Open Orthodoxy

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Batter up

I was hoping to "wind down" this blog but I heard multiple things this weekend that were very disturbing to me.

I also attended Rabbi Avi Weiss' lecture as I stated that I might in my blog post, "Free advertising for Open Orthodoxy". I'm working on a blog post about that experience. Here's a quote I heard from Rabbi Weiss that I couldn't agree with more, "There are countless examples of the mighty who have been on the wrong path who have fallen." After listening to Rabbi Weiss it is apparent that Open Orthodoxy is on the path to Shira Hadasha...falling down, falling down, falling down. Of course, Rabbi Weiss was clear to say that he only operates within the framework of Orthodox halacha.

To protect anonymity, I won't mention any names in the following two items:

The root of all evil
I was informed that an Open Orthodox rabbi showed the documentary "The Root of All Evil?" to his high school "philosophy" class. This documentary was "written and presented by [renowned atheist] Richard Dawkins, in which he argues that the world would be better off without religion. "

The school is a pluralistic Jewish high school, and the class was for seniors. When I heard this, it sent a chill through me as I reflected on the sickness of this.

I was told that a Jewish counter-view was presented and that many of the students may already be agnostic. But why, why, why would such anti-Torah material be presented to impressionable Jewish young people? We should inoculate them with Truth, not defile their minds with anti-religious rhetoric.

Young people ask lots of great questions. Questions should be answered. In a controlled forum such as a religious school, we should provide the Torah tools they need to answer those challenging questions. We shouldn't inadvertently reinforce contrary beliefs by proactively presenting heretical ideas then expect to undo the damage by rebutting them. Young people will have a lifetime of anti-religious influences to contend with.

It's your problem, not mine
Another person informed me that someone he knew contacted one of the main rabbinical leaders of Open Orthodoxy about religious concerns with a local Open Orthodox rabbi. To paraphrase, the rabbi responded back to the person, "What are the local Orthodox rabbis doing about it?" The person said to the rabbi, "What do you mean? He's one of your's your problem!" The rabbi apparently did not think so.

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