May 30, 2023 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm #2194190
Could there be some sort of rabbinic board that connects the frum YU type and the Yeshivish Velt. Let’s say something that would include R Willig and R Schechter with prominent Agudah Rabbonim as a way of connecting the 2 groups.May 31, 2023 2:07 am at 2:07 am #2194222
The problem isn’t getting rabbi Shechter or rabbi willig to meet with the Torah world’s poskim; they have. My rebbe rav belsky worked with rabbi Shechter all the time. Because they’re coming from the same religion, and are both committed to normative halacha (except rabbi Shechters land for peace teshuva where he uses European nationalism to justify the loss of Jewish life)
The issue is the MO world to the left of those two rabbis. They are barreling down the roads of heresy and violation of halacha, and they have little in common with rabbonim from the torah world.May 31, 2023 9:46 am at 9:46 am #2194274
I’d say that most of the MO world is to the left of R’ Willig and R’ Schachter, the same way we were all to the left of R’ Chaim Kanievsky. They are huge gedolim, so the majority of ALL frum Jews are to the left of them.
Aveirah, please define what you mean by left MO, as opposed to centrist or right MO. I expect we’d find that we actually agree that there is an element that is separated from Orthodoxy, despite calling themselves Modern Orthodox. I highly doubt you’ll find any Rav who supports the things that this group does, other than possibly YCT “Rabbis”, who don’t really count.May 31, 2023 9:48 am at 9:48 am #2194271chiefshmerelParticipant
Not to be a nudnik, but there is a problem when the yeshivishe oilam thinks that they have a monopoly on the “Torah world”. Don’t confuse Torah, the basis of our faith, with being yeshivish; a mentality. Being yeshivish requires Torah; having Torah does not require being yeshivish.May 31, 2023 11:28 am at 11:28 am #2194329akupermaParticipant
You need to define “MO”. If “Modern Orthodox” means that while supporting zionism and thinking that YU is a bunch of fanatics, one keeps kosher all the time and wears a yarmulke at all times, and observes Shabbos and Yuntuf – there isn’t all the much of a gap. Keeping Shabbos and Kashrus, and wearing a kippah, largely precludes full participation in American society and ghettoizes you. It precludes most employment and educational and business opportunities and subjects you to substantial
discrimination. The gap between a “kippah srugah” and someone who doesn’t wear a kippah is greater than the gap between the “kippah srugah” and a “streimel”.May 31, 2023 11:28 am at 11:28 am #2194378
Several such rabbinic boards exists. But they each address one area.May 31, 2023 11:28 am at 11:28 am #2194383
And there is the cRc Beis Din.May 31, 2023 1:59 pm at 1:59 pm #2194425
Akup – wow, yiddishkeit being reduced to 3 mitzvos and a piece pf fabric on your head really caught me by surprise.
Yes, MO generally keep those things, except a study in 2015 by an MO group found that not even 3/4 of MO people consistently wear tefilin, practice taharas mishpacha, and keep shabbos fully, nor do they believe fully that Hashem runs the world and that the Torah is 100% true.
But even without that study, you’re accusing the Torah world of also just keeping those things.
What about mitzvos like not touching women, including relatives? lo sasuru? Tznius? Bitul torah? Reading lashon hora and apikorsus? Checking for shatnez? Not taking jews to court? There are a ton of mitzvos that are practically hefker in large parts of MOMay 31, 2023 2:01 pm at 2:01 pm #2194444
The large majority of those who self-define themselves as Modern Orthodox are left-wing Modern Orthodox (LWMO). The right-wing Modern Orthodox (RWMO), those who fully follow, subscribe to and live the positions of R. Willig and R. Schachter, are a very small minority of the MO world.
Walk into any Yeshivish Shul or Yeshiva or minyan and you’ll find lots of former MO people. Those MO who aren’t left-wing have mostly left the MO world and now associate with the Yeshivish world.May 31, 2023 2:55 pm at 2:55 pm #2194492
Aveirah, what was this 2015 study? Is it the one Joseph loves to quote? It was mentioned by a prominent MO Rav once, but he himself said he never read it, and just told the information by someone who said he had read it. The study itself was never linked to, and I question if it actually exists.
