Sunday, March 25, 2007

Rabbi Michael J. Broyde on Yeshiva Chovevei Torah

Rabbi Student's blog has an important statement with respect to Yeshiva Chovevei Torah by Rabbi Michael Broyde. I am very impressed with Rabbi Broyde's approach to the current flap. He addresses the specific issues I had problems with, adds a few others I did not deal with, and asks the right questions about all of them.

In my view YCT has a lot to answer for. But just as I have until now, I believe they have not yet crossed any lines that should make us question their membership in Orthodoxy. But as I have also written that some of YCT’s Musmachim have crossed some lines.

I believe the responses YCT provide (should they choose to do so, and I hope they do) to Rabbi Broyde's concerns will in fact determine their true status within Orthodoxy… or if indeed they should be considered Orthodox at all.

One final thought. Although I am generally disinclined to support this kind of Modern Orthodox institution for the reasons I have stated many times in the past, I never-the-less recognize that they may very well fill a legitimate niche. They help retain a certain type of very left wing Orhtodox Jew within the fold who might otherwise find a home in Conservative Judaism or worse. Such Jews are encouraged to stay observant… keeping them Shomer Shabbos, Shomer Kashrus, Shomer Tahras HaMishpacha… all while insisting that heretical concepts like the denial of Torah Misinai be kept out.

But as Rabbi Broyde suggests, they need to better explain their position on the controversial issues that have arisen about them recently and repudiate those who have spoken in their name, and about events that have occured there, positions that are at best, less than their own ideal and at worst, outright Aveiros. Admitting to some of their mistakes as was suggested by Rabbi Broyde would be a good start.