Sunday, February 3, 2008

More on Putting the Orthodox Back Into Modern Orthodox

I'm not a huge fan of Marvin Schick and I don't always agree with him. But he was dead-on on the
Yeshivah of Flatbush is his post. He brought out two interesting points:

1) "It is noteworthy that while the Yeshivah of Flatbush is on the spot, serving as a target for a Facebook horde, the doctor apparently remains anonymous. He is entitled to keep his name out of the newspapers. He is not entitled on halachic or moral grounds to coerce the school he once attended to affirmatively accept his life choices."

I keep hearing/reading about how awful YOF was to embarrass their alumnus and how shaming someone is similar to killing them, etc.. But this alumnus had no trouble embarrassing Yeshivah of Flatbush and lambasting them for the stand that they took. The alumnus, meanwhile, remains nameless and anonymous, while YOF is dealing with a front-page article in The Jewish Week. As point of fact, this whole issue was brought to the press by the alumnus, not Yeshivah of Flatbush.

2) "Though less celebrated than the Noah Feldman affair of last year, there is much common ground between the two episodes, as each involves a respected Modern Orthodox institution that is being castigated for adhering to a religious standard. In each situation, critics insist that a religious Jewish school should substitute societal standards for its own. As always, their arsenal of arguments includes the claim of tolerance. Curiously, however, there is no recognition that true tolerance consists of accepting the religious choices of institutions and persons that are guided by their and not society’s religious teachings.

Inadvertent or not, the message conveyed by the newspaper articles is that intolerance toward the Orthodox is not only justified, it is the only appropriate response."
Beautifully put. I tried to say this myself but much less eloquently: respect works both ways. While the outcry against YOF demands respect for gay lifestyles, where is the respect for an orthodox institution?

Hat tip to Schick.


YM said...

The last time you blogged about this, you didn't mention that in the past, YOF has permitted non-Jewish spouses of alumni to attend these reunions, as well as opposite-gender boyfriends and girlfriends of alumni. This is why I think the G & L alumni are more upset about this than they otherwise would be.

Halachically, however, homosexual sodomy is considered more severe than heterosexual intercourse between a Jew and a non-Jew or sex during niddah, so this may have gone into YOF's decision to draw the line at this.

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