Regarding the things you mentioned, true, there are individuals who don’t keep these things. There are people in every group who don’t keep them – do you really believe that nobody who wears a black hat violates them? No MO Rav will say it’s ok, and to me, that’s where it matters most.May 31, 2023 4:03 pm at 4:03 pm #2194499
Da, just google 2017 nishma study.
It was extensive, surveying all types of MO people. Those who said they were right wing MO kept everything, those who said they were centrist didn’t keep everything, and the more left you go the less they keep and believe.
It was commissioned by a reputable statistics analyst.
But it didn’t ask the harder questions about negiah, etc…
And of course there are sinners in the Torah world, but they don’t do it openly or tolerate it as a community. If a yeshiva bochur is caught with a girl, he is at risk. If an MO boy does not have a girlfriend, he’s some sort of tzadik. You know this.May 31, 2023 4:03 pm at 4:03 pm #2194500
Da you have to admit that MO Rabbonim are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to tznius. A modern Orthodox Rav can’t say that women must come to shul dressed tznius. See through mechitzas are the norm.May 31, 2023 4:06 pm at 4:06 pm #2194505SQUARE_ROOTParticipant
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein [ZTL ZYA] was accepted as the highest posek by BOTH the Chareidi Yeshivah World AND the Modern Orthodox.
So far as I know, he was the last Rabbi to hold that distinction.
This demonstrates how much the situation has deteriorated since his death in 1986 CE.
Additionally, it is dangerous to say:
“Bridging the Gap Between The Torah World and MO”,
because it could cause the Modern Orthodox to believe they are NOT part of “The Torah World”.
That is much more likely to push them farther away from Torah, than it is to draw them nearer.
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein [ZTL ZYA] once said that it is very important that EVERY JEW consider himself to be Orthodox, regardless of his level of mitzvah-observance.May 31, 2023 4:08 pm at 4:08 pm #2194506Desperate to understandParticipant
The term modern orthodox, yeshivish, chasidish, are just political terms. If they all belive in God and the Torah, then the titles are just political. There can be chasidim who could believe in the modern orthodox ideology and modern orthodox in the chasidic ideology. As i look at it, the only differentiation between ultra orthodox and modern orthodox is how to deal with modernity, erase it or embrace it, if halacha allows it. I know a lot of chasidim that are embracing modernity (technology etc.).
EditedMay 31, 2023 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #2194522KuvultParticipant
In the school where I’m from 80% of the kids are Right wing MO & Yeshivish Modern. The other 20% is centrist MO, very Yeshivish & Chasidish.
With the way the student population has (controlled) diversity there is no gap because MO, Yeshivish & Chasidish kids grow up together so when they’re adults the connections are already there.May 31, 2023 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #2194526
I agree that every Jew should identify with Torah Judaism regardless of their level of adherence to halacha; mitzvos are not all or nothing, but emunah is… Having twisted beliefs is a worse violation than many other sins, so in reality, a believing jew who struggles with his yatzer hora, or even if he’s given up on certain mitzvos, is still in a better place than a “farshita’d” person who keeps whatever they believe in and disregards the parts that they don’t accept ideologically.
It’s like two people who come to court for breaking the law. One is contrite and admits his guilt, asking for mercy and help not to reoffend. Another is a revolutionary who incites anarchy and will not admit that they did anything wrong and that the legal system just accommodate them
Who do you think will be punished more severely?May 31, 2023 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #2194527
Besides for the ideologies that you mentioned, there is also cultural and practical differences. But the real question is communal. Who is my community. Or yours. (I’m not asking.)May 31, 2023 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #2194529
Taking other Jews to court is a major problem by the yeshivshe and chassidishe yidden. I never knew it was an issue by the MO.May 31, 2023 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #2194531
Yes! A big shift from the YV to MO is that people are not asked to fake their Judaism. Nobody in MO is tznius because ‘what will the neighbors think’? BUt in the YV when the neighbors are away……
You can’t say people are more frum because they don’t do things openly that they can’t get away with. The YV may be a more correct way of having a frum community. But it doesn’t automatically make the people more frum.May 31, 2023 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #2194532
Aveirah, I looked up the study. It says straight out that they interviewed non-Orthodox people who attend Orthodox synagogues. It also says that only 41% of respondents classified as Modern Orthodox!
If you look at the splits between what they label as Modern Orthodox or Centrist/Right Orthodox, you’ll see the numbers are just fine. It’s Open Orthodox that has the problems… no surprise there.
You talk about the things it doesn’t ask about. I have children in schools now, and I can tell you that tznius is taught just fine. They are taught that ngiah is forbidden. The school has a dress code. The vast majority of students don’t have relationships with the opposite gender. So I don’t know where you get your ideas from.
Lakewhut: incorrect. In my shul, which is MO, there absolutely is a requirement that women must dress appropriately when coming to shul. The Rav will admit that the requirements are usually the halachic minimum, so that people aren’t driven away from davening, but they are there. We’ve had times where the Rebbetzin went over to someone to ask her to walk out until she changed, or covered up a bit. We’ve had divorced women who no longer wanted to cover their hair who were told that’s not allowed in the shul.
As for mechitzos, you miss the point of them. It’s not to block men from seeing women. It’s to differentiate the sections for men and women. R’ Moshe held it only needed to be 5 feet tall. It’s just to prevent mingling during davening.May 31, 2023 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #2194535
Walk into any far left shul or community center and you’ll find a whole bunch of young yiddish speakers. They come from RW families and they were able to leave observance behind but not the kiddush and cholent.
There are many more that stayed right wing because they think MO cholent is not good enough for them.May 31, 2023 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #2194536
Come on. Bitul Torah is a universal malady.
Loshon Hara and reading Apikorsus as well.
Just look at us posting here.May 31, 2023 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #2194539
So the list comes down to tznius in public and shatnes. So everyone should become yeshivish for the clothing. Now that’s a selling point. Remind me again how the Lakewood Rabbanim are doing in their battle with the clothing manufactures.May 31, 2023 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #2194546Yabia OmerParticipant
The gap between a “kippah srugah” and someone who doesn’t wear a kippah is greater than the gap between the “kippah srugah” and a “streimel”.
Isn’t this Pashut?May 31, 2023 4:53 pm at 4:53 pm #2194560Yabia OmerParticipant
Ashkenazim have a strange neurosis and obsession with categorizing Jews.May 31, 2023 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #2194581
“The vast majority of students don’t have relationships with the opposite gender.”
The elementary/high school you send to is the minority of RWMO. The large majority of MO students go to LWMO schools, where the schools are co-ed and the large majority of students have cross-gender friendships and/or boy/girlfriends. Especially starting in high school and even more especially after graduating high school.
Additionally, in Yeshivish, Lakewood and Chasidish schools, having a boy/girlfriend is virtually non-existent.
“We’ve had times where the Rebbetzin went over to someone to ask her to walk out until she changed, or covered up a bit. We’ve had divorced women who no longer wanted to cover their hair who were told that’s not allowed in the shul.”
You see, even in your RWMO shul you have this problem. Forget about what goes on in LWMO shuls, which constitute the large majority of where self-identified MO people daven. (Assuming they even go to shul; MO rabbis have been widely reporting over the last few years that a very significant percentage of young MO adults no longer come to shul.)
In Yeshivish/Lakewood/Chasidish shuls, it is virtually unheard of that women need to be told to “cover up” or go home and change. Or for divorced women to have the audacity to come with their hair uncovered, for that matter.
“R’ Moshe held it only needed to be 5 feet tall.”
Wrong. Rav Moshe held, B’DIEVED, it must be at least 18 tefachim (66″). And Rav Moshe writes that the mechitza is D’Oraisa. Rav Moshe writes that one is obligated to protest with all his might against a mechitza which is less than 18 tefachim. It’s assur to daven there, even if you won’t otherwise be able to daven with any minyan.May 31, 2023 7:09 pm at 7:09 pm #2194582
N0m: Only a tiny percentage of the Yeshivish/Chasidish population switched to MO. Whereas there is a huge percentage of MO who now identify with the Yeshivish community. As I mentioned, in virtually every Yeshivish Shul, Yeshiva and minyanim you’ll find very many former MO people. You do not find a significant population of former Yeshivish/Chasidish in MO schools or shuls. (And if you want to consider the OTD rate, the MO OTD rate is more than 10 times higher proportionally than the Yeshivish/Chasidish OTD rate.)
