Tag: Religious Politics

Episode 40: Politics of Exclusion – Conclusion and Summary

Rabbi Josh Yuter concludes the Politics of Exclusion shiur series with a general discussion incorporating and previous classes. Many thanks for following!

Politics of Exclusion – Conclusion and Summary

Episode 9 – Politics of Exclusion, Rambam on Tzadok and Baitus

Episode 9 – Politics of Exclusion – Rambam on Tzadok and Baitus

In this part of his Politics of Exclusion Series, Rabbi Yuter discusses Rambam’s description of the Sadducean and Baithusian sects with its implications for today.

Episode 7 – Politics of Exclusion: Rambam and Rebellion

By popular request I started recording my classes. While I hope to organize and post them on the shul’s website, for now I’ll add it as one of my podcasts. I’m currently in the middle of a series called The Politics of Exclusion in Judaism where we define Who is a Jew by who doesn’t make the cut. We started months ago with Biblical Sources, followed up by Rabbinic sources, and we’re currently in the middle of going through Rambam’s Hilkhot Teshuva. Today’s class covered Hilkhot Teshuva 3:9, copied below for reference.

רמב”ם הלכות תשובה פרק ג הלכה ט
שנים הם המומרים מישראל: המומר לעבירה אחת והמומר לכל התורה כולה, מומר לעבירה אחת זה שהחזיק עצמו לעשות אותה עבירה בזדון והורגל ונתפרסם בה אפילו היתה מן הקלות כגון שהוחזק תמיד ללבוש שעטנז או להקיף פאה ונמצא כאלו בטלה מצוה זו מן העולם אצלו הרי זה מומר לאותו דבר והוא שיעשה להכעיס, מומר לכל התורה כולה כגון החוזרים לדתי העובדי כוכבים בשעה שגוזרין גזרה וידבק בהם ויאמר מה בצע לי להדבק בישראל שהם שפלים ונרדפים טוב לי שאדבק באלו שידם תקיפה, הרי זה מומר לכל התורה כולה. +/השגת הראב”ד/ לכל התורה כולה כגון החוזר לדת העובדי כוכבים. א”א ומי שחוזר לדת העובדי כוכבים הנה הוא מודה באלהיהם והרי הוא מין.+

Episode 7 – Politics of Exclusion Rambam and Rebellion

Why I Voted “No”: An Essay on Rabbinic Leadership

The opinions expressed here are my own and are not intended to reflect those of any individual or organization.


This past week the International Rabbinic Fellowship (IRF), voted on whether or not women ought to be admitted to the organization. This was not the first time the IRF considered such a proposition. In 2008, before the advent of “Maharat” or “Rabba“, the IRF recognized that women have been functioning as religious leaders within Orthodox Judaism. In Israel women serve as “To’anot Beit Din” – advocates for women in religious courts and “Yoatzot Halakha” – halakhic consultants regarding family purity. Even without formal titles women serve as Torah educators alongside men and several synagogues employ women in some religious capacity. In fact the Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC), under Orthodox Union (OU), sends married couples to college campuses across the country with the expectation that the wife serves the campus Jewish community alongside her rabbinic husband. Regardless of the semantics of titles – or lack thereof – Jewish women assume professional roles similar to those performed by male rabbinic counterparts and thus should not be excluded from conversations affecting the Jewish community at large based solely on gender.

When I was first confronted with this question I supported the theoretical inclusion of women into the group, even if it meant removing “Rabbinic” adjective from the organization’s name. I even submitted to a subcommittee my own proposal defining criteria for women to be treated as rabbinic colleagues given that no comparable title existed at the time.1 And yet despite my earlier positions and after hearing passionate arguments in favor of admitting women, when the IRF finally voted on including women, I voted “no”. My decision may appear at first glance to be inconsistent, dishonest, or indicative of intimidation from opposition. On the contrary, as I will explain in this essay my principles remain intact. My position is not based on the identity politics of gender but on what I perceive to be the role and function of rabbinic leadership in Judaism.

Episode 3 – The Halakhot and Ethics of Universal Health Care in Torah

Rabbi Josh Yuter lectures on the laws and ethics of Universal Health Care in Torah from a holistic legal and ethical perspective, independent of popular politics.

Originally delivered November 19th 2009 at Mt. Sinai Congregation in Washington Heights

The Halakhot and Ethics of Universal Health Care in Torah Sources (PDF)

Episode 3 – The Halakhot and Ethics of Universal Health Care in Torah

Episode 1 – Introduction and the Proposed RCA Amendments

Episode 1 – Introduction and the RCA Amendments

Rabbi Josh Yuter dives into the world of Podcasting and takes on the Rabbinical Council of America’s proposed amendments.

Since this is my first podcast attempt, all feedback from speaking, tech, or content will be greatly appreciated.