Jewish Press: 250 Rabbis Decry Misuse Of The Word ‘Orthodox’
December 10, 2020

by Jewish Press Staff

“No Orthodox rabbis have officiated at same-sex weddings, have ordained women, or have ‘revisited’ whether the Torah was given by G-d to Moses.”

Thus reads a sentence in a letter signed by close to 250 rabbis whose text was sent to The Jewish Press by the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV). Over the last few weeks, CJV has been privately soliciting signatures for the letter, which it authored, and is now going public with it.

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The letter comes in the wake of a Jewish Telegraphic Agency article in late October on rabbis officiating at same-gender marriages who were ordained at Orthodox institutions.

“For several centuries, the term ‘Orthodox Judaism’ has been synonymous with Torah observance – commitment to following the 613 Commandments and Rabbinic enactments as described in our classical sources. We, the undersigned Orthodox, observant rabbis, deplore efforts to confuse the Jewish and greater public regarding the beliefs and practices that may rightly be described as Orthodox,” the letter begins.

It continues, “Neither media outlets nor the public should be duped by messaging designed to mislead. No Orthodox rabbis have officiated at same-sex weddings…. No Orthodox rabbi ever shall, and any reports to the contrary serve no purpose other than to misrepresent authentic Torah Judaism.”

It argues, “Whether or not an individual attended an Orthodox rabbinic seminary, one who spurns what the Torah requires is not an Orthodox rabbi condoning departure from Torah, but is, at most, someone who forsook Orthodoxy despite rabbinic training.”

Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, chairman of the CJV’s Rabbinic Circle, told The Jewish Press that in addition to performing same-gender marriages, in “the past several years, other clergy members who self-identify as Orthodox have said and done numerous highly unOrthodox things in the name of Orthodoxy, confusing those who do not know better.”

He said the letter was written because it “was time to set the record straight” publicly.

The letter’s signatories include Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, Rabbi Baruch Efrati, Rabbi Michel Twerski, Rabbi Mordechai Becher, Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht, Rabbi Ephraim Blumenkrantz, Rabbi Dov Brisman, and Rabbi Yaniv Meirov.

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