Category: Jewish World


When in Doubt… Mesorah

For every halachic point made by those who resist the female rabbinate, Open Orthodoxy will counter with one they claim is in favor of a female rabbinate. But, in one arena of Jewish experience, an arena which is of equal standing to halacha, OO has no answer.

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Denominational Déjà Vu

In 2001, I predicted that the Conservative movement would soon enough “halachically” approve what halacha forbids in no uncertain terms. [It did so 5 years later.] I perceive precisely the same Conservative approach to halacha in what bills itself today as “Open Orthodoxy.”

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Open Orthodoxy: An Amicable Divorce?

Integrity demands that “Open Orthodoxy” discard the “Orthodox” moniker. There are early signs that — thanks to the Agudah, RCA, CER and others — this may, at last, be taking place.


Misguided Mounters

“As if the situation here was not sensitive enough,” groused an incredulous MK Yoel Hasson (Hamachaneh HaTzioni). He was referring to Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely’s comment that her...

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The Symptoms are Not the Problem

The statement regarding Open Orthodoxy by the Council of Torah Sages of Agudath Israel is not about women rabbis, politics, or excluding Jews from the Jewish community. It is about integral components of traditional Jewish belief, and truth in advertising.


Spaghetti and Jewish Unity

Last week afforded me an opportunity to sit with a group of Jews spanning the gamut of American Jewry – resolute secularists, members of non-Orthodox congregations and Orthodox Jews –...

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The Latest in Shabbos Tech

When Ben-Tzion Davis, a Ger Tzedek and self-described electronics nerd, opened a standard Shabbos hotplate to help a friend, he was shocked to discover what was inside. His friend could...

MeganY / Pixabay

Where “Objective” is Defective

I’m not among those who grow apoplectic at the New York Times’ reportage from Israel. There are, to be sure, occasions when, in misguided attempts to achieve what passes these...

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Kalman, Vegans, and Kapparos

There is something ugly about protesting Kapparos in particular. A huge “hats off” to Kalman Groner for helping set the record straight — calmly, clearly, and as filmed by the protesters themselves.


Two-Way Traffic on the Haredi Highway

Have you ever wondered why, in light of the slew of “I survived Orthodoxy but saw the secular light!” essays and books, there no counter-flood of similar writing by some...

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Eliyahu’s Double Plea

The Rambam’s logic, as always, is unassailable. Miracles, he informs us (Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah, 8:1), simply cannot be bases of belief. What appears to us as miraculous, he explains, could...

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Anatomy of a Chumra Society

I owe a large debt of gratitude to Rabbi Karlinsky. The Karlinskys were my Shadchanim some twenty years ago, and it has worked out most satisfactorily. Consider that full disclosure...

LoggaWiggler / Pixabay

Govrov Selichos, 1939

This time of year in 1939, in a Polish town called Ruzhan, a 14-year-old boy had his plans rudely interrupted. The boy, who, fifteen years later, would become my father,...