Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The best response yet to Rabi Alderstien's intolerance breeding, controversy creating Ami article

The really strange thing is that this excellent rejoinder to RYW's terrible Ami article appeared on Cross Currents. Is Editor Menken sending Contributor Alderstein some sort of message? And if Rabbi A reviews and selects the comments for publication himself, does his decision to post this one suggest he regrets what he did? The anonymous commenter wrote:
What a tragic article to come out during these Yemei HaDin. It is a well known halacha that one does not bring someone to Beis Din during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvs, even if they are right, because of the middas hadin hovering over all of Klal Yisroel during this time. While this article came out technically before Rosh Hashaha, it certainly is in violation of our mesorah and would have been prudent to have waited until after Tishrei.

Since it did come out it is imperative to respond to it. The article in general reflects a yeshivish/chareidi understanding of Daas Torah and rabbinic authority. It supposes that since the founder and president of YCT has said and done things he finds objectionable, it is reasonable to assume that all musmachim are exactly the same in their hashkafic approach and derech ha’psak as him. This of course is not reflective of a genuine Modern Orthodox derech. The truth is, YCT musmachim, approaching close to 100 rabbis, are out in the field in a variety of capacities. Some of them are shul rabbis in prominent large synagogues, others in smaller more heimish shuls, some are on campuses and while others are in chinuch or hospital work. Every day they go about doing avodas kodesh; teaching Torah, making shiva minyanim, teaching taharas hamishpacha to chasanim and kallahs, educating children in day schools, sitting with the sick and the dying. They are in New York and in Los Angeles, in Cleveland and in St. Louis, in Israel and in Canada. When you read this article and others like it, you come to the conclusion that all Chovevei musmachim do is spend their time thinking of ways to uproot our mesorah and turn Jews away from Torah. These articles are exercises in rhetoric employed by partisans in a intra-organizational fight for control, politics and power in the guise of emes and a milchamta shel Torah. It is even possible that some who write these articles do not even realize how much sheker and exaggeration they employ to make their points. They too are like tinokos shel nishbau when it comes to a real yedia on YCT.

You would be hard pressed to find a hint of controversy with 99% of the YCT musmachim and that is whether you agree with the supposed controversial opinion or not. Every semicha program produces people passionate about a particular idea or philosophy. If we would employ the same standards to, for example RIETS, then RIETS would be mamish completely pasul by now as one can point to many, many heterodox and outright apikorsim who are musmachim of RIETS since its inception to the present day.

The only thing this article and those like it could potentially do is make light even more difficult for the musmach who is out there teaching Torah, visiting the sick, burying beloved family members of community members and giving his life over for the klal. Anyone in rabbonus knows how much sacrifice each rov makes for his kehillah and how much politics exist in each board and community. Why would anyone want to increase the potential hardship of other rabbonim and besmirch the name of almost 100 musmachim because they disagree with perhaps, at the most, 5 people from the olam of YCT?

As I started my comment with I shall end with. Despite the apparent objections to this article and its clear use of exagerrated rhetoric and rechilus about close to 100 rabbonim; even if this was going to be published why violate a meforesh halacha brought down in the sifrei halacha, as explicitly mentioned as late as by the Mishna Berurah, not to bring accusations during these yemei hadin? When one sees such a clear violation of halacha one cannot help but wonder how much of this was the work of the yetzer hara.

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