Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Nod to Rabbi Angel.

Hat tip to VIN:
New York - Rabbi Angel: Orthodox World Choked Into Authoritarianism, No Honest Discussions Of The Many Torah Values
Published on: 08-27-08 at 04:40 PM

...JP: One character in the book complains that Yeshivas Lita “establishes one set of rules and takes no other traditions or opinions into consideration If you do not follow [the yeshiva's] way, you are wrong, ignorant, or religiously deficient. Students learn, subtly and not so subtly, to discount their own family traditions.” Do you generally agree with these sentiments?

Rabbi: Yes. Torah Judaism as we understand it has been in business for about 3,500 years. It’s flourished in many different countries, with many different languages and hashkafot, all of which are wonderful and all of which reflect aspects of this jewel we call the Torah. So to restrict the Torah to one of those hundreds of different versions or interpretations is false to the whole Jewish tradition. There were great chachamim in Yemen, Berlin, Izmir, Russia - all over the place. All of those people belong to the Torah community, all of those traditions are valid.

JP: So it’s fair to say that you don’t believe in yeshivas pressuring students to conform.

Rabbi: Not only that, I think it’s mamash a sin.

...JP: Please talk about your new organization, the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals - its raison d’ĂȘtre and some of its activities.

Rabbi: I wrote a lot about this on our website, But briefly, over the last number of years I have felt increasingly choked within the Orthodox world. Legitimate discussion has been limited and the rabbinical world’s become more narrow in focus and more subject to authoritarianism...

And how! It's nice to see a kindred spirit out there. Too bad the power-mongers aren't interested in his observations - and historical facts.

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