Orthodox Organizations and Leaders Critical of Open Orthodoxy





In this 1975 lecture to rabbinic alumni, Rabbi Soloveichik discusses the wisdom and objectivity of the Sages, fealty to Halacha, the agunah issue and more.  These positions are in glaring contrast to those of Open Orthodox rabbis who describe the Sages as biased and misogynistic, bend Halacha to achieve a desired result, and propose radical innovations to the agunah issue.  These topics and more are discussed in Chapter 7 of Why Open Orthodoxy Is Not Orthodox.  




"The Conference views with great pain the deviations from religious foundations emanating from the movement called 'Open Orthodoxy', and warns that those who act in this spirit, alumni of the aforementioned movement... will not be recognized by us as rabbis, with all that entails."





"The RCA views this event as a violation of our mesorah (tradition) and regrets that the leadership of the school has chosen a path that contradicts the norms of our community."


Rav Zalman Nechamia Goldberg
Translation:
14 Cheshvan 5778

Kevod Harav Hagaon R’__________ Shlit”a,

I have been greatly pained to hear the very bad news that Rabbi_________ acts not in accordance to Torah Law by becoming a rabbi from Chovevei Torah, that all God fearing (Jews) know that they do not go in the way of the Torah, and also (I am pained to hear about) his acting in an improper way. 
And (in addition), I have already written a few years ago that if he will continue with this behavior, the semicha that he received from me is void. And (even more so), it is clear that I did not issue (my semicha altogether) under these conditions.
And (therefore), I wish that this be publicized in all ‘places of Israel’ that chas v’shalom to rely on his halachic decisions. 
And I hope that it is still with in his ability to repent and that he has not reached the point of being punished by heaven with a hardened heart- see Rambam hilchos teshuva.
And I sign out of hope that he hastens to repent before they will judge him in heaven that he cannot do teshuva. And after he returns in teshuva, I will honor him as fit. 

Zalman Nechemia Goldberg 
Dayan


The Orthodox Union based on the opinion of a rabbinic panel, bars women from serving as clergy. 
The panel consists of: 
Rabbi Daniel Feldman (Rosh Yeshiva Yeshiva University) 
Rabbi Yaakov Neuberger (Rosh Yeshiva Yeshiva University)
Rabbi Michael Rosensweig (Rosh Yeshiva Yeshiva University)
Rabbi Ezra Schwartz (Rosh Yeshiva Yeshiva University)
Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz (Head of Beis Din, Beis Din of America and of Chicago Rabbinical Council)
Rabbi Hershel Schachter (Rosh Yeshiva Yeshiva University) 
Rabbi Benjamin Yudin (Rabbi Congregation Shomrei Torah, Fairlawn, NJ.)


-Statement on Women Clergy

"The absence from pulpits is partly the graduates’ choice, but it is likely exacerbated by opposition to YCT from almost every sector of Orthodoxy; these include Modern-Centrist groups, such as the Rabbinical Council of America and National Council of Young Israel synagogues, which deny membership or discourage the hiring of YCT graduates."

We therefore inform the public that in our considered opinion, “Open Orthodoxy” is not a form of Torah Judaism (Orthodoxy), and that any rabbinic ordination (which they call “semicha”) granted by any of its affiliated entities to their graduates does not confer upon them any rabbinic authority.

"According to the document, written by Rabbi Asher Ehrentreu, a senior member of the administration of the Rabbinical Courts, the Rabbis of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, an institution established by Rabbi Avi Weiss in 1999 that certified rabbis who serve in communities across the United States, "call themselves orthodox," and, " are not recognized by the Rabbinate of Israel.”"









In a recent lecture, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva University drew a comparison between Open Orthodoxy and other movements which have branched off from traditional Judaism such as early Christianity, the Sadducees, and the Reform movement. 

In another lecture he says it is impossible to call Open Orthodoxy Orthodox.


Rabbi Mordechai Willig (Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University)

Rabbi Dr. David Berger (Dean of Yeshiva University's Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies)

Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet (Professor of Rabbinic Literature at Yeshiva University's Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Institute in Jerusalem) 

Rabbi Dr. Rakeffet compares the birth of Open Orthodoxy to the creation of the Conservative movement.  He also reacts to the statement of the “YCT 11” and offers his prediction for the future of the movement.




Approach of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) "totally foreign to what I understand Torah to be."
In this clip, Rabbi Dr. Rakeffet (Professor of Rabbinic Literature at Yeshiva University's Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Institute in Jerusalem) declares approach of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah "totally alien to what I understand Torah to be."  Also, a student shares his personal experiences with Open Orthodox rabbis observing that while their practice is often Orthodox, their "value base is almost indistinguishable from the Conservative movement." (October 9, 2016)

"The Role of Minhag, and the Mistakes of the Conservative and Neo-Conservative Movements"

Rabbi Dr. Rakeffet (Teaneck August 7, 2016)

Dishonesty in Halachic Literature (1/1/17)
In a recent lecture, Rabbi Dr. Rakeffet (Professor of Rabbinic Literature at Yeshiva University's Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Institute in Jerusalem) reacts to the dishonesty displayed in Open Orthodox halachic literature.”


“Nothing surprises me because I call them Neo-Conservative…If you want to compare these teshuvot you can compare them to the teshuvot of the Rabbinical Assembly [Conservative]…”

Rabbi J. David Bleich (Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University)
“Conservative ideology has, however, survived.  Only the label has changed.  Today it is called Open Orthodoxy.  We should not be misled by professions of fealty to the faith – commitments of Judaism.  They have merely redefined the concepts of Torah min haShamyim and the authenticity of the Oral Law in a manner that distorts their meaning and redefines them out of existence. 
The leaders of the new movement are prompted by various and diverse motives.  Some, unfortunately, are prompted by self-aggrandizement and a desire for media attention.  Some simply seek success, which they regard as the 614th commandment.  Others are sincere in purpose, albeit misguided.  But the bottom line is that the movement is predicated upon a false ideology.  It is a movement that fails to reflect genuine commitment to the halachic process and to the mesorah.  It is a movement dedicated to compatibility with the mores of 21st century secular society.
There is a great reluctance to call them out for what they are.  The reluctance parallels that which existed vis-à-vis the Conservative movement in its infancy and is prompted by the same quite understandable motives.  But I think the time to call a spade a spade is long overdue.
The movement is particularly insidious because it calls itself Orthodox and has succeeded in sowing confusion.  But few seem to want to bite the bullet.   We tend to soft-pedal matters of belief and intellectual commitment.  That is part of a trade –off that bears the label “Made in America.”  In a certain way it is a beneficial trade-off.  We want shalom; we want achdus; we don’t want to push anyone away.

However, the results of a laissez-faire posture is that anything goes.  Even worse, students grow up without haven been taught what is pure and genuine and what is inauthentic, albeit mitzvah-plated.”  





Rabbi Shlomo Miller (1/23/17)
"...They [Open Orthodoxy] are exactly like the early Reform, who claimed that everything they did was according to Halacha."

Rabbi Ezra Schwartz (Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University)





The Rise of the Neo-Cons
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun (Teaneck, NJ), explains why mainstream Orthodoxy rejects Open Orthodoxy.

Rabbi Eytan Feiner (Rabbi of the White Shul, Far Rockaway)