New York – American Rabbis Issue Kol Korei Saying Open Orthodoxy Incompatible With Torah Judaism


    New York – Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of America has issued a public proclamation condemning Open Orthodoxy and stating that the movement is not a form of Torah Judaism.

    A statement released today by Agudath Israel of America publicized the kol korei and said that Open Orthodoxy’s rejection of the basic principles of yiddishkeit, including the authority of both the Torah and rabbonim, make it inconsistent with Orthodox Judaism.

    Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of the Agudah, explained that the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah had been contemplating the problem of the Open Orthodoxy movement for several years, releasing the carefully worded kol korei today.

    “They wanted to go on public record to make it clear to Jewish communities across the country and everywhere else that anyone who is considering bringing a rabbi into their Orthodox congregation should know that someone who subscribes to Open Orthodoxy is not considered legitimate in the eyes of the mainstream Orthodox community,” Rabbi Zwiebel told VIN News.

    As previously reported on VIN News, the Novominsker Rebbe, Rav Yaakov Perlow who is a member of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah, slammed Open Orthodoxy in an address at the Agudah dinner in 2014, describing it as both a “plague” and “apikorsus.”

    The kol korei compared Open Orthodoxy to other dissident groups that have attempted to lead Jews astray throughout history.

    While the proclamation singles out Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, Yeshivat Maharat and the International Rabbinic Fellowship by name, it warns the public that the views of all leaders and entities that subscribe to Open Orthodoxy are in no way associated with the Torah.

    “We therefore inform the public that in our considered opinion, ‘Open Orthodoxy’ is not a form of Torah Judaism (Orthodoxy), and that any rabbinic ordination (which they call ‘semicha’) granted by any of its affiliated entities to their graduates does not confer upon them any rabbinic authority.”

    The eleven rabbonim who signed on the kol korei , Rav Simcha Bunim Ehrenfeld, Rav Yitzchok Feigelstock, Rav Dovid Feinstein, Rav Aharon Feldman, Rav Yosef Frankel, Rav Yosef Harari-Raful, Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky, Rav Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, Rav Avrohom Chaim Levin, Rabbi Yaakov Perlow and Rav Aharon Schechter, represent a wide cross section of the Orthodox Jewish community.

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    1. The only thing unorthodox about these women poskim is that they are women. They are in aligment in orthodoxy in every other way, adhering to halacha. Power (male dominance) is a hard thing to give up.

      • Obviously you’re not very knowledgable about Orthodox Judaism. Women accept their roles as being different, yet not less important than male roles. Feminism, which seems to be your issue, does not and can not supersede Torah. Period.

      • Judith,

        I apologize if I’m mistaking, but I thought I remember you mentioning once that you our not Jewish let alone an Orthodox Jew (the latter is obvious by your comment). Having said that you have no idea what an Orthodox Jew is so you probably should refrain from commenting.

        I know when I comment in forums or on topics I have no knowledge of I come out looking like an ignorant fool.

      • Judith,are u arguing w/ people that are Prab a little bit older than u even a lot wiser than u in this field??Or are u just trying to stick up the feminine side of u which has no basis whatsoever?either way there’s a reason they are called the gedolim of the generation

      • What foolishness on your part. Do you really believe what you’re saying? These Rabbonim are totally and sincerely L’Shem Shomayim. They don’t have any prejudices. You see everything as a power struggle. The Novominsker Rebbe amongst the other Rabbonim signed here have only one thing in mind, and that is Kvod Shomayim. It’s the simpletons as yourself who turn this into a male vs female/equality issue. Dumbness at its core. Or simply ignorance. Hashem Yishmereinu!!

      • And the fact that they are supportive of intermarried couples?

        They say Mazel Tov when laws pass that are diametrically opposed to Torah Values? That the head of their vaad hagiyur is an open heretic?

      • It’s not the women that are the problem,but the man who founded this “open orthodoxy” and chose to ordain them. He is not following in the ways of his Rosh Yeshiva.

      • If you like also homosexuals and lesbian influences as well as drug takers in your minyan so Open Orthodoxy is for you, but if Hashem and mitzvot are important, then stay far away.

