Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Humility in Criticizing from Rabbi Asher Lopatin

For Modern Orthodox or Liberal Orthodox to have the proper "cache" or gravitas in critiquing to the right, they must step up their level of commitment, lest their criticisms serve as

See more on this at:

"Rabbi Asher Lopatin on Morethodoxy: Exploring the Breadth, Depth and Passion of Orthodox Judaism"



PS My 2 Cents:

AISI: CENTRIST orthodoxy addresses this issue. It is a modern approach intellectually with the same "diqduq" in Observance as Hareidim.

The problem with the LW of Orthodoxy is they are perceived - fairly or unfairly - as "O-Lite". Thus, Centrism is Modern O w/o the Lite




Garnel Ironheart said...

Most of the Morethodoxy articles are either self-congratulatory (how wonder we are to be Morethodox!), paeans to secular values (we're not Torah-obsessed like those Chareidim!) or just plain weird (advocating a bi-naitonal solution for Israel, let's change the brachos we don't like!).
They rarely include any in-depth quotes from Chazal or the poskim other than ones that Chareidim learn in kindergarten. Mostly they emphasize the standard non-religion approach to religion: God wants me to be happy. This makes me happy. Therefore it's muttar.
Hearing them say "no" to something politically correct instead of inventing heteirim to permit it would give them some credibility.

Dr Mike said...

Perhaps the guy leading the charge should not be the same guy who hands out heters to well-placed Democrats who want to use their cell phones on Rosh HaShanah because they're just so important that if they can't the world economy will collapse.

Rabbi Ben Hecht said...

I think that just solely defining the people behind Moerthodoxy as projecting the whole purpose of Torah as making someone happy, is much too limiting. I think this has spread throughout Orthodoxy and that many people who accept every chumrah have the same perception -- they just define happiness differently. Similarly your statements about being motivated by political correctness may also have some applicability to the general Orthodox world, although with many others its finding a value in being specifcally not politically correct.

Bottom line, I just think it is time for people to perceive Torah within its classic realm of just itself. That does not mean totally cut off from the world and unaware of the developments of thought in the world, but recognizing that Torah must still be seen within its own perspective. Sometimes it will be politically correct and sometimes it will not.That is something to recognize and even to consider in thought processes of Torah (sometimes the non-Jews see our behaviour as weird, see Rashi re: Chukkot, and sometimes they are to see our behavours as inspiring even exemplary within their perspectives, hayashar beinei bnei adam) -- the bottom line it is the thought processes of Torah that is to guide us. In that regard, I totally agree with you -- I want to hear what Chazal says.

Rabbi Ben Hecht