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▪ The rise of Orthopraxy after the demise of the Conservative movement: The Rise of Social Orthodoxy: A Personal Account
Bechhofer: Does Psak Apply to Matters of Hashkafa? – My Essay in the current Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society
▪ The decline of Schechter means the disappearance of non-Orthodox Jewry: Shteyngart thanks Schechter, an ‘unhappy, alien place’
▪ Going “off the derech” isn’t that interesting, even when the facts are fudged: Deborah Feldman Isn’t Telling You the Whole Story
▪ I’ve heard of telling kids to skip those sections but this is a first for me: Redacting questions on evolution ‘malpractice,’ British exam board says
OU Kosher Answers Your Questions for Passover 2014
▪ Interview with R. Pruzansky: ‘Open Orthodox’ or ‘Neo-Conservative’?

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link of New Jersey, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazine and the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.


  1. “The rise of Orthopraxy after the demise of the Conservative movement”

    That’s one way of looking at it. When I see “And so for me, and I imagine for many others like me, the key to Jewish living is not our religious beliefs but our commitment to a set of practices and values that foster community and continuity.”, I wonder what percentage of MO and Chareidi folks this is true of. It seems to me that for these folks the Off-The-Derech rate will be of concern since the next generation needs to be won over not on the basis of command but of commitment to community and continuity. The MO group will likely have a higher drop out rate because the exit fee to alternative models is much lower.

    The author says “Whether such a cultural tradition can be sufficiently transmitted to the next generation is a fair question.”, It seems to me that the results of the prior efforts he mentions answer that question in the negative.

  2. “The rise of Orthopraxy after the demise of the Conservative movement.”

    Agreed that there’s no room for an agnostic Orthopraxy within Torah Judaism, but an engaged, committed halakhic Orthopraxy is far preferable to the Christian-like distortion of Judaism that has arisen in Orthodoxy by which Jews champion or subscribe to Orthodox theology but are lax in Torah observance. Remember the words of the Midrash:

    ר׳ הונא ור׳ ירמיה בשם ר׳ חייא בר אבא אמרי: ״כתיב, ׳אותי עזבו ותורתי לא שמרו׳ (ירמיה טז יא), הלואי אותי עזבו ותורתי שמרו, מתוך שהיו מתעסקין בה, השאור (המאור) שבה היה מחזירן למוטב.״

    R. Huna and R. Yirmiya said in the name of R. Hiyya bar Abba: “They [B’nei Yisra’el] have abandoned Me and have not kept my Torah” (Jer. 16:11) — Would that they had abandoned Me but kept my Torah, for by involving themselves in it, the yeast (i.e., wisdom; other versions: light) would have restored them to the good [path].

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