        • Oh, please. You don’t think you’ve ever had a gay man or a drug taker in your minyan? As to “lesbian influences,” I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

          • #42 Don’t be silly, its one thing when one is a ball avaireh. So your comparing that to a whole ‘rabbinicl’organization that sanctions issirei kares men wome learning togeher torah etc etc

        • What’s the point of all this loshon hara? If Open Orthodoxy isn’t your cup of tea, then, by all means, don’t enroll in their yeshiva. But if you don’t have any better and more persuasive arguments than “we declare you unkosher,” then maybe you should listen more carefully to what they have to say. I don’t know much about Open Orthodoxy, but I don’t think they could have bought themselves better publicity than this “proclamation.”

          • #43 Where does lashan horah come into this equation. !0 a publicknown fact is not lashon horag 2) mitzvah efarsem reshoim who are out to destroy our torah. O’H simon 156 ..Magan Avrohom…Misneh Berureh paskens and adds mitzvah lefarsem hrshaim oiverei torah

        • Lazerx, be carful with your words unfortunately we have many “drug takers” in our communities and minyonim they are not heretics but rather ill and need our help…

    2. Thank you very much for fighting the very important battles that threaten our communities. Now back to regular programming, lakewood kids still without a school, (even with the tag filters)

    3. Dear judith
      I am pro women rights this has nothing to do with anything.
      See many of the articles that people in these movements have written as well as some of their public proclamations
      feminist or not this isn’t orthodoxy

    4. This didn’t single out woman, no rabbinic ordination will be recognized applies to men as well. Basically no man or woman with any title from those open organizations will be considered Rabbi and any shul with one at it’s helm is no longer Orthodox.

    5. What a relief. YCT Rebeim were about to join the Hanhala of their Yeshivas, but the Roshei Yeshiva got ahead of it. The women rabbis will now join all of the other pulpit rabbis who have not gotten any respect from the Moetzes for the past 50 years.

    6. Really smart Kol Kereh, this is a great way to build achdus is Klal Yistoel, to condem whole groups of Frum people. Everyone is aware that the Moetzes does not support open orthodoxy, but these divisive announcements do nothing but break down unity in Klal Yisroel.

      • #16 The term ‘Klall yisroel’ = Those who are shomrei torah umitzvous, not those who are born Jewish, This is reiterated many times in shass. ‘Acihcha bemitzvos. And please don’t come with the silly remark ‘Hitler didnt differenciate between different Jews’

    7. This is an important letter. Doing this in writing is so important because orally this has already been communicated by most Orthodox Rabbis, but heard only by their own congregants, and the principle danger of Open Orthodoxy is in their written statements to those not in normative Orthodox congregations.

      There are people who take a combative tone to defend Open Orthodoxy, but Orthodoxy is as it’s Rabbis say it is, not as a group of rogue rabbis say it is. Once Open Orthodox rabbis do and support things opposite explicit verses in the Torah, do you even need a Rabbi to tell you to stay away? Based on the continued defiant defense of Open Orthodoxy in the face of a vast majority of Orthodox Rabbis objecting to it, yes, we do need such a statement and by gedolim, leading sages of our generation.

      Now it’s time for members of Open Orthodoxy to distance themselves from that movement and return to the fold of true Orthodox Judaism.

    8. Be Makom she ein ish, ishtadel lijyot ish.
      Kol hakavod to the Rabanim and Hakhamim for standing tall and warning Am Israel of this terrible danger.
      What a shame it is necessary to remind people ‘Ve al binatja al tishaen.’
      Am Israel stands on Emunah, Emunah peshuta- Emuna in HKBH, in His Torah, and in our Hakhamim.

        • #32 I don’t know what your problem , complaint is. You have so many choices of Jewish movements to join, the movements you feel comfortable with.
          Cenrist ‘Open’ Orthodoxy
          Reform Conservative
          Reconstructionist Humnistic
          If you go all the way back 2000 years , the first reform Jewish movement is Christianity.
          You have the Karites. So why do you want we should abandon the Shulchen Urech , which is a compilation of Torah Shebal peh and Torah shebeksav which was given to Moshe Rabbeinu on Har Sini. This is Judaism. If one does not believe in this principle see Sanhedrin what the Talmud lables him ‘ kol huoimer afilu ois achas betorah aino min hashomayim harei hu apikores’
          And that’s the catagory of what these ‘Rabbis’ of YCY etcs are. Pleade read their writings hsahkofos. ‘ Im hurav dome lemalach Hashem tzevuous…..V’im lav al tevakshu torah mipihu’

