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Members Of The RCA Respond To Rabbi Asher Lopatin And Open Orthodoxy Leaders

Tuesday October 29, 2013 8:20 PM - 17 Comments

asher-lopatin1We, the undersigned rabbis, representing three generations of American Orthodox leadership, are deeply concerned at the many ways in which Open Orthodox rabbis and leaders have divided the Orthodox community by unilaterally violating normative Orthodox laws, customs and traditions.

Of the many points in Rabbi Asher Lopatin’s opinion piece (”Orthodox and here to stay“), to which many people will take exception, one point in particular cries out for clarification because the future of Rabbi Lopatin’s movement hinges upon it. Rabbi Lopatin, president of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and a leading standard-bearer for Open Orthodoxy, decries the “flurry of activity recently within some ultra-Orthodox circles to try to declare that elements of the Orthodox community are no longer part of the Orthodox world.”

All of us are members in good standing or identify with the Rabbinical Council of America, an organization associated with the Orthodox mainstream. We are devoted to bringing people closer to tradition through authentic Torah teaching and practice, not to reading people out of it.

But if Open Orthodoxy’s leaders feel some distance developing between themselves and mainstream Orthodoxy, they should not be blaming others. They might consider how they themselves have plunged ahead, again and again, across the border that divides Orthodoxy from neo-Conservatism. Why are they surprised to find themselves on the wrong side of a dividing line?

Rabbi Elie Abadie, M.D., New York, NY
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi I. Nathan Bamberger, Bronx, NY
Rabbi Yisroel Bendelstein, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Heshy Blumstein, Hewlett, NY
Rabbi Kenneth Brodkin, Portland, OR
Rabbi Mordechai Cohen, Milwaukee, WI
Rabbi Chaim Crupar, Bronx, NY
Rabbi Eli Eleff, Queens, NY
Rabbi Ephraim Epstein, Cherry Hill, NJ
Rabbi Ilan D. Feldman, Atlanta, GA
Rabbi Dov Fischer, Irvine, CA
Rabbi Arie Folger, Munich, Germany
Rabbi Cary Friedman, Passaic, NJ
Rabbi Dr. Barry Freundel, Washington D.C.
Rabbi Ari Galandauer, Ottowa, CA
Rabbi Shaul Gold, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Jay H. Goldberg, Far Rockaway, NY
Rabbi Chaim Goldberger, Minneapolis, MN
Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, New York, NY
Rabbi Howard Katzenstein, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Benjamin G. Kelsen, Teaneck, NJ
Rabbi Hillel Klavan, Washington D.C.
Rabbi Eric Kotkin, North Woodmere, NY
Rabbi Pinchas Landis, Cincinnati, OH
Rabbi Louis Langer
Rabbi Phil Lefkowitz, Chicago, IL
Rabbi Yaakov Luban, Edison, NJ
Rabbi Joshua Maroof, Rockville, MD
Rabbi Jacob B. Mendelson, Bridgeport, CT
Rabbi Yerachmiel Morrison, Lakewood, NJ
Rabbi Yehuda L. Oppenheimer, Forest Hills, NY
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Teaneck, NJ
Rabbi Aharon Rakeffet, Jerusalem, Israel
Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin, Fairfield, CT
Rabbi Yitzchak Rosenbaum, Kiryat Yearim, Israel
Rabbi Gidon Rothstein, Riverdale, NY
Rabbi Larry Rothwachs, Teaneck, NJ
Rabbi Eliyahu Safran, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld, Queens, NY
Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, Queens, NY
Rabbi Dov Schreier, Bellmore, NY
Rabbi Max Schreier, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Dr. Tsvi Schur, Baltimore, MD
Rabbi David Shabtai, M.D., New York, NY
Rabbi Shmuel Singer, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Zecharia Sionit, Dallas, TX
Rabbi Ze’ev Smason, St. Louis, MO
Rabbi Nahum Spirn, Far Rockaway, NY
Rabbi Leonard Steinberg, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Gil Student, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Neal Turk, Teaneck, NJ
Rabbi Yaakov Wasser, East Brunswick, NJ
Rabbi Elisha Weiss, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Ari Zahtz, Teaneck, NJ

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17 Responses to “Members Of The RCA Respond To Rabbi Asher Lopatin And Open Orthodoxy Leaders”

1. Comment from Never cease to be amazed
Time October 29, 2013 at 8:27 PM

The people who have the foresight to stand up for the Rbsh”o in this world, at such a crucial crossroads, deserve eternal appreciation from klal yisrael forever.

