May 28, 2014

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Orthodox Rabbi Stuns Agudath Gala With 'Heresy' Attack on Open Orthodoxy (Josh Nathan-Kazis, May 28, 2014, Forward)

Perlow's speech, the evening's most fiery, condemned non-Orthodox streams of Judaism and used particularly harsh language to condemn Open Orthodoxy, the movement led by Rabbi Avi Weiss and centered at Yeshiva Chovevei Torah in Riverdale that pushes for a greater role for women in Jewish ritual, among other things. Perlow criticized the Israeli Chief Rabbinate for not being harsh enough in their treatment of Open Orthodoxy.

Perlow said that the threat posed by the Conservative and Reform movements had largely passed. "They've become oblivious, and they've fallen into the pit of intermarriage and assimilation," he said. "They have no future, they almost have no present."

Yet he warned of the danger to the ultra-Orthodox posed by Open Orthodoxy. Perlow said that Open Orthodoxy is "steeped in apikorsos," or heresy.

"There's a grave danger out there...outside New York City, that positions of leadership amongst Orthodox Jews is being taken over by people who have completely deviated from [the preservation of holiness.]" Perlow said that Isareli Chief Rabbinate is "not sensitive this," and called on the Modern Orthodox to "stand up and reject these new deviationists, cloaking themselves in the mantle of Orthodoxy."

One Jewish leader who attended the gala and was not ultra-Orthodox criticized the remarks.

"The comments were absolutely appalling and divisive, and really have no place in Jewish communal life," he said. "This guy is basically saying that 95% of Jews aren't Jewish."
Posted by at May 28, 2014 5:44 PM
  
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