Too open to be Orthodox

Too open to be Orthodox

Avram Mlotek, a third year student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, writes movingly about his efforts to prepare for a career of service to the Jewish community (“Time for Torah: The open Orthodox revolution,” November 15). However, he bemoans the fact that his yeshiva has attracted so much attention – and criticism – recently when he writes, “Is it our hashkafa, our ideological values?”

He neglects to inform your readers of the positions that have been articulated by leading individuals associated with his yeshiva and the open Orthodox movement – to wit, the rejection of the historicity of Ma’amad Har Sinai (the giving of the Torah at Sinai) and the claim that the biblical Abraham and Sarah never existed.

The modern Orthodox community has been straining to maintain the inclusive “big tent” during a period of Jewish history that finds the non-Orthodox Jews in America disappearing. Tragically, the open Orthodox, who trumpet their inclusiveness, are turning their backs on the mesorah, tradition, and the fundamental beliefs that underlie and define Orthodoxy. They are rejecting Orthodoxy in every way but in name.

It is imperative that Avram Mlotek and his fellow students confront their leadership to declare that open does not stand for rejection and is not just a cover for neo-Conservative Judaism.