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New York - Open Orthodoxy: MO Rabbi Agrees With Novominsker Rebbe, Chovevei Torah Rabbi Welcomes Debate

Published on: May 30, 2014 03:07 PM
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FILE - Rabbi Harry Maryles of ChicagoFILE - Rabbi Harry Maryles of Chicago

New York - As controversy continues to swirl around the Novominsker Rebbe’s public condemnation of Open Orthodoxy at the Agudah Dinner this past week, the Modern Orthodox Rabbi and author of a popular blog on Orthodox Jewish thought has publicly expressed his own assessment of Open Orthodoxy, agreeing that it is inconsistent with Orthodox Judaism.

Rabbi Harry Maryles, a Chicago resident who writes the blog Emes V’emunah, said the despite the fallout from Rabbi Perlow’s remarks, there are times when it is imperative to speak out.

“There has been a lot of negative reaction, but sometimes you have to stand up and say the truth,” Maryles told VIN News. “When Torah hashkafa is being called into question you can’t let it go unchallenged.”

As previously reported on VIN News, Rabbi Perlow had harsh words for Open Orthodoxy, likening it to the Conservative and Reform movements and calling it “heresy.”

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Maryles, who was in Rabbi Perlow’s 12th grade shiur at Beis Medrash L’Torah in Skokie,Illinois believes that there are two components that are integral to being an Orthodox Jew.

“One is the belief system, believing that the events in the Torah actually happened,” said Maryles.  “The second is following the mitzvos.  Those are the two things that make you Orthodox.”

Of particular concern to Maryles are public statements made by proponents of Open Orthodoxy, including Rabbi Zev Farber, a graduate of Yeshiva Chovevei Torah.

“After studying bible critics, he very strongly questioned whether events in the Torah actually happened and said that they were allegorical,” said Maryles. “No Torah was given at Sinai.  Moshe Rabbeinu didn’t exist.  The Avos didn’t exist.  His understanding of the Torah is that it was an unfolding revelation and that while the bible is divinely inspired, the actual events described couldn’t have happened.  This is apikorsus and has be to labeled as that.”

Allowing for the possibility that the events in the Torah didn’t actually take place puts Open Orthodoxy in the same category as Conservative Judiasm, says Maryles.

“Conservatives don’t require you to believe in biblical criticism, but they consider it legitimate and Open Orthodoxy is doing the same thing,” noted Maryles.  “In terms of theology they are the same.  That is kefira and violates at least some of the thirteen ikarim of the Rambam, which we have accepted as the basis of our faith for generations.”

FILE - Rabbi Asher Lopatin president of Yeshiva Chovevei TorahFILE - Rabbi Asher Lopatin president of Yeshiva Chovevei Torah

Rabbi Asher Lopatin, president of Yeshiva Chovevei Torah, which describes itself as an “open Modern Orthodox rabbinical school”, invited Rabbi Perlow to further discuss the issue at hand.

“I welcome the Novominsker into the conversation of how all of us Orthodox Jews can bring the light of Torah to all Jews, in a meaningful way,” said Rabbi Lopatin. “Yes, the Novominsker Rebbe’s words were harsh, especially for a fellow Chicagoan, but I hope it can lead to a healthy engagement and discussion.  We at Yeshiva Chovevei Torah, our talmidim and musmachim, are ready to learn from and listen to all who have a Torah message.  That is what inclusive, passionate and Modern Orthodoxy is all about.”

Maryles said that his rejection of Open Orthodoxy has not necessarily been well received by all.

“I have gotten a lot of flak from my friends on the left, but I have to speak the truth.  Proponents of Open Orthodoxy claim that they believe in the Torah but they allow someone like Zev Farber to be a member in good standing and they allow the negation of events in the Torah as part of their theology.  You can’t do that and still call yourself Orthodox.”

While there were those who advised him to stay silent, saying that his statements would alienate those who currently consider themselves to be Open Orthodox, but might one day step up their religious observance and beliefs.

“You can’t accept kefira as a method of kiruv,” observed Maryles.

Maryles declined to comment on whether or not the Agudah dinner was the proper venue for the Novominsker’s attack on Open Orthodoxy, although he agreed that with the secular media in attendance, it might not have been the best time to take on this topic.

