inloggen
×

Mijn Crescas

Inloggen met gebruikersnaam & wachtwoord






Zonder wachtwoord snel inloggen?

Columns

Weblogs disclaimer

Nathan Lopes Cardozo

Rabbijn Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo (1946) werd geboren in Amsterdam en woont sinds 1977 in Israël. Als kind van een Portugees-Joodse vader en een niet-Joodse moeder heeft hij een lange weg afgelegd. Op zijn 16e is hij ‘uitgekomen’ (Joods geworden) bij Chacham Salomon Rodrigues Pereira. Jaren later haalde hij zijn rabbijnentitel aan de orthodoxe Gateshead Yeshiva. In Jeruzalem richtte hij de David Cardozo Academy op. Rabbijn Lopes Cardozo publiceert regelmatig en neemt daarbij geen blad voor de mond.

vrijdag 13 juli 2018

In memory of Rabbi Emanuel Quint, z"l. A great Teacher in Israel


Several of my Orthodox (rabbinical) friends and opponents have called on me not to accept an invitation by the Friends of Louis Jacobs.org to give a lecture next Sunday (July 15) in London on the future of Orthodox Halacha. Similarly, they tell me not to participate the next day, in a panel discussion about my lecture, with Conservative (in England referred to as Masorti) and possibly Reform rabbis. They believe it is wrong, and damaging to Orthodox Judaism, if I participate in this "non-Orthodox" forum, which they see as "enemy territory."

In order to explain why I consider it an honor to deliver this lecture, let me give you some background on the "Louis Jacobs Affair", which shook British Jewry in the 1960s, the effects of which continue to reverberate to this day, and which is the impetus for this invitation.

Education and Careers
Louis Jacobs (1920-2006) was born in Manchester, into a traditional but not fully Orthodox Jewish Family. He decided to study at the Manchester Yeshiva and was ordained as an Orthodox rabbi at the age of 21. He then studied at the famous ultra-Orthodox Gateshead Kolel, an institute for advanced Talmudic studies. (I studied in Gateshead Yeshiva for eight years.) Following his kolel years, he served as assistant rabbi at the Golders Green Beth Hamedrash (Munk's). In 1948, Rabbi Jacobs was appointed rabbi of Manchester Central Synagogue, and six years later took the pulpit at the New West End Synagogue, London, for a number of years. He resigned to become Moral Tutor and Lecturer at Jews' College, the main rabbinical and teacher-training institute affiliated with the United Synagogue, which is the constitutional authority of almost all Orthodox synagogues in Britain. Due to his outstanding Talmudic and general scholarship, he was a candidate to become principal of Jews' College in the early 1960s. He was also asked to become the chief rabbi of Amsterdam but declined because of the language barrier.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Jacobs had studied part-time at University College London where he received his Ph.D. in 1952, and where he was introduced to Biblical Criticism. He slowly became convinced that the belief in Torah as being entirely divine (often called "Torah min haShamayim”) – in the classical sense of the word – as mainstream Orthodox Judaism claimed, was erroneous.

Heresy
During his tenure at the New West End Synagogue, and while teaching at Jews' College, he published the book We Have Reason to Believe (1957), in which he discussed topics including: the existence of God; pain; miracles; the afterlife; and the idea of the Chosen People. The book was heralded in Orthodox circles, including Mizrachi, as sound and helpful. While most of the essays were in no way controversial, four years after its publication, chapters 6, 7 and 8 suddenly sparked fierce debate in the Orthodox community and beyond. The debate was centered on blocking the probable appointment of Louis Jacobs as principal of Jews' College in 1961. It was in these chapters that Rabbi Jacobs suggested a synthesis between modern Biblical Criticism and traditional Judaism. He argued that while the word of God was to be found in the biblical text, it was also the result of human intervention. It was composed from many different documents that were influenced by external forces and cultures. He believed that the Orthodox Jew could accept the conclusions of Biblical Criticism while still remaining completely observant, and fully believing in the divinity of the Torah but in a different and non-literal way. In fact, he believed that intellectually honest Orthodox Jews had no other option but to accept the results of these academic studies.

