ITJ faculty member, Rabbi Alan Yuter recently published an opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post titled "What’s at stake with the Supreme Court decision to recognize all Orthodox conversions."
AT STAKE in this debate is: What kind of Jew does Jewry want to create? Haredi Orthodoxy requires converts to accept its own ideological narrative, which stresses obedience to God, whose will is necessarily and sufficiently revealed in its own rabbis’ apodictic decrees and sensibilities. In this Judaism, critical thinking is forbidden, holding rabbinic leaders to account is disrespectful, and the legitimating Jewish benchmark is not found in the plain-sense content of Israel’s sacred texts, it is about the preservation of nostalgic culture and the veneration of its ruling rabbinic elite.
In contrast, modern Orthodoxy embraces modernity when the rules revealed in Israel’s sacred texts are not violated. While modern Orthodox converts do accept the commandments as their personal code, they are not obliged to reinvent their personal identity or social world. Because critical thinking is not forbidden in modern Orthodoxy, its adherents are, just like the biblical prophets, empowered to judge their judges and to rate its rabbis.
Access this article at: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/How-far-can-we-bend-tradition-451836