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Rabbi Michael Broyde’s Disturbing Fall in ‘Sockpuppet’ Scandal

Rabbi Michael Broyde was a star of mainstream Orthodoxy.

That was before he was revealed as someone who used false identities whose opinions on Jewish law Rabbi Broyde used to buttress his own perspective on the halakhic views of women’s hair covering. Rabbi Broyde used these identities to publish essays and to comment on others’ work, as well as to join a competing rabbinical association.

He has been more willing than virtually any other Orthodox rabbi to delve into the intersection of Jewish law and issues of contemporary concern, like women’s ordination. He has managed to achieve great success in both the religious and general professional realms. Respected in the religious world for his knowledge of Jewish law, Rabbi Broyde is also a tenured professor of law at Emory University, has authored eight books and lectures widely. As his Emory bio states, Rabbi Broyde was recently a finalist for the job of Chief Rabbi of the U.K.

The dean of Emory Law School has called Rabbi Broyde’s work “pathbreaking.” The director of the Emory Center for Law and Religion, where Rabbi Broyde is a senior fellow, describes him as “a brilliant bridge builder.” Now Emory is investigating Broyde, and it is possible that he will lose his job there, as he has at the Rabbinical Council of America and its Beth Din of America, which he revitalized in the 1990s and has since served as a respected judge. The Law School dean is now conducting what the law school is calling “a confidential review of the allegations concerning Michael Broyde.”

It is a shocking fall for someone who has achieved such significant and meaningful professional heights.

For more, go to Haaretz

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