Ahavas Yisrael for those in YU/the MO community (Ask me anything)

Home Forums Decaffeinated Coffee Ahavas Yisrael for those in YU/the MO community (Ask me anything)

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 124 total)
  • Author
  • #2002972


    Shalom Aleichem,

    I’ve noticed that on this forum, in the past, there has been a lot of flack for the YU/MO community, almost all of it undeserved. I believe this comes from a place of misunderstanding, and so I seek to answer–from the inside–anyone with Taanos on the YU/MO community and/or it’s Rabonim/Morei Horaa. (In this regard, I am not a formal representative of YU and nothing I say necessarily represents the Yeshiva’s views).


    1. Broken educational system which facilitates mixing of genders contrary to basic jewish standards of tznius and kedushah. Even in separate schools, downplaying of related halachos, including deoraysohs and abuzrayhu legilui arayos. MO children believe that having girlfriends is an acceptable standard, rachmana litzlan. MO sponsored “sex education” which prioritizes “safety” and “respecting choices” that teenagers make (this is from an NCSY website).
    2. Demonization of the Torah world, castigation of us as “cavemen” to quote Norman lamm; then they turn around and accuse us of “sinat chinam” everytime we utter a word about the wanton sinfulness and abrogation of halacha that is commonplace in MO.
    3. Acceptance of foreign philosophy, nationalism, humanism, existentialism, and “Knowledge lishma”, even sometimes equating Toras Hashem temima with secular studies.
    4. Blind dash into whatever lenient opinions one can find in fundamental Torah ideas such as tznius. Perplexing stringency when it comes to particulars such as techeles and krias hatorah.
    5. Incubation of feminism and inventing “meta halacha”.
    6  Making secular concepts such as self determinisn and emphasis on lesiure a part of Judaism.. Letting number 3 influence their halachik decisions, if you can call them such.
    7. Having zero standards as to what they allow into their heads – no book is forbidden, no website inappropriate… save for out and out “adult content”. Non Jewish music permeates their souls and makes them desire secular lifestyles.
    8. Spiritual achievement secularized and made mostly applicable to civil rights, activism, kindness (to goyim as well), “environmentalism” based on a sole medrash that they wrench out of context… denying Hashem’s sole control over the world and thinking that we can “save” the planet by driving hybrids
    9.  Affirmation of to’eva and gender benders, to varying degrees depending on how modern. Almost none would advocate for the death penalty, even though it is prescribed in the 7 mitzvos of bnei noach.
    10. Admiration of reshoim, both zionist and non-jewish.
    11. Invention of new values of what’s evil… instead of what Hashem gives us in the Torah, the new evil is always racism, sexism, “homophobia” etc..
    12. Undying loyalty to a secular anti religious “Jewish” state
    13. Failure of educated MO rabbis to steer their people back on the derech
    14. Institutionalized sinfulness…. abandonment of laws of tznius dress in favor of what “i feel is modest”. Widespread lack of knowledge of hilchos shabbos, MO rabbis pandering to women who do not want to cover their hair.
    15. Inclusion of insincere converts who convert to marry high profile jewish men, and who have not been taught basic halacha
    16. Dismissal of mussar and hashkofa as “extreme”
    17. Desire to sacrifice parts of Torah “to save judaism”….from itself?
    18. “Reexamination” of Torah ideas in light of modernist ethics. The akeida? Amalek? We must ignore chazal and search….find some way of making pegs fit into square holes.
    19. Denial of rabbinic authority…”chicken shailoh Judaism”, as I call it…placing the authority of a rabbi in one’s life only in regards to shabbos and kashrus questions. Denying the place of rabbis as the “eynei haeidah”, the eyes of the population
    .. Rashi says that klal yisroel doesn’t do anything without its leaders, yet MO pretends that Torah leadership never expanded past shabbos and kashrus….josephus, not a fan of the rabbis, said that the entire populace listens to their every word in politics…yet MO claims that daas torah is a new concept….suddenly when it’s something they don’t like, “new is bad”, the payos come out and they say we need to be wary of change! Yet feminism, evolution, climate activism, secular studies and everything else…. that’s fine.

    I teach MO children, though not in an MO setting, they are totally unaware of basic jewish practice. I’ve been asked matter of factly, “sheilos” regarding going to the movies with one’s sin-partner, i.e. girlfriend. Any Torah jewish teenagers who engage in illicit activity, at least are aware that they are going off the derech and as such, have a higher retention rate.

    Very commonly, a teenager will repeatedly ask me if a mitzvah is obligatory…the assumption always is that it isn’t. Then, the common response is that they’re not interested, or…”what if someone chooses not to?”. MO education makes a very big deal out of choices… choosing to keep shabbos is great, choosing not to….well, you need to respect other’s choices.

    This is abridged and written when I’m half asleep….I can write a book (and I plan on it someday) detailing the layers and levels of degeneration, deception, lies and Torah violations of modern orthodoxy.

    They’ve robbed klal yisroel of Torah for far too long. It’s time we said enough.


    There always has been a “right wing” of MO that looks like baalabstish litvish, with zionism and small amounts of television nixed in.

    My diatribe was aimed at the wider MO community, and to use modern expression, they are my “lived experience”, because I grew up inside modern orthodoxy myself. I was saved from a life kf fake judaism and rabid materialism masquerading as yiddishkeit in high school…there were many factors in my defection, including rav avigdor miller’s seforim, the old frumteens website, some patient neighbors and friends, and some of my rebbeim who saw an opening to dispel the thick haze of tumah I was living in.


