Gordimer’s tactics do achieve one purpose; they squelch free and open debate. It’s always been true, that throughout history, as information became and becomes more and more available to the masses, Judaism in any of its forms, is only as successful and meaningful to people as its ability to compete in the free marketplace of ideas. That’s especially true of any Orthodoxy as it draws its legitimacy from defending tradition and cleaving to practices that appear anachronistic or worse to the casual observer or neophyte seeker. Modern Orthodoxy has the added challenge of articulating how to go about incorporating practices and values that are not specifically Jewish into the Halachik orbit, whilst not altering Judaism’s basic form. But Gordimer, via his denigration of Open Orthodoxy and its leadership, refuses to engage in free and open debate, to compete in the free marketplace of ideas. And that refusal is tantamount to an admission on his part that in fact Modern Orthodoxy has nothing to contribute to the discussion, has nothing to offer those who are troubled by the status quo. For Gordimer, one is either “in or out,” a true believer or a heretic. But it is Gordimer’s worldview that is rendered out. Why should an outsider take him seriously, when he takes no one, other than himself and those who think as he does, seriously?
Daniel B. Schwartz, “Modern Orthodoxy’s Right: In Search of a Message”, Times of Israel (10 January 2016) [http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/modern-orthodoxys-right-in-search-of-a-message/]