Open Orthodoxy

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Haskalah 2.0

To understand the Open Orthodox agenda, I recommend the following dvar Torah by YCT student Ari Weiss (class of '07) on the YCT Web site this past Chanukah: Chanukah Revisited: A Festival of Light or a Festival of War?

I've been meaning to post this for a while. I thought I was going to eventually post a lengthier response, but I think the piece speaks for itself. This is the most disconcerting dvar Torah I have read at the Yeshivat Chovevei Torah web site and I would have been remiss not to give it some attention.

A brief excerpt from the article:
...while we have to continue translating the Torah into Greek, we have to open up the possibility of translating Greek thought into the language of Torah!

Instead of understanding the message of Chanukah as a war between competing ideologies [Judaism and Hellenism], we should understand Chanukah and the symbol of the menorah as the possibility of being nourished and enlightened by two sources. While at times we have to fight wars, and have commitments which life would not be worth living if we could not fulfill them, we have to realize that this is not ideal.
Rhetorical final questions from the article:
The question which we have to ask ourselves as Chanukah approaches is what symbol of Chanukah do we see as primary and which symbol do we see as secondary? Do we speak a language of war of a clash of civilization, or of light of enlightenment?

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