“I am not going to second guess or criticize the Rebbe,” said Maryles.  “I am not in a position to criticize someone of his stature but as a leading rabbi in America, he has a right to speak out.”



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Read Comments (47)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 30, 2014 at 03:19 PM Anonymous Says:

The bottom line in this whole debate is as the rabbi said. Do you believe in torah misinai or not. If you even just hesitate in your answer your not any kind of orthodox.

2

 May 30, 2014 at 03:26 PM fellow-jew Says:

if only we weren't so busy pointing fingers and trying to figure out who is frummer than who and focus a bit of that wasted energy on Ahavat (or Ahavos) Yisrael we ALL would be better off. Call me crazy but It would be nice to see gelodim & rebbes reach out more to the entire Klal (and not just "innzerrer" or the "heymeshe") and focus more on the greater than 50% of the Torah laws which deal with Adam LeChavaro.
This is where Chabad excels and we all should learn from.

3

 May 30, 2014 at 03:50 PM OPElly Says:

"'... There are two components that are integral to being an Orthodox Jew. One is the belief system, believing that the events in the Torah actually happened,' said Maryles. 'The second is following the mitzvos'"

I submit that R. Maryles is half right. Following the mitzvos is integral. Believing the events in the Torah are historical fact is not. The latter is not the same as accepting the Divinity of the Torah, without which the whole system falls apart.

On the contrary, my late rav, R. Eliezer Cohen, often declared that if the events are allegory, the account is even MORE important than if they actually happened. I mean, Avraham avinu planted a tree one day; so what?

Are you seriously going to call me a kofer if I refuse to believe in a talking snake with legs?

4

 May 30, 2014 at 03:53 PM AlbertEinstein Says:

"“I welcome the Novominsker into the conversation of how all of us Orthodox Jews can bring the light of Torah to all Jews, in a meaningful way,” said Rabbi Lopatin. "

Mr. Lopatin, you don't get it. Your pathetic scrabbling for recognition and inclusion ("us Orthodox Jews") falls on deaf ears. You and your institution are outside the pale.

Good bye, and good riddance.

5

 May 30, 2014 at 03:55 PM charliehall Says:

I have attended Rabbi Dov Linzer's daf yomi shiur for three years. Not once have I heard him discuss academic bible criticism.

I also am completely unconvinced that this is a real problem. While there may be somebody, somewhere, who went off the derech after taking an academic bible course in college, I have never met such an individual.

It should also be pointed out that the Roman Catholic Church enthusiastically endorsed academic bible studies 70 years ago and continues to thrive -- it is a non-issue for them.

6

 May 30, 2014 at 04:00 PM ShimonHaNasi Says:

Yeshivish, Chasidish, Central and Modern Orthodox are all vastly different in their approaches to both life and Torah each with its own accomplishments and failures, but it should be understood that the basic concept and acceptance of Halacha along with the basic beliefs link them together. Open Orthodoxy is on a path which if you follow to its natural conclusion will no longer be within the fold and will be considered a separate movement. Just as Conservative broke from Orthodox on Halacha and Reconstructionist broke from Conservative on Divinity of Gd, this path too will lead to a break. This is not to say that they are not Jews, but simply they are/will not be considered Orthodox. I'm neither judging nor condemning, Im simply stating the truth.

7

 May 30, 2014 at 04:16 PM czyrankevic Says:

novominsker rebbe does not need defenders he just spoke the emes we don't have to look good by goim or homos we should not debate or discuss with jewish apikorsim that is a halacha kolshken depukar tfei.

8

 May 30, 2014 at 04:19 PM czyrankevic Says:

these are not chovevei torah but machrivei torah vehadas sonai hashem

9

 May 30, 2014 at 04:29 PM chevra-man Says:

Rabbi Maryles, This is Eliezer who always criticizes you on your blog.

You did the right thing here. Thank you (or as we Chareidim say, Yasher Koach!)

