February 16, 2010 | 3:18 pm
Posted by Rabbi Barry Gelman
Modern Orthodox Jews have a tendency to offer pronouncements on controversial issues. Some of those issues are the definition of orthodox, the ordination of orthodox women and the place of homosexuals in the orthodox community.
As I have noted before, it seems that these issues and other “hot button” items exercise the emotions of many within the modern orthodox camp. These issues are important; my concern is that they tend to overshadow the “bread and butter” of Orthodox Judaism.
There are many who are quick to make bold statements on either side of the big issues, but who are silent and absent when it comes to Tefilla B’ Tzibbur (davening with a minyan each day) and regular Torah study.
There are two things about this pretense that concern me.
1.It does not ring true: Our brothers and sisters to our right mock us (rightfully?) when we pronounce on issues while we do not “walk the walk” of Orthodoxy. What good is all the talk if our Modern Orthodox statements are not backed up by Orthodox living?
2.We believe our own hype: Spending our time making declaration on these issues blinds us from the more important fundamental aspects of Orthodox life and leave us believing that as long as we are on the correct side of the argument on the cutting edge issue, even as we fail to excel in the primary and essential aspects of Judaism, we are OK.
We need to redirect our energies so others will take us seriously and so we can take ourselves seriously.
5.24.13 at 9:43 am | My mother-in-law is Halachikly alive
4.24.13 at 9:29 am | Over the past two weeks, I received many. . .
3.23.13 at 10:19 pm | Are things perfect? No. Could things be better?. . .
3.7.13 at 7:29 pm | Further argument in favor of the importance of. . .
3.1.13 at 9:48 am | In fact men and women are very different and we. . .
2.28.13 at 1:13 pm | This one is in our hands.
2.7.12 at 3:10 pm | American Jews, secular and religious alike, have. . . (18)
12.3.09 at 12:12 am | (15)
8.11.11 at 9:34 pm | (10)
We welcome your feedback.
Your information will not be shared or sold without your consent. Get all the details.
JewishJournal.com has rules for its commenting community.Get all the details.
JewishJournal.com reserves the right to use your comment in our weekly print publication.