    To illustrate, I was the founder and captain of my high school’s debate team. I was in a boys-only school, with mostly yeshivishe rebbeim, which catered to the MO world. My classmates were all MO, or not frum(the school was for kiruv as well). I doubt anyone here has heard of it. Anyways, my English principal was a person who sacrificed for Torah. She was modern, but was full of maasim tovim; she would give of her time, money, and resources to help at-risk teens and kids who wanted to become frum… she’d lay for their tickets to go to yeshiva in eretz yisroel, and many other things… May her neshoma have an aliyah.

    I was a spirited 15 year old who loved debating; my jewish history teacher introduced me to a network of MO schools that had a debate league. We joined, and competed quite successfully, despite being a school that did not emphasize academic performance. We qualified for the semi finals in the season’s tournament….then we received word of what the topic would be.

    Before this, the topics were all pareve. Should there be a draft, should the government subsidize health care, should foreign policy be geared towards nation building…. topics that were not hashkafically sensitive.

    My principal and I saw the email at the same time. We looked at each other in disbelief. I believe she understood at that point what MO had become…the topic was polyamority. I had never heard of the term, but one need not be an etymologist to figure out what it meant.

    We dropped out of the tournament. My principal and I wrote a fiery letter to the board, and the MO school that was hosting the event.

    It was eye opening…the first of many experiences that made me realize that Torah Judaism is only to be found in the Yeshiva.


    Not too long after the debate team episode, the following happened. I was davening at a MO shul most shabbosim, and things started bothering me. Why was the rabbi more concerned with people applauding his speech on shabbos (something many poskim allow, as it’s not musical…together with tosfos… it’s not a big kulah to be maikil), than with the crowded mixed mingling and hand shaking etc by his constituents during a “kidush” that was anything but kadosh? I had learned that if one merely looks at a woman for pleasure he is not cleansed by gehinnom…at this point i asked him, and i said I didn’t want to come to kiddush anymore.

    He said he’s happy that I’m learning, but i should be wary of being extreme. I’m going through a phase. He’s a rabbi.

    The clincher was during a shalosh seudos… this was when a bill had been proposed to legalize toeva marriage in NY (it was sadly passed in 2011…this happened several years prior). The rabbi said that chazal talk a lot more about honesty in business than they do this issue. Apparently preaching to the choir (MO people are very into business honesty) overrides the Torah’s most basic and fundamental obligation to fight evil and despise that which Hashem despises.

    I got up in protest, I said “no, i will not hear minimizing capital offenses and abominations of Hashem”
    bentched outside, and never returned to that sin-agogue.


    To the OP: Well, you asked for it. If you have any complaints , you’re in the wrong forum.

    Avi K

    1. The Orthodox world is a continuum, not a discreet distribution. Really, we should follow Rav Kook and drop these labels. Even the term “Orthodox” is relatively new and was only used by Rav Horsch in order to establish a separate religious community under Prussian law. We should go back to tzaddikim/benoni’im/resha’im with the difference based on the weight of mitzvot vs. aveirot (Rambam Hilchot Teshuva 3,1) and the weights of different for each individual (Rav Dessler, Kuntras Nekudat haBechira). Do you know who will fare better in the Heavenly Court, someone with the problems you cited but is honest, or someone whom you consider frum but steals and cheats in business? The Sefat Emmet says on הווה דן כל האדם בכף זכות that if you look at everything about a person you will surely find something good.

    2. Demonization is multi=lateral. You, Avirah, demonize those with whom you disagree. For that matter, Litvaks and Chassidim make fun of each other and everybody makes fun of Yekkes. There are also the Ashkenazi/Sephardi issues.

    3. FYI, Rav Soloveichik established a mixed-gender school in Boston. For that matter, the Seridei Eish established a mixed-gender youth movement, Jeshurun, in Paris after the Holocaust and Rav Joseph Breuer established a mixed-gender branch of Ezra in Washington Heights. There is no choice in small communities or in communities where many children would otherwise be sent to public schools. Do you have a license to pasken? If so, it should be revoked. As for the topic of that debate, perhaps the team should have entered and given the Torah view. As for the opposing point of view, they are going to eventually encounter it. whether in college or at work (yes, people do talk in offices) so they should know what to answer, at least to themselves.


    “bentched outside, and never returned to that sin-agogue.”

    You should. “The rabbi said that chazal talk a lot more about honesty in business than they do this issue. Apparently preaching to the choir (MO people are very into business honesty) ”

    The Rabbi was right. And definitely being into business honesty is more important than being into other’s people’s Torvalds marriage
    Its the very first question youll be asked in the olam haemes. Return its not too late. It’s confusing thst you think “MO people are very into business honesty” is a bad thing


    As rational so elegantly noted, If you can’t handle the heat stay out of the CR.
    We have a hard core group of posters here in the CR whose hatred for yidden whose hashkafah differs from their own is deeply entrenched and are unwilling to focus on the much wider areas of agreement. Their vile disparagement of someone who davens at a YI shul or whose children attend a MO yeshiva somehow makes them feel superior and they virtually cloak themselves here online with the purity of their vision of “true torah judaism”.
    Let the haters hate.
    Their hatred is like a boomerang which in the long-term will take them down rather than their intended targets.


    Avi and ubiq, you each attempted to rebut one point out of Avira’s 25 detailed points. Avi attempted to justify mixed gender schooling and ubiq attempted to justify minimizing the immorality of mishkav zachor and toeiva “marriage”. Not to even grant there’s any persuasiveness to your single attempted rebuttal of 1 out of 25 points, but it appears fair to say that you each conceded the strong taainas Avira presented in his other 24 points.


