Non-Orthodox Dialogue

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6 Responses

  1. Gil Student says:

    I have friends and relatives who currently, with guidance from world-renowned (non-YU) poskim, sit on panels with heterodox clergy. They have received very positive feedback from their encounters and have not seen any of the legitimation-press that you received. Perhaps you are too successful and famous for doing these things. But the little guys can accomplish a lot of good by doing this.

  2. Yaakov says:

    Even though we ought not publicly sit on a dais with heterodox clergy, there is GREAT benefit to paying personal visits to local heterodox leaders to develop a human relationship. When I met a local Conservative rabbi in his office “just to say Hi,” he immediately challenged why I would meet him privately, but “wouldn’t even share a bagel with him” at the local Board of Rabbis monthly breakfast. I told him that I’d be more than happy to discuss ideology, but only after we knew each other as people, respected each other as people, and enjoyed each other’s company. Only then could we have a no-holds barred discussion that would not spill over to the personal realm. Naturally, he demurred noting his busy schedule, but I do perceive less anti-Orthodox venom coming out of his institution.

  3. Moishe Potemkin says:

    “There are some people out there who understand that the difference between traditional Judaism and the other movements must be extremely pronounced if the Orthodox will not budge on the validation issue.”

    There probably are, but I would venture a guess that most people attribute it to the closed-mindedness and intellectual timidity seen in many fundamentalist groups that hesitate to expose themselves to public challenge.

    I am curious as to how these offsetting considerations are actually weighted, though. Any insight you could provide would be appreciated.

  4. Elya says:

    Rabbi Alderstein, I couldn’t agree with you more. I have had many interactions with non-Orthodox clergy and on a personal level much can be accomplished, but I have refused to sit with them on any sort of panels or enter their places of worship because I have perceived the trend that you describe. There will always be some who we’ll miss out on by not going into the lion’s den but I believe that there are equally as many who never get comfortable with their movement’s positions because they know full well that there is a whole sect of Judaism that does it VERY differently and “they” seem to be prospering. Tough issue.

  5. Jon Baker says:

    Clearly this blog holds that there is some value, and some level of rabbinic approval, for religious discussions with heterodox clergy (despite R’ YD Soloveitchik’s distinction of klapei phnim (religious matters – forbidden) vs. klapei chutz (socio-political matters – permitted). R’ YY Reinman, one of the regular contributors, came under fire for his book of dialogue with a Reform rabbi.

  6. Jon Baker says:

    Clearly this blog holds that there is some value, and some level of rabbinic approval, for religious discussions with heterodox clergy (despite R’ YD Soloveitchik’s distinction of klapei phnim (religious matters – forbidden) vs. klapei chutz (socio-political matters – permitted). R’ YY Reinman, one of the regular contributors, came under fire for his book of dialogue with a Reform rabbi.

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