Monday, June 17, 2013

Pruzansky vs the Open Orthodox Jews: Part 1

This won't be the full treatment this topic deserves as I am short on time, but because I did promise the Facebook Society of DovBear Bashers that I'd elaborate on my disdain for Rabbi Pruzansky's latest fussilade, I present this abridged fisking.

Leading off we have this aside, made in reference to Nechama Leibowitz:

And she did not live with grievances against the Torah.

Pruz phrases it this way because he very much wants you to think that his opponents are unworthy of respect because they are carrying grievances against the Torah. Well, I'm calling him on it. The subjects of Pruz's piece aren't carrying a grievance against the Torah. Rather, they are opposed to one particular school of thought, one particular set of interpretations. We who think Judaism will be enhanced if women are given more respect and more opportunities to express themselves religiously and/or to serve the klal are opposed only to narrow-minded misogynists, their fallacious interpretations, and their mean-spirited teachings. We have no problem with the Torah itself.

This isn't the first time Pruz has tried to say that people who disagree with him (or people who expose his errors) are "anti Torah". Its a longstanding habit of his. See here

Following a mischaracterization of various statements alleged to have been made by members of the Open Orthodoxy movement, we arrive at another choice Pruzansky nugget

(Generally, the New York Times’ editorial page is a reliable indicator –if not the source – of the social perspectives and views of this camp, but that is a different discussion.)

Pruz, on the other hand, takes his cues from the far more prestigious Rush Limbough show. Here, for example, is a Pruzansky sermon that was lifted almost point for point from one of Rush's monologues

Also, I don't think its a coincidence that Pruz's views on abortion, feminism, immigration, homosexuality, and evolution track almost perfectly with the positions expressed by Evangelical groups like Focus on the Family. If you want to know what Pruz thinks about almost any social issue, you can check with your local churchman for a reliable preview. Now to be fair, I don't think that either Pruz or his opponents are deliberately modeling their styles of Judaism on Christianity or the New York Times . But I also wouldn't say that they haven't been influenced to some degree by the world around them. We don't live in vacuums. However, what I can't stand is Pruz's fantasy that his style of Judaism alone is unaffected by the Zeitgeist (and this is a fantasy shared by other conservative Rabbis like Avi Shafran and Yaakov Menken)

Next, Pruz wants to know why none of his fellow Orthodox rabbis has been willing to challenge the Open Orthodoxy movement or to publicly disagree with them. The main take-away from this is that Pruz doesn't read Sarfran and Menken (or perhaps he doesn't consider them Orthodox Rabbis?) But as an aside, I'll note that Open Orthodoxy isn't the first orthodox reform movement to meet little opposition. The same Orthodox Rabbis who today say nothing when Open Orthodoxy embraces new roles for women, also said nothing when other Orthodox reformers made kolel universal. They were similarly silent while Lubovitch messianism took root and while mainstream Judaism followed Charedi Judaism into two new intellectual models, namely, fundamentalism and willful ignorance about the world.

I am not sure why Judaism acquiesced to these reforms. Perhaps, as Pruzansky suggests, our Rabbis merely wanted to avoid strife. Or perhaps they are simply cowards, unlike Pruzansky who may be too cowardly to allow un-moderated comments on his blog, but certainly isn't afraid to share his decidedly conservative thoughts with his decidedly conservative congregation and other decidedly conservative New York and New Jersey Jews.

More later I hope. I really do wish I had more time.


Anonymous said...

Usually are very well generally used needed for communication in planes and ships cruising.
These frequencies could differ from one starting point
another. To transition your personal style as the temperature gradually rises, adding is key.

They are functional and may allow you beautifully appear
in any occasions.


Anonymous said...

I do not know whether it's just me or if perhaps everyone else experiencing issues with your site. It looks like some of the written text within your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too? This might be a issue with my internet browser because I've had this happen previously.

Also visit my weblog :: how much should i weigh kids calculator

Anonymous said...

The notion that pearls are made from sand intruding into the shell of an
oyster is phony. (If she had, it would have actually knocked Sarah Palin out of the headlines for a while.
Even low-cost software like Photoshop Components
or ACDSee could make your item photography very much
less difficult.

Here is my website - web page

Anonymous said...

Why users still use to read news papers when in this technological globe everything is presented on web?

Also visit my blog; hydroxycut cleanse