The wise son of the Haggadah asks: “What are the testimonies, the statutes and the laws which the Lord, our God, has commended you?” (Deut. 6:20). R. Zvi Kanotopsky (Rejoice In Your Festivals: Penetrating Insights Into Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot, p. 62), a leading student of R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik (link), explains in a 1952 sermon that this was originally said to the generation of the Exodus. “The wise son is asking about צווי, the commandment. He is asking about the revelation from his father who stood at Sinai.”
R. Kanotopsky continues, in a statement of faith that I can only assume was directed against Conservative theologians but now applies equally to some thinkers who are called Orthodox (p. 63):
There is a fundamental religious principle that is sacred to us, a principle that is the very essence of our theology. We believe that revelation is not a continuous process. The Children of Israel were redeemed from the bondage of Egypt so that they might stand at the foot of Sinai, experience the drama of revelation and receive the Torah, which was given at that moment of revelation…
There are Jews today who would have us abandon the fundamentals of our faith. There are Jewish intellectuals who would have us believe that revelation is a process, a continuous process — which might have begun at Sinai but which continues with the change of time — with changing concepts and with changing ideas. It is this point of view that we are obligated, by our faith, to negate and to reject. The word אתכם (to you), which is used by the wise son and which cause so much consternation, emphasizes the very essence of our faith.
I didn’t realize Martin Buber was a Conservative theologian…
I always thought a major theme of R. Soloveitchik’s thought was the continuous nature of revelation that comes about through Torah study. Like the Taz (OH 47:6 #5) writes regarding why the beracha “nosein ha-Torah” is in present tense — because it reflects a continuous revelation of Torah. And that this is the whole idea of the oral Torah.
Or Rav Kook
Not sure what he means – the medrash regarding Rabbi Akiva receiving revelations that Moshe didn’t get as well as the view of the Shaloh certain sounds like continual revelation. There is the point that the potential was given at Sinai but the actualization came later. There is also the gemora in Menachos about Moshe Rabbeinu and Rabbi Akiva.
Bottom line the issue has to be more clearly defined before declaring someones view as unaacceptable.
Understand that R. Kanatopsky was giving a sermon in shul in 1952, not writing a theological essay in 2011 for a bunch of people who will pick his words to death. Gil is probably right that he (RK) was speaking about Conservative Jewry and his audience understood that as well. The problem is not with RK’s sermon; it’s with Gil’s pushing it to where he (i.e., Gil) wants it to go. Which is fine if Gil wants to go there yet again, . But don’t confuse Gil’s point with that of RK.
I had in mind Heschel, Halivni and R. Aharon Lichtenstein saying that RSZA would have torn keriah over Tamar Ross’ words.
>We believe that revelation is not a continuous process.
If someone has access, this may shed some light on RK’s intended target (extrapolating from Gil’s summary that RK was a leading student):
from the essay you cited:
“According to R. Soloveitchik, Judaism sought to combine the natural human yearning for God and revelational faith, which had been in tension throughout the odyssey, in three ways: the centrality of the mind and its rationality, the elevation of the physical nature through control of natural urges, and through continuous revelation.”
‘Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice…
“I had in mind Heschel, Halivni and R. Aharon Lichtenstein saying that RSZA would have torn keriah over Tamar Ross’ words.”
This is exactly why the commentators here all hate this new direction of the regular posts. You didn’t present an argument, you presented a sermon. You took a piece composed in a specific context (sermons aren’t writings, and the 1950’s aren’t now) and decided to apply it to a wholly different one. And finally, as S. began pointing out, you cherry-picked the application of your sermon to exclude the far easier targets that just happen not to “play for your team”.
This is not what the blog posts used to be not too long ago. They used to be primary Halakhic source material, worth discussing in a serious way, accompanied by worthwhile thoughts from you.
In short, it seems like you aren’t running a blog about Judaism, but a theological-political platform. Your posts are no longer written for discussion, but for performance. Your audience doesn’t participate, it applauds. This kind of writing, tone, and argument (or lack thereof) is what I usually see politicians doing.
