Morethodoxy Openly Embraces the Entire Orthodox World! by Rabbi Asher Lopatin

We have to speak out against pedophelia and abuse and against intimidation of victims and families of victims.  At the same time, when we address an entire community, and we do so best, with most effect, when we do so with respect and humility.

While there is a lot to critique in the Orthodox world – Modern, Centrist and Chareidi – all of us sometimes take  a strident attitude that may not exhibit sufficient respect and love for our fellow Jews and their motivations.  All of us can make an effort to try to make our first response be one of embracing all of Orthodoxy – all Jews of course, and all human beings – and being open to learning – sometimes with a critical, but respectful ear – from our fellow Orthodox Jews

There is no need to apologize for the Hareidi or Centrist or even Modern Orthodox community.  We just need to speak from a loving and caring place. I am a pluralist: We need to learn from all Jews, and connect and relate to all Jews – Reform, Conservative, Renewal ; I believe it is critical for Judaism that we engage with the greater society as well.  That openness, however, requires that we understand that our spiritual and religious home remains with those who embrace Torah Judaism based on our age old tradition (masoret) and based on a loyalty to Hashem’s divine and eternal commandments.  Sometimes the Chareidi world may seem foreign to Modern Orthodox – myself included – but with the right effort and the right attitude, Modern Orthodox Jews, who live in the contemporary world, embedded in contemporary society, can still recognize their spiritual brothers and sisters – Orthodox Jews – and still remember where their home is.

Yes, there are serious challenges in the Hareidi community regarding dealing with the issue of pedophelia and abuse, and stifling those who are crying out for help.  And yes, I believe in transparency and speaking out – not being afraid.  We should be angry at terrible things happening. But Modern Orthodox Jews can have the greatest impact on the Hareidi world, our Orthodox brothers and sisters in Lakewood, Brooklyn and Monsey, when they hear our critiques with love, concern and humility in our voice.

Morethodoxy – this great blog – believes in the same passionate Yiddishkeit that Hasidishe and Yeshivishe  Yiddishkeit have espoused for centuries: let’s make sure that all Orthodox Jews know that we are one with them, and together,  we can address even the most heinous crimes and failings in our communities.

Rabbi Asher Lopatin

5 Responses to Morethodoxy Openly Embraces the Entire Orthodox World! by Rabbi Asher Lopatin

  1. I did not get the impression that Rabbi Farber’s post was chareidi-bashing. Rather it was stating the obvious – that community has a problem with child abuse like every other one but its leadership holds back positive attempts to deal with the problem. This must be called out.

  2. Philo says:

    I agree with Garnel. I didn’t see any Charedi bashing. There’s plenty of real Charedi bashing on plenty of blogs. R. Farber’s post certainly didn’t rise to that level. It was a strong critique, but bashing? I saw none.

  3. Philo says:

    “The question remains: For those of us who are not part of the Ultra-Orthodox communities, how can we help? I would also like to blow my shofar, but I fear I stand too far away from my Ḥasidic and Ḥareidi brothers and sisters for them to hear me, and I assume that many of the people reading this feel the same way”

    Not only didn’t he bash, but he showed his care and concern and achdut.

    R. Lopatin, By writing your post, I fear you have diluted the important message of concern in R. Farber’s post. He had an important message, and your post makes that message disappear under a new issue of whether he wrote too strongly.

  4. Mr. Cohen says:

    Rabbi Asher Lopatin said:
    “I am a pluralist: We need to learn from all Jews…Reform, Conservative, Renewal…”

    With all due respect to Rabbi Asher Lopatin, I am not interested in learning from Jewish movements that accept so-called “gay rabbis” and so-called “lesbian rabbis.”

    I am also not interested in learning from Jewish movements that destroy Jewish unity by accepting so-called “patrilineal descent” to determine Jewishness.

    Last, but certainly not least, I am not interested in learning from Jewish movements that reject the divinely revealed nature of the Torah.

    If Rabbi Asher Lopatin is truly a pluralist, then he should also learn from Jews for Jesus and Jews for Islam and BuJews [Buddist Jews].

  5. Mr. Cohen says:

    Rabbi Asher Lopatin said:
    “We need to learn from all Jews, and connect and relate to all Jews – Reform, Conservative, Renewal…”


    Babylonian Talmud, tractate Shabbat, page 75A, 4th line on page:
    He who learns one thing from a heretic is deserves death.

    Rabbeinu Yonah comment on tractate Avot, chapter 2, paragraph 4:
    Do not learn anything from apostates, even things that are true, because encountering them is harmful, lest you come to believe things that are not correct, because they draw the heart. Do not trust yourself and think: I will learn from them and only accept the good, and reject the evil!

    Many Reform and Conservative deny the Divine origin of the Torah and the Exodus from Egypt; therefore, learning from them violates the prohibition against learning from heretics and apostates.

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