    The replies to AviraDeArah are so revealing. I hope that they keep coming in.

    ☕️coffee addict

    “FYI, Rav Soloveichik established a mixed-gender school in Boston.”

    And FYI that school is going down the drain (if it didn’t go down already) because either the parents and kids are becoming frummer or going off the derech totally

    ☕️coffee addict

    I’m not liking this thread it smells of division right before Rosh Hashanah


    I can write a list just as long on what are “acceptable aveiros” in the yeshiva world, aveiros that are even considered mitzvos. Feminism is wrong, but what they have done to women in the charedi world, is wrong too. In chassidishe communities even names of women are not allowed to be mentioned. And no one protests that. They have books for children with no mothers and girls walking the street. What a terrible chillul hashem that brings countless people away from Judaism. It is important to be balanced, and this balance looks different at different times. I went through BY, and 2 years of seminary, and I was shocked as I grew older to find out all things they ommited from our education to keep us simple minded, and obedient. The charedi world is far from traditional or original Judaism. And the mote extreme they get, the more they push jewish people to give up on tznius, and all Torah values.


    Avi K.

    “As for the topic of that debate, perhaps the team should have entered and given the Torah view. As for the opposing point of view, they are going to eventually encounter it. ”

    I think your response was the most significant point in Avirah’s comment. A matter that is a clear issur d’oraisa is not something that should be considered a matter of debate in a orthodox Jewish school. A debate suggests that there are two legitimate sides to the matter. Dah mah lehashiv is not that it is a matter of debate.

    Additionally I believe Avirah’s comment about honesty was not that he felt it is not important. His point was that this was used as an excuse to not address an elephant in the room. The people there felt smug, the Rabbi can speak about honesty because we all think we are honest. But heaven forfend he should talk about same sex marriages, because his crowd would find that threatening. Or perhaps not woke.

    Asd far as your comment about demonization, I think there is more than a little of the pot calling the kettle black.

    What is defined as anti- MO on the forums, for the most part is not directed at center or right leaning MO as much as those who are way off to the left on the way to or including those who once called themselves (or to use their language, “identified as”) “Open” orthodox. This does not need more explanation.



    “Avi and ubiq, you each attempted to rebut one point out of Avira’s 25 detailed points.”

    I did not attempt to rebut anything. Nor will I

    This is not a topic that interests me.
    I just found his self importance funny especially when mixed with misplaced priorities. I found the “shtuch” that “MO people are very into business honesty” very amusing.

    If you don’t find it funny. That fine, hopefully you can see how one might find it funny. IF you cant even see that, that’s fine too

    If you dont think its true, again thats fine too, though he said it not you.

    “the strong taainas Avira presented in his other 24 points.”

    I must have missed them, sorry.


    First of all Reb Dovid, being that this is your first post, Welcome and I hope you becime and active member of the CR.

    Unlike @aviria I didnt grow up MO and dont carry the anger or baggage when one does a lifestyle change and am able took at this dispassionatly, I do have to give him credit, my topics of debate at 14/15 was who makes the best pizza, the best ways to break into the yeshiva kitchen, how to sneak into bais medresh late without being noticed.

    The MO movement is slowly heading to the history books, its either stagnant or diminishing, MO schools are closing or tacking right, YI shuls are merging or closing, and YU has had declining enrollment for years.

    My two big gripes about the MO community are ,
    [1] changing of mesorah and halacha to fit the agenda at hand such as ordination of “Rabba”s, Bittul Kiddushin, Womens Hakofos, mixing dancing at weddings,mazel tov greeting on a gay marriage in the shul bulletin, elevating tikkun haolam drivel to be equal with halacha.
    2. I found the most intolerant people to be MO, they would not credence to an opposing view, this manifested itself in the big way during covid when the MO opinion mattered and everyone elses opionion was irrelevant.

    Avram in MD


    “The Rabbi was right.”

    The rabbi used a form of relative privation fallacy to dismiss or avoid commenting about the issue. How does taking a position on a bill impact or have anything to do with our ability to learn about honesty in business?

    “And definitely being into business honesty is more important than being into other’s people’s Torvalds marriage”

    And now you do it too. Hey! I can do it too! The Chumash exhorts us about Shabbos more than it does about kidnapping, so dealing with Shabbos violators is more important than dealing with kidnappers … ?! Also, let’s leave the Linux kernel out of this.

    “It’s confusing thst you think “MO people are very into business honesty” is a bad thing”

    This is a valid point, though I suspect AviraDeArah’s sentiments are more against the use of business ethics to dismiss other issues than the relative importance of business ethics themselves.


    I may not get to replying to each poster, but I’ll try.

    As others pointed out, I was not implying that being honest is not important, or even necessarily less important in practice than preventing massive chilul Hashem and being concerned for the welfare of the society that we live in.

    Nishtdayngesheft summed up my intention in that statement very clearly, though I disagree with him about center MO – iI didn’t grow up in Avi Weiss world; the problems I’m describing are endemic everywhere in MO, in varying degrees. Also, the reason there’s a lot more talk in chazal is because toe’va was extremely uncommon and even a taboo discussion for yidden for thousands of years…chazal aren’t going to talk about toe’va with behemos that much eithrr, because it’s an unthinkable very rare sin. Busines, stealing, cheating, is extremely common everywhere. It affects the day to day life of every Jew, so naturally there will be more talk of it. That doesn’t detract from the importance of understanding toe’va when society decides it’s perfectly fine and that it’s hateful to oppose it.

