KEFIRAH: Open Orthodox Synagogue to Conduct Mock Trial of Pinchos at “Shabbat Dinner”

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Open Orthodoxy is once again ignoring acceptable boundaries of Torah discussion and making a mockery of the long accepted traditions of our mesorah, this time calling into question the character of one of the tzaddikim honored by the Torah itself!!

Ohev Sholom, an Open Orthodox shul, is hosting its inaugural Friday night dinner this week, a program established to  “enhance (the) communal Friday night experience.”

According to their advertisement, the dinner will involve delicious food, joyous singing, and…. a special mock trial of Pinchas in ‘honor’ of the parsha.”

The registration for the dinner, which has a special box to be checked off by vegetarians, promises a lively court case presented by Rachel Weintraub as Prosecuting Attorney and
Micah Salb as Defense Attorney.

The decision? That’s to be decided by a jury consisting of the children of the Ohev synagogue. Chinuch, indeed.

{Matzav.com}

37 COMMENTS

  1. Hashem already settled this issue in the Torah. He’s the Ultimate Arbiter of right and wrong. So why are they holding a mock trial?

  2. A friend of mine was stuck for שבת at an Open Orthodox Synagogue. A שאילה arose when the Peurto Rican assistant shef accidentally put some cheese on the chicken. The “Rabbi” (a מוסמך of Yssocher Katz) Paskened that’s it’s okay to eat. When my friend asked the “Rabbi” the reasoning behind the P’sak the Rabbi responded “It’s a well known הלכה that טעות עכו”ם is מותר”!!!

  3. What’s the chiddush? They’re all on Zimri’s side – of course they want to make such a trial. And more than that – they’ll push for shalom, and acceptance and tolerance – probably indicting Pinchos for a “hate crime” against midyanim.
    But l’maaseh, for that the Torah tells us – “Hineni Nosein Lo Es Brisi Shalom” – because his kanaus is WHAT SAVED KLAL YISROEL! “Tachas Asher Kinei L’elokav Vayechaper Al Bnei Yisroel” That’s what brings shalom, not their pandering of “niyheh kagoyim”. That brings the tochacha of Parshas Bechukosai and Ki Savo; i.e. the holocaust, etc.
    The problem is their rabbis or maharts or whatever other name they give for their amei haaretz that sit in front of their “shuls” don’t really know anything so they don’t know what the Torah writes about Zimri and Pinchos and if by some chance they do, they definitely don’t care.

    • chazal began this debate by strictly limiting the correctness of such kanois. halevi we learn to live by chazal’s rules. for your edification there is brilliant dvar torah on pinchas by one james kugel on his website. it is far more insightful than what you normally find on the internet.

    • Since Shmuely Yanklowitz just posted that its better to intermarry than to live alone, this view of Zimri is wholly consistent with this view. Why, they could say that it was better to live with Kozbi than to live alone.

  4. What is the problem? Did you forget that they have a Maharat on staff to make sure everything is okay? 😉

    They already left the mesorah by going from Shabbos to “Shabbat” (it is not a Sephardic coongregation).

    P.S. It should be clarified that the congregation involved is in the greater Washington, DC area. There are other congregations with the same name elsewhere that are not involved.

  5. While this is indeed reprehensible, I would much prefer that we criticize and fix our own problems before looking elsewhere. Purchasing a home and putting it on someone else’s name in order to continue collecting HUD is reprehensible, too. V’dai Lachakima birimiza.

    • Also, everyone agrees that purchasing a home and putting it on someone else’s name in order to continue collecting HUD is wrong. The people who are doing it know that they’re wrong, but their Yetzer Hara is rationalizing it to them. In this case, the people who are doing this don’t see anything wrong with what they’re doing.

    • Shira – you are right, of course. The difference though is that while most frum Yidden know that fraud is neged haTorah and is reprehensible, the OO are trying to present such view (that Korach was right, that Pinchas was wrong) as normal Torah views within an acceptable Torah hashkafah. Also, those arrested in Lakewood did not go around giving drashos that such conduct was right, even though they may thought it is not problematic. That’s the difference.

  6. I appreciate and deeply respect Matzav for keeping on making us aware about the continued deterioration and illegitimacy of the OO movement, that is just seeking to take today’s Western mores and try to make them “Jewish”.

    However, on the same note, I have a very big problem with a certain other Frum publication. This publication becomes all self-righteous in their criticism of OO breaches, yet week after week, they continue to publish certain feminist and anti-family ideas -which clearly emanates from today’s Western mores – and they try to dress up these ideas as somehow being Jewish.

    I respectfully implore this publication to review ספר שמירת הלשון פרק יז
    שער התבונה

    • What is your point of not mentioning them by name in this forum? If it is Assur, then what do you want Matzav to do? If it is Ltoeles 9with all the tenaim), then why are you being so anonymous? Either way, what do you want from Matzav?

      • Please explain your point.

        1) It is doubtful that Matzav will mention the name of that publication.

        2) There’s plenty of towels in mentioning this.

        3) What does my anonymity, or even who I am, have to do with this. Stop shooting the messenger as a defense to shameful actions. This is what the OO are busy doing!

