Do Rabbis Avi Weiss, Saul Berman Deserve To Be Called ‘Amalek’?

Yehuda posts to Hirhurim: Gil, it’s lovely you’re so tolerant. I’m glad you know what they mean.

Despite your tolerance, I think anyone calling you, Rabbis Weiss or Berman, or any other Torah opinions "Amalek" deserves a public rebuke, and should be forced to make a public apology if he wants to continue in his present position. Even if some people consider him the posek ha-dor.

What made YU so great in my day was the mutual respect of future Torah scholars in the beit midrash, even when they had highly divergent views. There were nevertheless roshei yeshivah who said severe things they shouldn’t have and they were never censured, but at least they didn’t control the yeshivah (and that fact left room for everyone). Someone much greater than they was at the top.

Today they do control the yeshivah. That is sad. Thank God for YCT.

ANON POSTS: [Rabbi Dovid Cohen] is a chareidi rabbi from Flatbush and is on the Vaad haposkim of the RCA. His radical statemennts on ethical matters are described above and he has said them in public. he is also well known to have publicly humiliated the Rav ztl and to be proud of it.

LAWRENCE KAPLAN POSTS: I think that Rabbi David Cohen should not be on the Vaad HaPoskim because of his publicly expressed (un)ethical views. But as for his notorious outburst at the Rav’s hesped for his uncle, that is a red herring. I listened to the tape of R. Cohen discussing this, and while he still feels that the Rav had insulted the Hazon Ish and he was right in being upset, he also says that he did not intend to make a public scene, but got carried away.

MODERN ORTHODOX POSTS: I’m very impressed that the RCA acted so quickly, in resolution no. 3 against "any sort of public statement which might be taken to detract from the reputation of others," to dissociate itself from R. Lamm’s recent call to say kaddish on the non-Orthodox movements.

Y. AHARON POSTS: It’s a general observation that influential organizations which operate in the dark will inevitably get involved in corrupt practices. The more money that such an organization makes and the more dominant it is in that money-making area, the greater the temptation to abuse its role. The OU is clearly dominant in the kashrut field and makes many millions in providing its certification. An accounting of such income and how that money is dispensed is long overdue. It’s not as if the OU were a privately held company. It seeks and gets contributions from the Orthodox public. It is also listed as a non-profit organization.

Now that the rabbinic arm of the OU has come out for cost-saving and the rescue of day-schools in these difficult economic times, the parent organization is a good place to start. How much, if anything, do they contribute to day schools? Why shouldn’t a certain percentage of their income go towards helping insure a viable Orthodoxy?

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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