10

 May 30, 2014 at 04:47 PM favish Says:

Reply to #2  
fellow-jew Says:

if only we weren't so busy pointing fingers and trying to figure out who is frummer than who and focus a bit of that wasted energy on Ahavat (or Ahavos) Yisrael we ALL would be better off. Call me crazy but It would be nice to see gelodim & rebbes reach out more to the entire Klal (and not just "innzerrer" or the "heymeshe") and focus more on the greater than 50% of the Torah laws which deal with Adam LeChavaro.
This is where Chabad excels and we all should learn from.

ahavas yisroel is not a blank check. please learn 1st shas and poskim then....ahavas yisroel does not extend to those who deny torah misini . even who denies one letter in torah that its not min hashomayim is heretic...see sanheddrin. the klall is numerous places in shass "achicha...' is only if 'achicha b'mitzvous'

11

 May 30, 2014 at 04:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
fellow-jew Says:

if only we weren't so busy pointing fingers and trying to figure out who is frummer than who and focus a bit of that wasted energy on Ahavat (or Ahavos) Yisrael we ALL would be better off. Call me crazy but It would be nice to see gelodim & rebbes reach out more to the entire Klal (and not just "innzerrer" or the "heymeshe") and focus more on the greater than 50% of the Torah laws which deal with Adam LeChavaro.
This is where Chabad excels and we all should learn from.

not every body agrees with the chabad shitta(regarding sending...) theres no such think as concentrating only 50
% of the torah

12

 May 30, 2014 at 04:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
OPElly Says:

"'... There are two components that are integral to being an Orthodox Jew. One is the belief system, believing that the events in the Torah actually happened,' said Maryles. 'The second is following the mitzvos'"

I submit that R. Maryles is half right. Following the mitzvos is integral. Believing the events in the Torah are historical fact is not. The latter is not the same as accepting the Divinity of the Torah, without which the whole system falls apart.

On the contrary, my late rav, R. Eliezer Cohen, often declared that if the events are allegory, the account is even MORE important than if they actually happened. I mean, Avraham avinu planted a tree one day; so what?

Are you seriously going to call me a kofer if I refuse to believe in a talking snake with legs?

yes you are , and by stating 'avrohom avinu planted a tree, so what.... 'that really shows what kofer you are and so is you rabbi cohen who ever that is...every ois every word, every 'tag' in the torah is there for a reason and if you deny that a believing yidt your not

13

 May 30, 2014 at 04:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
fellow-jew Says:

if only we weren't so busy pointing fingers and trying to figure out who is frummer than who and focus a bit of that wasted energy on Ahavat (or Ahavos) Yisrael we ALL would be better off. Call me crazy but It would be nice to see gelodim & rebbes reach out more to the entire Klal (and not just "innzerrer" or the "heymeshe") and focus more on the greater than 50% of the Torah laws which deal with Adam LeChavaro.
This is where Chabad excels and we all should learn from.

there's nothing to figure...if you don't believe that every seuf in s'u, which is codification of written and oral torah is binding ..,.your not a jew.(were not talking physically
)

14

 May 30, 2014 at 05:01 PM favish Says:

Reply to #2  
fellow-jew Says:

if only we weren't so busy pointing fingers and trying to figure out who is frummer than who and focus a bit of that wasted energy on Ahavat (or Ahavos) Yisrael we ALL would be better off. Call me crazy but It would be nice to see gelodim & rebbes reach out more to the entire Klal (and not just "innzerrer" or the "heymeshe") and focus more on the greater than 50% of the Torah laws which deal with Adam LeChavaro.
This is where Chabad excels and we all should learn from.

..by the way noveminsker rebbe did not get up one day and decided ......this is a paushte Zach which every ehrlicher ben torah, can see for himself

15

 May 30, 2014 at 05:07 PM Crazykanoiy Says:

Rabbi Harry Maryles is right on the mark on this one! Unfortunatley Rabbi Lopatin totally misses the point.

16

 May 30, 2014 at 05:29 PM favish Says:

Reply to #3  
OPElly Says:

"'... There are two components that are integral to being an Orthodox Jew. One is the belief system, believing that the events in the Torah actually happened,' said Maryles. 'The second is following the mitzvos'"

I submit that R. Maryles is half right. Following the mitzvos is integral. Believing the events in the Torah are historical fact is not. The latter is not the same as accepting the Divinity of the Torah, without which the whole system falls apart.

