Category Archives: Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava

Posts relating to Jewish Thought in all its forms

“Gadolatry” In Orthodox Jewish Discourse

I first heard the term “gadolatry” attributed to the late professor Arthur Hertzberg. A portmanteau of “gadol” and “idolatry,” the word “gadolatry” refers to a perceived phenomenon in Orthodox Judaism where select rabbinic leaders are treated with a degree of deference or reverence, bordering on worshipping the person of the rabbi himself. That Dr. Hertzberg would coin such an inflammatory term is not surprising given his personality, such that any reactions of offense or outrage are as intentional as they are predictable. However, it has been my experience that those strong passions on either side have turned the reasonable question of the role of the gadol in Judaism into the single greatest impediment to intelligent religious discourse in the Orthodox Jewish community.

While I have no expectations of resolving this divisive issue, I do hope to explicate the rationales implied when one invokes a gadol, and why others may find such an argument unconvincing.
Continue reading

Posted in Jewish Culture, Jewish Law / Halakha, Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava, Random Acts of Scholarship. Tagged with , , , .

Episode 37 – Politics of Exclusion: Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox Part 4

Rabbi Yuter concludes the segment on Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox discussing attributions of Saul Lieberman’s scholarship and the failed attempt at creating a beit din with Conservative and Orthodox input.

Politics of Exclusion – Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox 4 Sources (PDF)

Politics of Exclusion – Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox Part 4

Posted in Jewish History, Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava, Politics of Exclusion in Judaism. Tagged with , , , .

Episode 36 – Politics of Exclusion: Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox Part 3

Rabbi Yuter’s Politics of Exclusion class returns, examining the hareidi reaction to Saul Lieberman

Politics of Exclusion – Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox 3 Sources (PDF)
Politics of Exclusion – Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox Part 3

Posted in Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava, Politics of Exclusion in Judaism, Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah. Tagged with , , , .

Episode 36 – Politics of Exclusion: Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox Part 2

Rabbi Yuter’s Politics of Exclusion segment on Saul Lieberman continues with a specific charge against Saul Lieberman, his response, and concludes with a game changing twist.

Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox Part 2 Sources (PDF)

Politics of Exclusion – Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox Part 2

Posted in Jewish History, Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava, Lectures, Politics of Exclusion in Judaism, Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah. Tagged with , , , , .

Episode 35 – Politics of Exclusion: Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox Part 1

Rabbi Josh Yuter starts a new section in his Politics of Exclusion series discussing the Orthodox reaction to Saul Lieberman after accepting his position at JTS.

Politics of Exclusion – Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox Part 1 Sources (PDF)

Politics of Exclusion – Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox Part 1

All texts are from Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox by Marc Shapiro and is a highly purchase and read in its entirety.

Posted in Jewish Law / Halakha, Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava, Podcasts, Politics of Exclusion in Judaism, Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah. Tagged with , , , , , , .

Episode 34 – Politics of Exclusion: R. Moshe Feinstein on Non-Observant Jews

Having discussed R. Moshe Feinstein’s antipathy towards Conservative and Reform Rabbis, Rabbi Yuter considers R. Moshe Feinstein’s attitude toward non-observant Jewish masses.

Politics of Exclusion – R. Moshe Feinstein on Non-Observant Jews Sources (PDF)

Politics of Exclusion – R. Moshe Feinstein on Non-Observant Jews

Posted in Jewish History, Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava, Podcasts, Politics of Exclusion in Judaism, Random Acts of Scholarship, Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah. Tagged with , .

Episode 33 – Politics of Exclusion: R. Moshe Feinstein on Conservative Conversions

Rabbi Yuter’s Politics of Exclusion series continues with a discussion of R. Moshe Feinstein’s opinions related to the conversions of Conservative Jews.

R. Moshe Feinstein vs. Conservative Conversions Sources (PDF)

Politics of Exclusion – R. Moshe on Conservative Conversions

Posted in Jewish Law / Halakha, Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava, Podcasts, Politics of Exclusion in Judaism, Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah. Tagged with , , , , .

Episode 31 – Politics of Exclusion: R. Moshe Feinstein vs. Conservative and Reform Weddings

Rabbi Josh Yuter’s Politics of Exclusion class continues with a discussion of R. Moshe Feinstein’s opinions regarding the halakhic status of weddings and marriages of Reform and Conservative Rabbis.

R. Moshe Feinstein vs Conservative and Reform Weddings Sources (PDF)

Politics of Exclusion – R. Moshe Feinstein vs Conservative and Reform Weddings

Posted in Jewish Law / Halakha, Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava, Podcasts, Politics of Exclusion in Judaism, Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah. Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Episode 28 – Politics of Exclusion: R. Moshe Feinstein vs. Conservative and Reform Part 1

Rabbi Yuter’s Politics of Exclusion Class continues with an examination of R. Moshe Feinstein’s responsa / teshuvot regarding Conservative and Reform Judaism.

Politics of Exclusion – R. Moshe Feinstein vs. Conservative and Reform Part 1 Sources (PDF)

Politics of Exclusion – R. Moshe Feinstein vs. Conservative and Reform Part 1

Posted in Jewish Law / Halakha, Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava, Lectures, Podcasts, Politics of Exclusion in Judaism, Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah. Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , .

Eretz Yisrael / The Land of Israel In Rabbinic Thought

In a special class in honor of Yom Haatzmaut, Rabbi Yuter explores Rabbinic perspectives regarding the land of Israel, including those from Babylonian sources.

Eretz Yisrael in Rabbinic Thought Sources (PDF)

Eretz Yisrael in Rabbinic Thought

Posted in Jewish History, Jewish Law / Halakha, Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava, Lectures, Podcasts, Politics, Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah. Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , .