Audio: Religious Streams #1: Open Orthodoxy

The first of a series on various Orthodox Jewish ideologies. Interview with Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot.
2/22/2011, 11:57 PM

A7 Radio's "Welcome to the Tribe" with Gabriella Licsko
Listen Now!
Follow Israel Radio on Twitter and Facebook.

The Jewish nation is one, but the Torah has seventy faces. The Jewish nation may be one, but that doesn't mean Jews do not have different opinions. Of course they do! There are even different opinions in Orthodox Judaism:
different opinions, different ideas, and different communities. Just think about the ultra and modern Orthodox groups and their diversity.

Big streams have substreams and subgroups. This isn't only true in the Chassidic movement. It also exists in the modern orthodox community. There are the right-wingers, the centrist, and the liberals. And also the so-called Open Orthodox. And many, many, more. Labels, labels, labels. Boxes and labels. Do we need them? Maybe yes, maybe no. But getting to know them is certainly worthwhile. To have information about each other could be the beginning of better understanding and mutual respect.

So, I decided that in the Welcome to the Tribe podcast I will introduce one different Orthodox ideology or community or organization each month. From the very Haredi ideologies to the most modern ones.
These communities all follow Torah law, but their ideologies can differ in many ways: in clothing, in the connection of Torah learning and secular education, military service, ideas about the State and Eretz Israel, and of course in women's roles -- in the expanding or not expanding the leadership roles of women.

On February 19th, a public discourse on women's spiritual leadership in Orthodox communities took place in Jerualem sponsored by the Matan Institute. It included the participation of Rebbetzin Malke Bina, founder and head of Matan, Rabbi David Stav, the rabbi of the community of Shoham and co-founder of Tzohar organization, and Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, New York, whom I interview in this week's program.
Because of the topics of the conference this week I chose a leftist fraction within the modern orthodox movement.     
Yes, there are seventy faces of the Torah. And seventy faces of Orthodox Judaism. That's it? Just seventy faces? Believe me, there are many more! Right now, get to know one of them with Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot from America, one of the most illustrious figures in the movement called Open Orthodoxy. What is this stream is really about, and can you find this type of communities outside the US? Also, an interview with Rabbi Yair Silverman of Zichron Yaakov.

Gabriella Licsko is a lecturer on Jewish history and society focusing on different religious communities. She leads tours of different neighborhoods in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as well as tours across the country. Gabriella holds a bachelor's degree in Culture Studies and a master's degree in Jewish Studies and made aliyah from Hungary in 2007. She hosts the Welcome to the Tribe podcast every Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Israel National Radio.
INR Latest Shows >>