        4) Again, there is plenty of towels by mentioning this here. In fact, your response proves this.

  7. Why do you even have to report this? Just reading such garbage has a terrible hashbaah on one’s nishama. We know those people are wicked rishayim. Please don’t report to us every kefira they spew out.

  8. Can I know why a toragdiga website has to post this kfirah news, I’m sure everyone will sleep very soundly without knowing this piece of information.

  9. why is this kefirah??? chazal already severely limited the propriety of pinchas’s actions!!! i doubt many are aware of the details; perhaps that maimer chazal will be the result of the trial.

    • Chazal, with Ruach Hakodesh, had the right to indicate to us nuances that may not have been clear. For people today to believe that they can possibly be in position to “judge” any personality in the Torah is no less than an abandonement of our mesorah. Chazal tell us that a person who doesn’t do what the Sages of his generation demand is an apikores. What does that tell us about those who question the greatest in our history?

    • Right, maybe they will just use this opportunity to go through the Gemara’s about “kana’im pogin bo”
      ironically, a lot of kanaim here today …

  10. While this is tasteless, and totally disrespectful and arrogant and stupid all rolled into one package, it isn’t kefira

    One must be very careful when dishing out labels, because when you dish out labels when they are undeserved, you cheapen the label, and then when the label.actually fits, it is meaningless because the label has been cheapened.

    Open Whatever is a break off from Torah true Judaism, much as conservatives, reform, karaim, etc. We don’t need to embellish it with additional titles

    • was the yerushalmi also “tasteless, and totally disrespectful and arrogant and stupid all rolled into one package,”?? many kanoim today take their lead from the biblical text, not its talmudic interpretation. that borders on kefirah!!!

  11. I don’t really see what the big deal is… they call it a “mock trial” but they’re just gonna run through and discuss the two tzdadim of the story and read different perushim or come up with some of their own. I mean Chazal discuss why what he did was wrong and to what degree etc… is this group wrong for trying to think about a torah topic??

    It’s ridiculous we’re so quick to hate others. They’re doing the same things we do but using slightly different words to describe it.

    • Hate???

      1) The first prerequisite is to understand and accept that the Torah is Divine and correct. Unfortunately, this group does not do this.

      2) Utilizing ideas and mores of western society that were born in the sexual revolution during the sixties as a way to attempt to dispute G-d’s decisions is wrong and foolish on so many levels.

      Moshe Emes v’ Toroso emes!

  12. I really don’t see the issue here. How is it a problem to have lively debate and discussion l’shem shaymayim? The kids will have an opportunity to be engaged and discuss the parsha. It’s a fun way to re-enact the Torah. Why not focus on the 60% of the Jewish community that is marrying out?

  13. These comments are utterly ridiculous. Since when have we not debated over the meaning and reasons for Hashem’s word? Since when have we not sought ways to teach our children? Since when is it wrong to ask a question? To do a mock trial is to do those things which we have, thank G-d, been doing since Creation.

    You are all assuming that this mock trial will be tasteless and disrespectful. Shame on you. I do not think that that reflects haruach hashem.

  14. Ermmm… So I guess the mei shiluach was a kofer. Ayin sham. Also, can someone PLEASE tell me how any of these things contradict any of the rambams ikarei emunah as stated in his hakdama to chelek or any of the ikkarim in sefer ikarim?? This is lunacy. This is improper chinuch. Suuuure the Torah says that HaShem rewarded Pinchas for his action, why can’t we analyze what he did on our own terms while ultimately utilizing chazal to help interperate the story? Check through any otzer midrashim, you’ll be SHOCKED to see what type of “kefira” our tanaim come up with.

  15. I AM WRITING IN CAPS BECAUSE THIS IS IMPORTANT. I AM NOT A KANOY BUT JUST A REGULAR BAALABUS TRYING TO HELP THE KLAL. ENOUGH REPORTING ABOUT THIS NON ORTHODOX GROUP. ITS NO DIFFERENT THAN REPORTING NEWS ABOUT SILLY REFORM “religious” IDEAS. C’MON MATZAV HAVE SOME STANDARDS.

    PLEASE, I BEG YOU, DO NOT CALL THEM ORTHODOX. THAT IS FAKE NEWS.

    FOR MANY PEOPLE EVERY OTHER NEWS OUTLET IS BLOCKED (BH!) AND WE RELY ON MATZAV FOR NEWS. DON’T DREY OUR KUPS WITH NAARISHKEIT.

    IF YOU DONT UNDERSTAND MY PASSION ON THIS PLEASE LISTEN TO REB DOVID LICHTENSTEINS HEADLINES SHOW WHEN HE INTERVIEWS YISSOCHER KATZ AND SOME OTHER LEADER FROM THE OPEN-non orthodoxy MOVEMENT. THAT IS ALL YOU NEED TO HEAR TO REALIZE WHAT A SHAM THIS IS. THEN YOU WILL SHARE MY PASSION. http://matzav.com/listen-interview-exposes-open-orthodoxy-for-the-sham-that-it-is/

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