June 24, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Let’s Stay United as a Community

This is not an endorsement of female clergy. (“RCBC Draws ‘Boundary Line’ on Women Rabbis,” February 6, 2019.) Reasonable minds can differ about that. This is about: (i) Not restricting rabbinic authority and autonomy. Rabbis should decide what happens within their own shuls; they were selected by their congregants to be their congregants’ poskei halacha. (ii) Respect for differing opinions on matters that are not clear-cut. (iii) Most importantly, avoiding divisiveness in our community. The model of a “vaad” that speaks for the community in important matters and involves rabbis from across the Orthodox spectrum is one that exists in many Modern Orthodox communities. Let us not become the community in which a local rabbinic organization fractures our friendships and mutual respect, even as we may differ on certain issues. We are not a community that focuses on who is “in” and who is “out.” If someone is not comfortable going to a particular shul, he or she is free to go elsewhere.

Robin Straus
Teaneck
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