Ori’s Question

With all the recent subjects, I’ve never gotten around to answer Ori’s question about what I would think would happen if all the heterodox clergy woke up Orthodox. If you don’t remember, please read his question, it’s a good one. Ori was careful to point out that he’s not trying to antagonize anyone — it’s a sharp question, tough to answer, so he had to say that. It does deserve an answer, and at the same time there’s pressure to answer this one “just so.”

It is much better when Conservative Jews criticize Conservative Judaism, and Reform Jews criticize Reform. Orthodox Jews who say the same things tend to get dragged through the wringer.

That Reform link above is recommended reading, because she takes the Reform to task for doing the exact same thing they criticize the Orthodox for doing (namely, isolationism: “Just because they live in a community with synagogues of every major and most minor Jewish movements (including some extremely friendly Hasids) didn’t mean that they had, you know, been encouraged to visit these places, or learn about their customs”), and for all-around ignorance (read the part about the soon-to-be-ordained HUC student who claimed in print that the Orthodox “auction off their first born”). When it comes to Reform claims to being more devoted to ethics, she proved every bit as sarcastic (“I wasn’t aware that making the world a better place and praying for rain were mutually exclusive”) as our own Eytan Kobre. As Gil Student said in comments here earlier, “in the realm of communal critiques, self-criticism is given much more latitude before being labeled ‘offensive.'”

So with all of that said, I do have an answer in my head, I’m just forcing myself to write it by claiming I’ll have it for you later today.

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