In anticipation of today’s primaries, Rabbi Yehuda Levin, spokesman for the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the U.S. and Canada issued a statement calling on Jews to vote for family values candidates.
Candidates who support abortion on demand, the homosexual agenda, liberal attitudes towards pornography of any sort — are antithetical to our way of life and it is forbidden to support or vote for them.
Our former president, internationally acknowledged as the premier legal decisor, Rabbi Moshe Feinstien was most vigorous in condemning abortion on demand and the homosexual agenda and we take his legacy as our guide.
What intrigued me most about this statement was its source. What is the Union of Orthodox Rabbis?
As it turns out, it is not affiliated with the Orthodox Union. In fact, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), which is aligned with the Orthodox Union, was founded because the Union of Orthodox Rabbis (also known as Agudas Harabbonim) was too conservative.
According to Jerome Chanes:
The RCA was founded in 1935 because the existing Orthodox rabbinical organization, Agudas Horabbonim, the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, made up of Yiddish-speaking, European-born-and-educated rabbis, refused to accept rabbis who had been ordained at Yeshiva University. The RCA today is the largest and most geographically representative of the Orthodox rabbinical organizations. The Agudas Horabbonim still exists, but is little more than a paper organization.
But as Rabbi Levin notes, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein — considered one of the great rabbis and halakhic scholars of the 20th century — was the president of Agudas Harabbonim, which means that it must have been a fairly significant organization at some point.
Along those lines, I was struck by Rabbi Levin’s assertion that Rav Moshe had vigorously condemned the homosexual agenda. The question of Judaism and homosexuality is at the fore of communal discourse today — even in the Orthodox community — but I wouldn’t have thought it was a major issue for Rav Moshe, who passed away in 1986.