I think this was clearly a conscious change, and I have to ask: do you really think the LWMO are SUCH a threat that you have to start waging political battle against them? Because all it’s doing is raising tempers on both sides, while diminishing the seriousness of the conversation – or rather, ruining any possibility of there BEING a conversation.
A sermon is certainly not psak, or even theological treatise . . . however-
There is always the difficulty of teasing out the societal/environmental/historical influences on psak “of old” (and the outcry against such notions), whether out of deference to the giants upon whose shoulders we stand, or out of fear/opposition to change/leniency.
Now, if context can be ignored to yield chumra . . .
Rabbi Kanotopsky who sadly was niftar way before his time was a close talmid of the Rav from the Ravs first class.
Fortunately for us Rabbi Kanotopsky did not feel obligated to follow the Ravs viewpoint that publishing sermons was a waste of time-the Ravs reaction at the publishing of the 1st RCA Sermon Manual in 1943-thus certainly by the 1950s Rabbi Kanotopsky as Rabbi Harold B published collections of his sermons.
“Understand that R. Kanatopsky was giving a sermon in shul in 1952, not writing a theological essay in 2011 for a bunch of people who will pick his words to death. Gil is probably right that he (RK) was speaking about Conservative Jewry and his audience understood that as well.”
Agreed-and my recollection of Rabbi Kanotopsky who I met in his lifetime and was somewhat familiar with but do not claim to be an expert on- is that at least in personality and probably from hashkafa would not be the one leading a war against “thinkers who are called Orthodox ”
BTW- although no one knows hashems -IMHO sadly ignored by those who want to know about the Rav in general from his early times at YU-are two survivors from the Ravs first shiur who the Rav would often list with R Kanotopsky and others who have also gone to yeshiva shel maalah. R A Zuroff and R M Wohlgerlenter-they should be used as a good resource for the past.
have you ever heard of Cato the Elder?
Jon, above, hit it right on the head. This blog has lost relevance with your new tone. This latest post is a perfect example, since you’ve now included Rav Kook in your disdainful description of “some thinkers who are called Orthodox.” Judaism has always struggled with big ideas, and Tamar Ross’s ideas are part of that long discussion, whether you agree with her conclusions or not. Looking back to the sources and thinkers of the past, while being faithful in observance, were always the lines that defined an observant/Torah Jew, what we now like to call Orthodoxy. Within those lines, Jews have long debated.
“have you ever heard of Cato the Elder?”
“Carthago delenda est” (English: “Carthage must be destroyed”
Of course, I am the one who when studying for a Latin test when I was a very young teenager-my mother asked me to translate I came, I saw, I conquered-whereupon I translated it veni, vidi, superavi.
“Looking back to the sources and thinkers of the past, while being faithful in observance, were always the lines that defined an observant/Torah Jew, what we now like to call Orthodoxy. Within those lines, Jews have long debated”
Essentially agree accept with the caveat that one must accept that there was a revelation at Sinai from God and an acceptance of a halachik process.
“IH on April 17, 2011 at 11:15 pm
If someone has access, this may shed some light on RK’s intended target (extrapolating from Gil’s summary that RK was a leading student):”
The link led me to anarticle about the Rav and uvikashtem-the problem is that uvikashtem was published in 1978 and sadly Rav kanotopsky was in the Yeshiva shel maaleh from 1973.
Evidently, the definition of “continuous revelation” is key and R. Kanotopsky sadly did not offer one. I am not as quick as others to discard his words merely because they are part of a drasha.
Jon: You realize that this post has nothing to do with woman’s roles, right? And that this blog has been focusing on the 13 ikarim as theologically binding since 2004, right? Granted, this post is not necessarily about any of the 13 ikarim but it is in the same spirit. And you realize that historically this blog has had only one lengthy post a week. And that this blog’s very first post set it against the left ng of MO.
