An Open Letter to the OU – The Shattering Silence of The OU

Mr. Fagen,
Jewish unity is precious and many don’t appreciate it enough.  The OU has always made tangible contributions to Jewish unity.  Both the community and individual reap benefits from unity. Jewish unity is anchored by central tenets of Judaism that connect us all regardless of any other aspects of our lives. If those tenets were to be ripped out of the community,  achieving Jewish unity would be reduced to a masquerade akin to Libyan warlords after Gaddafi’s death, who cooperated with the government to strengthen  their own position while gaining  legitimacy.
Recently there was an assault on Jewish unity by a congregation which, in the past, has makes it hard to achieve consensus. They celebrated something which the Torah refers to as repugnant.
This synagogue  is a member of your organization and there’s yet to be an official response. If a popular and progressive spiritual leader, would celebrate a  Palestinian terrorist who murdered in his alleged people’s “struggle” for self-determination and recognition how long would the OU deliberate  condemning him?
To chose to not respond to this offense or to offer a muted response would leave an ugly dent in Jewish unity. The repercussions of such inaction would  reverberate through the community until  Mashiach arrives.
To paraphrase Martin Niemoller:
When they came for the rabbinate I was silent because a marhrat is not a rabbi.
When  they came for the rabbis of the Talmud I was silent because it was a point many did not understand.
When they came for marriage I was silent because  celebrating gay marriage is not strictly forbidden.
When they came for Shabbos I could not speak because I was not a voice for Yiddishkeit.


    • This is not lashon hara. See Chafetz Chaim. The writer is 100% right. That organization publicly mocked Hashem and flouted His Torah which had to be condemned in the strongest form.

    • they have a “policy” condemning this and actually “condemning” this are two different points. Your comment does not address what this letter says.

  1. Actually, OU is not following their policy. Open Orthodoxy has violated their policies for a long time, and they are still members. From female rabbis to wishing mazal tov upon the engagement of a gay couple – when will they say, Ad Kan?

  2. Would be nice if there was a little more clarity on what you’re talking about if there is a need to mention it at all but the talking in obscurity is like having a private conversation across the table why don’t we learn how to properly conduct ourselves a deal with issues That need to be dealt with in the correct way

  3. Is publishing an open letter against a legitimate Orthodox Jewish organization whom most frum yidden rely on to assure they are eating kosher intended to promote unity?! Possibly, the Rabbinim shlita heading our varied organizations should meet and discuss!


  5. Avi Weiss is a Bobover, his father R. Moshe Weiss was a a Bobover Chasid in the alte heim.

    Bobov should condemn his activities!

    Ysoscher Katz of YCT is a former Satmar, a musmach of R. Yechezkel Roth, who was Satmar dayan years ago. When will Satmar/R. Y. Roth condemn and defrock R. Ysoscher Katz?

    • What does Bobov today have to do with Bobov from the alter heim in Poland? Besides, which of the 2-3 Bobover groups should speak out against someone who left Bobov about a century ago? And the same goes for Satmar. You make no sense.

  6. It’s a shame but true. OU is responsible for a lot of kosher, but they ultimately are a modern Orthodox organization, run by lay people not Rabbonim… Likely kashrus is ultimately run by lay people not Rabbonim…we should rethink how we view them

  7. Weiss and Katz don’t claim to be associated with or endorsed by Satmar or Bobov. However they do claim membership in the OU. Theeefire is is incumbent on the OU to publicly break ties with them.

    • You are wrong.

      Ysoscher Katz advertises that he was ordained by R. Yechezkel Roth, UTA (Satmar) dayan (now Karlsburg Rav). That information is on the website of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah right now (I just checked)!

      Why don’t the Karlsburger Rav and Satmar condemn and defrock Ysoscher Katz?

  8. To paraphrase Rav Hirsch -open unsigned letters are works of cowardly gnats .
    If we are really serious about this then we need to put a real voice behind the machoeh

  9. R. Chaim Rapoport of England is a Lubavitcher that has been lecturing at YCT for years.

    Why doesn’t Lubavitch speak out against him?

    • Can a rabbi take a photo with a woman rabbi and the reform rabbis? Our lubavitch did. He goes to the Reform Temple and represents his community. Seems wrong. I wonder if this is done by other rabbonim or if it is a new tactic of the lubavitch. Seems very odd and wrong.

  10. Do you have proof that R’ Chaim Rappaport lectures for the Chovevei Torah seminary? I would find that very surprising.

    • It is well known and has been going on for many years. For multiple mareh mekomos, just do a search for Rapoport (make sure to spell it exactly that way, as he spells it) for Rapoport and Chovevei Torah and/or Rapoport and YCT.

      Here is just one, for starters –

      “this week we were blessed to once again welcome Rabbi Chaim Rapoport as a scholar-in-residence at YCT. Rabbi Rapoport comes to YCT on a yearly basis, to spend a full week giving shiurim and connecting to the guys.”

      More info there.

      Rapoport became a darling of some Modern Orthodox people when he wrote a book promoting a soft line on toeivah practitioners a numbers of years ago.

  11. I salute Matzav in exposing this fifth column of heretics known as open orthodox. In fact I was at Landaus flatbush Shul on Sunday and there was a big TAG internet filtering mobile. I had them upgrade my TAG filter to keep out all so called jewish newsites and left exclusively MAtzav. I have noticed that many of the so called orthodox newsites side against the rabbonim as well frum pro Torah activists. Only matzav gives you the authentic Torah perspective news. As far as the YCT open orthos, they have no future as they slide towards the reformers who are sinking like quicksand.

  12. The OU gives hechsher to marijana, I don’t support them anymore. My friend was killed by someone high on marijana and driving a car. The OU is complicit.

  13. Anyone who has spent even an hour studying hilchos lashon hora knows that this letter is 100% muttar. In fact the author did a tremendous mitzvah by writing it. Kavod HaTorah and Kavod Hashem always comes first.

    The OU must answer and must revoke the membership of all shuls who dare higher a rabbi from a Yeshiva that clearly violates our Torah umesorah.

    Condemnation is not enough. The shuls and rabbonim who are erlich must threaten to leave the organization if this is not dealt with.

    Why are they all silent on this?


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