When former British Chief Rabbi Israel Brodie (1895-1979) became embroiled in the conflict and involved in the future of Jews' College, he blocked Rabbi Jacobs' appointment as principal due to his "heretical" views. When Rabbi Jacobs was invited to return to his pulpit at the New West End Synagogue, the chief rabbi vetoed this as well. The United Synagogue Board dismissed the honorary officers of the New West End, who then left the congregation with the majority of members to found the independent New London Synagogue. They appointed Rabbi Jacobs as their rabbinical leader.

The Louis Jacobs affair
In the meantime, the "Louis Jacobs Affair" turned into a fierce national discussion in which not only the famous Jewish Chronicle and the Orthodox Jewish Tribune got involved but also the non-Jewish press and media (including British radio and television), and even some church leaders. As a result, Rabbi Jacobs was unofficially rejected from the Orthodox community and later affiliated himself with the American Conservative movement. In England, a new informal organization was formed in 1995 called the Masorti movement.

Scholarship
Rabbi Jacobs wrote many articles and books on Jewish religious topics, displaying his remarkable erudition, and kept defending himself against his opponents. This is true specifically concerning his views on the divinity of the Torah and the development of Halacha. (See his extraordinary A Tree of Life: Diversity, Flexibility and Creativity in Jewish Law, second edition, Littman Library, 2000.)

Throughout his life, Rabbi Jacobs lived as a fully Orthodox Jew and was a fervent believer. He strongly opposed the ideas of "secular Judaism" as well as the Reform and Reconstructionist movements in the United States.

In December 2005, the Jewish Chronicle proclaimed him the greatest British Jew since the beginning of the 350-year-old Jewish community in Britain. He himself considered this "daft".

Torah Min HaShamayim
As I explained in my two-hour lecture on the divinity of the Torah, at the Dan Panorama Hotel in June 2017 and again last December at the Limmud Conference in Birmingham, England, I do not agree with some of Rabbi Jacobs' conclusions. I am well-read in academic Biblical scholarship, yet I have no problem intellectually with the claim that the Torah is entirely divine, although it is impossible to prove this, just as it is impossible to prove that it is not entirely divine.

However, I also believe that the authentic Orthodox view on this topic is very different from what most Orthodox Jews believe. The great Kabbalistic and Chassidic thinkers showed, through their daring ideas, that there is a completely different yet acceptable approach that, without compromising, can maintain belief in the divinity of the entire Torah even without the need to argue with Bible critics.

The Problem of Religious Passion
The biggest problem with Rabbi Jacobs' approach is perhaps the question of religious passion. There is no doubt that ultra-Orthodox Jews show an enormous zeal for Judaism because they are convinced that all of the Torah is divine and all the commandments are the will of God as expressed by Him verbally at Sinai. They are prepared to give their lives for this belief. Any tempering of this conviction often leads to a lukewarm approach to "shemirat ha-mitzvot" (the observance of the commandments). This problem even exists in some sections of Modern Orthodoxy. My understanding is that Rabbi Jacobs was fully aware of this and had no satisfactory solution, but would not compromise his search for what he believed was the truth.

The Future of Orthodox Halacha
At the upcoming Louis Jacobs Memorial Lecture next Sunday, I will discuss the question of Halacha and halachic renewal from the perspective of what I understand to be the correct Orthodox position. (I cannot think of a worse word to describe Judaism than "orthodox," which refers to strict, overly dogmatic fundamentalism and completely misrepresents the very foundations on which Judaism stands. There is nothing orthodox about Orthodox Judaism!)

While I stand in awe of Rabbi Jacobs' masterpiece, The Tree of Life, I do not agree with some of his ideas on how or why Halacha should develop in the way he suggests. In fact, I will show that some ultra-Orthodox thinkers were even more radical than Rabbi Jacobs but remained completely committed to Orthodox Halacha and the belief in Torah from Heaven. (These ideas are different from the ones I discuss in my latest book: Jewish Law as Rebellion: A Plea for Religious Authenticity and Halachic Courage, Urim Publications, 2018).