    Gadolhadora – what exactly is hateful about exposing false Judaism? Do you consider it hateful to bash tax-evaders or slumlords who happen to be charedi?

    Avi – this was 2007. No one knew that eventually children would be exposed to such things. No one predicted drag queen story hour. Even if they would, the way to prepare them would be to give shmuzzen about it, not to have them engage in developing their own opinion about something Hashem decided on before the world was created. Our own feelings and opinions about something basic in Torah really don’t matter. Also, the rules barred us from using Torah sources – it said so explicitly….even if they would have allowed it, there would have to be an opposing team from a jewish school that would have to argue against it. Would you want your children arguing a case for toe’va? Da ma lehashiv is important, and we get it from learning, not secularizing a Torah concept to teenagers and having them debate it from a socio-economic and humanistic perspective.

    In my debate team experience, I encountered something else. One of my teammates was a young man from a traditional but not entirely frum bukharian background. We were debating the draft issue, and at one point, the opposite team had raised the topic of women in the army. My teammate said that women need to stay home with the kids. The opposite team said this was sexist, and went on and on about how women are perfectly capable to fight wars.

    The judges approved. Where did this person get that idea from?

    Re, mixed schools. There are cases where a mixed school is necessary to prevent a community from sending their kids to public school. Tell me, does it show how strong MO is if we say that all their community would send their kids to public school if we made gender-separate schools? Or does it further speak to their distance from Torah. Also, at this point, we’re talking 3rd, 4th generation of students. Their parents and grandparents went to MO schools…when do they graduate from “about to send their kids to public school”. Regarding money… come on, people always scream about how little charedim make and how well-off MO professionals are. If they cared they’d be able to afford it just fine. Rav Moshe allowed mixing until 6th grade for this reason, but seeing the way kids are today I highly doubt he would allow it past 4th grade…i think anyone who teaches that age would understand why I’m saying so.

    The seridei aish was heading a kiruv program…hardly surprising, as the kids would have been mixed either way. The same goes for schools that are mixed to prevent public school.

    Rav Breuer’s yeshiva system was and is totally separate. The yeshiva and the girls school happen to be amazing institutions, not as well known, but I’ve been impressed with every talmid I’ve seen go through the system.

    Just having a small community is not justification for mixing – small kollel communities make a bais yaakov and a yeshiva and they get by.

    Re, labels and judging – judging individual people is up to Hashem. Calling out community-wide failure to uphold basic Torah principles is within our responsibility, and should bother us. Is it possible that a MO individual will be on a higher level than me in shomayim? Definitely! That doesn’t matter much to me in practice.

    Mindful – what open violations of torah law are acceptable to be done in the open in front of charedi rabbonim? Taking tzedaka to learn? Do you believe that until BY, women learned gemara and rishonim just like men? BY was the first institution for education at all for women, started by charedim with the backing of gedolim. Before that, women were largely iliterate for thousands of years. There were a handful of women who chose to learn more, and they weren’t silenced….they aren’t silenced now either.
    In the time of chazal, rishonim, women almost never learned anything and the halacha was that lechatchila, women shouldn’t be taught even chumash inside the sefer. They had tzena urena and that was enough.

    Were you “deprived” of an education in that rambam? The same rambam says that when women learn chumash, they get rewarded but it’s better not to, and for gemara/mishnah, they’re simply not allowed to. Sometimes studying things is, *gasp* not allowed…

    Add that to the list, MO decided to abrogate the halacha against teaching gemara to girls.

    Whatever you’ve read online that “opened your eyes” from some hack MO or worse…tell me, what traditional source have you discovered that shows that charedim changed things to make women inferior?

    Referring to women by their husbands name is not unprecedented; referring to them by their name is also not new… it’s found in gemara vis a vis choshuve women, but regular women were usually not named.


    Coffee addict; Rav Belsky explained the following: on yom kippur we bring two se’irim. They look identical, one goes to azazel as a symbol of the aveiros of klal yisroel, it dies a violent death to show the results of sin, and the other is brought in the kodesh hakedoshim.

    When yaakov and eisav brought their gifts to yitzchok, chazal say it was yom kippur. They brought two se’irim; when yaakov came in, the re’ach of gan eden filled the room. When eisav came in, the pischa shel gehinnom opened underneath him.

    Yom kippur and the yomin noraim are times to discern truth from falsehood, to be mavchin and indeed to judge what we are doing. If that drives a wedge between people who are not Torah Jews and those of us who strive to be, then so be it. I can think of no better time to engage in the self improvement one achieves by casting off all foreign junk and tumah that defines MO.


    I’m not going to address all the points individually, I’ll just point out a few things which relate to a number of them.

    There are many items which the chareidi/chassidic world has taken on as chumros, which are NOT halachah. The MO community did not accept these chumros, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    You need to differentiate between catering to people who grew up frum, and doing kiruv. For example, the end of point #1, about sex ed – NCSY is a kiruv organization. They are working with teens who are not frum. They are going to receive this education from somewhere. Would you rather it come from a kiruv expert or from public school?

    Zionism is subject to many disagreements. There were many major Rabbonim who were Zionists, and who supported the founding of the Jewish state of Israel. You need to differentiate between support for the state and support for the government.

