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Author of parsha is lacking in areas of Torah learning

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I refer to the parsha in last week’s Jewish Report by a Cape Town Progressive rabbi. My criticism is not about the man, but I find the content disturbing.

Some issues in the parsha I find to be untenable with Judaism:

1. The claim that the Torah is not Divine but man-authored - “writers of this text” - undermining the very fundamental foundation of Judaism.

2. His selectivity and de-selectivity (discarding) of aspects of the Torah accordingly.

3. His self-claim of the title “rabbi” when the very concept of “rabbi” assumes the biblically originated transmission which itself (the authenticity and relevance of the Bible) is being challenged in his article.

4. His assertion of a principle rooted in the oral tradition “shtikah kehodaah” to support his subject matter, which is being used to negate the written Torah in this case. (The oral tradition assumes the foundation of the written Torah as Divine and non-negotiable and is built on it. Can't have it both ways.)

5. The author in his judgement has assumed that reading the Torah as it stands makes it “sexist and prejudicial to women”. Does that mean those who follow traditional Orthodox Judaism are prejudiced, sexist and patriarchal in their views?

The author in my opinion is lacking in a significant area of Jewish/Torah learning and understanding that if studied, would lead him to an understanding that Torah Judaism is quite the opposite and in fact the religion that has (more than anything) bolstered the figure, status and view of women.

Glenhazel, Johannesburg



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