On the contrary, my late rav, R. Eliezer Cohen, often declared that if the events are allegory, the account is even MORE important than if they actually happened. I mean, Avraham avinu planted a tree one day; so what?

Are you seriously going to call me a kofer if I refuse to believe in a talking snake with legs?

..so for the same reason you shouldn't believe the 10 plagues happened and we can go on ....you really believe few million jews stood at some mountain and heard thunder and lightening with a voice ..? you see why you are a koifer...because if you start mocking 'stories' in the holy toireh and of course shass thats were you end up, which according to your comments, your there already

17

 May 30, 2014 at 05:36 PM bewhiskered Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

The bottom line in this whole debate is as the rabbi said. Do you believe in torah misinai or not. If you even just hesitate in your answer your not any kind of orthodox.

"Do you believe in torah misinai or not."

As long as we're indicting others, does that include enabling child molesters while demonizing the victims, money laundering, defrauding the government, and a thousand examples of עבירות שבין אדם לחבירו which are so prevalent today among the so called חרדי community? Would you refer to them as non-orthodox as well? Or, do you only credit half a תורה?

18

 May 30, 2014 at 05:52 PM UriLevi Says:

Reply to #3  
OPElly Says:

"'... There are two components that are integral to being an Orthodox Jew. One is the belief system, believing that the events in the Torah actually happened,' said Maryles. 'The second is following the mitzvos'"

I submit that R. Maryles is half right. Following the mitzvos is integral. Believing the events in the Torah are historical fact is not. The latter is not the same as accepting the Divinity of the Torah, without which the whole system falls apart.

On the contrary, my late rav, R. Eliezer Cohen, often declared that if the events are allegory, the account is even MORE important than if they actually happened. I mean, Avraham avinu planted a tree one day; so what?

Are you seriously going to call me a kofer if I refuse to believe in a talking snake with legs?

Rabbi Cohen (Z'tL) was my Rav as well and I respected him greatly but on this point I believe he erred in not clarifying his position. Its not about whether Avraham Avinu lived or not - that is true - its about who he was and why was he considered the first Jew. What we can take & learn from Avraham Avinu as from Moshe Rabaynu,is the essence. However, he never said they didn't exist - just that it didn't matter for us who try to be Shomrey Mitzvos & learn Torah. We don't have to be archaeologists and prove they once lived. By not focusing & emphasizing on that singular point and by entertaining students' ideas "that the Avos may not have lived" was a mistake precisely because it opened the door to Kefirah... not that it was in and of itself wrong to say.

19

 May 30, 2014 at 05:53 PM qazxc Says:

Fool. As soon as they are done cutting down OO they will turn back to ripping you apart for being MO. Ad hayom the AY can't bring itself to give any recognition to your own rosh yeshiva ztl"l or his brother R YD Soloveitchik ztz"l. The AY mouthpiece, may it continue to rest in peace, the (Only We Are Really) Jewish (Enough) Observer couldn't even print ztz"l for Rav YDS, a title they bestowed on every plumber in a streimel.

20

 May 30, 2014 at 06:17 PM TexasJew Says:

I'd like to see two YCT guys debate the Rebbe and one other Big Rav like Shacter, YU.

21

 May 30, 2014 at 06:18 PM savtat Says:

Why were secular people invited to attend the Agudah Dinner??? Could you explain to me the benefit of fighting in public? Was this a good idea, even if you believe it is true.

Maybe you could have invited Rabbi Lopatin and had a chavrusah with him and convince him he needs to change his ideas.

22

 May 30, 2014 at 06:34 PM A_Poshitah_Yid Says:

Reply to #3  
OPElly Says:

"'... There are two components that are integral to being an Orthodox Jew. One is the belief system, believing that the events in the Torah actually happened,' said Maryles. 'The second is following the mitzvos'"

I submit that R. Maryles is half right. Following the mitzvos is integral. Believing the events in the Torah are historical fact is not. The latter is not the same as accepting the Divinity of the Torah, without which the whole system falls apart.

On the contrary, my late rav, R. Eliezer Cohen, often declared that if the events are allegory, the account is even MORE important than if they actually happened. I mean, Avraham avinu planted a tree one day; so what?