Sometimes I think people ignore what they don’t like and then get upset when it becomes too hard to ignore. Enjoy what you like. Ignore what you don’t.
Moshe: No, I have never heard of Cato the Elder but I don’t follow sports.
“And that this blog has been focusing on the 13 ikarim as theologically binding since 2004, right”
Gil are you paskening a machlokes between the Rambam and Hasdai Crescas et al?
Probably the vast majority of rishonim did not accept the Rambams 13 ikkarim as binding-of course much of what the Rambam included is in substance accepted by essentially all Rishonim but NOT as he presents it.
Mycroft: I’m not sure what you think R. Chasdai Crescas says but if you look in his introduction to Or Hashem (hatza’ah) he states clearly that someone who denies the beliefs discussed in the first three ma’amarim is a kofer. Those m’amarim cover all 13 ikarim.
“And that this blog has been focusing on the 13 ikarim as theologically binding since 2004”
I wentto the Archives of Hirhurim for the 1st month-March 2004- and what is almost strange how little the topics have changed and ein mukdam umuachar bGil.
“I’m not sure what you think R. Chasdai Crescas says but if you look in his introduction to Or Hashem (hatza’ah) he states clearly that someone who denies the beliefs discussed in the first three ma’amarim is a kofer. Those m’amarim cover all 13 ikarim.”
Gil: I wrote: “course much of what the Rambam included is in substance accepted by essentially all Rishonim but NOT as he presents it.” I don’t see where we differ.
Obviously the vast majority of the 13 Ikkarim are accepted even if not as Ikkarim but as Jewish beliefs by substantially all-where does that differ from your comment.
“introduction to Or Hashem (hatza’ah) he states clearly that someone who denies the beliefs discussed in the first three ma’amarim is a kofer. ”
Precisely -Orthoprax was never accepted as a possibility ie do mitzvot but reject Torah miSinai, schar vaonesh etc-but the formulation of ikkarim was done by others than the Rambam and we don’t pasken such matters. Obviously,certain basics are axiomatic otherwise all of traditional Yahadus would be false.
I’m reminded of R’ Weider’s comment on “hareini na et kvodecha”=explain tzadik vra lo – I can’t tell you what Moshe had on his mind, but I can tell you what Zhazal had on their’s.
IMO, the above quoted language is remarkably similar to the themes in many of RYBS shiurim/drashos given at the Chagei HaSmicha in the 1940s and 1950s that RHS included in Divrei HaRav. IMO, it can be very argued very cogently that the intended targets of RYBS’s drashos ( as well as that of R Kanatopsky ZL) have changed,but their views on Maamad Har Sinai and Kabalas HaTorah remain unchanged.
IH-WADR, I don’t think that Martin Buber was ever considered a C clergyman, but rather R. See Yoram Hazony’s The Jewish State for more on Buber’s theology as well as his anti-Zionism, which was very vocal in the 1920s and 1930s, and resurfaced after 1948 at HU. IMO, Buber can be considered one of the founders of post Zionism.
For those interested in the nature of the question posed and the answer given to the Ben HaChacham-see the Imrei Shefer Haggadah of the Netziv. For those who haven’t picked up the new edition which has been edited with superb footnotes by the grandson of R Kupperman of Michlala, who IIRC, is editing the HaEmek Davar as well as the Neztiv’s Perush on Shir HaShirim, I urge anyone interested to pick it up. If you don’t have the sefer yet, just think about the conventional Pshat in Chukim ( Mitzvos Bli Taam) and Mishpatim ( Mitzvos Bein Adam LChaveiro, Nezikin) and compare that with the answer given by the Netziv-who posits that the expresssion “Chukim and Mishpatim”, as he does in HaEmek Davar and Kidmas HaEmek to HaEemek Shealah, that Chukim and Mishpatim refer to the specific tools transmitted to Moshe Rabbeinu from HaShem-13 Midos of R YIshmael, etc,-and the other components of TSBP. Then think of Netziv’s comment about “Avodah” and the “Ben HaRasha”-why does TSBP require such Ameilus to understand it, let alone reach a Chidush, and a reminder to us that just as HaShem redeemed the worthy and not so worthy of Klal Yisrael, so too HaShem will redeem the worthy and the no so worthy of our People.
