Forward Thinking

Is Modern Orthodoxy the True Orthodoxy?

By Seth Berkman

  • Print
  • Share Share

On Thursday night, Israel Prize Winner Rabbi Daniel Sperber gave a lecture at the Jewish Center in New York City on “Why Modern Orthodoxy is True Orthodoxy.”

Sperber, a Talmud scholar at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, provided a thorough history of Orthodox Judaism before noting the differences between modern Orthodoxy and ultra-Orthodoxy, emphasizing that modern Orthodoxy is willing to view Halacha as a “constantly developing entity and it is willing to face challenges.”

Sperber, devoted a large portion of his lecture on the evolving role of women in Orthodox Judaism, saying that only the modern Orthodox establishment accepts and supports these changes “that are taking place now in our society,” which are “completely rejected by our more ultra-Orthodox brethren.”

Sperber closed his speech by saying true orthodoxy regards Halacha as something “which is constantly growing, constantly reevaluating the situation, constantly readapting itself to changes in society.”

Annette Schabes, who travelled from Englewood, NJ to listen to the speech, empathized with Sperber’s views on the changing role of women. “I think that as long things are done within the framework of Jewish law, there’s no reason why one cannot take a more active role within ritual practice.”

The event was part of an annual lecture series sponsored by The Yavne-Shapiro Program in Torah and Jewish Ethics in cooperation with Bar-Ilan University. Thursday’s lecture was the first in the series given outside of Israel.

Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Women, Orthodoxy

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach!
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.