Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Yated, the Rav and YCT

If I weren't so offended, I would be amused by the Haredi world's screwed up relationship towards Rav Soloveitchik. Rabbeim will derisively refer to him as "JB" in shiur but will cite him approvingly when attempting to bludgeon the left wing of Orthodoxy for their perceived deviations.

But the Yated's screed against Yeshiva Chovevei Torah and its positive approach toward dialogue with Reform and Conservative Judaism goes a step further. As the editors of the Yated know, it was precisely Rav Soloveitchik's position on interdenominational dialogue that so infuriated the yeshiva world. The Rav famously refused to join the ban against interdenominational rabbinical groups signed by all of the major Roshei Yeshiva of the time precisely because his view on the matter was nuanced - while he was against dialogue when it on issues of religion, he was open to it when is came to issues of Jewish survival and defense:
The conclusion of the above is very simple. When we are faced with a problem for Jews and Jewish interests toward the world without, regarding the defense of Jewish rights in the non-Jewish world, then all groups and movements must be united. In this area there may not be any division, because any friction in the Jewish camp may be disastrous for the entire people. In this realm we must consider the ideal of unity, as a political-historical nation, which includes everyone -- from Mendes-France to th e old fashioned (sic) Jew in Meah She'arim -- without exception. In the Crematoria, the ashes of the chasidim and pious Jews were put together with the ashes of the radicals and atheists. And we all must fight the enemy, who does not differentiate betwee n those who believe in G-d and those who reject Him.
Yet the Yated cites his position as follows:
Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, who Moder Orthodoxy points to as their spiritual leader, was vehemently opposed to any form of dialogue with clergymen of other faiths as well as from the Reform and Conservative movements.
Its not that I think the Rav would have supported YCT. It's just that the Yated's disingenuousness and distortions are sickening. And in fact, it is just this sort of mode of expression that the Rav rejectedx in the very same teshuva cited above:
Before I present my point of view [regarding the Conservative movement], I should like to offer the following introduction. I use the term "battle" always in the ideological vein, and never in the personal sense. I may attack a certain point of view which I consider false, but I will never attack a person who preaches it. I have always a high regard for the individual, who is honest and moral, even when I am not in agreement with him. Such a relation is in accord with the concept of Kovod Habriyoth (respect for fellow man). "Beloved is man for he is created in the image of G-d" (Ethics of the Fathers III, 18).
Clearly, this is one position of the Rav that the Yated takes issue with.

No comments: