Rabbi Aharon Lopiansky on Modern Othodox/Dati vs. Chareidi

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  • #1418488

    Rabbi Aharon Lopiansky – A Mindset Apart, Mishpacha #463 (June 12, 2013)

    We, as chareidi Jews, do not define ourselves as “observant Jews,” and very possibly
    this is the major distinction between “dati” or “Modern Orthodox” and “chareidi.” A
    Modern Orthodox/dati person puts great stress on fidelity to mitzvah observance. He
    has no problem living a culturally secular life. Perhaps he even embraces it, seeing it as
    an ideal harmony. (There are even some who say that beliefs and believing should not
    enter into the criteria of defining orthodox, just practice – i.e., orthopractice.)
    We, however, feel that a Torah Jew is someone whose mindset is Torahdig; whose heart
    throbs with the regesh of kedusha; whose perspective on life is that this world is merely
    the platform for accomplishment, but inherently this world is transient. The chareidi Jew
    may (or may not) feel that it is important to fully function in the outside world, but we all
    agree that our thoughts, feelings, values, and culture must be light-years apart. We shun
    spectator sports, entertainment, the dining culture, and many more cultural phenomena
    of the society around us.
    The place and means for attaining this neshamah of Yiddishkeit is the intense and
    formative years at yeshivah. I am not sure how it happens, but being totally steeped in
    Abaye and Rava, working at understanding the emes, putting all our energies and emotions
    into Torah, transforms us. For others, this chinuch also includes working on shemiras einayim,
    being in close proximity to people of stature, and infusing our tefillah with undisturbed emotional
    energy. We are chareidi because we spent all those years in yeshivah. For the difference between
    chareidi and dati lies not in the color of the yarmulke, or even in the exactitude of fulfilling mitzvos.
    The difference lies in the mindset. And that mindset is forged in those years of immersion in the Torah
    and avodah, and relative isolation from the world around. It also imparts an eidelkeit and ehrlichkeit,
    and all the other middos tovos that we expect of a ben Torah.

    (For context, here’s the rest of the article:)
    Even if the army had no negative influence, the robbing of our youths’ formative years as a ben Torah
    would be a price that we could not pay. A chareidi Jew has but one aspiration in life. He does not have
    a “dream retirement” nor even dares contemplate it. We spend decades on the chinuch of our (many,
    kein yirbu) children; we pay the vast majority of our income for their yeshivos; and we hope to continue
    working so that if they wish to learn they may do so, and so that their children in turn should have the
    opportunity to realize their spiritual potential.
    Our tefillah is one: banim u’vnei vanim oskim b’Torah uv’mitzvos. Our wildest fantasy is not the dream
    house for our golden years; rather, it is being surrounded by children and children’s children who are all
    ehrliche Yidden, ovdei Hashem, and talmidei chachamim to the best of their ability. The only way that this
    can happen is by intense Torah study and total immersion in avodas Hashem at this most significant part
    of one’s life.
    This is our fiercest desire for every single one of our children, not just for those mythical “1,800 iluyim.”
    True, it takes many of them a few years to become full bnei Torah, but it is the result that counts. Our
    definition of a Torah Yid is someone who at least internally continues his “am l’vadad yishkon,” even as
    the realities of life demand that he freely interact with the world around him.

    #1418541

    Avi K
    Participant

    So I guess Rambam and all of the other Rishonim who embraced Philosophy were MO. Not to mention Rabbenu Bachye and the Gra, who said that one cannot be called wise if he is not conversant with the seven fields of secular wisdom. Not to mention David HaMelech, who joined the army at a very young age. What does Rav Lopiansky have to say about boys who simply are not built for full-time learning? Should they be join the Shabab haChareidi (street kids who live in and prey on the Chareidi community)?

    #1418534

    My apologies, folks. Here’s a repost with better line breaks:

    We, as chareidi Jews, do not define ourselves as “observant Jews,”
    and very possibly this is the major distinction between “dati” or
    “Modern Orthodox” and “chareidi.” A Modern Orthodox/dati
    person puts great stress on fidelity to mitzvah observance.
    He has no problem living a culturally secular life. Perhaps he
    even embraces it, seeing it as an ideal harmony. (There are even
    some who say that beliefs and believing should not enter into
    the criteria of defining orthodox, just practice – i.e., orthopractice.)
    We, however, feel that a Torah Jew is someone whose mindset
    is Torahdig; whose heart throbs with the regesh of kedusha;
    whose perspective on life is that this world is merely the
    platform for accomplishment, but inherently this world
    is transient. The chareidi Jew may (or may not) feel that
    it is important to fully function in the outside world, but
    we all agree that our thoughts, feelings, values, and culture
    must be light-years apart. We shun spectator sports,
    entertainment, the dining culture, and many more
    cultural phenomena of the society around us.
    The place and means for attaining this neshamah of
    Yiddishkeit is the intense and formative years at yeshivah.
    I am not sure how it happens, but being totally steeped in
    Abaye and Rava, working at understanding the emes,
    putting all our energies and emotions into Torah,
    transforms us. For others, this chinuch also includes
    working on shemiras einayim, being in close proximity
    to people of stature, and infusing our tefillah with
    undisturbed emotional energy. We are chareidi because
    we spent all those years in yeshivah. For the difference
    between chareidi and dati lies not in the color of the
    yarmulke, or even in the exactitude of fulfilling mitzvos.
    The difference lies in the mindset. And that mindset is
    forged in those years of immersion in the Torah and
    avodah, and relative isolation from the world around.
    It also imparts an eidelkeit and ehrlichkeit, and all the
    other middos tovos that we expect of a ben Torah.

    (For context, here’s the rest of the article:)
    Even if the army had no negative influence, the robbing
    of our youths’ formative years as a ben Torah would be
    a price that we could not pay. A chareidi Jew has but one
    aspiration in life. He does not have a “dream retirement”
    nor even dares contemplate it. We spend decades on the
    chinuch of our (many, kein yirbu) children; we pay the vast
    majority of our income for their yeshivos; and we hope to
    continue working so that if they wish to learn they may
    do so, and so that their children in turn should have the
    opportunity to realize their spiritual potential.
    Our tefillah is one: banim u’vnei vanim oskim b’Torah
    uv’mitzvos. Our wildest fantasy is not the dream house
    for our golden years; rather, it is being surrounded by
    children and children’s children who are all ehrliche Yidden,
    ovdei Hashem, and talmidei chachamim to the best of their
    ability. The only way that this can happen is by intense
    Torah study and total immersion in avodas Hashem at this
    most significant part of one’s life.
    This is our fiercest desire for every single one of our children,
    not just for those mythical “1,800 iluyim.” True, it takes many
    of them a few years to become full bnei Torah, but it is the
    result that counts. Our definition of a Torah Yid is someone
    who at least internally continues his “am l’vadad yishkon,”
    even as the realities of life demand that he freely interact
    with the world around him.

    #1418546

    I didn’t see anything in that article about knowledge or ignorance
    of secular wisdom, Avi…

    #1418602

    oshriv
    Participant

    Agree fully .
    I wish to prove the point how can we tell which site group most connected to yiddishkeit?
    On the whole it’s a pretty good gage.
    Nigun is the neshomo the soul of yiddishket.
    Who brings most of our wealth of nigunim sung Shabbos or Simcha etc? Dati or charedi? Modern or charedi?
    It poors forth from those that are emotionally commuted

    #1418615

    oshriv
    Participant

    Corrections!
    I wish to prove the point how can we tell which sect/ group is most connected to yiddishkeit?
    On the whole it’s a pretty good gage.
    Nigun is the neshomo the soul of yiddishket.
    Who brings most of our wealth of nigunim sung Shabbos or Simcha etc? Dati or charedi? Modern or charedi?
    It poors forth from those that are emotionally committed
    Go to any dati or similar gathering.whose songs are sung ?
    Or by the kotel Shabbos.

    #1418629

    Avi K
    Participant

    Random, here is a quote: “relative isolation from the world around”. Of course, “relative” is relative. Someone who goes to a day school is isolated relative to someone who goes to a public school.

    #1418658

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    Oshriv, to add to your corrections:
    gage- I think you meant gauge
    poors-I think you meant the verb pours

    Song is not the only measure of commitment to Yiddishkeit, nor would I assume it is the best, although it is one way that a Neshama can express itself. But just because music does not “speak” to someone, does not mean he is not spiritual. And not everyone with a guitar and emotional music is a tzaddik, even if those songs become popular.

    #1418682

    Joseph
    Participant

    Rav Shach famously said that had he sung more Shabbos zemiros like his Chasidish neighbor, then his son would’ve become a Ben Torah.

    #1419149

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    I was thinking of that very story Joseph. To me the story proves that emotions are also important, and not that someone who does not sing hertzig (is that how you spell it?) niggunim is not a “committed” frum person, or else you would be drawing a very negative conclusion about Rav Shach, chas v’shalom.

    #1419161

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Exactly what is the purpose of a Heretical Witch Hunt? Do you think the more modern will become more Charedi because of this or the more modern will just stop sponsoring charedi institutions or other outcomes .

    I really doubt though that many modern people (if any) will become more charedi for this article .

    #1419193

    golfer
    Participant

    Zdad, I have to admit that I can’t be sure what Rav Lopiansky’s motivation was in writing the article, nor can you. My feeling was that his goal was not to embark on a witch hunt, and also not to be mekarev rechokim. The article was not written to persuade lost souls to rejoin B’nei Torah in Avodas Hashem. It appears that the article was meant to define chareidi practice of Yiddishkeit and the role of a Yeshiva education in this practice. And in this, at least to me, it seems he succeeded.

    #1419285

    oshriv
    Participant

    my vort re music is obviously in general terms many Gedolim put all their efforts and emotions in Torah ,its a big subject .its well known what Gaon and the Chasam sofer said about music , all the chassidisher tishen are based on nigun ,the Beis Hamikdosh .nevuo only came through music
    my point of emotions in general is a very valid point .
    take a heimisher Yeshivah in middle of seder or on Yomim noroim ,an compare to a Dati Leumi etc
    the atmosphere is electric or in seder its like a battle field , i am just trying to bring out clrearly Rabbi Lopiansky point

    #1419582

    oshriv
    Participant

    may i add .
    Reb Shlomo Carlebach music has penetrated so deeply into Klal Yisroel like no one else has ,its because as he said himself he never listened to goishe music ,as much as he was totally in touch with the world he remained totally separated in himself from the outside world
    all his songs are inspired from his total connection to Torah and dveikus ,
    i know now i will be bombarded with comments , but i can back it up ,

    #1420499

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    i know now i will be bombarded with comments , but i can back it up ,

    How would you back up something which is so clearly untrue?

    #1420615

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    not sure how you know it isn’t true. I heard that from a pretty reliable source as well. Just regarding his music.

    #1420635

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    This seemingly constant effort on website, social medial and blogs to structure divisive broigas between segments of the tzibur seems to have taken on a new momentum in the past several months and to some extent, reflects the political polarization in secular society in both EY and the U.S.

    #1420764

    Avi K
    Participant

    Winnie, according to I what I heard Rav Soloveichik did not sing zemirot at all. Do you think that he was not a committed Jew? The Gra and the CS spoke about musicology, not necessary being a bundle of emotion. In fact, David HaMelech was punished for calling divrei Torah zemirot
    (Sotah 35a). Rav Kook explains that zemirot come from the heart whereas shirot come from the intellect. There is a well-known statement (which the Baal HaTanya also brings) that a person is divided into three parts: moach (intellect), lev (emotions) and kaved/klayot (desires and imagination). If the intellect rules the emotions and the emotions rule the desires and imagination he is a melech. If the the emotions are on top he is Lemech. If it is totally reversed he is kelem (embarassment).
    As for Carlebach, the fact of the mater is that most gedolei Yisrael discouraged going to his concerts for well-known reasons.

    #1420765

    oshriv
    Participant

    To argue my point will be endless and off the point .
    Just this one point .
    So much has been said and debated probably the most talked a about personality .
    But honesty was not an issue on the contrary what ever he did was open.
    Now it’s recorded on official videos recordings where he stresses that he never listened to secular music .
    Now if you have seemingly reason to question it .there are answers which has all been studied in depth .
    I always say there is a הלכה הוה דן לכף זכות
    Who if not him deserves it who in history has done so much for klal Yisroel? Money – gave up being a great Rosh Yeshivah -kovod .every drop of his blood he gave up for Klal Yisroel.
    It’s high time we do a little rethinking .it stares us in the face .
    Every yeshiva every Synagogue every wedding .the world would be starved stifled without him

    #1420775

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Now it’s recorded on official videos recordings where he stresses that he never listened to secular music .

    If all he did wrong was listening to secular music, it wouldn’t have been so terrible…

    Fact is though, that he did. He even played and sang some.

    There’s even a recording of him doing a cover of a secular song.

    #1420778

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    AviK, I was not the one who presented the argument that singing = commitment. If you look back at previous posts, you will see that I was arguing against that very premise, and used Rav Shach not singing as an example, much as you used Rav Soloveitchik. So why are you arguing with me?

    #1420814

    oshriv
    Participant

    Dear Daas yochid
    I conclude I hope it remains a Daas yochid.
    I don’t mind debating in a logical manner but when I sense a personal stinging negativity hostility ,with no humiluty and derech eretz for such a giant – a ohev yisroel – a Gaon .it will only make it worse .my statement has plenty to think into which obviously the writer chooses to ignore

    #1420781

    Non Political
    Participant

    I heard once Rabbi Gottlieb say bshem the Hazon Ish
    “Some people have 613 Mitzvot and some people have 613 challenges…”

    @ AviK

    Did you really use the GR”A as an example to make your point?! Please see the introductory to Chai Adam written by the Gaons son in law. Also see what his sons wrote in their intro to Shulchan Aruch.

    As for the Rambam. You are aware that he was supported by his brother for years while he sat and learned Torah FULL TIME. This. Ended when his brother perished on a business trip and the Rambam lost this means of support. See the Rambams letter to Rabbenu Yonitan M’Lunil that secular studies where never regarded by him as more then handmaidens to the Torah.

    #1420823

    Avi K
    Participant

    DY, Rav Ovadia very much enjoyed listening to Arabic music. For a discussion of the different opinions you can hear “Ten Minute Halacha – Listening to Secular Music” (actually it’s about sixteen minutes) by Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz.

    #1420849

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Oshriv, I spoke nothing about his ahavas Yisroel, but his sins were well known, and although he was a smart person, calling him a “gaon” is ludicrous.

    Unless you meant a gaon in ahavas Yisroel, in which case I don’t think the terminology is apt, but again, I won’t argue that he wasn’t an ohev Yisroel.

    I think it’s wrong to look at him as a role model (although one can learn from anyone’s ma’alos, including him).

    Mostly, I was rejecting the simply non factual claim that he wasn’t exposed to secular music.

    #1420848

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Avi K, I didn’t opine about whether it may be a problem to listen to any secular music. I’m simply noting that Shlomo Carlebach did, regardless of any claims to the contrary.

    If you want to know my opinion on secular music, I think some is problematic, and some isn’t.

    The same is actually true for “Jewish” music, but with a smaller percentages being disagreeable and to a much lesser degree.

    #1420863

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    Wait oshriv, for the purposes of this thread, are you considering Carlebach MO (as he probably self-identified) or as Hareidi? Or is this just such an extreme digression that it has nothing at all to do with the thread?

    #1420859

    oshriv
    Participant

    Quote his sins are well known to all .
    Please don’t speak in the name of all .
    I know of not a single sin , but disscusting it here will just cause me to loosen your mouth further with הוצאת שם רע .

    Edited. You may not want to know why but consider it done

    #1420879

    oshriv
    Participant

    Correction!!!

    Quote his sins are well known to all .
    Please don’t speak in the name of all .
    I know of not a single sin , but disscusting it here will just cause you to loosen your mouth further with הוצאת שם רע .

    #1420885

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “Fact is though, that he did. He even played and sang some.”

    Fact or strong possibility? If it is a fact, are you able to point me to it so I can verify it? I’d like to take it back to someone.

    #1420886

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    and by the way, I mean not google or heresay….

    #1420889

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    WTP

    You are correct we might not know the reason Rav Lopiansky published this article, but I am fairly certain I know the reason the OP did and for that reason words and publications must be done carefully. Its easy to twist the words of a Rav or Gadol

    #1420902

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Kumbaya

    #1420960

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Please don’t speak in the name of all .
    I know of not a single sin , but disscusting it here will just cause you to loosen your mouth further with הוצאת שם רע .

