December 8, 2023
December 8, 2023

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Staying True to Normative Orthodox Judaism

To me, this whole Netivot Shalom/women clergy brouhaha (“RCBC Draws ‘Boundary Line’ on Women Rabbis,” February 6, 2019) is a classic “Slighty’s tree” scenario. You’ll recall that Peter Pan had always told the Lost Boys that they must limit their own girth to fit into the trees that led to their hideout, instead of whittling at the trees to make the entrance larger. But Slightly could not stop himself from drinking excessively, and “he had swelled in consequence to his present girth, and instead of reducing himself to fit his tree he had, unknown to the others, whittled his tree to make it fit him.” That is how Captain Hook got into the hideout.

Normative Orthodox Judaism, as understood by all halachic decisors, as understood by the OU, as understood by the RCA, doesn’t include women clergy. Netivot Shalom wants otherwise, and instead of limiting themselves, they want to whittle at the tree and wreak havoc upon Orthodoxy. They would be well advised to reconsider. And if they don’t, they have no claim against RCBC and the rest of Orthodoxy, which wants Orthodox Judaism retained intact.

Levi Langer
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