Thursday, December 13, 2007

"Torah-True rabbis"

If you're not a member of a Young Israel (and maybe if you are), you can get a good laugh out of the National Council of Young Israel's proposed new standards for Young Israel rabbis and synagogues. You may be even be amused to find out that NCYI thinks it has power to set standards. (The standards, as best as I understand them, include (1) that a central board has to vet rabbinical hirings by local Young Israels, (2) that women and converts can't serve as synagogue presidents, and that (3) no Young Israel can run womens prayer groups or megillah readings).

The YU Commentator ran an article on it, pointing out that it's an attempt by the Chareidi segment of Young Israel to take control from the left-wing Modern Orthodox. NCYI president Shlomo Mostofsky responded to the article in a comment on their website. In it, he said:
Synagogues and communities that have joined the Young Israel movement over the past 96 years are proud to be identified with the standards of halacha and hadracha that our founding Torah-true lay leaders and rabbis were moser nefesh to establish. (emph. added)

The punch-line: It's nice to know that the NCYI president considers Mordechai Kaplan to have been a "Torah-true rabbi!"

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Because, of course, there is strong halachah about the restriction of the abilities of the gerei tzedek among us as well as strong laguage prohibiting women from davening.

I wonder if they quote any parituclar daf or anything like that in support of this nonesense.
You can find some of the sourcing in this post. The primary authoritative source appears to be the the Rambam who quotes/derives an expansion of the negative Biblical commandment in Dev. 17:16 beyond a literal king to someone of communal authority. NCYI (1) is deluded and thinks synagogue presidents have communal authority, (2) ignores any of the ways to avoid applying the halacha (or, rather to be machmir on Dev. 10:9, which is a positive Biblical commandment).
see, i thought the adjective "Torah-true" here only referred to the lay leaders and not to the rabbis ;-)
of two synagogues here in baton rouge one is led by a female Rabbi. I guess they are out.
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