An Honor
It is therefore a great honor to be able to deliver this lecture at the request of the Friends of Louis Jacobs.org. As an Orthodox Jew, I feel it is my duty to stand up for what I believe is genuine Orthodox Judaism, without denying that my reading of it is different from what some of my Orthodox colleagues maintain. I remind my readers that there are tens if not hundreds of different readings of Orthodox Judaism, such as those of Maimonides (c. 1135-1204) in his Guide for the Perplexed and Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi (1075-1141) in his famous Kuzari. An even more drastic view of Orthodoxy is described by Rabbi Levi ben Gershom, also known as Gersonides (1288-1344), who denied God's foreknowledge when discussing human free will, and denied that God created the world ex nihilo (Sefer Milchamot HaShem).

Cowardice
Not accepting the invitation is, in my eyes, a form of cowardice. It is a sad commentary on the state of contemporary Orthodoxy when some of its members and leaders call on me to decline to give this lecture, or attack me at other times for what they believe are "non-kosher views and halachic solutions", which in most cases shows that they are not familiar enough with Talmudic and later sources.

The same is true regarding Rabbi Jacobs. To call him a traitor and destroyer of Judaism, as some have done, is entirely missing the point. All he wanted was to give a boost to Orthodox Judaism on an intellectual level. He may have been mistaken in his views, but nobody can accuse him of being dishonest or out to undermine Judaism.

Such views display symptoms of fear, helplessness, and miscalculation. Anyone who believes that by refusing to give the type of lecture for which I was invited, we will convince anyone of the truth of Orthodoxy is terribly misguided. Such ideas have faded into flickering embers that have lost all meaning. It only convinces people that Orthodox Jews are afraid of any confrontation with those who think differently. Throughout my entire life as a teacher of Judaism, I have learned a lot from my opponents, and I'm sure I will continue to do so, even if I don't always agree with their views.

The enormous loss of prestige suffered by Orthodoxy over the past few centuries, due to its failure to understand what was happening with the spiritual condition of our people, and the crisis into which religious faith has plunged, is beyond description. The price that Orthodoxy pays for this failure is one of the saddest chapters in modern Jewish history.

Courage
It is our duty to return Orthodoxy to its grandeur, to its astonishing ideas, to its courage to change where change is required, without compromising the word of the living God.

I sometimes get the feeling that I am a stronger believer in genuine Orthodox Judaism than those who oppose my participation and ideas.

Real Orthodox Judaism has infinite courage. It dares and never avoids any obstacle or critique. It enjoys a good fight so that it can enrich itself.

It will be an honor to speak for the Friends of Louis Jacobs.org. I look forward to giving this lecture and discussing my ideas with those who differ with me. It will be a great joy.

Delen |

Uw reactie:

