Thursday, March 9, 2017


When this was first sent to me, I thought it was hysterical; then I thought, "this has to be a Purim spiel;" then I thought OMG!! Both. 

Judge for yourselves:

Calls their views "unrepresentative of the Orthodox rabbinate or Jewish values."

The Coalition for Jewish Values today rejected the so-called "Orthodox Statement on Spiritual Resistance," issued yesterday by 22 people who self-identify as Orthodox clergy, as "unrepresentative of the Orthodox rabbinate or Jewish values."

Yesterday's statement was organized by Shmuly Yanklowitz, and presents itself as representing an "Orthodox" viewpoint. It called the current Presidency "an administration that poses a grave threat to our democracy" and exhorted readers to "pursue righteousness" and "challenge oppressive and dangerous policies."

"The Uri L'Tzedek statement is alarmist -- unfairly and inaccurately conjuring up grave and baseless imagery of oppression and persecution, in order to scare readers into concurrence," commented CJV Senior Rabbinic Fellow Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer.   

CJV Senior Rabbinic Fellow Rabbi Aryeh Spero elaborated: "Judaism places profound emphasis on self-defense and protecting those whom we, as leaders, are assigned to protect. It is the duty of the President and those in leadership roles to protect the citizens of their country. The innocent citizens of Western countries have been repeatedly victimized by countless attacks, in both Europe and the United States. Jihadists took full advantage of our penchant for moral compassion, and unrestrained good will and noble intentions has led to atrocities. Those calling for open borders are acting irresponsibly, and seem indifferent or blind to the previous results of the 'open borders' they are demanding."

In this context, it is relevant to note that Shmuly Yanklowitz, director of Uri L'Tzedek -- and the majority of signatories to yesterday's statement -- are not recognized as Orthodox rabbis by any mainstream Orthodox organization. They are, instead, part of "Open Orthodoxy," a fringe group whose leading figures routinely express views markedly at odds with basic Jewish tenets and traditional practice. Yanklowitz in particular has called parts of the Torah "evil" and recently expressed his opposition to the reading of the Book of Esther on Purim, which falls this year on Saturday night and Sunday. Press coverage calling their words an "Orthodox statement" does a disservice to Judaism and factual accuracy.

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), a national organization directed by prominent rabbinic leaders, articulates an authentic Jewish perspective on current events, and promotes Jewish values through writing and teaching derived from traditional Jewish thought."
We are a very complicated People.

Chag Purim sameach.



Anonymous said...

Sadly this is all too real. Whenever there is an opportunity, for example, for females to gain more rights and opportunities in the Jewish religious realm, Gordimer is always among the reactionaries to kvetch and shout it down.

Anonymous said...

This appears to be a new organization. Their website is new. The earliest content on the website is from February 2017. Do some Google searching on their Board of Directors and you will find outspoken politically right wing Orthodox clergy. One is noted on the internet as "Glenn Beck's rabbi" and spoke at Beck's Restoring Honor to America rally. Many are bloggers for right wing websites. Nothing is wrong with that. But they do imply that anything and anyone that disagrees with their positions are less than an 'authentic Jew' by allowing their liberalism to supersede their Jewishness.

Their topics on blogs and articles are universally pro-Trump, anti liberal Jewish denominations, and discrediting of Orthodox clergy who espouse alternative positions.

Dan Brown said...

Why would 10:09 possibly post as anonymous? He made no negative comments about JFNA or Smiling Jerry. In fact, he provided useful [apparently factual] information!

Must just be habit for some.

Anonymous said...

It may also be that there are people (perhaps within JFNA) that don't want it known that they actually read the blog.

Dan Brown said...

I did think of that prior to posting. Though after all these years, it is rare when I've come across anyone interested in federations - including JFNA employees - who do not admit to reading the blog. Granted, I don't "sign" their paychecks.