Are you seriously going to call me a kofer if I refuse to believe in a talking snake with legs?

All of the great ones keep on writing that every letter of the Torah, including the stories, are from G-d himself, including the Rambam our Giant.

As far as the story with the snake, many explanations were voiced on it, one of them from Rav Saadia Gaon "that an angel spoke for the snake".

The point is we need to believe that those word are truthful to its fullest extent and we can and should always look for commentaries that quench our thirst.

23

 May 30, 2014 at 06:48 PM bubii Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

yes you are , and by stating 'avrohom avinu planted a tree, so what.... 'that really shows what kofer you are and so is you rabbi cohen who ever that is...every ois every word, every 'tag' in the torah is there for a reason and if you deny that a believing yidt your not

Kofers are those who dont beleive in reality and you are one of those kofers,you live in a fantasy and you actually beleive thet youre fantasy is realit,you are aboslutly wrong keep on halicinating youre life away since reality is too harsh for you to bear.

24

 May 30, 2014 at 06:54 PM Ariel_Gold Says:

Reply to #16  
favish Says:

..so for the same reason you shouldn't believe the 10 plagues happened and we can go on ....you really believe few million jews stood at some mountain and heard thunder and lightening with a voice ..? you see why you are a koifer...because if you start mocking 'stories' in the holy toireh and of course shass thats were you end up, which according to your comments, your there already

You are a judge now?

25

 May 30, 2014 at 07:41 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #3  
OPElly Says:

"'... There are two components that are integral to being an Orthodox Jew. One is the belief system, believing that the events in the Torah actually happened,' said Maryles. 'The second is following the mitzvos'"

I submit that R. Maryles is half right. Following the mitzvos is integral. Believing the events in the Torah are historical fact is not. The latter is not the same as accepting the Divinity of the Torah, without which the whole system falls apart.

On the contrary, my late rav, R. Eliezer Cohen, often declared that if the events are allegory, the account is even MORE important than if they actually happened. I mean, Avraham avinu planted a tree one day; so what?

Are you seriously going to call me a kofer if I refuse to believe in a talking snake with legs?

Yes, I will. Because if you don't believe in the Divinity of Torah and the literal unfolding of events as they are told in the Holy Scripture, you are just plain stupid for not watching sports events on Shabbos. (Maybe you do.) Or, enjoying a cheeseburger at McDonald's.

26

 May 31, 2014 at 02:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #25  
bigwheeel Says:

Yes, I will. Because if you don't believe in the Divinity of Torah and the literal unfolding of events as they are told in the Holy Scripture, you are just plain stupid for not watching sports events on Shabbos. (Maybe you do.) Or, enjoying a cheeseburger at McDonald's.

Sadly, I agree with you.
There is no middle ground.

27

 May 31, 2014 at 10:18 PM aaron Says:

um... maybe all the people attacking the commenter for being skeptical that the story of the snake literally happened should learn the opinions of the Ramban and the many other RIshonim who agree with him- although I have no doubt you'd call the Rambam a kofer too if he was alive today.

28

 Jun 01, 2014 at 12:01 AM favish Says:

Reply to #23  
bubii Says:

Kofers are those who dont beleive in reality and you are one of those kofers,you live in a fantasy and you actually beleive thet youre fantasy is realit,you are aboslutly wrong keep on halicinating youre life away since reality is too harsh for you to bear.

can you refer to us where you get this interpretation of 'kofer'? in your 'maddah'
(without torah) books

29

 Jun 01, 2014 at 12:47 AM charliehall Says:

Reply to #25  
bigwheeel Says:

Yes, I will. Because if you don't believe in the Divinity of Torah and the literal unfolding of events as they are told in the Holy Scripture, you are just plain stupid for not watching sports events on Shabbos. (Maybe you do.) Or, enjoying a cheeseburger at McDonald's.

Rambam didn't believe in a talking snake with legs. Will you call him a kofer?

30

 Jun 01, 2014 at 12:48 AM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #22  
A_Poshitah_Yid Says:

All of the great ones keep on writing that every letter of the Torah, including the stories, are from G-d himself, including the Rambam our Giant.