As far as your point that many MO people openly violate Halacha but, you claim, that by Yeshivish/Chasidish some publicly adhere to the Mitzvos, but when in private don’t, there’s two pertienent points:
1. You have no basis to claim that there’s any statistically significant percentage who publicly are frum but when no one is looking aren’t.
2. It is far far better a person be publicly Mitzvah adherent, even if in private he isn’t, than for a person to simply disregard Mitzvos even in public and openly and shamelessly violate the Torah.May 31, 2023 7:09 pm at 7:09 pm #2194583
“So far as I know, he was the last Rabbi to hold that distinction.”
Rav Belsky was respected by both worlds (he headed up OU kashrus I believe). Rav Ovadia Yosef was respected by both worlds. I think Rav Heinneman of the Star-K (still living) has maintained respect in both worlds, albeit not without some controversy. If people want respect in both worlds, the formula seems to be:
1) Be very frum/yeshivish in your own life.
2) Be willing to pasken very meikel and stick by your guns when you know it’s right.May 31, 2023 8:09 pm at 8:09 pm #2194609
Correct. But there is a much larger percentage that went right rest MO and joined the Barely Orthodox.May 31, 2023 8:09 pm at 8:09 pm #2194610
Da, you’re looking at an appendix; the people they interviewed identified as mo, and the study took into account the factor of non MO davening in mo shuls. Among center and center left, the common dominator was less than full adherence to mitzvos as basic as wearing tefilin. The remarks were that they usually do it, but not always; that’s a quarter of MO people who don’t take Shabbos, kashrus and tefilin seriously, or believe fully in the 13 ikkarimMay 31, 2023 8:10 pm at 8:10 pm #2194612
That is all true. But none of them had the clout by either group that Rav Moshe had. If Rav Moshe permitted something than that was good enough for both. And if he didn’t it’s a question on whichever group doesn’t follow his psak. Though there can still be a good answer.May 31, 2023 8:11 pm at 8:11 pm #2194616rjh18Participant
Not sure what this discussion accomplishes. We all have the mitzvah of vehavta rayecha camocha. Bzman haze it applies to all Jews regardless of affiliation.May 31, 2023 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm #2194621
Actually, Joseph, the times we’ve had issues are when someone is making a simcha, and guests come in dressed inappropriately. Our members know better.
As for schools, you’re wrong. Look at the Teaneck area, where they have schools like TABC, Mayanot, and Na’aleh. Pretty much the only school that’s mixed is Frisch, which is more Conservadox – a large number of kids who go there don’t come from Shomer Shabbos homes, so I wouldn’t call them MO. In Teaneck there’s even a more yeshivish place that opened, Heichal HaTorah. So I don’t know where you get your information from, but it’s incorrect.May 31, 2023 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm #2194636
I would venture that roughly a quarter of the YV is also not fastidious with tefillin, davening, or kashrus.
It really seems like you were never fully involved in a yeshivish community.
And how many Jews know all 13 Ikkarim in the first place?
The only difference is that MO is much more likely to be honest with their religious standing. Which is not intrinsically a bad thing.May 31, 2023 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm #2194642Always_Ask_QuestionsParticipant
I think, you guys here are a little confused by viewing labels as defining a person. How about this view:
fact: we have Jews all along the spectrum of observance. I am not talking MO v non-MO, but along the traditional measures: shabbat, kashrut … We have millions of people R’L who are not at all, or are partially, observant. These people are not, mostly, result of laxity of MO shuls, but of all other factors of the modern world.
Some of these people might sometimes come to a shul or otherwise interact with observant Yidden and, hopefully, learn and get inspired. Where will these people go? Some to Chabad, some to MO, only rarely directly to a yeshivish or chassidish shul. This is what you are saying when you mention that many of people in “MO” are not observant. You seem to be proud that none of these Jewish people who need our help are not coming to your shul … (this may be an unfair generalization with apology to those to whom it does not apply). Any ideas how to fix it and invite those people to your shul!?May 31, 2023 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm #2194644
“But none of them had the clout by either group that Rav Moshe had.”
