" Thou comest to me with a sword and a spear and a shield, but I come to thee in the name of the L-rd of Hosts, the G-d of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast humiliated..." (I Samuel, 17:45-47)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Female Rabbis? "Open-Modern Orthodoxy" Officially Closes The Door On Torah

A tragic day for the Jewish people. I predicted this many years ago about Avi Weiss, The Hebrew Institute, and more recently "Yeshivat Chovevei Torah." (What a sick joke. If this is a yeshiva, then JTS is one as well.) Common sense and logic indicated that this was where this "open-modern-orthodoxy" (or whatever the hell they call it) was heading. After many years of absorbing and perpetuating the Hellenistic notions of feminism, pluralism, and progressive values, Avi Weiss has finally stepped off the cliff. By officially recognizing Sara Hurwitz as a "Rabbah", he and his followers, as well as all the institutions affiliated with him, have officially severed themselves from the camp of those who believe in the revelation at Mount Sinai. What can I say? Ordaining women as "rabbis" has always been a basic indicator in the Torah world. It indicates a clear break-off from Halachah.

"This will make it clear to everyone that Sara Hurwitz is a full member of our rabbinic staff, a rabbi with the additional quality of a distinct woman’s voice," said the statement issued by Weiss' office.

I was wrong about one thing. I never thought that he would have the courage to take the final leap himself. At least not until he was very old and out of the public eye. I guess by giving him the benefit of the doubt, I misjudged his "courage" to follow the distorted logic of his arguments and carry it through to it's conclusion.

There are those who will find my words troubling based upon feelings they have for Avi Weiss. They will cite his many actions on behalf of Jews over the years, and question our right to attack the man. As if the one justifies the other. Let me just say that as opposed as I am to many of Avi Weiss's beliefs and actions, I respect his past activism on behalf of Jews (not Arabs!), despite the fact that his efforts were guided (or misguided) by such un-Jewish principles as pacifism and pluralism. Unfortunately, all too often he was a vehicle for perpetuating these foreign ideas on the world stage and presenting them as Jewish. Furthermore, each time gentiles harassed him during the course of his activism, and he responded like the accursed decrepit idolater Gandhi, G-d's name was disgraced by the image of weakling Jewish pacifists being knocked around by anti-semites. Nevertheless, I will not deny his intrinsic Ahavat Yisroel (love of fellow Jews), even if it was and is terribly distorted and misunderstood. I can't dismiss the fact that too many Jews, (religious and otherwise) ignored and continue to ignore their brothers and sisters. Obviously, this is a far cry from Rav Kahane's authentic Torah -based love of Jews and his mind-boggling mesirat nefesh (self-sacrifice), but nevertheless, it is one which we are forbidden to deny.

Of course this is completely irrelevant to the issue I am addressing. The other side of Avi Weiss can also not be ignored. The side of the public distorter of yahadut, who engages in the most repugnant forms of interfaith-dialogue, and dare I say it, worship. The corrupter of basic Jewish ideas who strays from the Halachic path and goes the way of the feminist who thinks the Torah is some outdated chauvinistic manual. The side of a man who has essentially created another Jewish sect, that just snapped off the healthy Jewish body and went it's own way into the abyss. In this sense, Avi Weiss has gone the way of "rabbis" Yitz Greenberg and David Hartman who made careers out of distorting Rav Soloveitchik's words. Way off the deep end.

I will never apologize for my zealous indignation when The Almighty's name is disgraced. As a general rule, I hate to bash Rabbis who have undergone Rabbinical ordination from "orthodox institutions". Even if I vehemently disagree with them, if the contrary position is grounded in Halachah and the Rav is committed to Yahadut, I will stick to the issue and not condemn the man. But there is a point when one goes to far. At this stage, the gloves come off. Some real life examples of the kinds of actions I am talking about. When an "orthodox Rabbi" 1) enters a church, 2) calls Jesus (may his name and memory be erased!) a "Rabbi", or ordains a woman as a "Rabbah."

Today's prominent poskim (Halachic decisors) must not let this unprecedented desecration of The Almighty's name go unanswered. Now is the time for a loud and unanimous declaration that this and similar actions are against the Torah. The first institutions to condemn this should be the Orthodox Union and the RCA. The Hebrew Institute should be bounced out of the OU. I'm waiting with bated breath.

Thanks to "The World's Biggest Houston Rockets Fan" (I don't know if he wants me using his real name) for forwarding me this article. It's not a happy article. But evading the issue (as well as other "uncomfortable issues" (as Rav Kahane referred to them), is the essence of Jewish cowardice and intellectual dishonesty. It's a sad day for those who care about Am Yisroel.


  1. Simple: YCT is not a yeshiva, nor orthodox, just another step toward increased assimilation into Western culture, praying on Jews' sick need to feel a sense of belonging amongst the goyim.

    "Let's show everyone that we can outdo the progressives and enlightened ones by being more progressive and more enlightened."

  2. If the OU doesn't bounce the Hebrew Institute out (and they almost certainly will not), I think we need to reconsider whether or not we want to rely on their kashrut certification. This is as unkosher as it gets. Only one question remains. How soon before YCT gets a female mashgiach to give mussar shmusim to the bochrim?

  3. Maybe they'll merge with JTS and save them the trouble.


What do you think? I'm interested in your comments.