vul de beveiligings-code in
aug 2019The Sweetening of the Divine Word
aug 2019A Command to Cancel the Commandments Tolerating Heresy
jul 2019Life: The Courage to Say 'Li'
jul 2019The Divine Insanity of Halachic Chess
jul 2019Limmud
jun 2019The Embarrassment and Honor of Being Called a Rabbi, and Third-Epoch Halacha
jun 2019The High Priest, the Pope and I
jun 2019My Struggle with Persuasion and the Truth Concerning other Religions
jun 2019Is the Torah Divine? Thoughts for Shavuot on Combustibility
mei 2019A Vote of Confidence
mei 2019To Madonna
mei 2019On Music Baths And Art As Religious Protest
mei 2019Yom Ha’atzmauth The Eternal Marriage
mei 2019My Chareidi and Modern Orthodox Struggles Question 9, Part Two
apr 2019Bread is an Arrogant Matza
apr 2019Question 9 My Chareidi and Modern Orthodox Struggles Part One
apr 2019The Israeli Elections Radical Otherness
mrt 2019Faith and Freedom The Passover Haggadah of Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Berkovits
mrt 2019Thoughts to Reject Purim
mrt 2019My Hardship with Honest Teaching And Its Privilege
mrt 2019My Controversy with the Mainstream Orthodox Community – Part 2
mrt 2019My Controversy with the Mainstream Orthodox Community – Part 1
feb 2019My Fascination with the Chaotic World of the Talmud Ten Questions for Rabbi Lopes Cardozo
feb 2019The Kotzker, Spinoza and I Ten Questions for Rabbi Cardozo
feb 2019The Sanctity of Shabbat Yes to the Ayalon Bridge, No to the Eurovision Song Contest
feb 2019My Search for and Momentary Loss of God
jan 2019Why I (Refuse to) Pray Ten Questions for Rabbi Cardozo
jan 2019Torah Reaches Beyond the Boundaries of Strict Halacha
dec 2018An interview with Rabbi Cardozo: Taking issue
dec 2018Parashat Miketz The Pain of Being a Tzaddik
nov 2018Parashat Vayeshev Divine Emanations, Chanuka and the Future of the State of Israel
nov 2018Parashat Vayishlach Amalek, Jewish Injustice, Converts and a Warning to the Chief Rabbinate
nov 2018Parashat Vayetze Be Fearful of Religion (1)
nov 2018Parashat Toldot Admitting A Mistake: Even God Does
nov 2018Pittsburgh - In Memory of Its Victims Faith, Death and Frontal Encounter (A Short Insight while on the ...
okt 2018The Curse of Religious Boredom
okt 2018Parashat Noach
okt 2018Introduction to Torah Torah: The Unavoidable and Disturbing Text
sep 2018Simchat Torah: The Unapproachable Text
sep 2018Simchat Torah Technology and the Outdated Torah Scroll
sep 2018Rosh HaShana: Fairy Tales and Humor
aug 2018Rosh HaShanah: What Really Counts
aug 2018The Joy of Saying: I am Sorry The Portuguese Spanish Selichot
aug 2018Parashat Shoftim Surround Yourself with Cleanliness
aug 2018Achieving Unity While Remaining Divided
jul 2018Tish'a B'Av – The Ninth of Av Who Needs the Temple?
jul 2018The Controversy Surrounding My Louis Jacobs Memorial Lecture
jun 2018Scandalous Halachic Decisions Ethiopians and Wine
jun 2018Parashat Chukat The Curse of Religious Coercion
jun 2018Conversion An Open Letter to Israel’s Chief Rabbis
jun 2018Parashat Behaalotecha Theocracy, Democracy, and Halacha *
mei 2018Why a Second Day Yom Tov? The Incomparable Greatness of the Land of Israel
mei 2018Atheism: Belief in the Unbelievable I have tried to be an atheist, but skepticism always got in the way
mei 2018Parshat Bechukotai To Have or to Be, That Is the Question
mei 2018Sefirat HaOmer The Secret to Human and Rabbinical Autonomy
apr 2018The Tragedy and the Challenge A Forgotten Mission
apr 2018Seventy Years of an Unyielding 3,330-Year Marriage Yom Ha'atzmaut
apr 2018Yom HaShoa – Jewish Life or Just Israeli Life? Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai or A.B. Yehoshua?
mrt 2018The Great Mystery: Why Karpas?
mrt 2018Plato’s Haggada in the “Dialogues”
mrt 2018An Open Letter to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and the Charedi Leadership
mrt 2018Collapsed Halacha and Moshe’s Mask
mrt 2018Megillat Esther and the Nervous-Syndrome Chess Game