    See Igros Moshe, Even Ho’ezer Vol. 1, 96

    #1421031

    oshriv
    Participant

    Seen it decades ago .
    But Mr know all , upon investigation it came to light that Reb Moishe was answering the שואל not knowing who he was referring to but once he was told the שואל was referring to Reb Shlomo he was most upset as he held very highly of him , they were in constant contact .he referred to him as a בן בית .
    Please I beg to to stop being so intransigent .

    #1421147

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    Carlebach’s Ki Va Moed was taken from a non-Jewish song called “Mare, Take Me Home”.

    #1421169

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    I was wrong, I stand corrected. I don’t listen to his music but I am strongly disappointed by this information .

    #1421175

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    DaMoshe, I was unaware of that, but I looked into it and it’s true – the high part of Ki Va Moed is from there, note for note.

    #1421176

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    But Mr know all , upon investigation it came to light that Reb Moishe was answering the שואל not knowing who he was referring to but once he was told the שואל was referring to Reb Shlomo he was most upset as he held very highly of him

    Are you denying that he performed in front of mixed crowds, which is the basis for R’ Moshe having an issue with him?

    Also, are you denying that Kumbaya and Ki Va Moed are secular tunes?

    #1421205

    ipchamistabra
    Participant

    To Avi K:
    So I guess Rambam and all of the other Rishonim who embraced Philosophy were MO

    This really just demonstrates how little of the Rambam’s philosophy you have studied.

    #1421200

    Joseph
    Participant

    Syag, why does this information about Carebach disappoint you more than knowing MBD used non-Jewish tunes?

    #1421238

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    Zahava’s Dad- that comment addressed to me above, I think you meant it for Golfer. I did not post anything about the article or opinions in the OP.
    Funny, how I’m being credited with so much more than I actually have done!

    #1421270

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    WTP

    Sorry about that, I meant Golfer…Ive been credited with saying things I never did too

    #1421278

    Non Political
    Participant

    @chamistabra

    To Avi K:
    So I guess Rambam and all of the other Rishonim who embraced Philosophy were MO

    This really just demonstrates how little of the Rambam’s philosophy you have studied.

    This. 100%

    I tried pointing this out above but it’s way more fun to discuss if RSC ever listened to secular music or if Rav Ovadia did.

    Let’s ignore the facts if they contradict ones dillisions. Cognitive dissonance anyone?

    #1421568

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Syag, why does this information about Carebach disappoint you more than knowing MBD used non-Jewish tunes?

    I see two differences. One, I don’t think MBD ever claimed that he never “borrowed” secular tunes, but according to oshriv, Carlebach did make such a claim – in fact he claimed he never listened to it. Two, the big Carlebach people like to think that his music is 100% authentic Jewish music, not influenced by anything else. It’s simply not true; he certainly borrowed elements of his style from folk music and other styles.
    (answering for myself)

    #1421566

    Here is a quote: “relative isolation from the world around”.
    But you can study secular knowledge without going into the outside world.

    Or is this just such an extreme digression that it has nothing at all to do with the thread?

    You hit it on the head, Neville. I find it quite annoying that almost none
    of this thread (I don’t count Avi’s obvious nonsense) is discussion of the
    article and instead is a discussion of Shlomo Carlebach’s listening habits.

    #1421593

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Sorry for not playing out your fantasies, maybe it wasn’t much of a draw. Maybe try an opening paragraph instead of a cut and paste.

    #1421595

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    and not sure why you discount one of the only ones who responded to the article itself.

    #1421617

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I find it quite annoying that almost none
    of this thread (I don’t count Avi’s obvious nonsense) is discussion of the
    article and instead is a discussion of Shlomo Carlebach’s listening habits.

    Oops, sorry. For a minute I thought this was the Coffee Room.

    #1421641

    Josh31
    Participant

    Back to the article….
    Not every son that you have will be suited for the intense Avoda of full time learning and long Davening of the Bnei Torah that many Charedim desire all their sons to be. Pushing a child in a direction that he or she is not suited for can lead to great destruction. A path of positive accomplishment needs to be provided for the sons who will never be able to focus on learning & davening full time.

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