I think Moshe Shoshan may have been referring to “Anger so clouds the mind, that it cannot perceive the truth,” though perhaps LMWO _is_ Gil’s Carthage.
I trust that remark about Cato and sports was a joke (albeit one I don’t get at all), but just in case I’m posting this link:
My sense is that R. Kanatopsky was referring to Conservetive rabbis like Robert Gordis. I do not believe that Buber uses the term cotinuing revelation, but let me check.
Thank you, Prof. Kaplan. I look forward to your analysis. Not trusting my own memory and the secondary sources so easily available on the Internet, I just re-read Buber’s “The Man of Today and Jewish Bible” in my yellowed paperback copy of “The Writings of Martin Buber” and selectively quote:
“From the point of view of the Bible, revelation is, as it were, focused in the ‘middle,’ creation in the ‘beginning,’ and redemption in the ‘end.’ But the living truth is that they actually coincide, that ‘God every day renews the work of the beginning,’ but also every day anticipates the work of the end. Certainly, both creation and redemption are true only on the premise that revelation is a present experience. But, if I did not feel creation as well as redemption happening to myself, I could never understand what creation and redemption are. […]
The perception of revelation is the basis for perceiving creation and redemption. […]
This is the most difficult of all. The lived moment leads directly to the knowledge of revelation, and thinking about his birth leads indirectly to the knowledge of creation. But, in his personal life probably not one of us will taste the essence of redemption before his last hour. And, yet, here too there is an approach. […]”
One further question if I may, tapping into your expertise, the description of the Rav’s viewpoint per the quotation at 11:27pm seems to directly contradict the 1952 quotation (albeit from a sermon) of R. Kanotopsky. Mycroft has pointed “the problem is that uvikashtem was published in 1978 and sadly Rav kanotopsky was in the Yeshiva shel maaleh from 1973.”
But, I am left confused. Did the Rav’s view changed on this topic in the intervening years to the publication of uvikashtem?
And is Gil disagreeing with the Rav’s 1978 view on this point?
“Lawrence Kaplan on April 18, 2011 at 1:09 pm
My sense is that R. Kanatopsky was referring to Conservetive rabbis like Robert Gordis”
Not that Prof Kaplan needs my haskama on 20th century Rabbinics-but his guess is logical since it was then only 7 years earlier about 1945 that R Gordis openly made the theological split complete between Orthodoxy and Conservative Judaism. Note how for the 20 years after 1945 there were various writings by Orthodox Rabbis showing differences between Conservative and Orthodox Judasim-something which really doesn’t exist today in the same manner.
“Mycroft has pointed “the problem is that uvikashtem was published in 1978 and sadly Rav kanotopsky was in the Yeshiva shel maaleh from 1973.””
In fairness like many of the Ravs works uvikashtem was published many years after the Rav wrote the first draft. There is evidence I believe that the Rav would have drafted the first version of uvikashtem before 1952-but my guess and Prof Kaplan would certainly have a better guess at that than I that Rabbi Kanotopsky would not have likely seen the draft before 1952. It is certainly possible that Rabbi Kanotopsky was aware of the Ravs views of uvikashtem but my guess is that would have been unlikely-given the change in understanding the Ravs philosophy that the appearance of uvikashtem caused. I have written simple speculation-but certainly others can guess better than I can in this matter.
>but now applies equally to some thinkers who are called Orthodox
Oh, like pretty much every chosid who ever lived? If you really want to go back into the chasid/misnaged wars, that’s your choice, but if you’re going to choose that idea as your focus, you really have to address those on the right as well as the left who adopt that idea.
