Response from YCT: Yeshivat Chovevei Torah’s Position on Torah MiSinai and Partnership Minyanim

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28 Responses

  1. joel rich says:

    The good news is the questions that will be asked have already been distributed so no need to guess – see Shabbat 31a:
    Raba said, When man is led in for Judgment  he is asked, Did you deal faithfully [i.e., with integrity], did you fix times for learning, did you engage in procreation, did you hope for salvation, did you engage in the dialectics of wisdom, did you understand one thing from another.

    She-nir’eh et nehamat Yerushalayim u-binyanah bi-mherah ve-yamenu,

  2. Reb Yid says:

    Again–you are creating an artificial straw man when no “schism” is really apparent.

    I get it–you want conformity and uniformity.  For most American Jews, however (including a vibrant segment of its Orthodox population) diversity is  a source of strength and growth.  For you it is clearly a danger and a threat.

     

  3. david z says:

    Rabbi you know this stuff better than me but what about yct dayan zev farber? Isn’t that even more damning?

  4. dr. bill says:

    Rabbi Gordimer, when you write: “That being said, senior YCT leadership, as well as others whose ideas are part of the YCT sphere, have expressed public views that bring into question the principles of Torah Mi-Sinai and the historical truth of the Torah…”  i am incredulous. talmudic sages and geonim, both lacking the knowledge discovered in the last hundred years, argued various details of torah mi’sinai and the historical truth of parts of the Torah.

    while a few yct graduates have gone substantially further, compared to what is discussed in other forums, their views are troubling but hardly surprising.  i suspect that like many practicing jews who hold more defined and radical views, they imagine they are creating the rationale for halakhic observance despite heretical views.  it is still much too early to see how this evolves.  personally, i worry more about a large population who has never even read anything that raises even mild challenges to what many view as increasingly primitive beliefs declared ikrei he’emunah.

    • mycroft says:

      I believe RAL stated something close to it is no mitzvah to make something an ikar emu nah which isn’t.

    • Steve brizel says:

      Argument as to details and the understanding of the events described in the Torah is a far cry and should not be confused with denial of the same and the bedrock elements of  Malciyos Zicronos and Shofaros and our covenental relationship with HaSHem which is underscored every time we recite a birkas hamitzvah.

      • mycroft says:

        YCT would say they are arguing over details. They have constantly maintained Torah is minhashamayim. Have ever Rabbis Weiss, Lopatin etc denied that God revealed himself after yiziat Miriam in the mid bar?

        • Steve brizel says:

          Look at r z Farber’s website which yct has condoned by silence and its elevation  of pluralism and inclusiveness at the expense of admitting that there are ground rules known as ikarei emunah

          • mycroft says:

            Thus, if you were around in the 60s the RAv and Dr Belkin condoned Rabbi I Greenberg” Is RHS responsible for every speech made by guests and alumni of Yeshiva? Is SRH responsible for everybTalmid of his? We’re the Rabbeim of Volozhin responsible for their talmidim?

    • YbhM says:

      Rabbi Gordimer, when you write: “That being said, senior YCT leadership, as well as others whose ideas are part of the YCT sphere, have expressed public views that bring into question the principles of Torah Mi-Sinai and the historical truth of the Torah…”  i am incredulous. talmudic sages and geonim, both lacking the knowledge discovered in the last hundred years, argued various details of torah mi’sinai and the historical truth of parts of the Torah

      I am incredulous that you are willing to conflate discussion about the precise meaning and content of the notion of Torah mi-sinai with outright dismissal or tendentious neo-Ishbitzy redefintion of the concept.

      <i>i suspect that like many practicing jews who hold more defined and radical views, they imagine they are creating the rationale for halakhic observance despite heretical views.</i>

      and yet they insist that they are the “real” voice of Orthodoxy.

      <i>i worry more about a large population who has never even read anything that raises even mild challenges to what many view as increasingly primitive beliefs declared ikrei he’emunah.</i>

      Why do you worry about them?  The “many” who regard these people’s views as primitive are often historically ignorant people who are incapable of formulating or responding to a logical argument.  If the people that you are so concerned about are getting simple and dogmatic information from Artscroll, well that’s better than getting simple dogmatic information from Hollywood or their Facebook feed.

