Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The Orthoprax Rabbi and Some Responses From the Orthodox

Yes there is a putative Orthoprax Rabbi out there

Two things interest me

1. The moral dilemma: Is it right to be an atheist Rabbi?

Is it considered deception since your congregation would surely be rid of you if you "came out".


Is it not really deception because you believe that the difference between a believing Rabbi and a non-believing Rabbi is nil.

I had a similar (though admittedly much smaller) dilemma once when a frum friend of mine was about to eat milk after meat (oy vey!) Do I remind her? Or do I I just shut up let her enjoy the milchig ice cream because I know it makes no difference?

What would you do?

2. The comments on Emes V'emuna continue to piss me off to no end here are some tidbits:

Charlie Hall

I think that a partial answer is a little humility.

As a scientific researcher I face problems on a regular basis for which I don't have a solution. Does that mean that I give up on science? No! It means that the problem will have to wait someone with more creativity or imagination or diligence or knowledge to address it. And the same applies to Torah, and its apparent contradiction with science. Many of those apparent contradictions have in fact been resolved and I'm not going to give up either Torah or science while I wait for the other resolutions.

SH: Oh sure let's just sit back and assume someone somewhere has an answer. After all Judaism only has some minor issues.


"That he happened to be MO is irrelevant. He could just as easily have been Charedi."

I strongly disagree with that. Yes, it could technically happen anywhere but is more likely to happen among MO because the nature of the hashkafos taught so that nothing is sacred and all parts of emunah are subject to challenge. What is even more obvious is your bias in when your connect the dotted lines between a cause and effect and when you don't. -Chareidi

Well he's Chareidi so what do you expect. Who are these MO's he's talking about? I'd love to meet them!

Aaron Fein
Dear Orthoprax Rabbi,

I understand you have a family to support and find it difficult to come out of the closet. But please assure me that in your last will and testament, you will declare that you are indeed an atheist. The Jewish community would like to bury you with non Jews and not in the Jewish cemetery. I can't imagine why you would mind.

This just takes the cake! Oh its cool that you're Orthoprax but please please please don't impurify the bodies of other ehrliche Yidden by being buried in the same cemetry! THAT would be the end of the world!


Coin Laundry said...

Sorry this comment is so belated . . I've just found your blog, and am really enjoying the posts. Anyway, I followed this rabbi's blog for a while, while also following some OP blogs, and the level of viciousness exerted to this Rabbi was striking. He compares himself to a lawyer or plumber who doesn't "believe" anymore, and this is a weak analogy. A better one, would be to compare himself to a Homeopathic doctor who eventually figures out the "medicine" he is dispencing is BS. Is it unethical to continue? Yes, because people are depending on you not just for information, but for decisions that will drastically change the course of their lives (e.g. What advice would he give a homosexual trapped in the community?  To accurately represent Othodoxy (i.e. do what he's paid for), he would have to advise abstinance from  from anal sex . . HUGE implications of future misery of this individual.) Different than the position you were in with your friend, because she is not relying on you - nor are paid for - for guidance.

 I feel for this rabbi's predicament. But, as an atheist - a secular one at that - I wish there were more rabbi's who would "come out". Atheist could use some positive representation and leadership. There's actaully have a ready congregation of people who don't believe , but value Jewish identities . . and it would be great to have more voices with Orthodox credibility (or atleast background) to help create an atmosphere where "atheist" is not a dirty word.

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