Dear Arie, I read, with great interest, your letter and was intrigued enough to take a few minutes to pen a reply. I will try to do so , with your letter open on the screen next to me so as to reply to your points in the order in which you raise them. You begin by stating that your Judaism comes from the same Torah as the Chief Rabbis and you feel no need to apologize for it. That is beautiful but what you now need to do is apologize to leaders within the Conservative movement who have broken from the Torah and declared , in the name of modernity, that parts of the Torah no longer apply or actually happened. Given your desire to be a Masorati Rabbi within a few years, you might want to study more about the damage the movement is doing to the future of the Jewish people. By stating that your Judaism and that of the Chief Rabbis come from the same Torah, you are more aligned with the more observant Jews out there. Indeed the movement you are defending has uprooting numerous key principles that Judaism is based on. Indeed, the very foundation of how and when our people became a nation is under attack at the very highest levels of the Conservative movement. They are uprooting the Torah and throwing it by the wayside literally and figuratively. Rabbi david Wolpe , for example, states “The Torah is not a book we turn to for historical accuracy, but rather for truth” This is what is known in political circles as trying to talk out of both sides of one’s mouth. I am sure Rabi Wolpe is a nice man; he can trust the kashrus in my home anytime and is welcome to join me for chulent. (This despite the fact that he currently has me blocked from posting on his Facebook wall even since I shared archeological evidence that the Jews left Egypt as described in the Torah. Moving on within your letter, Women are not a threat to men either. The Torah that you and I both learn from understand that women are not a threat to mankind. Not only are women not a threat, it was in their merit we were redeemed from the servitude of the Egyptians after 210 years (you know, that event that the Conservative movement denies ever happened) and it will , again, be in the merit of the righteous women we will be redeemed in the coming days during the ultimate redemption . (May it even be today). Women are more mature than men; they have a closer connection , natural and inborn to G-d; that is why they are bas mitzvah a year earlier. That is why they are obligated in less mitzvos. The purpose of G-ds mitzvos are to enable ourselves to be more G-d like , to elevate our mundane actions to connect with G-d on a sublime level. Women are naturally higher…. If a woman wants to wear teffilin, in a modest ,private minyan, no one will stop her. The Torah that you claim is the same as the Chief rabbis promotes a more modest approach to a woman’s behavior while at the same time recognizing the worth of many great women throughout Jewish history. Ruth, Esther, Sara, Rivkah, Rachel, Leah, Devorah, Rachel, the wife of Akiva, Sara Schenirer and so many more Women of Valor epitomize leadership in the public arena without compromise. We are taught, however, that a woman who tries to emulate a man is selling herself short. Let us move on to your concerns about the restrictions placed on homosexual behavior. This restriction is on the behavior, not the individual. The Torah is the most liberal, flexible document in the history of mankind. What makes the Torah of the 21rst century Torah , however, is the fact that its foundation is traced back to when the Torah was given. The movement you are trying to affiliate with has part of the equation. Mesorah/Tradition is valid when it is part of the Shalsheles HaMesorah. The Torah we believe in is the immutable Truth. Yet the teaching of 2000 years ago of Rabbi Yishmael that “the Torah speaks in the language of humankind.” Is only valid if you can trace your teaching to the Source. When G-d called the homosexual act an abomination he did not condemn the homosexual any more than he condemns the violator of Shabbos. Both a Sabbath violator and one who engages in homosexual behavior have what to repent for. But to repeal G-ds feeling that the act is an obamanation requires one to appeal to the Supreme being in the universe. I wish you many healthy years before you go upstairs to take it up directly. Your letter continues on how to treat foreigners and non-Jews…. Take a look at a the clips on television about who is first to respond to terror attacks or natural disasters throughout the world. Not just is it the Israelis who are first to respond but usually the ones with the kippot, some sruga with clean shaven and a tan; others with black yarlmukas, white shirts and peyos. Hatzalah, Misaskim, Magen David Adom, Nachal Hareidi, You state in your letter, “ The Torah imposes restrictions and guidelines on our lives, and we are to follow them.” And you say this after positing that we can do as we please in the name of Rabbi Yishmael. I hear what you are saying and I sense the confusion in your words. I can resolve all your issues by doing as I have done. I do not like to be called Orthodox; rather I prefer the term “Observant”. The term Orthodox was given to those who were more Observant when the Conservative and Reform movements began. Throw away the labels and lets start over the way our great great grandparents were-- as Observant Jews and build forward from there. What would your great great grandfather have wanted ? Wouldn’t you want him to feel more comfortable in your home than the home of Rabbi Amar? I am willing to wager that Rabbi Amar would rather you be able to host your great grandfather than he because the continuity of the Jewish family is important to all affiliations. As long as our actions can be based in what our great great grandparents would appreciate , then we know we are heading in the right direction. And with the more Observant communities growing and flourishing in the 21rst century the way they are, I don’t need to assign a label ; I just have to observe. My dear Arie Hasit, I see at the end of your letter that you are studying in our holy city of Jerusalem. There are two great institutions there called Aish HaTorah and Ohr Samayach http://www.aish.com/ai/jb/ or http://ohr.edu/ … I invite you to message me via www.facebook.com/facebukerrebbe or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to connect you with people at either institution if you would like to check out that shalsheles haMesora I spoke about. When going out on a limb to build a strong branch you have got to know what is at the root of it all. Warmly R' Dovid Winiarz
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from the article: How dare Rabbi Amar call Conservative and Reform Jews corrupt?