    My last point for now (because I have to go somewhere and don’t have time to write more) is you also need to differentiate between MO, as portrayed by YU and those such as R’ Soloveitchik zt”l, R’ Herschel Schachter shlita, R’ Mordechai Willig shlita, and others, and those who broke off, such as Avi Weiss. Weiss’s people may still call themselves MO in an attempt to gain acceptance, but YU, the RCA, and many Rabbonim have come out against them time and time again. Don’t hold their mistakes against mainstream MO.

    Avram in MD

    coffee addict,

    “I’m not liking this thread it smells of division right before Rosh Hashanah”

    Interestingly, the OP opened the floor for people to bring “taanos” against MO and has since not responded. So yes, I agree with you.


    This summer, I attended the Morasha Kollel camp, a learning camp geared towards MO kids who like learning. It was three sedarim a day, every day (which is signifigantly more learning than most “yeshivish” camps have, I might add). The camp is run by Rav Yitzchak Cohen Shlit”a and Rav Mordechai Willig Shlit”a. On Shabbos, after the se’udah, all the boys would go to the beis midrah and engage in a Q&A with Rav Willig. One of the questions asked was why Rav Willig once taught a gemara shiur to girls. He answered by saying that A) gedolim like the Chavetz Chaim have qualified prohibitions against women learning torah shba’al peh (such as those of the shulchan aruch) to be situational, not a blanket issur, which is why the Shulchan Aruch makes an exception for Pirkei Avos. He also said that, nonetheless, he was not sure it was the correct move. I highly recommend you read his article, Trampled Laws. Over the course of the answer (which lasted 45 minutes) he made sure to let us know, in no uncertain terms, that Open Orthodoxy was nor Modern Orthodoxy. In fact, he went as far as saying that OO was worse than Conservative and Reform Jews because of misconceptions like the one being propagated right here — that is, that MO and OO are one and the same. The hate against MO is, I think, mostly either because people are confusing them with OO or they are resistant to change, for example the legal clause written into some MO marriages that demands the husband give the wife a get if he is abusive or something similar under penalty of facing significant monetary penalties. The “yeshivish” argument against it is that the husband has to give the get willingly but the beis din used to beat the husband until he gave a get in the time of the gemara! How is that more willing than this? There are giant gedolim who have emerged in the MO world and many, many upstanding, Torah-observant Jews. I think it is a mistake to let that get blotted out by those who seek to twist MO, be it purposely or accidentally.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    “Interestingly, the OP opened the floor for people to bring “taanos” against MO and has since not responded. So yes, I agree with you.”

    Exactly what I was going to say. And just seeing the screenname i could’ve told you to expect just that. Seems to be a pattern there with brand new OPs and mile long names….


    I read in the Toras Avigdor pamphlet recently from Rav Miller Zatsal that the idea that Frum Jews are not honest in business whereas non-religious Jews are more honest ( I am not referring to MO but to non-religious – but it is a similar idea that the frum are not honest), is slander and calumny.

    He related a personal story when he took a cab and the non religious Jewish driver was railing against frum jews during the trip. When the cab got 10 minutes away from Rav Miller’s house he turned off the meter. He said ” That’s enough money for the boss.”. It never dawned on him that is stealing.
    Only Jews who learnt Chumash, the 3 Bava’s and Choshen Mishpat know the severity and definition of stealing.


    Also, the opposition to prenuptial agreements is multi faceted. Middushin al tanai is discouraged by achronim(maybe even some rishonim) because there are a million….tanayim (pun!) Involved and different opinions as to how to make one work. Playing around with tanoim is a recipe for mamzerim.

    The other reason is that including such things is to decide from the get-go that the marriage may be doomed.

    Copying the practices of goyim in our marriages is not our way.


    Also, the rambam deals with your question about how beis din used to (and still could) use force to make a man divorce when he is obligated to (emphasis on when he is obligated to….a woman saying she’s not happy is not an obligation) he says that since a jew wants to do the ratzon Hashem deep down, you’re really doing what he wants! This rambam is often called “the chasidishe rambam”, but it’s the way this halacha works.


    To add to the list of problems: many, if not most MO people do not believe fully in Hashem running the world. They believe that the holocaust happened because of racism, hatred, etc, and do not acknowledge that it was Hashem who did it. They likewise blame the gedolim for not telling the European Jews to leave. The chazon ish, quoted in maaseh ish, famously said that people who blame the gedolim and say hallel on yom haatzmaut are apikorsim.

    They believe they will stop another one from happening r”l by having a state and fighting racism against African Americans.

    They ignore the fact that rommel was 2 days away from eretz yisroel. The same thing could have happened there, but the yidden davened and fasted, and were mevatel the gezerah. The Brisker Rov said that the yidden in Europe could have avoided the calamity if they had responded to the gezera the way the yidden in eretz yisroel did.


    Damoshe – are you aware of how many “mainstream” MO schoolchildren are involved with NCSY? Happens to be I may have named the wrong organization; I saw this website years ago, though if not NCSY it was definitely a mainstream MO organization. I have to be honest and admit when I’m unsure or unaware of something.

    If you want to see what goes on in the heads ot YU students, read ,their student newspaper. Their editor a few years ago said that many in the orthodox world aren’t ready for articles written by a stern college student cataloging her premarital aveiros. They pulled the article after some of the rabbis in YU were upset. Emphasis on some. They routinely run anti-torah articles.

    The fact that rabbi hershel shechtet and rabbi willig teach at YU has little bearing on the state of the MO community. By their own standards, they are not run by rabbinic authority – also, there are thousands of MO rabbis who are not rabbi shechter and rabbi willig. They are almost the only torah-dig people in the movement.