OK, but Reb Moshe is the exception that proves the rule. Very rarely is a posek that universally accepted if ever.
“If Rav Moshe permitted something than that was good enough for both.”
That’s pretty much true with the names I mentioned as well with the exception of one notable controversy. Even the times when when people don’t hold by a heter from these sources (including Reb Moshe) it isn’t usually because they aren’t “good enough;” they just happen to pasken differently, which is a non-concept in the MO since they always just go like the most meikel bidder.
“As for schools, you’re wrong. Look at the Teaneck area”
Is he wrong? His point is that you live in a particularly right wing MO community, which I think Teaneck is. Try going to various OOT Young Israels and you’ll have a better understanding of why people have these perceptions of the MO. Contrary to what you might think, your community does not comprise the majority of the modern orthodoxy. Many of the MO communities in the NYC area (it sounds like including your’s) would be at least unofficially considered yeshivish in most other areas.June 1, 2023 1:06 am at 1:06 am #2194694HaKatanParticipant
“The only difference is that MO is much more likely to be honest with their religious standing. Which is not intrinsically a bad thing.”
Not exactly. The satan tests everyone, so everyone has their challenges. And MO does claims loyalty to “halakha”. But that is where the commonality essentially ends.
1. Being MO is a “permit” to intentionally violate certain issurim while still considering yourself 100% orthodox.
2. MO’s embrace of Zionism as a core tenet of their faith is, of course, hugely problematic because Zionism, of any flavor, is literal idolatry according to Rav Elchonon Wasserman HY”D and the rest.
3. MO’s embrace of secular culture and their disregard for hashkafas haTorah is almost as large a problem as their Zionism because it results in a total distortion of what Jewish (Torah) life should be.June 1, 2023 7:11 am at 7:11 am #2194700
There are three different circumstances.
1. Established MO communities that are a part of major Jewish populations. This is being debated.
2. Isolated MO cities. The observance there is largely at the mercy of the abilities and circumstance of some rabbi many years ago.
3. Communities that are not established and only serve as a place for Jewish Adults to have a communal lifestyle. These communities are made up of whichever Jews decided to live there at the moment. They have little continuity. And less oversight. This is not part of the debate. It is Barely Orthodox. BO not MO. The young people there come from all over including Williamsburg and Lakewood.June 1, 2023 7:15 am at 7:15 am #2194702
Is this discussion about standards, or about reality? I don’t really care for yeshivaliet that claim Torah is everything, but never get around to learning.
If the commitment is relatively higher by the MO, than that should be applauded and used as an example. There is no shame in gaining insight from other groups.
1. Applies to every group. Otherwise there wouldn’t be different groups.
2. Zionism does not line up equally with any orthodox denomination. You’ll find Anti Zionism even by the militant Mizrachi. If someone as great as Rav Reines could embrace Zionism, there isn’t any abstract problem with it. So leave it out of this discussion. It could just be that MO are great Jews if not for their acceptance of Zionism. Besides, you can’t define Zionism anyways.
3. Are you talking to or against Rav Hirsch?June 1, 2023 7:15 am at 7:15 am #2194725commonsaychelParticipant
@UJM: You do not find a significant population of former Yeshivish/Chasidish in MO schools or shuls.
There is a large coed school in Rockland whose parent body is 80% ex chasidish /yeshivish.
The is a similar school in the 5 towns.June 1, 2023 7:16 am at 7:16 am #2194728
Where does this “and the rest come from?” Rav Elchanan Wasserman was an EXTREME outlier. Just look at the Agudah convention of 1937 where only Rav Elchanan and Rav Ahron Kotler voted against accepting the offer of a partitioned Palestine from the British (by the way, this was before the Holocaust so it seems in hindsight that the Gerrer rebbe and the other gedolim ON THE AGUDAH MOETZES were right).