As far as the story with the snake, many explanations were voiced on it, one of them from Rav Saadia Gaon "that an angel spoke for the snake".

The point is we need to believe that those word are truthful to its fullest extent and we can and should always look for commentaries that quench our thirst.

Chazal didn't believe that we had letter for letter the exact Torah that God gave to Moshe. Will you call them kofrim?

31

 Jun 01, 2014 at 12:49 AM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #17  
bewhiskered Says:

"Do you believe in torah misinai or not."

As long as we're indicting others, does that include enabling child molesters while demonizing the victims, money laundering, defrauding the government, and a thousand examples of עבירות שבין אדם לחבירו which are so prevalent today among the so called חרדי community? Would you refer to them as non-orthodox as well? Or, do you only credit half a תורה?

Not to mention misrepresenting a University of Pennsylvania study as claiming the metzitzah be peh is harmless.

Sorry, but AI has no credibility.

33

 Jun 01, 2014 at 11:15 AM aaron Says:

Reply to #27  
aaron Says:

um... maybe all the people attacking the commenter for being skeptical that the story of the snake literally happened should learn the opinions of the Ramban and the many other RIshonim who agree with him- although I have no doubt you'd call the Rambam a kofer too if he was alive today.

Firstly, thanks for making so many assumptions without knowing the first thing about me.
If you'd learn the Rambam, you'd know that the very reason he doesn't believe in things like talking snakes is actually because it doesn't make any sense to human intellect!
Your 'argument' seems to be that the reason why people should believe that even the most stories in Tanach (and Gemara?) are fact/history rather than allegory is because God CAN do it- after all He's God! If that is your logical basis, it is difficult to argue with. However I do honestly feel sad that you have been failed by a Jewish education which fosters such a simplistic understanding of God and his Torah, not to mention a very narrow-minded outlook.
Just know that many Rishonim disagree with you, and yes, the Rambam believed in strict separation of the sexes- that doesn't bother me. It shouldn't bother you that he also had a radically different understanding of Hashgacha Pratis and the nature of some of the Torah's stories. The viewpoints of our sages have varied throughout the millenia and that heterogeneity is not a bad thing.
Just to be clear, Im not even arguing in favor of OO- Idk much about their philosphy

34

 Jun 01, 2014 at 11:53 AM Benny Says:

“I welcome the Novominsker into the conversation of how all of us Orthodox Jews can bring the light of Torah to all Jews, in a meaningful way,” said Rabbi Lopatin.

Lopata in russian means a showel that you dig with,
This "Rabbi" Lopatin is trying to bury our holy Torah and Emuna that we have.

35

 Jun 01, 2014 at 12:54 PM A_Poshitah_Yid Says: Says:

Reply to #30  
Charlie Hall Says:

Chazal didn't believe that we had letter for letter the exact Torah that God gave to Moshe. Will you call them kofrim?

The Rambam in his Sefer "Pairush Hamishnyos" on Mesechet Sanhadrin, Chapter 10 explains the Eighth Principle of the Ani Ma'amin and says: "that Menashe was considered a Kofer because he thought that Moshe Rabainu wrote the stories by himself".

Can you please show me the Chazal that disbelieves the believe of "letter for letter" ?

36

 Jun 01, 2014 at 01:36 PM favish Says:

Reply to #33  
aaron Says:

Firstly, thanks for making so many assumptions without knowing the first thing about me.
If you'd learn the Rambam, you'd know that the very reason he doesn't believe in things like talking snakes is actually because it doesn't make any sense to human intellect!
Your 'argument' seems to be that the reason why people should believe that even the most stories in Tanach (and Gemara?) are fact/history rather than allegory is because God CAN do it- after all He's God! If that is your logical basis, it is difficult to argue with. However I do honestly feel sad that you have been failed by a Jewish education which fosters such a simplistic understanding of God and his Torah, not to mention a very narrow-minded outlook.
Just know that many Rishonim disagree with you, and yes, the Rambam believed in strict separation of the sexes- that doesn't bother me. It shouldn't bother you that he also had a radically different understanding of Hashgacha Pratis and the nature of some of the Torah's stories. The viewpoints of our sages have varied throughout the millenia and that heterogeneity is not a bad thing.
Just to be clear, Im not even arguing in favor of OO- Idk much about their philosphy

one can learn plenty about an individual by his written word and we are not mistaken in the least bit . your understanding of torah is clearly from' maddah' without torah

37

 Jun 01, 2014 at 03:49 PM charliehall Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

The bottom line in this whole debate is as the rabbi said. Do you believe in torah misinai or not. If you even just hesitate in your answer your not any kind of orthodox.