      • dr. bill says:

        neither hollywood nor artscroll are credible sources of unbiased knowledge.  i continue to worry that some may chance upon sources who are or at least set out to be.  if the only choices were artscroll or hollywood, God’s fairness could be seriously questioned!  B’H there are many more.

  5. ISteve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote in part:

    “Thus, if you were around in the 60s the RAv and Dr Belkin condoned Rabbi I Greenberg”

    Take a look at the YU Judaica book and ask yourself whether the above is accurate or whether RYG has painted the portrait of a persecuted and suffering intellectual who has engaged in what RAL ZL described as “intellectual imperialism” whereby RYG just could not and still doesn’t fathom why his views were never accepted as mainstream  and whose POV by his own admission was already evolving into a post denominational POV, which was well documented in R D Berger’s review in Tradition of a book authored by RYG..

    • mycroft says:

      I was around during that period and certainly there were those who disagreed with RYG most noticeably RAL-but he taught in YU and to this day much of the left came from his students from that time period.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Ain Haci Nami.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Read RYG’s own account as to why he left in the YU Judaica book-I stand by my assessment which is based on his own “reasons”which RAL ZL strongly critiqued.

  6. Sholom says:

    What does “Torah MiSinai” mean?

    • mycroft says:

      IMO a synonym for Torah minhashamayim- that Torah is revealed from God rather than man made.

      • Sholom says:

        “Revealed by God” is a very different proposition than “given by God to Moses all at once on Mt Sinai”.

         

        I belive that Reform (certainly conservative) Judaism adhere to the former.

        • mycroft says:

          We don’t believe everything from Har Sinai-a little before eg Marah and much during our time in the Midbar. There is certainly much of CJ that does not believe in Torah from God-I intentionally did not use term Torah Misinai-much was given during 40 years

          • Steve Brizel says:

            I would certainly add Yetzias Mitzrayim and Krias Yam Suf. I think that the fact that Chazal and Mfarshim citing various sources about Maaaseh Breishis, the lack of any ethical behavior between Adam and Noah and Noah and Avraham as well as the lives of the Avos and Imahos cannot be easily dismissed because the same was Kodem Matan Torah-an approach that works with respect to mitzvos given before Matan Torah, but not one that I would consider as having hashkafic validity to the lives of the Avos and Imahos.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Take a look at the Maamad Matan Torah of the CI which is printed at the end of the CI’s writings in OC on Hilcos Pesach. CI maintains that Moshe Rabbeinu was given Kol HaTorah Kulah and its tools of interpretation at Har Sinai, but that Moshe Rabbeinu instructed Klal Yisrael for various reasons as to many mitzvos in the Ohel Moed and at Arvos Moav as well during the course of the 40 years of travel in the desert.

          • Sholom says:

            Ok, so Orthodox believe “Torah MiSinai” doesn’t mean all at once on the mountain, but over a span of 40 years starting at Sinai?

            Cconservatives also believe matan Torah started at Sinai.  But they think it’s still happening.  Is that the big dis replant between the two concepts of “Torah MiSinai”?  It doesn’t seem like such a big difference.  Also, don’t Orthodox believe it’s still happening in a way?

          • dr. bill says:

            like many complex topics, there is multiplicity of views.  kol mah she’talmid atid lechadaish, lo ba’shamayim he and eilu ve’eilu can lead to views that i find outside the parameters of classical rabbinic judaism.  otoh, these terms can often be interpreted in an overly restrictive way.  there are wonderful books that study these topics that are well beyond the scope of a blog post.

        • Sholom says:

          If the issue is complex, with a multiplicity of views and approaches even within Orthodoxy, then it seems disingenuous to take the most restrictive or literalist view, and use that as a litmus test with which to judge Open Orthodoxy.

        • mycroft says:

          Sadly few if any non Orthodox clergy believe that the Torah was revealed by God. IMO so far OO has not gone there. Will they? Only God knows but so far not.

  7. Aharon Nitkin says:

    Rabbi Grodimer,

    Your alma matter has graduates such as Mordechai Kaplan and Steve Greenberg. Are we going to deligitamize YU based on their un-orthodox views

     

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