It’s getting close to Pesach, but, FTR, I do not think that the Rav’s ideas in U-Vikashtem have anythung to do with the idea of continous revelation criticized by R. Kanatopsky.
Thanbo: I have no idea what you mean about Chassidus and continuous revelation unless you mean that any kind of post-Mosaic prophecy qualifies as continuous revelation. But anyone who believes in the Bible believes in that.
I was referring to his obsession with carthage.
I challenge gil to explain what he means by continuing revelation, demonstrate that it is beyond the pale of Orthodoxy and document how this notion is central to the ideology of “LWMO”. I think you over estimate the importance of Tamar Ross in all of this and misunderstand RAL’s objections to her.
As a talmid and young adult member of Rav Kanotopsky’s shul,I can attest to his openmindedness yet ability to set limits to what is Orthodox Theology.
There is no question,in my mind, that he was referring to the Conservative movement with these comments,which was openly splitting with Orthodoxy at that time.
Rabbi Rakeffet considered him the Rav’s Talmid muvhak of the 1940’s.
anonymous above was me
there is a concept in chazal that since chaggai zecharia and malachai there is no nevuah. to state otherwise is not pashut.
It is Ha-amek Davar, not Ha-emek Davar.
Gil, while I largely agree with your ideological stance and recognize that you have been defending the ikkarei emunah on your blog for many years, there is no doubt that recent posts have recently become more polemical in tone, which I personally find less appealing.
Moshe: I challenge gil to explain what he means by continuing revelation, demonstrate that it is beyond the pale of Orthodoxy and document how this notion is central to the ideology of “LWMO”. I think you over estimate the importance of Tamar Ross in all of this and misunderstand RAL’s objections to her.
I can only speculate about what R. Kanotopsky’s view and don’t claim that the following accurately represents what he was trying to say. However, I suspect that he meant that the Torah’s laws and text were given at Mt. Sinai. While there is a view that the text was given throughout the Sinai experience (megillah megillah nitenah), I suspect he believed either that it was first given at Mt. Sinai and then regiven throughout the desert or that this is just a technicality that doesn’t alter his thesis.
While laws may have been later derived from the text using the 13 midos she-ha-Torah nidreshes ba-hen, the derivations were not a form of revelation. And while there was certainly post-Sinaitic prophecy, no prophet could alter or revoke a Biblical law (ein navi rashai le-chadesh davar me-atah).
Do I think that LWMO generally rejects this? No, and I don’t recall ever painting with such a broad brush. Only those who believe that the Torah’s laws evolve over time based on newly revealed ethics would reject this.
Again, this is all speculation — my putting words in R. Kanotopsky’s mouth. He could have meant something else.
“the Torah’s laws evolve over time based on newly revealed ethics”
this seems to be the position which you are attacking. If so, I think you have confused quite a few readers by referring to it by the much more general term “continuous revelation”
In either event, I think that there is a very big difference between the “continuous revelation” theories which R. Kanotopsky was attacking and the those which are voiced by some in the Orthodox community today.
By all means attack the LWMO is you like, but it does no one any good to confuse them with a very different movement of half a century ago.
Really, Moshe? You don’t think that some among the LWMO believe that large portions of the Torah are post-Mosaic and that large portions of the Oral Torah are rabbinic inventions? I’m not saying everyone who is LWMO believes this, just that some do.
>some among the LWMO believe that large portions of the Torah are post-Mosaic and that large portions of the Oral Torah are rabbinic inventions?
You have taken two very different statements here and lumped them together as if they share the same religious/truth value. Gil, this is a straw man.
>that large portions of the Oral Torah are rabbinic inventions?
Setting aside the loaded term “inventions” and using the term “enactments” or “legislations” or “interpretations”, no less a Rishon than the Rambam held of this, see his Hakdama to the Mishna (p 31 הוצאת מוסד הרב קוק):
וזה עיקר יש לך לעמוד על סודו והוא שהפירושים המקובלים מפי משה כמו שאמרנו מדבריהם אין מחלוקת בהם בשום פנים.
ie Any machloket implies non-origination with קבלת משה רבינו.