    Let’s not forget that every divergent movement has had its better elements. Saul liberman was not as off compared to the rest of the JTS faculty; does that mean conservative judaism is now leas treif?

    To illustrate the divide between rabbi shechter and the MO community…he routinely advocates for the wearing of techeles. He is telling TV and smartphone obsessed teenageers to wear techeles before giving up their girlfriends.

    Not that he is without criticism. The fact that he tolerates the open violations of Torah in YU by remaining there is not justifiable. That includes the toeva club, teaching gemara to women, inviting apikorsim and anti-torah speakers like marc shapiro…and his “teshuva” where he says that losing jewish life is an acceptable loss to maintain the state of Israel, because the state is the lifeblood of the jewish nation… he bought into nationalism and used it halachikally to defend the loss of jewish life.

    No, rabbi shechter, the source and lifeblood of jewish life is the Torah, and it will keep us no matter what.

    mesivta bachur

    those who make claims against the MO rabbanim need to understand that you have to pick your battles. all MO Rabbanim know sometimes you have to let certain things slide in order to protect the Torah. It also should be known that if something very wrong is going on all the Choshuv Rabbanim will come out against it like R’ Willig Shlita and R’ Shachter shlita. like dbs I highly recommend reading the article “trampled laws” . In addition please relize that maybe the Rabbi meant when it comes to you. most of us here (im assuming) aren’t gay. many of those in that shul were probably in business. bussiness honesty is spoken about much in the MO world because it is applicable to them and as was pointed out shachav ish is more rare. maybe this is something the charedi world can learn from and start giving halacha l’maisah shiurim for those who are unable to sit and learn all day. as R’ Willig has said the charedi worlds biggest issue is they view those who are unable to learn as 2nd class citizens. and stemming from that Rabbanim and schools don’t teach those ha;lachos as much. even if these MO schools are teaching halachos that lchatchila shoulldn’t be its important that these kids will at least have the the proper mehalech for whatever derech they take


    Why has the Young Israel/YU/MO bashing started again? Maybe this is why Moshiach hasn’t come yet.
    1. I was born into a YI shul. My father, O”H, was one of the founding members. This shul has produced several prominent Rabbanim that are all looked up to in their communities/yeshivas, (and if I dare say so, these are well known ‘yeshivish’ yeshivas), and a Rav that founded a very well known Kiruv organization and yeshiva.
    2. A Young Israel that I davened in when I was married, produced a Rav that runs a very well known seminary in Israel.
    3. The next Young Israel that I davened in produced 6 Rabbonim, (that I know of), who are all well known Roshei Yeshivos here in the U.S. and in Israel.
    4. Awhile back, could be 10 – 15 years ago or more, when there was a lot of Young Israel bashing, a Rov at the Agudah Convention, from the podium, stated that this Young Israel bashing has got to stop. If it wasn’t for the Young Israel movement, we wouldn’t be sitting here today in our black hats and black suits.
    4. It also depends on how you address the differences. Several years ago, a boy who was having a problem with his ‘yddishkeit’ came to shul, a Young Israel where I have been davening for the last 30 years, wearing shorts, and his tzitzes were hanging out from his t-shirt. One older gentleman who saw him, said to his friend, look at how so-and-so’s son comes to shul. What a shanda. His friend answered him, but he is coming to daven with a minyan. Today this boy is ‘yeshvish’. You wouldn’t believe it was the same boy.
    5. I recently heard a clip, I forgot from which Rav, about a yeshivisha gentleman in Israel getting into a cab, and saying to the secular driver, Good morning, Achi”. The driver looked at him and said, we are not brothers. Look at you and look at me. The yeshivisha fellow said that there was a teacher that taught us that we are all brothers. The cab driver asked who that teacher was. The yeshivasha gentleman answered, “Hitler”. The cab driver stopped the car and hugged him.
    6. Maybe, if we tolerate each other, and don’t denigrate each other because have different minhagim, Moshiach will come sooner, B’Ezras HaShem.


    Not so if it is normalized, just like the husband signing the kesuvah — which in part is him agreeing to pay the wife if he divorces her — is not dooming the marriage from the get-go. Regardless, my point was not to discuss the validity of prenups, it was to point out that as far as ‘progress’ is concerned, there is valid machlokes going on about several of the points. Just because you happen to hold against doesn’t mean you should condemn the community that holds for.

    ☕️coffee addict

    Thank you avram and syag

    He hasn’t even posted anything else yet in defense


    What I’ve learned is try to fix myself before I rail on communities that I find at fault

    Do the mods really feel that this thread should stay open?


    Sorry it looks like i fell into the troll trap, let me wish all my MO friend ah git yur


    I’ll give credit where it’s due, young Israel was and is extremely successful in holding the line and acting as a bulwark against conservative. Their policy of owning each shul and making a universal, mandatory, enforceable charter was very smart. I honestly don’t know where frum jewry would be without the work of young Israel throughout the years.

    YI was not founded by modern orthodoxy, though most of its members and rabbis are such. That being said YI didn’t “produce” rabbonim – yeshivos did. They may have guided some young men and encouraged them to progress, but there is a limit if one’s entire Jewish experience is just young Israel.

    Irving bunim was very close to Rav Aharon; he was a good man and Hashem rewarded his efforts by making young Israel a powerful force in the fight against conservative.

    however the idea of sacrificing and ignoring flagrant violations of halacha in an effort to conserve…. Is not orthodox, it’s the very thing young Israel was set out to go against. True, emphasizing things like singing and socializing, kumsitzes, etc may not have been part of the European playbook, but they are not sacrifices.


