Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Garnel Ironheart's reasoned discussion re Open Orthodoxy

"Missing in all this is the underlying concern.  Social movements, as I've written before, always arise in response to a need.  OO is one such movement and given its slow growth in size one must ask: what are its adherents looking for that they're not getting from the traditionally Torah observant?"

This is an interesting analysis from an Orthodox blogger who's opposed to Open Orthodoxy but can understand how this approach might appeal to some in the Orthodox community.


Blogger Hannah out loud said...


Saw your link from Garnel's blog. Nice website. Hope your operations go well.

Thu Nov 26, 07:26:00 AM 2015  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Hannah, welcome aboard! Thanks for your good wishes.

Garnel, you're welcome. Nice post.

Sat Nov 28, 07:35:00 PM 2015  
Anonymous Mr. Cohen said...

Rambam’s Hilchot Teshuvah, chapter 3, paragraph 8:

If any Jew denies that even ONE WORD of the Torah is Divinely-revealed, then he or she is a heretic [apikuris].

In the same paragraph, Rambam teaches that any Jew who denies the Oral Law [Torah SheBeAl Peh] is also a heretic [apikuris].

In paragraph 6 of the same chapter, Rambam teaches that a heretic [apikuris] has no place in the afterlife of the righteous, and will be punished eternally.

Rambam was born in 1134 CE in Córdoba, Spain and died in 1204 CE in Egypt.

Sun Nov 29, 10:20:00 AM 2015  
Blogger Adam Goldberg said...

Better that they be shogegim than mezidim!

Sun Nov 29, 10:23:00 AM 2015  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Um, shogegim means people who are mistaken? Mezidim is from the same shoresh/root-word as "zedim/arrogant" in the Amidah prayer? Kindly translate for this Jewishly-undereducated blogger. I appreciate what appears to be a defense. Sorry I'm too ignorant to understand it. :(

Mr. Cohen, with all due respect, I believe you may be reading the wrong blog. As I said in my "masthead," I take my Judaism seriously, but not necessarily literally. You might prefer a blog such as Harry Maryles' Emes ve-Emunah.

Sun Nov 29, 08:07:00 PM 2015  
Blogger Hannah out loud said...

Hi Shira

My own understanding is-

"mutav sheyihyu shogegim velo yihyu mezidim" (better that they should violate the law unintentionally than intentionally).

This is from the Talmud, Tractate Beitzah, I think. So in order to differentiate between culpability for Torah violation (the opposite to "ignorance is no defence" in common law ).

Shogeg is a Torah violation /sin* that is committed by a person unintentionally (some say intentionally, without realizing the seriousness of the deed, or even that what's been done is forbidden) , whereas Mezidim is about a deliberately intentional sin or Torah violation and that person knows full well that it is etc. A new convert may not know about watering plants on Shabbat, but an orthodox Rabbi should.

As another example,if I popped over to your town and lit a cigarette in a cafe , not knowing there's a smoking ban, then I'd have committed a violation of local law, but unintentionally.

Ps Rav Maryles is a good read. Although I remember being called a "typical leftist" by one of the commenters there.

*Of course what's a Torah violation or a sin is a different issue.

Mon Nov 30, 07:51:00 AM 2015  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Hannah, thanks for the explanation. I always appreciate it when people educate me.

Rav Maryles does, indeed, write a good blog. Though Rav Maryles and I often disagree, especially on issues regarding women in Judaism, he and I most certainly agree about the importance of getting a good secular education for making a living.

Mon Nov 30, 11:25:00 AM 2015  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

These 2 comments somehow ended up on the next post, but I think they were supposed to be posted here.

Blogger Hannah out loud said...

Yes, I also disagree with Rav M on women's roles in Judaism and also in the approach to gay people such as myself. But, I'm an outlier on those issues, although I've always said the task is to tackle these issues within the "framework" or "toolkit" of orthodoxy (imho "with leniency").

In fact I'm not totally up-to-date with conservative Jews. I know in Britain conservatives are traditionally observant, but don't agree with orthodoxy in that they say not all of Torah was given at Sinai,a bit like open orthodoxy. I also was told by a reform friend that they're more like American conservative Jews than reform in the U.S.,so this blog will be a treat for me in getting a flavour .

Mon Nov 30, 12:13:00 PM 2015 Delete
Blogger Shira Salamone said...
Hannah, I don't know whether what I've heard is accurate, but my understanding is this:
~ British Conservative Judaism is between American Conservative and American Orthodox Judaism
~ British Reform Judaism is like American Conservative Judaism
~ British Liberal Judaism is like American Reform Judaism

Then, just to confuse matters, we have the "born-in-the-USA"versions of Judaism. For further info, check out Reconstructionist Judaism ( and Renewal Judaism (> There are also the independent minyanim, which are unaffiliated (and grew out of the homegrown Chavurah movement of the 70s--see They don't really have a central website, but you might get some of the "flavor" at

Mon Nov 30, 06:21:00 PM 2015

Mon Nov 30, 06:25:00 PM 2015  
Blogger Hannah out loud said...

Hi Shira

Thanks for the reply!

Mon Dec 14, 09:07:00 AM 2015  

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