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Rebbe, the Messiah, and the Scandal of Orthodox IndifferenceWith a New Introduction$
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David Berger

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113751

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113751.001.0001

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The Council of Torah Sages

The Council of Torah Sages

(p.76) Seven The Council of Torah Sages
Rebbe, the Messiah, and the Scandal of Orthodox Indifference

David Berger

Liverpool University Press

This chapter details the author's attempts to reach the Council of Torah Sages. In the world of Modern Orthodoxy exemplified by the Rabbinical Council of America, the author has friends, acquaintances, former students, and a modicum of standing, so that the author could accomplish something from within. The leaders of Traditionalist Orthodoxy, marked by greater insularity and profound reservations about higher secular education, are far less accessible to the author. Committed to the authority of da'at torah, or ‘the opinion of the Torah’, the Traditionalist Orthodox Agudath Israel has set up a group of distinguished rabbis (gedolim) empowered to decide issues of both Jewish law and public policy. This Council of Torah Sages (Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah) and its equivalent bodies in Israel hold a position of unparalleled influence in a major segment of Orthodoxy, and the leading authorities in that community command great respect among Modern Orthodox Jews as well. The author sent the rabbis copies of the exchange in Jewish Action, the author's letter to the RCA, and two additional letters commenting on the RCA resolution and the controversy over Rabbi Soloveichik's statements. In the absence of any response, the author had no way of assessing the reaction.

Keywords:   Council of Torah Sages, Traditionalist Orthodoxy, Traditionalist Orthodox Agudath Israel, Torah, Modern Orthodoxy, Rabbinical Council of America

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