Open Orthodoxy Update, Parshas Miketz

The TASC Group, a Public Relations Firm in Manhattan, recently won “Big Apple” PR awards for their campaign on behalf of Yeshivat Maharat, “Orthodox & Ordained: Making the Case for Women Rabbis in the Orthodox Jewish Community.” This campaign, in the “Campaigns with Budgets of $150,000 or Less” category, won for both “Diversity and Inclusion” and, interestingly enough, “Crisis Communication” — which is for “programs designed to protect and defend an individual or organization facing a public challenge to its reputation.” Those who oppose ordination of women do so based upon Halachic analysis — Yeshivat Maharat addresses this Halachic challenge by hiring a PR firm.

Ordination itself is not the only issue. Last year, PORAT (People for Orthodox Renaissance and Torah) claimed that “the women who are serving as Orthodox clergy are paragons of tzniut, exemplifying the highest Torah values.” Perhaps they did not intend to include Rabba Dr. Melanie Landau, though she was accepted to Yeshivat Maharat even after writing about her ambivalence towards Jewish tradition — writings once touted on Yeshivat Maharat’s website (as discussed in Chapter 7 of Why Open Orthodoxy is not Orthodox).

The movement still promotes Ysoscher Katz, Chair of Talmud at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, although he has long been espousing non-Orthodox views (not to mention mistranslating and misreading sources).

Open Orthodoxy is also still promoting Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, despite his well-known, wildly radical and combative statements against normative Halachic Judaism. Besides promoting Yanklowitz’s own speeches, OO’s Rabbi Dov Linzer, President and Rosh Hayeshiva of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, recently spoke at Yanklowitz’s Valley Beit Midrash.

Dr. Yanklowitz opined that it is a “mitzvah” for homosexuals to “come out,” and he is hardly alone within OO. Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and Yeshivat Maharat recently hosted a program featuring an “Orthodox” rabbi who lives in an openly homosexual relationship, while a current fourth-year YCT rabbinic student, on track to become an Open Orthodox Rabbi at the end of the year, accepted a proposal from another man on stage at a rock concert. This is what Open Orthodoxy apparently considers K’Daas Moshe V’Yisrael.

A new student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah proudly shared a photo taken while he sang at a bar with a woman.

Open Orthodoxy has even departed radically from founder Rabbi Avi Weiss’ ardent defense of Israel. Rav Hanan Schlesinger, a member of Open Orthodoxy’s International Rabbinic Fellowship, Torat Chayim, and Yeshivat Maharat’s Advisory Board, wrote an article offering Arab defenses for the brutal murder of American-Israeli hero Ari Fuld, such as the idea that Jews in Israel are an “assault on their very existence.” Ysoscher Katz, for his part, praised the election of Ilhan Omar, who engaged in open slurs against Israel, and Rashida Tlaib, who supports the destruction of Israel as well as a boycott, saying that because they are non-Caucasian their election reflects a “glorious manifestation of the divine multifacetedness” — placing ethnic diversity ahead of commitment to democracy and Jewish lives.

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6 Responses

  1. Chochom b’Mahnishtaneh says:

    The best part is that Ysosscher makes a bracha of משנה הבריות on these different politicians. Everyone knows that is hardly an endorsement of such people as the saying is typically used. The Brocha is made on exceptionally odd creations. He wrongly interprets it to mean that Hashem gave wisdom to varied people.

    This is just completely odd. So much so that the we surely would say this on Ysoschor, rather than שחלק מחכמתו ליראיו for a number of reasons.

  2. Steve Brizel says:

    The more things change the more they stay the same especially with respect to OO and their rationalization and defense of that which cannot and should not be rationalized or defended

  3. D says:

    Its k’das moshe not k’daas. Am haaretz.

  4. lacosta says:

    if Yavan is choshech , what are these sad people ? seems two analogies–

    1. mityavnim- total adopters of Gentile culture practice and theology

    2. yeravam ben navat—- their glorious meisit umeideach ancestor, who mishna Sanhedrin informs us of his eternal reward

    a PR campaign is quite appropriate for Yeshiva Maharat, since this is an issue of selling a defective product to the Jews on the margins. I am sur eit plays in Peoria….

  5. Chochom b'mahnishtaneh says:

    It is not K’das, or K’daas, Moshe Vyisroel. It is das yevonis.

    You must follow the OO agenda if you are reimagining Halacha to consider singing with women at a bar K’das Moshe.

  6. Chacham B’mahnishtaneh says:

    I mean to refer to a proposal which more than just presumtively will result in mishkav zachar. And to do so, so publicly at a venue which glorified the shameful.

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