All the Yeshivat Chovevei Torah faculty do.

38

 Jun 01, 2014 at 03:52 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #35  
A_Poshitah_Yid Says: Says:

The Rambam in his Sefer "Pairush Hamishnyos" on Mesechet Sanhadrin, Chapter 10 explains the Eighth Principle of the Ani Ma'amin and says: "that Menashe was considered a Kofer because he thought that Moshe Rabainu wrote the stories by himself".

Can you please show me the Chazal that disbelieves the believe of "letter for letter" ?

Kiddushin 30a.

39

 Jun 01, 2014 at 03:54 PM aaron Says:

"clearly". thanks for sharing that insight with me. Shavua Tov to you :)

40

 Jun 01, 2014 at 04:44 PM favish Says:

Reply to #33  
aaron Says:

Firstly, thanks for making so many assumptions without knowing the first thing about me.
If you'd learn the Rambam, you'd know that the very reason he doesn't believe in things like talking snakes is actually because it doesn't make any sense to human intellect!
Your 'argument' seems to be that the reason why people should believe that even the most stories in Tanach (and Gemara?) are fact/history rather than allegory is because God CAN do it- after all He's God! If that is your logical basis, it is difficult to argue with. However I do honestly feel sad that you have been failed by a Jewish education which fosters such a simplistic understanding of God and his Torah, not to mention a very narrow-minded outlook.
Just know that many Rishonim disagree with you, and yes, the Rambam believed in strict separation of the sexes- that doesn't bother me. It shouldn't bother you that he also had a radically different understanding of Hashgacha Pratis and the nature of some of the Torah's stories. The viewpoints of our sages have varied throughout the millenia and that heterogeneity is not a bad thing.
Just to be clear, Im not even arguing in favor of OO- Idk much about their philosphy

so the 10 plagues is just a simplistic view the way we backwards people understand it?.. you have a different take , more intelligent understanding? can u describe them.

41

 Jun 01, 2014 at 07:54 PM aaron Says:

Reply to #40  
favish Says:

so the 10 plagues is just a simplistic view the way we backwards people understand it?.. you have a different take , more intelligent understanding? can u describe them.

did I say anything about the ten plagues?
As far as I know, no Rishonim question that the 10 plagues happened (thats why it was so special- God went beyond tevah to show Himself to the Jewish people and the world), and I would never make that claim.
As for the story of the snake (which is what I referred to) many Rishonim do not believe that it literally happened. You are free to argue with me/them about that.

42

 Jun 01, 2014 at 07:56 PM logic lacking Says:

Reply to #40  
favish Says:

so the 10 plagues is just a simplistic view the way we backwards people understand it?.. you have a different take , more intelligent understanding? can u describe them.

Are you familiar with the term "straw-man argument" haha

43

 Jun 02, 2014 at 10:07 AM Lisa Liel Says:

Reply to #37  
charliehall Says:

All the Yeshivat Chovevei Torah faculty do.

Doesn't matter. Even if that is true (which I doubt), they accept that Farber's kefirah is a legitimate position for him to hold. If you think it's legitimate, Charlie, that only speaks to you. But when YCT thinks it's legitimate, as Asher Lopatin has, publically, in writing, and as several members of YCT faculty argued it is on the Morethodoxy blog, YCT itself is no longer Orthodox.

44

 Jun 02, 2014 at 10:04 AM LisaLiel Says:

Reply to #3  
OPElly Says:

"'... There are two components that are integral to being an Orthodox Jew. One is the belief system, believing that the events in the Torah actually happened,' said Maryles. 'The second is following the mitzvos'"

I submit that R. Maryles is half right. Following the mitzvos is integral. Believing the events in the Torah are historical fact is not. The latter is not the same as accepting the Divinity of the Torah, without which the whole system falls apart.

