Maharat as well as Yeshivat Har’el...
"Debate has surfaced over what this reassertion should be called. In the end, names are secondary to the substantive changes that have been put in place. Still, names matter as they are descriptive of what we are, our mission and values, taking into account the changes and challenges of the times...
"With the advent of YCT, YM, the IRF, JOFA, and others, honest and respectful discussion is taking place concerning what terms should be used to describe these new phenomena in Orthodoxy.
"Some suggest the continued use of the term ‘Modern Orthodoxy.’ Modern Orthodoxy is a trademark term. Bearing in mind that it has been abandoned by RIETS and the RCA, a vacuum has been created. Why not fill that vacuum by reclaiming it and infusing it with new ideas and new perspectives while holding on to the term with which people feel comfortable?
"Other, like myself, prefer a new term: ‘Open Orthodoxy.’
Personally, I don't buy that "Open Orthodoxy" is another "movement" within Orthodoxy. In fact, let's just forget the term "Orthodox" altogether. Whatever "Judaism" you practice is either Torah Judaism or it's not. Just like there is only ONE Torah, there's only ONE legitimate, authoritative Torah Judaism and this ain't it.