This is the Way of the new challenge to Mesorah emanating from “Morethodoxy,” the International Rabbinic Fellowship (IRF), and the Chovevei Torah seminary (YCT). As new demands from them emerge to ordain women rabbis, to conduct mutual ring exchanges at weddings, and so much else, they tell us that they have sources for all. We have seen this before in Conservatism, and we had a rare honest glimpse at the parallel Morethodoxy process in the recent affair when one of their number, for a brief moment, brought us into his thinking. Something upset him greatly. He had written about a lady, “rebbe” to a newly marrying couple, who was capable of reading the Ketubah under the chupah. But the right wing does not go for that, and he had much to say. He no longer would recite the brakhah “shelo asani isha.” In quite fulminating tones, he described the brakhah as a Chilul Hashem, wrote of the “cages” where all Orthodox women supposedly are incarcerated at prayer, alleged that batei din universally are corrupt against women in divorce situations, attacked several Torah giants of the past.
He came under withering criticism, soon posting a follow-up article, apologizing to the public for his prior tone, indeed withdrawing his prior article completely. And then he came forward with a new article – this time, a kinder and gentler tone, and with a few sources of questionable merit cut-and-pasted together. Having publicly first shot his arrow at a tree, he now had been advised by allies to get the paint brush and paint some bull’s-eyes around his shots.