This article first appeared in the Times of Israel.
To celebrate Guy Fawkes Day, I will start with another celebrated Englishman. Shakespeare famously said in Henry V, “once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.”
The recent statements by the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) and the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah (Council of Torah Sages) of Agudas Yisroel have reiterated the parameters and beliefs of Orthodox Judaism. In response, Open Orthodox proponents have taken to advocating for their attempted deviances from Orthodox Judaism, primarily through secular media outlets and even through a humorous petition. One purported defense, by Ben Greenberg, offered in Times of Israel, is titled “Yes to Zionism, No to Feminism?”
Guy Fawkes plotted to overthrow the English monarchy under King James. His downfall is celebrated today, November 5th, throughout the U.K. We refer to God as Avinu Malkeinu (our father, our king) and God’s sovereignty over us, his chosen people, defines our purpose. Last time I invited an Open Orthodox advocate over for coffee, I was stood up. Regardless, I extend an invitation to Ben Greenberg, to chit -chat over a morning Joe, or even a beer. Hopefully, at next year’s Guy Fawkes Day celebrations, we will celebrate our acceptance of the totality of the ratzon hashem (divine will), pursuant to our beautiful mesorah, including Zionism but not Feminism, with all the Jewish people, as fully committed Orthodox Jews.