I also add my voice to those who feel there is a shift in the tone of posts on this blog (not that I am trying to tell you what to do; it’s your blog). My feeling is that a year ago you would have had a more balanced discussion of masorah and rabbinic “invention” than the present one.
I would love to read a post that includes a discussion of the different views on the concept of הלכה למשה מסיני or transmission/rabbinic activity in general. There is a wide range of opinions in the Rishonim and in the later Rabbinic writings, and a post less polemic and more expository would be welcomed.
By the way, in reference to my above comment, I am aware that there are rishonim who disagree with the Rambam and his formulation of the Oral Torah. My point is that such a view is not outside orthodox thought, as implied by Gil’s comment, unless you reject Rambam from this status (which some did, of course).
As Daniel Weltman pointed out, you are confusing issues and creating men rather than giving a reasoned argument. Furthermore, you accuse some unnamed LWMO of holding potentialy problematic views with out citing any of their actual statements.
Finally, once again, you really dont seem to understand that the challenge posed by the left is very different from that posed by conservative Judaism two generations ago. Its not about theology. You have the potential to really contribute to this conversation and move it in a direction that will be of benefit to mainstream orthodoxy. Instead you content yourself propoganda and sloganeering. I think you push as many people away from “authentic Orthodoxy” as you draw in.
I’m not sure whether I’m being unclear or you’re willfully misunderstanding me. What does Tamar Ross believe about the authorship of the Torah? What do *some* others believe?
How about the *concept* of the Torah SheBeAl Peh? I’m not talking about details of derashos and takanos (about which I’ve posted multiple times) but the very concept of a TSBP. Is it entirely an invention of Second Temple Judaism? There are many different elements of LWMO but one, perhaps small, is blatant heresy of the Conservative/academic variety.
Where and when did Tamar Ross question Mosaic authorship of the Torah? Who are these “some others” who agree with her?
As for halacha and bayit sheni, again, names quotations and sources please.
I am not questioning your assertions. However, if we are to have a serious conversation about them, we need to have a common basis of discussion.
See chapter 10 of Ross’ book or Ilana Golstein Saks’ article on the DH or Aryeh Frimer’s review of Ross’ book or Yoel Finkelman’s review (the first three are available through a Google search).
I’m not going to name other names because that quickly becomes counterproductive. I intentionally didn’t name anyone in the post. If you believe that no one holds such views, then you can agree with me on principle but not on application, although I suspect you are too much in the community to think that no one holds these views.
“How about the *concept* of the Torah SheBeAl Peh? […] blatant heresy of the Conservative/academic variety.”
Arguably, your hashkafa is a blatant heresy of the Yeshivish world.
I’m willing to admit to that.
Thanks for the references. I was honestly unaware that TR held such positions.
I believe that Tamar Ross admits that her views on the matter are not orthodox. Still I don’t see what this adds to the discussion.
Continuous revelation may be a controversial in some circles, however, there were and are Orthodox theologians that have advocated it in one form or another. Chief among them Rav Kook and HaRav HaNazir. In fact, it is immensely difficult to be a religious student of the history of Jewish thought and practice without adopting some model of continuous revelation and/or spiritual model for the development of halacha and thought. Which is probably why most of the yeshivish world as well as the YU right wing intelligentsia stay away from the study of history and machshava like the plague.
chardal – one can add (i think) r’ zadok hacohen from lublin to the list of people who believe in perpetual prophecy or revelation – see yaakov ellman’s numerous articles on the subject.
i do not understand why people think that this is a lwmo opinion. there are those in all parts of orthodoxy that no longer subscribe to the whole torah she’bechtav was given at har sinai. the subject is much more nuanced than r’ gill has written to create the straw man of us vs the apikorsim. the witch hunt continues. must we cleanse ourselves of all shomrei mitzvot who many have different views in this areas. are all those who disagree with the rambam ipso facto a apikorus? including other rishonim?