2. Comment from cohen
Time October 29, 2013 at 9:14 PM

This is the high zchus of R’ P. Lipshitz for led this front for lonely years.

Merit also to Rabbi Shaul Gold ,Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein

3. Comment from Joe
Time October 29, 2013 at 9:32 PM

THIS is the only point in Rabbi Lopatin’s nonsense the RCA finds noteworthy???

4. Comment from Anonymous
Time October 29, 2013 at 9:51 PM

They should take a stronger stance. Say it as it is
He is NOT frum he is a heritic.

5. Comment from nat
Time October 29, 2013 at 11:06 PM

Why do you keep addressing these people? First of all, the Gemara says that you may not communicate with an Jewish apikoros. And these people are worse than apikorsim–they are kofrim in most of the 13 Ikarim if not all of them. It is also totally assur for you to post their responses on your website. Second of all, they are thriving on this attention. Do you think that they have anything at all to offer people from the Torah world? Are boys and girls that are going off the derech going to YCT? Do you think for a moment that anyone thinks that they are like the Chassidic movement, which had true, undisputed tzaddikim? Just ignore them and they will go away as did the reform and conservative. Stop giving them what they want which is a platform to get their krumkeit across to the frum world.

6. Comment from Ben Torah
Time October 29, 2013 at 11:46 PM

their condemning the YCT/Open “Orthodox” speaks a lot.

7. Comment from Hello
Time October 30, 2013 at 2:10 AM

Baruch HaShem the RCA is standing up for the truth in adhering to the true Torah traditions as expounded by our Rabbis throughout the centuries without deviating from the path set forth by Moshe Rabbeinu, transmitted to Yehoshua, passed along to the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah, etc.

8. Comment from David
Time October 30, 2013 at 5:55 AM

#5 Reform and conservative did not go away. Klal yisroel is still suffering because certain people felt that these movements be ignored, as you suggest we do now. We have woman of the wall, geirus issues etc… as a result. They are by no means gone.

9. Comment from Sol
Time October 30, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Lopitan compares his movement to Chassidus and women’s education saying they broke with the mainstream and were controversial, but history has shown they were proper. But he fails to mention that there have been numerous breaks with the mainstream that history has not vindicated. For every Chassidic type movement there are numerous Reform type movements that have been exposed as religiously bankrupt and nothing less than kefira as his movement is. As R’ Gifter said, there is only Torah Jewry. Anyone can hijack a label and claim to be “orthodox”

10. Comment from cohen
Time October 30, 2013 at 10:09 AM

#8 is Right on

11. Comment from YonahLevi
Time October 30, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Why do they remain silent when one of their own in RI goes into the state legislature and speaks in support of toeivah marriage?

12. Comment from redstate
Time October 30, 2013 at 10:36 AM

One of the cornerstone concepts of “Open Orthodoxy” is that it equates religious and secular knowledge as BOTH being equally holy. I think its quite a stretch to say we got that at Har Sinai.

Anyway, once that type of base is constructed, their philosophy is certainly “open” to just about anything!

Hashem Yirachem!!

13. Comment from Clarity
Time October 30, 2013 at 10:55 AM

This is from a group of RCA members full of faith and guts.

14. Comment from nat
Time October 30, 2013 at 11:58 AM

#8. Yes they are going away. They have all but vanished. No one’s Judaism is threatened by women of the wall or by any reforms or conservatives. Or, for that matter, by these losers. That is what they are. Losers. And people who respond them are making a non-entity into an entity. Do you know who their “rosh yeshiva” is? He is a genius with a “crumme kop” who decided to use his talents to teach women gemara and ended up marrying one of his students. These are the people you are talking about. That they dare to compare themselves to the Besht zatzal and others shows how delusional they are. Yes, we may have to confront the nuisance of women of the wall and others, but we do not give them legitimacy by debating their points in a public forum in any way.

15. Comment from RAM
Time October 30, 2013 at 1:01 PM

This is the right response to a consumer fraud, in this case intentional mislabeling. The “consumers” can’t say anymore that they weren’t warned.

16. Comment from harry
Time October 30, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Thank you RCA!! If anyone doubts that this needs to be addressed, read recently published “a divine madness” from R Avigdor Miller!

17. Comment from tzippi
Time October 30, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Kol hakavod!

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