Hope For Modern Orthodoxy?
Wed, 03/12/2014

Can we actually say that there is a ray a hope for Modern Orthodoxy to
survive in the 21st century? The recent incident at YU involving a rabbinical
student in his participation in a Partnership Minyan has been resolved
according to the powers that be at YU (“Your Semicha Or Your Wife?” Feb. 28). However, for the rest of us who still
prescribe to the norms of Modern Orthodoxy — something truly is amiss.

There
is no halacha that bars a women from getting an aliya, reciting a d’var Torah
from the pulpit and leading parts of Shabbat services. In Jerusalem, there is
a minyan called Shira Chadasha, an egalitarian Orthodox minyan that has
been operating in the Emek Refaim neighborhood for many years without incident. Women
participate in leading Friday-night services, they are called up for an aliyah
and for the reading of the Torah.

All are welcome — women with sheitels as well
as those with pants, men with black hats and beards and those with sandals
and no ties. In a thesis written by Rabbi Haim Soloveitchik, he states:  “Zealous to continue traditional Judaism unimpaired, religious Jews seek to ground their new emerging spirituality less on
unattainable intimacy with him, than an intimacy with HIS Will, avidly
eliciting Its intricate demands and saturating their daily lives with Its
exactions. Having lost touch of his presence, they seek new solace in the
pressure of His yoke.”

This thesis is over 50 pages long and was written in
1994!

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What are you guys afraid of

If you think that there
is no halacha that bars a women from getting an aliya, you should read : “Women, Kri’at haTorah and Aliyyot” Aryeh A. Frimer and Dov I. Frimer, Tradition, 46:4 (Winter, 2013), 67-238 -- which is available online at http://www.rcarabbis.org/pdf/frimer_article.pdf.
This in-depth article discusses issue of calling women to the Torah, with an
appendix on Partnership Minyanim. In the the course of the paper, the authors discuss
the parameters and obligation of Keri'at ha-Torah and Haftarah, the role
played by the Ba'al Keri'ah, the definition of Kevod ha-Tsibbur, whether a
community can set aside Kevod ha-tsibbur, she'at ha-dehak situations, and
the rules of kevod ha-beriyyot and nahat ru'ah le-nashim. The footnotes
document extensive discussions the authors had on a plethora of related
issues with leading posekim and scholars, not recorded elsewhere.

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