Dr. Marc Shapiro Urges On the Great Orthodox Schism of the 21st Century
An exerpt from his piece in The Jewish Week:
...The Modern Orthodox/Religious Zionist world should not seek to delegitimize the haredi form of Orthodoxy. But basic pride in one’s ideology would suggest that the Modern Orthodox/Religious Zionist world should not feel the need to follow the haredim and adapt its own practices in order that there be “one standard.” Whenever people urge the adoption of one standard, you can be sure it will always be the haredi standard, and this applies to conversion, kashrut supervision and any other matter you can imagine. In other words, as long as “one standard” becomes the goal, there is no longer a need for Modern Orthodox halachic authorities. Halachic matters can be left to the haredi world, all in the interest of preserving “Orthodox unity.”
Yet isn’t it time to ask why the Modern Orthodox/Religious Zionist world doesn’t model itself on the haredi world in at least one area? The haredi world follows its own authorities without regard for the non-haredi rabbinate. Isn’t it time for the Modern Orthodox/Religious Zionist world to do the same?
This would mean a complete break with the haredi halachic authorities and the establishment of religious courts that share at least some of the values and worldview of the community in which they serve. (I was struck by how, in his lengthy ruling attacking Rabbi Druckman’s conversions, the haredi dayan relies on the halachic decisions of a well-known posek who serves the anti-Zionist Edah Haredit. In other words, the writings of one who believes that the creation of the State of Israel was a terrible sin — and who clearly has no sympathy with the goal of helping ease the conversion of sincere non-Jewish immigrants — is helping guide the decisions of a dayan who works for the Israeli government and is supposed to have the best interests of the State at heart.)
I am sure some readers will protest that it goes against Orthodox unity to advocate this approach. Yet with such a step the Modern Orthodox/Religious Zionist world would only be acknowledging the situation that the haredim have created, and are now pursuing with a vengeance.
There are hundreds of thousands of non-Jews in Israel, many of whom are interested in conversion. There is also an enormous intermarriage rate in the United States, and there are many non-Jewish partners who are also willing to convert. Yet before solving the problem of who will be a Jew, we must solve the problem of who is a dayan and who is a halachic authority. The haredim have already given their answer to this question. One would that think that the Modern Orthodox/Religious Zionists would take the hint and realize that the time has come to go their own way.
Maybe he'll join my campaign to call the OU and tell them to get rid of R' Yisroel Belsky as one of their head halakhic decisors for his public defaming of the Modern Orthodox world.