        • Dear judith you said it in above post
          You are currently disillusioned with orthodoxy following movements such as tese will only make you more disillusioned even great tzadikim need to strengthen their emuna find an orgination like aish read a book like comitted life by esther jungreis but find a mainstream rav or rebbetzin to talk to whether they be chasidish yeshivish or YU
          Open orthodoxy will ultimately be disillusioned to its adherents as its not legit.I feel for you but font look to resolve your issues this way. Hatzlacha

            • You missed the point. The original post to which I responded said that someone who has doubts should talk to a mainstream “rav or rebbetzin to talk to whether they be chasidish yeshivish or YU”, but that person probably doesn’t realize that just a few generations ago, chasidism was considered kefirah, and people sat shiva for their children who became chasidic.

    9. Everyone knows or should have known what the Moetzes thinks of OO. This is barely “news.” The Jewish organizations hiring YCT people and OO people do not really care what the right wing Yeshivish organizations think of them. They do not identify with the Agudah type movements of which every single signer belongs to.

      When the RCA/OU/YU modern orthodox crew (besides for Rabbi Gordimer whose feelings on the subject have been published extensively) write a KK like this, and not just please don’t ordain women, that would be actual news. Those groups have not properly stood up to YCT/OO and have allowed in-roads into modern orthodoxy.

      • Actually, the RCA has come out against OO and the Maharats/Rabbas that they produce. Here is a policy statement from Oct. 30 of this year:

        Therefore, the Rabbinical Council of America•Resolves to educate and inform our community that RCA members with positions in Orthodox institutions may not 1.Ordain women into the Orthodox rabbinate, regardless of the title used; or

        2.Hire or ratify the hiring of a woman into a rabbinic position at an Orthodox institution; or

        3.Allow a title implying rabbinic ordination to be used by a teacher of Limudei Kodesh in an Orthodox institution.

        I would hope that no OU shul would continue recognizing any shul which has at its helm one who believes in OO.

        • There is a huge difference between the statements between the two. Moetzes said, with no holds barred, that OO is not a form of Torah Judaism. Period, end of conversation. It also implied that OO is no different than other not orthodox branches that have formed over the years. The RCA statement does not make any mention of OO, it does not state that they are not truly orthodox and simply says don’t ordain women or hire them for a rabbinic position. In no way shape or form does the statement state that OO is not part of their branch of modern orthodoxy. Until it does, the RCA is complicit in OO gaining the in-roads they have and continue to gain.

    10. In addition to the kol koreh, it would be helpful if the Rabbanim would state specifically so others would know., what it is in this so-called open orthodoxy that is objectionable and the halachic sources for why.

    11. Wonderful. The agudah and the moetzes, who looked the other way as molested in their institutions harmed generations of children and who actively oppose laws aimed at granting to future children the safety that they refuse to provide; who actively discourage young people from getting an educational to support their families; and who ignore the impossible lives foisted on their followers by ever increasing and anti-torah hardships like children not getting into schools, have time for accusations about whether other groups are doing the right thing? Feh. We truly live in an oilam hafuch, but at this point, for anyone who still thinks the agudah and the moetzes represent anything remotely related to kedusha and kovod shomayim….I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

        • Yes, I belong to “another jewish movement” – hashem and the torah. Not to self-appointed, self-serving spokesmen like the moetzes. Go ahead and follow these cult leaders if you like, but don’t for a moment think that what they say has anything to do with the torah.

          • You are self contradicting. The Torah is lasting only because of ‘…zekainecha veyomri loch’ So which torah your following. Dont tell me your ‘dass torah’ is so thorough that you understand better. So lets hear who is your rav. ‘asay lecha rav’ who is it?

    12. Dovid Zwiebel and the Agudah can’t define what it is true Orthodoxy. They have their interpretation of it, and not all Orthodox have to wear oversized black hats and parrot everything said to them. May the groups be MATZLIACH in their efforts and go from strength to strength. AMEN!