feb 2018Conversion and the Birth of Amalek A Warning to the Chief Rabbinate
feb 2018Finding One's Neshome (1) Franz Rosenzweig and the Berliner Shtiebel
feb 2018The Enduring Preciousness of the Secular Jew *
feb 2018The Challenge of Yitro Would Yóu Convert?
jan 2018Parshat BeShalach Jewish Self Delusion
jan 2018Circumcision: Why Risk Your Child's Well-Being? A Call to All Israelis.
jan 2018Moses The Successful Failure
jan 2018Jesus, a Warning to Our Rabbis
dec 2017Halacha Means Full Liberty To Be Secular Would Be Hell: Everything Would Be Forbidden
dec 2017Soul Jews and Halachic Jews
dec 2017Codifying Jewish Law is Not Authentic
dec 2017Jewish Law (Halacha) as Rebellion
nov 2017Be Fearful of Religion Parashat VaYetze
nov 2017The Bet Midrash of Avraham Avinu
nov 2017The Bet Midrash of Avraham Avinu
nov 2017The Bet Midrash of Avraham Avinu Lectures and the Academy
okt 2017The Wonder of Judaism The Bet Midrash of Avraham Avinu
okt 2017Freud’s Subconscious Discovery of God
okt 2017Afterthoughts on Simchat Torah: The Unbending Sefer Torah
okt 2017Sukkot Is a State of Mind Nakedness and a Desert Full of Snakes
okt 2017Afterthoughts on Yom Kippur Ultimate Love and the Danger of Religious Exhaustion*
sep 2017An Open Letter to My Synagogue The Curse of Indifference
sep 2017Embryonic Judaism The Bet Midrash of Avraham Avinu
sep 2017The Bet Midrash of Avraham Avinu Tentative Thoughts Toward a Jewish Religious Renaissance
aug 2017The Turmoil in the USA
aug 2017Jewish Law (Halacha) as Rebellion (2)
aug 2017Jewish Law (Halacha) as Rebellion
jul 2017In Defense of Rabbi Dweck and Orthodox Judaism An Open Letter to Rabbi S. F. Zimmerman, Rav of Gateshead, ...
jun 2017The Waters of Strife The Devastation of Religious Coercion Parshat Chukat
jun 2017A Modern Day Inquisition Rabbi Joseph Dweck The Tragic Story of Rabbinical Small-mindedness
jun 2017Speaking Lashon Hara about the World
jun 2017The Holocaust: Divine Retribution?
mei 2017The Desert and the Wandering Divine Word
mei 2017The Ban on Circumcision Blatant Anti-Semitism and Ignorance
mei 2017Kohanim: The Challenge of Educational Dissent
mei 2017Are We Really Living at the Dawn of the Redemption? Afterthoughts on Yom Ha’atzmaut
apr 2017Boredom and the Immature Elderly
apr 2017Pesach: God’s Sporadic Presence and Overwhelming Absence in Human History
mrt 2017Parshat Vayikra The Trouble with Sacrifices Why Spinoza’s Ethics Were Not Given at Sinai
mrt 2017Johann Sebastian Bach and the Tent of Meeting
mrt 2017An open letter to Rabbi Cardozo in response to his article on Rav Soloveitchik Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik ...
mrt 2017Purim and the Challenge of the Holocaust
mrt 2017Thoughts to reject For the Early Connoisseur Purim
feb 2017Sinai Now!
feb 2017Parashat Yitro Racism and the Wisdom of a Gentile
feb 2017The Genius and Limitations of Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveitchik z”l
feb 2017The Chief Rabbinate and Its Disgrace Who Is an Exceptionally Great Sage?
jan 2017The Unknowable, Loving and Aggravating God “I am as I shall be” (*Shemot* 3:14)
jan 2017Rabbinical Tyranny and Freedom of Thought
jan 2017Calling for Religious Unity Only Leads to Division The Need for Personal Conscience
jan 2017Syria and the Scandal of our (Orthodox) Synagogues
dec 2016Divine Emanations, Cause and Effect, and Chanukah
dec 2016God is not a “what,” nor a “when”, and not even a “who” God and the Fires
dec 2016God and The Fires “Because of Our Sins, This Has Befallen Us?”
dec 2016The Purpose of Sefer Bereishit The Abuse of Halacha: Keeping Halacha under Control Part 2
nov 2016The Abuse of Halacha: Keeping Halacha Under Control Part 1
nov 2016Walking Mountains, Shabbat and the Buddha
nov 2016The Curse of Religious Boredom
nov 2016Torah: The Unavoidable and Disturbing Text
okt 2016Torah from Heaven The Deliberately Flawed Divine Torah The Theology of the Halachic Loophole
okt 2016Approaching Tragedy with Joy
okt 2016Yom Kippur: Who is Able to Eat?
sep 2016Do We Dare to Blow the Shofar?
