AOC vs Orthodox Jews. I can't wait to see this!
First off, I'm pretty excited about the prospect of a Bacon Eaters Club at Yeshiva U. Genius!
Second, if you're Trans and choose to go to a Jewish (sorry...Orthodox Jewish) college, you deserve a medal for chutzpah! In fact, you deserve immediate admission to the tribe for being nuts, along with the folks who run that school.
I hope you're all happy working it out. Maybe AOC can sit in for a semester and take some Talmud courses...err...that may be out of her intellectual league. Sorry, scrap that.
AOC Tries to Bully Yeshiva University
She and five colleagues don’t approve of its religious views.
By Tal Fortgang, WSJ
Oct. 2, 2022 12:39 pm ET
Why is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez telling Yeshiva University how to run its affairs?
The socialist congresswoman, along with five other New York Democrats representing the state, sent a letter to Yeshiva’s president, Rabbi Ari Berman, on Sept. 23 to express their support for students suing to form an LGBT club at the Orthodox Jewish university. The lawmakers wrote that they “urge the University to do everything possible to care for its LGBTQ+ students as full human beings in the campus community, including to recognize their student group.”
The letter came after the Supreme Court denied, on procedural grounds, Yeshiva’s appeal of a lower court’s order to sanction the group, and Yeshiva chose to shut down all its student groups while the litigation runs its course.
Yeshiva’s position is clear. On contemplation and discussion by the many rabbis who inform university policy, the school can’t support a group that would celebrate what it believes to be a violation of Jewish sexual ethics. Yeshiva is committed to treating every individual, regardless of sexual orientation, with dignity and respect, just as it treats its students who violate Shabbat or eat pork—which are equally repugnant to Orthodox tradition. But it can’t affirm an LGBT club any more than it can affirm a Shabbat-violators club or a bacon-eaters club.
AOC and her colleagues have chosen not to consider Yeshiva’s point of view. Their letter frames the matter as Yeshiva’s denying some students the status of “full human beings.” In doing so, they deny Yeshiva a right of its own: to advance Orthodox Judaism in its entirety, even in ways that offend progressive sensibilities.
Yeshiva should have the right to tell disgruntled students what private institutions tell nonconformists all the time: If you don’t like how we do things here, you are free to leave. Yeshiva has clung to its tradition for well over a century. Those who now want it to change are welcome to open an Orthodox university of their own, and apply their own understanding of what Jewish sexual ethics demand. Such a solution would allow Americans who disagree on important issues to coexist without bludgeoning one another literally or figuratively.
That possibility reveals how out of line Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow letter-writers are. Rather than respecting diverse viewpoints, they are trying to enforce conformity. Rather than attempting to understand Yeshiva’s position and strike a balance that allows Jewish institutions to sort out their own divisions, they are stoking a cultural fire with accusations of humanity-denial. And rather than recognizing that there is a limit to politicians’ understanding of the delicate complexity of religious affairs, these lawmakers—none of whom are Jewish, much less Orthodox—reduced a complex issue to a simple morality tale about evil old traditionalists and brave young progressives. They stand to lose nothing from the erosion of Orthodox Judaism, and they evince little regard for those who stand to lose a great deal.
Mr. Fortgang is a fellow at the Tikvah Fund.