“Rabbi Gordimer…offers nothing to those who ask the questions addressed by Open Orthodoxy”

Rabbi Gordimer is not obliged to endorse or even respect Open Orthodoxy’s agenda or its approach to Orthodox Judaism. But he has never once acknowledged that it is Open Orthodoxy alone, that addresses some of the fundamental challenges to the entire Modern Orthodox enterprise that have arisen in the past twenty or so years. In response to each and every Open Orthodox attempt to deal with those questions, issues like how to create Halachikly permitted ritual opportunities for ever eager and educated women, or how to render a seemingly ultra-conservative Orthodoxy relevant and meaningful to an increasingly liberal youth, or how to address the challenges to faith posed by critical Bible scholarship (which is ever more and more easy to access online), Gordimer’s reply is always to simply denigrate the motivations of those questioners, to brand them religious miscreants and to predict schism as a result of their alleged turn to heterodoxy. What he never does, what no one to the right of Open Orthodoxy ever does, is offer alternate solutions to the questions posed. Impliedly he refuses to consider the issues from any perspective other than his own parochial understanding of Modern Orthodoxy; one that relies heavily on carefully selected precedent and eschews any sort of creativity. In other words, Gordimer fails to even acknowledge those issues. He offers nothing to those who ask the questions addressed by Open Orthodoxy.

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/]