sep 2016Against Indifference Prayer for the World
sep 2016God Does Not Exist So Let Us Serve Him! For Poets, Musicians, Artists and Deep Souls
sep 2016For Poets, Musicians, Artists and Deep Souls The Hopelessness of Dogma and the Beauty of faith
sep 2016Let Us Violate Shabbat So As To Sanctify It The Holy Day and the Tel Aviv Railway
aug 2016Wanted: Rabbis with Knives between Their Teeth The Need for a Genuine Upheaval
aug 2016A Slap in the Face to the Holy One Blessed Be He?
aug 2016Rabbinic Despair and Simple Courage
aug 2016The Chaos Theory of Halacha
jul 2016How the Mighty Have Fallen On Joy and Jealousy
jul 2016Faith is the Joy of Religious Doubt and Uncertainty
jun 2016The Kotel Have We Gone Mad? A Call to All Denominations and Other “Holy” Warriors
jun 2016Israel, the American Elections and the Turmoil in Our World A Parable
jun 2016Shavuot Would You Convert? Like Yitro?
jun 2016Orthodox Rabbi Teaching Halakha Beyond the Shulkhan Arukh, Judaism Beyond the Commandments
mei 2016Parshat Bechukotai The Miracle of Satisfaction
mei 2016Sefirat HaOmer: What Really Counts
mei 2016An Unyielding Marriage of 3500+ Years Yom Ha’atzmauth
mei 2016Yom Hashoa The Quest for Authenticity Rembrandt and the Holocaust
apr 2016Blessed Are Those Who Eat Chametz!
apr 2016Plato’s Advice: Do Not Read The Haggada!
apr 2016The True Art of Sport: Game or Torture?
apr 2016Are You Really Eating Kosher? On Camouflage, Hypocrisy and Hiding behind the Kashrut Laws
mrt 2016The Making of an Enemy The Birth of Amalek
mrt 2016Purim, God’s Hidden Face, and the Advantage of a Permanent Job
mrt 2016The Hazard of Fluency
mrt 2016Rabbinical Courage and the Frozen Text
feb 2016Have Some Pity on the Anti-Semite!
feb 2016Shut Down the Kotel!
feb 2016A Remorseless Judaism
feb 2016Milk and Meat: The Dangerous Mixture
jan 2016Halacha as the Art of Playing Chess Divine Insanity
jan 2016Am I Still Orthodox? Answer to a Jerusalem Rabbi
jan 2016The Desecration of Halacha
jan 2016The Threat of Freedom
dec 2015Amsterdam Spinoza Symposium It Is Time to Lift the Ban
dec 2015Arguing Against Oneself: Joseph’s Self-Revenge
dec 2015Needed: Redemptive Halakha How Halakha Must Transcend Itself
dec 2015Chanukah: Hypocrisy or Authenticity
nov 2015A Prophetic View: The Gentile Aliyah Epidemic
nov 2015Oh, that I Could Take Off My Kippah!
nov 2015Admitting A Mistake: Even God Does
nov 2015 How Old Would You Be If You Did Not Know How Old You Are?
okt 2015The Religious Scandal of Akeidat Yitzchak and the Tragic God
okt 2015Israel: The Blessing of Insecurity
okt 2015God, Where are You? An open letter
okt 2015Simchat Torah: Rush or Stagnation
sep 2015The Trouble with Kal Nidrei We Are All Marranos
sep 2015Rosh Hashana Is Judaism Your Supreme Passion? (1)
sep 2015Courage, Rabbis, Courage! The Need For Mass Conversion
aug 2015Conversion and Annie Fischer’s Interpretation of Schumann’s Klavierkonzert in A Minor
aug 2015Conversion Is Not About Halacha
aug 2015The Immortal Highway
aug 2015Marriage: The Courage to Say ‘Li’
jul 2015Torah: Hearing the Divine Voice at Sinai Now
jul 2015The Temple Is of Little Importance, It Is the Eye of the Needle That Counts
jul 2015The Supreme Court of the United States, Same-Sex Marriage and Other Prohibitions
jul 2015Faith Means Joyful Uncertainty
jun 2015Religion is Dangerous; Plato, Halacha and Dreams
jun 2015The Dangling Bridges of Halacha Making rules where rules should not exist
jun 2015Bold Ideas: Take the Bike or Tram, Get a Free Coffee, and Observe Shabbat! (1)
jun 2015Halacha: The Disturbing Search for God
mei 2015Make Anti-Semitism a Source of Jewish Pride
mei 2015Shavuot, The Wonder and Glow of God’s Word
jul 2014De paradox van ‘Wie is een Jood’
mei 2014Joden, Sisyphus en Sport – (Met enige ironie!)
mei 2014God is aan het verhuizen
apr 2014Seideravond: karpas en de veelkleurige mantel
feb 2014Groots denken omtrent het jodendom
dec 2013The Abuse of Halacha
nov 2013Limmoed en het orthodoxe fiasco