Thursday, October 3, 2013

My thoughts on Gordimer

Originally a comment I wrote on Facebook on R Gordimer's article against Chovevei Torah:

R Gordimer is both right & wrong. He's wrong in that he has a narrowly defined view of what traditional halacha allows, and he's wrong in asserting that the innovations regarding women's roles are unjustifiable in the traditional halachic framework.

But he's right that certain statements about Torah MiSinai and Mashiach would have been considered outside the pale in any generation. Personally, I'm very sympathetic to Rabbis Farber & Yanklowitz. Their viewpoints are in line with my own hashkafa. But I am fully aware that my hashkafa not only doesn't fit in with today's Orthodoxy, it doesn't even fit in to the Judaism of the Tana'im, Amoraim, Geonim, and Rishonim.

Today's Orthodox Judaism is a very narrowly defined (and distasteful) crystalized version of certain practices and beliefs in traditional Judaism. YCT's problem is that they want to be considered part of that world, and that is why they present such a target to those on the right.

Just as many Modern Orthodox (rightfully) wish to disassociate from certain elements of the Charedi world by saying "that's not real Orthodox Judaism, it's a perversion", the Charedim see things the same way, but in the opposite direction.