    Could be that it’s a troll post, or it could be that he was not expecting the excoriation

    ☕️coffee addict

    “Could be that it’s a troll post, or it could be that he was not expecting the excoriation“

    Someone that makes an account and the first thing he does is start a confrontational thread thread is usually a troll


    “RebDovidFunDerHeights” came here expecting some third-rate neanderthal responses in poor English that he would respond to with sophistry using the Queen’s English, looking like an MO white knight on horseback swatting away those silly yeshivishe cavemen who came across sounding like they failed third grade and can’t put together a logical response.

    Then Avira came swinging with his double-barreled shotgun outlining all the MO failings and explaining himself quite well. It scared “DerHeights” so much he staggered away limping before he could mouth two coherent words in response to the real truths he either wasn’t expecting or was hoping would never see daylight.

    Reb Eliezer

    Avira, the holocaust is similar to mitzraim, so look at the Klei Yakar at the end of Parashas Vayigash and Parashas Devorim on Penu lochem tzofano. The Mitzriim didn’t directly kill jews because of the hakoras hatov to Yosef. The germans also made them work if they were able to.


    DaMoshe: NCSY may be a kiruv organization but that does NOT give them a license to advocate giluy aroyos by insisting on “respecting choices” in sex education.

    Furthermore, Avi Weiss was a member in good standing of the RCA for many decades. He was a long time “rebbe” in YU. He left both on his own volition; he was never booted. The RCA permitted him to be a rabbinic member of their organization as long as he wanted. Mr. Weiss himself decided not to renew his membership a few years ago, since HE felt they weren’t sufficiently left-wing. The RCA was still happy to have him as their member until he decided to not renew.

    In any event, Mr “Ask me anything” OP has run for the hills and decided he can’t answer anything.



    Oooooookay… This has become a gehenom-hole… I opened this thread because, in my naivete, I believed that the rift–at least within the residents of the coffee room–could have been somewhat bridged between the MO community and that of the Yeshivish if given proper level-headed exchange of ideas. However, I was greeted with utter disbelief as a saw (I read through every single post [perhaps why it took so long @coffee adict]) the anger and passion that is behind some of these posts. I had intended for level-headed discussion and to prove that our similarities far outweigh our differences, and was instead met with anger and seeming hatred (baggage or otherwise @common saychel). I am in utter disbelief that Jews can talk this way about each other. Having a disagreement is absolutely okay and necessary, but to be so biting and hateful is just simply uncalled for. The clear Siman of this is that I asked for questions, not for attacks, and pretty much all I got were attacks. Essentially, my argument is not to justify the modern orthodox outlook–of course, any strongly halachically-minded Jew (myself included) would have their objections–but rather to attempt to maybe, just maybe, dis-spell some stereotypes and create some common ground of understanding and acceptance. The most poinient example of this was the story @Puttinginmy2cents cited about the secular cab driver (I think it’s in a Magid book somewhere…): no matter how far from our Tatteh in Himmel some of our brethern may be, that does not give any one of the other brothers/sisters the right to write them off. Most of the issues in the MO community are the cause of ignorance, not malignant violations of Halacha; think of it as a Tinok SheNishba situation of sorts (Chas VeShalom, I am NOT calling the MO community Tinokos SheNishbeu). Most of all, I wanted to convey that which @Avi K had tried to: drop the labels, people! The only label that truly matters is Ben Shel HaKadosh Baruch Hu or not. Treat everyone with respect, even if you disagree (and you may even be right!), and perhaps maybe–just maybe– our Gzar Din this Rosh HaShana will be one of Geula Sheleima… In the state erm… I mean land of Israel, of course…


    ubiq, others have above amply addressed your point about business honesty, but even putting that quote from the MO rabbi aside, how could you possibly say the rabbi was right and advocate that Avira return to the sin-agogue where the “rabbi” presides over a crowded mixed mingling and hand shaking by his constituents during a “kiddush” — and when questioned about this abominable situation tells his teenage mispallel (Avira) that he should be wary of being “extreme” and that he’s “going through a phase”?

    The teenager was correct and the rabbi dead wrong; there’s nothing extreme or going through a phase when questioning the wrongfulness of not adhering to shomer negia, tznius and mixed gender socializing during a shul kiddush.



    Ujm, I attempted to respond around an hour ago, but the moderators have yet to let it through (I think… I keep getting error messages that are telling me I already posted something similar to this, but I don’t know…). Either way, we you just said was incredibly insulting. Once it comes through, Ayein Shom what I wrote as to my anticipations for this thread. The unbelievability just keeps piling up…


    ArivahDeRah: I grew up in a YI whose Rav’s shver was Irving Bunim, ZTL. He had sterling chassideshe yichus including the Noam Elimelech, the Rebbes of Ropschitz, and the B’nai Yisosschor. He was a musmach of Chaim Berlin and served as a gabbai to the Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Yitzchok Hutner, ZTL.
    That Rav who served his shul for half a century personified the MO ethos in terms of himself being a talmid chacham but also working tirelessly in the political sphere to establish a legal structure in NYS for enforcement of Kashrus law statewide. While doing all this, his endearing personality, brought many families (including my own) closer to Yiddeshkeit. Like many shuls in that era, that YI (once among the largest) suffered a declining membership but through a merger is today experiencing a renaissance with a thriving membership of young torah-observant New Yorkers.


