I'm being troubled lately by the huge imposition which the label of "Orthodox" implies. It's true that I've typically used it on my blog to refer to the standard (little c) conservative system of belief, but that actually may be unfair to the rather sizeable portion of people who may identify as Orthodox but do not hold to that system.
And then practically the issue is what ought I call myself. I don't like labels since they only serve to restrict your thinking, but I know I don't fit into any of the categories currently out there in the Jewish world. And I've never really had to worry about this for myself since I don't tend to publicize my views - but as time goes on, more and more curious people play the role of the clever detective and figure me out. So anyway, sure, I take some inspiration from R' Kaplan, but I'm no Reconstructionist. I take some from R' Heschel, but I doubt I would be comfortable in his shul. I take some from R' Soloveitchik and R' Feinstein, but surely with some reservations. I even take plenty from the likes of the Ramchal and the Rambam - but obviously not everything. So what am I?
Sometimes I (half) jest and call myself Post-Denominational. But that's next to meaningless. I also jest sometimes and call myself "Modern orthodox" (big M, small o). But truly speaking, I do suspect that the most accurate label for me might just be where I started from all that time ago, in those years before blogs. A grand Hegelian cycle. And that is Modern Orthodox. Sure, not in the same half-understood sense that I thought back then, but in the truer sense of what Modern Orthodoxy theoretically holds itself to be - a no-holds barred engagement with modernity while maintaining our regular Halacha and traditions. (Though I am sympathetic to Yehudi Hilchati's notions on this topic.)
See, I believe, like so many others in the program of Judaism and the system of Halacha. True, I do take issue with a number of figures who hold positions of authority and some Halachic conclusions they've reached, but at the same time the system has proven the test of time and I'm in no position to buck it.
Now, is it a great label? No. And is there great contestation of what it means? Sure. But like all labels imposed on humankind, the true humans can only approximate into which groups they believe they sit.