Evidently the term “continuous revelation” can mean different things. As Prof. Kaplan pointed out above, R. Kanotopsky was presumably referring to the Conservative movement’s concept (see here: link). Correct me if I am wrong but I don’t think Rav Kook or the Nazir believed that the text of the Torah is a human, post-Mosaic interpretation of revelation.
I agree that different definitions of “revelation” are part of the problem. What mortally wounds this post, though, is the “presumably”.
It seems none of us has any real knowdedge of what R. Kanotopsky meant and selectively quoting him to make a political point was, at best, unfair to his memory.
IH wrote in part:
“It seems none of us has any real knowdedge of what R. Kanotopsky meant and selectively quoting him to make a political point was, at best, unfair to his memory”
WADR, such an approach would preclude anyone from learning anything from a Mishnah to an Acharon and attempting to decipher its meaning.
>Correct me if I am wrong but I don’t think Rav Kook or the Nazir believed that the text of the Torah is a human, post-Mosaic interpretation of revelation.
That is indeed not what they meant. But they also didn’t mean by continuous revelation that:
“There is a fundamental religious principle that is sacred to us, a principle that is the very essence of our theology. We believe that revelation is not a continuous process”
Further, while they both had a traditional view of the Torah’s authorship. Rav Kook allowed for the theological posibility of post-mosaic authorship of parts of the Torah saying that if such a position was proven, it would not be a threat to us and that our theological conceptions of the Torah are wide enough to sustain such a view. I believe that he would say the same thing regarding more radical forms of biblical criticism but he fealt that the conjectures of higher criticism were somewhat weak and not worthy of theological revision.
See the recently published “קבצים מכת”י קודשו” for more on this topic.
“See the recently published “קבצים מכת”י קודשו” for more on this topic.”
Could you perhaps give us a quote on the subject?
Also, I’m a little confused as to what we mean by revelation…do we mean revelation with legal import? If so, what about all the revelations that happened to Moshe post-Sinai?
“i do not understand why people think that this is a lwmo opinion. there are those in all parts of orthodoxy that no longer subscribe to the whole torah she’bechtav was given at har sinai. the subject is much more nuanced than r’ gill has written to create the straw man of us vs the apikorsim.”
Ruvie, it’s not THAT nuanced, and it certainly doesn’t include the concept that the whole thing was written several generations later in certain parts that contradict each other.
On the complex meaning of “revelation” in Jewish religious thought, I found this 10 page essay in Cohen & Mendes-Flohr’s 1987 “Contemporary Jewish Religious Thought” on my shelves, which is also available on Google Books (http://tinyurl.com/6xxq2lj). The author of the essay was then Chair of the Dept of Jewish Thought at Hebrew University.
IH: The main point of this post is to show that the opposition to the Conservative movement was not only about practice. It was also about theology.
Gil: We all understood the point of your post; that was never in question.
On the broader point of your bête noire, I have not seen any evidence that the official theology of the American Conservative Movement (particularly JTS) in 1952 rejected Torah m’Sinai.
And in respect of the theology of the masses, the state of Orthodox synagogues was not much different from those of Conservatve synagogues as I understand the history.
But, I wasn’t born yet — and I’m about a decade older than you are.
The net net is that you view YCT (and, cal va’chomer, the independents) no differently than the Orthodox traditionalists in 1932 viewed RIETS: “a nest of atheism and Apikursus”.
“And in respect of the theology of the masses, the state of Orthodox synagogues was not much different from those of Conservatve synagogues as I understand the history”
WADR, since when does the ignorance of the masses in the O world circa 1952 constitute theology that can or should be considered as constituting a theology? Since when is ignorance ever considered per se as the basis of a Safek?
Steve — I agree. Now show me where the formal theology of JTS in 1952 was to reject Torah m’Sinai (as posited by Gil).