Just look at the letters between thr Chazon Ish and Rav Elchanan how the Chazon Ish accuses him of not understanding the Politics of Israel and how he should not get involved. The Chazon Ish was connected with the religious labor unions and was tangental to the political parties where people VOTED for the Knessest (before there was even a state). Rav Elchanan wasnvery agianst it but not the Chazon Ish and Rav Chaim Ozer.June 1, 2023 7:17 am at 7:17 am #2194733
If you actually understand the “Zionism” of the MO community you will probably realize it’s almost the same as Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer or Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank’s outlook.June 1, 2023 9:24 am at 9:24 am #2194769
“Isolated MO cities. The observance there is largely at the mercy of the abilities and circumstance of some rabbi many years ago.”
Teaneck is a large isolated MO city the debate applies here to. Very rare that a Rav not from YU gets hired by these shuls. The Rabbonim on the “right” are hush about certain things lest there be any backlash. If there’s any attempt to raise the standards of observance in the shuls, there will be backlash.June 1, 2023 9:29 am at 9:29 am #2194732
Just look at the letters of recommendation for Rav Herzog (who was a very big Zionist, had a Phd from the University of Leeds, and was extremely well versed in Latin and Greek classics and philosophy). The “chareidi” part of Eretz Yisrael didn’t want him as the Chief Rabbi so they published a forged teshuva from Rav Chaim Ozer that he can’t become Chief Rabbi because he had a Phd. Rav Chaim Ozer himself responded and said that Rav Herzog was a big gaon and should become Chief Rabbi. In addition, the Rogatchover said about him “a star is shining from England, and Yitzchak Isaac Haleivi is his name”, the Ridbaz referred to him as “Rav Akiva Eiger of this generation” and he also received very strong recommendations from Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, the Chazon Ish, the Ohr Sameach, Rav Tuccachinsky, and other gedolim.June 1, 2023 10:51 am at 10:51 am #2194813
Dan The but do MO talk about the Zionist government promoting LGBT and other sources of tumah to EY or bringing in Russians knowing they weren’t really Jewish and giving them fake conversions? They don’t criticize ever.June 1, 2023 10:52 am at 10:52 am #2194821
“Teaneck is a large isolated MO city the debate applies here to.”
No it’s not. It’s a commuter town for NYC. Not isolated at all.June 1, 2023 3:03 pm at 3:03 pm #2194861
“They don’t criticize ever”
They do. But why is that a complaint? What mitzvah is it to be critical where it will not have any effect? Are you even Jewish?June 1, 2023 3:04 pm at 3:04 pm #2194872
Dan… you’re totally misinformed. The only notable people in the agudah who voted to support a state run by halacha were the sadigerer and Boyaner rebbes, and maybe another, but honestly they weren’t on the same level as rav aharon and rav elchanan…they just weren’t. Not every prominent person is the same. Rav elchanan was the same as rav shimon, rav chaim ozer, rav boruch ber…all the litvishe roshei yeshiva and gedolim felt the same way about zionism, and rav chaim said it’s avodah zara, as did all of the others.
People quote a lot from rav isser zalman without ever providing a source; it’s a fairy tale, but even according to their reports, he felt that the state was a hatzolah, much like tue ponevezher rov – that isn’t nationalism or avodah zara. Nationalism, which MO is soaked in, is the idea that the jews are a nation by virtue of something other than just the Torah, and is inclusive of Hashem’s enemies as valid parts of the jewish nation. It’s an import from European nationalism, straight avodah zara.June 1, 2023 3:04 pm at 3:04 pm #2194875
Da, maybe im wrong about teaneck – i remember when a beis medrash opened up about 14 years ago, run by lakewood rabbanim…it wasn’t there to change the community necessarily, just another “garden state parkway” yeshiva. But i had friends who went there and told me about the state of yiddishkeit in the environs.
I looked up some schools…it appears that until 8th grade, most schools are mixed, which goes way beyond what rav moshe allowed – these kids are past puberty and are going to be very different than kids who are raised bekedushah.
One school, yavneh, teaches “varsity cheerleading” to 3rd graders and puts on a performance of alice in wonderland, as per their website. Tell me, is this a Torah chinuch?June 1, 2023 3:04 pm at 3:04 pm #2194876
Also, the boys high school you mentioned has a few students newspapers; once a boy wrote about how the school was “homophobic,” and the school did nothing; does that belong in a yeshiva boys mind?
But it does seem like teaneck moved away from coed high schools, which is nice – they should continue to become closer to Judaism, imyh.
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