    “YI was not founded by modern orthodoxy, though most of its members and rabbis are such. That being said YI didn’t “produce” rabbonim – yeshivos did. They may have guided some young men and encouraged them to progress, but there is a limit if one’s entire Jewish experience is just young Israel.”

    YI was founded by a group of people that wanted a shul where money couldn’t buy aliyos, and young people were included. Where they grew up in the shteibles, they weren’t allowed to daven for the Amud, get an aliyah, etc. They felt left out.

    A number of the Rabbanim I referred to earlier, became b’aale teshuva because they went to the Young Israel Talmud Torah and then to the ‘then’ modern orthodox yeshivos. Some of them went to co-ed yeshivos. Today, they are respected Rabbonim and Roshei Yeshivos.

    Just a little bit of history:
    1. Rabbi Avigdor Miller was the Rov of the YOUNG ISRAEL OF RUGBY from 1945 through 1975. He then moved to Flatbush due to the changing demorgraphics of the neighborhood.
    2. Rabbi Miller got his degree from YU and his simicha from RIETS.
    3. Some of the men in his learning group included Nosson Meir Wachtfogel, Yehuda Davis, and Mordechai Gifter. They all went on to become notable Haredi rabbis in their own right.

    From these points we see that a person is not shaped just by the shul he attends, nor just by the yeshiva he attends. It is shaped by entire environment and people that surround them.

    When people today are asked why they wear, for example, a black hat, they reply that it is the mesorah from Europe. Look back at pictures of our gedolim when they were in Europe. Rav Moshe, ZATZAL, was pictured wearing grey hats. Men & bochrim wore caps, not hats.

    Look back at pictures of the yearly dinners (1950 – 1970) held by the big yeshivos in Brookyn, and you will see that there was mixed seating.


    AviraDeArah: “To add to the list of problems: many, if not most MO people do not believe fully in Hashem running the world. They believe that the holocaust happened because of racism, hatred, etc, and do not acknowledge that it was Hashem who did it.”

    Where did you get this from?


    “To add to the list of problems: many, if not most MO people do not believe fully in Hashem running the world. They believe that the holocaust happened because of racism, hatred, etc, and do not acknowledge that it was Hashem who did it.”

    Where did you get this from?

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Rebdovid- okay, too much going on here. First of all, you may be very sincere but I am too skeptical to think you really didn’t know what you were doing. BUT, that doesn’t give anyone license to be a jerk. Personal shots are never okay, I agree with GH on that.

    Having said that, Avirah obviously has some heavy baggage. And if you read his posts you will discover that this is how he presents his points, harsh and pointed. And ujm/****** will never change either. So if you are gonna open a Pandora’s box and then start having a freak attack about less than a handful of posters, you obviously are just here to stir machlokes. And that is besides the fact that: A. You have decided to over dramatize and exaggerate the tone while(in order to?) disregarding points.and B. Please don’t pretend that this hateful attitude doesn’t go both ways. I cannot tell you how much garbage gets slipped in here about kollel, black hats, learning, Lakewood etc. Please. Don’t act like all your friends are any different.

    If you really have/had an interest, you could have stepped right over the aggressive posters and said your piece (peace?). If you really had achdusbin mind you could have put in the effort to ignore rudeness and anger and responded intelligently where appropriate. Responding to heightened emotion with heightened emotion isn’t conducive to communication.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    “Where did you get this from?”

    I wondered that too

    And for the record, I agree with coffee addict


    Rebdovid did not just ask for questions; he asked for taanos, and that is what i responded to – I didn’t have questions because i was MO and know exactly how things are and what kind of spectrum there is. Let him try and answer my taanos, but to do that you’d have to either make believe that the 50ish bochurim/yungeleit in YU who are farkoifed on rabbi shechter represent the masses of MO(but there would still be plenty to criticize), or just “reexamine” the issues i discussed.

    Gadol; no one’s doubting that there were and are ehrliche people in young israel shuls, be they mispalelim or rabonim. Many gedolim had YI shuls, and I’ll add Rav Pam to that list. Being active in political life and learning Torah is an Agudah value system; it has no bearing on MO or the miasma of secular culture that MO mixed-swims in.

    2cents – take a survey in an MO shul and give multiple options – was the holocaust A) the result of unchecked racism, jews not having a country and military… but no merciful god would ever do such a thing, B) a gezerah from Hashem that we don’t understand, or C) the culmination of a hundred years of gedolim warning against assimilation, reform and defection from Torah.
    In a MO shul, you’ll get 65% A, and 35% for B. In a baalebatish shul, you’ll get 90% for B and 10% for C, and in a yeshiva you’ll get 50/50 between B and C. ​

    I realize people will say that this is random and that I’m generalizing, but please, give it a try! I davened with these people, went to school with them… Puk chazi, go out and see!

    Re, rabonim coming out of co ed schools – gedolim such as Rav avigdor miller, rav yitzchok sheiner, rav gifter and others went to public school. Actually, i think more roshei Yeshiva went to public school than MO.

    Re, rav avigdor miller…to claim he has any relation to YU when he repeatedly bashed MO (he was one of my early influences…im insulted for his kovod) is ludicrous. His YI became a shul of mevakshei Hashem. He raised the mechitzah at night; many left but he didn’t care. He denounced an announcement that a kiddush was being made at a conservative temple, and said “we will not mention conservative temples in this shul”, many more left… He didn’t care. He also changed the name eventually to Bais yisroel of rugby when he moved.

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 124 total)
  • The topic ‘Ahavas Yisrael for those in YU/the MO community (Ask me anything)’ is closed to new replies.