On the contrary, my late rav, R. Eliezer Cohen, often declared that if the events are allegory, the account is even MORE important than if they actually happened. I mean, Avraham avinu planted a tree one day; so what?

Are you seriously going to call me a kofer if I refuse to believe in a talking snake with legs?

I would rephrase what he said. "There are two components that are integral to being an Orthodox Jew. One is not denying that the events in the Torah actually happened, and the second is keeping the mitzvot." I don't think everyone has to believe everything. But they can't go around denying it, either. And kal v'chomer, someone in a leadership position can't deny it. That goes beyond "mere" kefirah into choteh u-machti et ha-rabbim.

45

 Jun 02, 2014 at 12:18 PM A_Poshitah_Yid Says:

Reply to #38  
Charlie Hall Says:

Kiddushin 30a.

Where do you see this concept in this Gemara ?

1) Do you mean that the Gemara says that we don't know Chasairos and Yesairos ?

That just simply means that the letter "Vav", for example, in a word such as "Yodai'a" might be missing or added, which won't change the definition!


2) Do you mean that Gemara says that we don't know the Psukim ?

That just simply means that we don't know where the text should be divided into Psukim!

How in the world do you see in this Gemara that Moshe Rabbeinu would put in his own words into the Torah ???

Now back to what the Rambam says that this foundation is our belief and this is the eighth principle of the 13 Ani Ma'amins!

46

 Jun 02, 2014 at 02:59 PM favish Says:

Reply to #33  
aaron Says:

Firstly, thanks for making so many assumptions without knowing the first thing about me.
If you'd learn the Rambam, you'd know that the very reason he doesn't believe in things like talking snakes is actually because it doesn't make any sense to human intellect!
Your 'argument' seems to be that the reason why people should believe that even the most stories in Tanach (and Gemara?) are fact/history rather than allegory is because God CAN do it- after all He's God! If that is your logical basis, it is difficult to argue with. However I do honestly feel sad that you have been failed by a Jewish education which fosters such a simplistic understanding of God and his Torah, not to mention a very narrow-minded outlook.
Just know that many Rishonim disagree with you, and yes, the Rambam believed in strict separation of the sexes- that doesn't bother me. It shouldn't bother you that he also had a radically different understanding of Hashgacha Pratis and the nature of some of the Torah's stories. The viewpoints of our sages have varied throughout the millenia and that heterogeneity is not a bad thing.
Just to be clear, Im not even arguing in favor of OO- Idk much about their philosphy

#33 tell us, aron, what kind shul do you go to, belong, which yeshivah/university ?

47

 Jun 02, 2014 at 03:38 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #45  
A_Poshitah_Yid Says:

Where do you see this concept in this Gemara ?

1) Do you mean that the Gemara says that we don't know Chasairos and Yesairos ?

That just simply means that the letter "Vav", for example, in a word such as "Yodai'a" might be missing or added, which won't change the definition!


2) Do you mean that Gemara says that we don't know the Psukim ?

That just simply means that we don't know where the text should be divided into Psukim!

How in the world do you see in this Gemara that Moshe Rabbeinu would put in his own words into the Torah ???

Now back to what the Rambam says that this foundation is our belief and this is the eighth principle of the 13 Ani Ma'amins!

just shows how ignorant these people are...and that's how yhey end up with no torah

48

 Jun 03, 2014 at 05:37 AM ilanar49 Says:

"'... There are two components that are integral to being an Orthodox Jew. One is the belief system, believing that the events in the Torah actually happened,' said Maryles. 'The second is following the mitzvos'"

I think it's important to look at both aspects of the dichotomy that R. Maryles posits. There's a term I've heard used: "orthopractic" (adj.) or "orthopraxis" (n.). That is, someone who follows the mitsvot... even if hesitant regarding the first half of the formula...

In fact, Open O Jews are shomrei mitsvot and that is a very good thing. To accuse them or their proponents of not being Orthodox is mistaken in my opinion. What any one of us believes (truly believes) when standing before G-d, is always a private mystery and a matter between Man and G-d...

I say YCT is pioneering a perspective that will enhance Kiruv...

49

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