Rabbi Sperber’s “Why Modern Orthodoxy is True Orthodoxy” Lecture Stirs Great Interest in NYC

Rabbi Sperber addressed the challenges facing Orthodox Jewry.

Rabbi Sperber addressed the challenges facing Orthodox Jewry.

Coming together at this event sponsored by the Yavne-Shapiro Program at BIU were, from left, Harold Shapiro and Stanley Shapiro.

Coming together at this event sponsored by the Yavne-Shapiro Program
at BIU 
were, from left, Harold Shapiro and Stanley Shapiro.

Among the Shapiro Family members attending the lecture were, from left, Amanda Shapiro, Avi Shapiro, Jessica Shapiro, Karen Shapiro and Anne Hirsch Shapiro.

Among the Shapiro Family members attending the lecture were, from left,
Amanda Shapiro, Avi Shapiro, Jessica Shapiro, Karen Shapiro
and Anne Hirsch Shapiro.

New York, NY, October 18, 2012 – Never one to shy away from taking on challenging issues within Orthodox Jewry, world-renowned Talmud scholar at Bar-Ilan University (BIU) Rabbi Prof. Daniel Sperber spoke to an overflow crowd on October 18th at The Jewish Center in New York City about “Why Modern Orthodoxy is True Orthodoxy.” 

In speaking about the differences between modern Orthodoxy and ultra-Orthodoxy, Sperber said that Modern Orthodoxy is willing to view Halacha as a “constantly developing entity, and it is willing to face challenges.”   

This was the 15th annual lecture sponsored by The Yavne-Shapiro Program in Torah and Jewish Ethics in cooperation with BIU. All past lectures have been held at the BIU campus in Ramat Gan, Israel. It was held for the first time in New York, and was coordinated in cooperation with the American Friends of Bar-Ilan University (AFBIU).

A long-time advocate for greater women’s rights within Orthodox Judaism, Rabbi Sperber said he approved of women taking a greater part in Halachic affairs and more active role in Jewish services. He said, “The Modern Orthodox establishment condones these changes, which are completely rejected by our more ultra-Orthodox brethren.”

Rabbi Sperber argued that true orthodoxy regards Halacha as something “which is constantly growing, constantly reevaluating the situation, constantly readapting itself to changes in society.” He said this is in contrast to current ultra-Orthodox thinking, which believes “that anything not done in the past should not be done now.”

Citing an example of how in Israel today Halachic rulings and interpretations have “basically been kidnapped” by ultra-Orthodox rabbis, Rabbi Sperber said he was shocked when thousands of Jewish conversions were overruled by the Israeli Supreme Court. He decried what he perceived as the extremely stringent Halachic interpretation of conversion laws. Rabbi Sperber said that retroactive cancellation of conversions is wrong because the person can never be sure of his or her own future. “Modern Orthodoxy cannot countenance such actions,” he added.

He urged members of Modern Orthodox synagogue to support rabbis who have the courage to stand up to ultra-Orthodox counterparts, saying these rabbis cannot do it all by themselves. Only in this way, he argued, will we regain the “original face of Halacha.”

To support Bar-Ilan programs that promote Jewish and Zionist values as reflected in Rabbi Sperber’s teachings, contact Gary Baskind at 212-906-3904 or email gary.baskind@afbiu.org

Click the links below to see video from the lecture:

Importance of Innovation in Halachic Thinking

Revolutionary Approach to Observing the Sabbatical Year

Differing View on the Status of Women within Orthodoxy

Differing View of Dealing with Agunah & Conversion Issues within Orthodoxy

 

 

 

 

Share

Please share this page
with your friends and colleagues!

Bookmark and Share

Contact Information

Contact Form »

National Headquarters

160 East 56th Street
New York, NY 10022
Tel: 212-906-3900
Fax: 212-906-3937
info@afbiu.org

Midwest

8170 McCormick Blvd.
Suite 120
Skokie, IL 60076
Tel: 847-423-2270
Fax: 224-251-7190
ari.steinberg@afbiu.org

Southeast Region

4600 Sheridan Street,
Suite 201
Hollywood, FL 33021
Tel: 954-987-7887
Fax: 954-987-7808
jayne.kaplan@afbiu.org

West Coast

8730 Wilshire Blvd.,
Suite 550
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Tel: 310-652-3601
Fax: 310-652-6473
ron.solomon@afbiu.org

New York Regional Office

160 East 56th Street
New York, NY 10022
Tel: 212-906-3904
Fax: 212-906-3937
gary.baskind@afbiu.org

©2015 American Friends of Bar-Ilan University
Home | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Contact Us