      • #56 True Orthodoxy is those who follow the Arba chelkai Jewish Code of law. (see #33). Rabbi Zweibel is not defining…. But you just listen to what ‘Rabbi Sally’ parrots to you. We will listen to the ‘einei hueidah’

    13. Rabbossai, listen carefully…

      to start, I am a yeshivish working person. One of the things that come to mind when I see what’s going on, is that how is it possible that intelligent people who generally want to be good, can come to a practice of Judaism that can be called Apikorsim? They were intelligent Jews who also like Hashem…

      The conclusion is that little by little, people can become blind to the truth. And although they seem to be just like us, they are in a completely different dimension. They can’t see at all.

      From this we have to wonder about ourselves. It is possible that a person who dresses very frum and claims to be orthodox, to be very far from the truth as well in many different ways. How many of us oppress others? Business dealings? Honesty? Hate? etc, etc.

      We should wake up and realize that most men are blind to their faults. Even if you are trying to be honest. We depend on others to tell us how wrong we are.

      Now that the gedolim made the statement about those apikorsim, wonder about your own faults. Each one of us has faults that has to be erradicated. Good luck on your mission. Boruch K.

      • 52…please…we are talking about organization who officially go against the torah. so what do you want…everybody has aveiros. ein tzaddik baretz asher yase tov velo yechta.

      • I have no way of knowing that these self-proclaimed gedolim are right and that the Open Orthodoxy people are wrong, except by considering their respective arguments. And, in this Kol Koreh, I see no arguments, nothing reasoned, nothing intelligent– only a pronouncement that says that “so-and-so is wrong, because I’m a gadol and I say so.” Well, pardon me, but the world– even much of the Jewish world– has moved past the age where someone can put someone else in cherem just because he said so.

        • #59 Yes, your ‘Jewish’ movements have move past that age… and also left the Torah AKA: Sulchen Urech behind…But we ‘gettoh Jews remain faithful to OUR Torah and the Ziknei Hador. Sheal avicha veygaydcha, ZIKNAYCHA veymri loch’

        • #59 So who are your gedolim. Foxman ? ‘Rabbi” Sally that’s married to Rebbetzin Barbara Housman ,no I think she’s married to Cantor Jill Shulman?..Ok
          And who proclaimed them ‘Gedolim’

    14. Thank goodness Judaism has changed not a single bit since Moshe, wearing his shtreimel, let our ancestors out of Egypt. Each and every practice remains the same. Ruth never converted by sleeping with Boaz – she actually studied in a Chassidishe yeshiva for years before going to the mikvah. Kitniyos didn’t start in the 11th century – it must have been part of the instructions on Har Sinai. We never had a woman prophet like Devorah because the words of women are like bones rattling around in a pail. Our ancestors always ate hechshered Badatz food. In fact, the Badatz inspectors walked to each and every household in Eretz Yisroel on a daily basis to make sure that their milk was cholov yisroel and their meat glatt. Each and every part of today’s service in shul existed from the beginning of our people, because to claim otherwise would imply that sometimes there are changes in our religion. No, today’s frum are following EXACTLY each and every rule and custom that has always existed. And you wonder why most Jews want nothing to do with you.

      • 62 most Jews what you consider jews don’t believe in torah min hashomayim ,don’t practice the taryag only what they feel good about. But somewhere down the line their ancestors did practice just like us and our ancestors did. so who abandoned what?
        So you are a koifer in chazal sayings….eikev asher shomar…….v’yishmor es mishmarty’ Just because you brain cant comprehend? it would be a good idea to thoroughly review hakdamas hurambam on zeroim

    15. Wow. Number 56 and 57 just show how blind people and modern orthodoxi can become. Guys, see what an aveira can do in blinding a person. You do it a few times and you no longer have the vision you have before. That is what the guemara says, you do it a few times and it becomes “permissible”. A live lesson to all of us. The purpose of putting modern orthodoxy down should be not for them, as there is no help, but for us, to see how low a person can go.

    16. It doesn’t work to argue with the “modern orthodox & co.”. In the hagadah we don’t answer the rasha, but to the other children. When Hashem in the near future will say: “Hineini”, the reshayim will become dust to the soles of the tsadikim. I am sorry for them…But it is for those who bring a sacrifice every day and do the best they can in avodas Hashem. Not for those who practice convenient Judaism. The reshayim’s derision of true avodah makes our reward even greater. Let’s wait and see what Hashem says when He shows up. It’s actually already written down…Acheichem, soneichem….hahaha


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