Sunday, 8 June 2008

Kinder, Gentler Orthodoxy?

Originally published 6/8/08, 5:01 PM. Link is dead.
Article of Interest...
Kol Tuv / Best Regards,


June 6, 2008 – The inaugural issue of the journal Conversations includes an article by Targum Shlishi's director, Aryeh Rubin, entitled "Toward a Kinder, Gentler, More Tolerant and Flexible Orthodoxy." The article, which is pasted below and also linked to, contends that the modern Orthodox should play a leading role in healing the rift between different denominations, and should provide guidance and direction to a much wider range of Jews than only the modern Orthodox.

Conversations is published by the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, which offers a vision of Orthodox Judaism that is intellectually sound, spiritually compelling, and emotionally satisfying."

Link to article: Link Here
Text of article:
Toward a Kinder, Gentler, More Tolerant and Flexible Orthodoxy
By Aryeh Rubin

Since the end of World War II, both in America and Israel, Jews have been at odds with one another for political, ethnic, ideological, religious and/or denominational reasons. That different groups have divergent worldviews has been the case since Biblical times. But the competing factions today appear more hostile than ever before. The Orthodox -- particularly the ultra-Orthodox with their high birth rates, expanding schools systems, and increased political clout, coupled with a sense of triumphalism -- are often perceived as the most vociferous and intolerant participants in these internecine squabbles of our people. ...--


Rabbi Ben Hecht said...

In response to this article, I woudld invite anyone to see my article "Adjective and Non-Adjective Jew," which is available at,as well as my article "Jewish Identity" which is available in hard copy by contacting Nishma. The initial question that we avoid yet must ask is: why we are motivated to care about Jewishness and the Jewish People? If our answer is ultimately nationalistic then obviously our religious conflicts weaken our nationalism and must be directed to occupy a position that is secondary to theology. If our answer, though, is ultimately religious, then we can understand why any form of nationalism that does not support the desired theology is to be discarded. This is really the underlying tension that exists in the Jewish world -- and if Modern Orthodoxy is going to have a voice to solve this problem it must arise from a view that gives nationalism of any stripe a value for theological reasons -- and that demands thought and further investigation of the question and the ideals behind this dilemma. Being post-denominational is just a further part of the problem.

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Garnel Ironheart said...

Judaism is not about being kind and tolerant. It is about fulfilling the will of God. The same God who asks us to clothe the naked orphaned widows also asks us to wipe out Amalek and idolaters. Kind, gentle, more tolerant and flexible are the watchwords of secular liberalism in its ongoing quest to remove all standards from society with its "I'm okay but I think you just farted but that's okay too" attitude.