Charedi a Reaction to Haskalah

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  • #619242

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Rabbi just said it in a shiur.

    He said that it was a reactionary movement and not in respect to Judaism but to the Haskalah movement instead.

    I know that we’ve discussed whether or not Charedi is a movement.

    This rabbi was very straight-forward.

    Charedi was really a response to the Haskalah and unrelated to some “true” Judaism.

    #1218591

    golfer
    Participant

    Does this rabbi have a name?

    What is his claim to fame?

    What is the basis for his thesis?

    I’m not sure that I believe this.

    #1218592

    Joseph
    Participant

    Sounds like a Reform rabbi or a rabbi who calls himself Orthodox but wants to reform Orthodoxy and doesn’t like the traditional Orthodox Jews that are often referred to as chareidim.

    #1218593

    Joseph
    Participant

    I generally do not use the adjective “chareidi” because it is misleading. It originated in Eretz Yisroel as a way to describe those who followed the Eidah HaChareidis as opposed to the Rabanut. But it has evolved, and has come to mean basically anyone who is not Modern Orthodox/Religious Zionist. But then it is simply the generic, default, traditional manner of being frum. And by using a brand name for the generic you are giving the impression that it is not the generic.

    Chareidim do not follow any specific teachings of any specific Rebbi, nor do they believe in any specific values not already in the Torah. Chasidim follow the specific teachings of the Baal Shem Tov and his disciples; Telzers follow the teachings and Minhagim of the Telzer Yeshiva; the Mussar movement was started by Rav Yisroel Salanter – but “Chareidi”? There was no beginning to “Chareidism” except on Har Sinai; no particular person whose teachings they follow except Moshe Rabbeinu, and no particular Minhagim they perform.

    So there really is no such thing as a “Chareidi.” Those who people refer to as “Chareidim” have mostly never referred to themselves as such – in America you can go to Yeshiva from Kindergarten through Kollel and you will most probably never hear “we are Chareidi,” and you may even never hear the term used at all.

    And because words matter – it’s a strange thing but people often tend to form impressions of reality based on words and phrases rather than creating words and phrases that reflect reality – I do not use the term “Chareidi” because by giving generic, default Judaism a label it conceals the fact that this Judaism is in fact the generic and default.

    #1218594

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Actually, there is merit to it. Orthodoxy was much more flexible and open to changes prior to Haskala. What would the reaction be today if someone wanted to significantly modify the Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah davening? There would be an uproar. Yet that did happen without any problems. The kapitlach were composed between 700 and 1300; Kol Nidre could have been composed as early as 800 or as late as@100. Kabbalas Shabbos was added 500-600 years ago. With the emergence of Reform, all change was viewed as suspicious dangerous leading to more Record.

    #1218595

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Yes he has a name. It’s on TorahAnytime.

    He’s orthodox obviously.

    Is it lashon hara if I say his name? Then people may talk negatively about him.

    #1218596

    lakewhut
    Participant

    False. Any Rabbi who uses the charedi label is being politial and is questionable.

    #1218597

    lakewhut
    Participant

    Charedi is a perjorative used by modox, reform, zionists, etc because of various insecurities that they have. Don’t go there.

    #1218598

    Avi K
    Participant

    Joseph, there is also Chareidi Leumi (Chardal). As for reactions to the Haskala, Rav Chaim Soloveichik claimed that the Brisker method was the reaction as it gave a Torah alternative for Jews who were seeking intellectual satisfaction.

    #1218599

    Geordie613
    Participant

    Joseph, Well said, nothing to add or take away.

    #1218600

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    I agree with Joseph. But I did experience a strong sense of deja vu as I read his post…

    Golfer – “I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it” I’m quite impressed with your literary talents. I agree with what you wrote, but I hope LB doesn’t take it literally. I think it would be extremely problematic for her to post his name.

    #1218601

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    LB – whether or not what your Rabbi is saying is true would depend on how he is defining Chareidism. It is probably quite possible to define Chareidiism in such a way that what he is saying is true.

    For example, if he were to take a specific aspect that is commonly found in the Chareidi world and to say that that defines Charediism, then he might be right. But the question is: is that the most accurate or apprpriate way to define Chareidim? I agree with Joseph that today the term is basically used merely as default Torah Judaism.

    I remember once many years ago when my friend’s Israeli Chareidi husband wanted to set me up with a cousin of his from B’nei Brak and I was concerned about the fact that he was Chareidi (which I thought meant some specific brand of Judaism). He was like, “why? Do you watch tv?”

    I had similar reactions time and time again whenever such conversations too place.

    #1218602

    tiawd
    Participant

    I don’t know who this rabbi is and what point he was trying to make, but this is an old argument usually used to validate non-frum movements in Judaism. The claim is basically that charedi rejection of modernity (chadash asur min hatorah and all that) is a reaction to secularism and didn’t exist before the 1800’s. Since before then there was no modern culture to reject, that rejection of modernity can’t be considered an intrinsic part of Judaism and is in itself an innovation.

    I think this is really just a game of semantics, though. You can call it whatever you want- Orthodoxy, charedism, ultra-Orthodoxy, etc., but in all assential ways frum Judaism today is the same as it was 200, 400, 800, or 1400 years ago. I’ve read that before the enlightenment, the number of Jews who were openly mechallel Shabbos could probably be counted on the fingers. Before then, virtually all Jews kept Shabbos, kashrus, and believed in Torah min hashamayim and the coming of Mashiach, just to give a few examples. If that’s called being “charedi”, then it’s not new at all.

    I assume the rabbi giving this speech wears a yarmulke. What was his point?

    #1218603

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    I think that your Rabbi may have been talking about the fact that it’s possible that the Frum world may have started having very strong opinions about certain things in reaction to the haskala. I don’t know if that is a fact, but I would imagine that may have happened. For example, in EY today, the Chareidi world tends to be more hesitant than the Chareidi world in the US is about having secular studies. This is probably due at least in part to concern about secular-zionist influence.

    But being against too much secular studies out of concern of outside influence is NOT the definition of Chareidi.

    The definition of Chareidi might be: Those Jews who wish to make sure that their Torah hashkafa remains untainted.

    How that is expressed may vary in each generation based on what is happening in that generation (haskala, zionism, etc).

    But the definition of Chareidi Judaism and the essence of what a Chareidi Jew is have not changed – it is merely being expressed differently.

    It is like saying that saying that there are no Frum Jews today because Frum Jews used to ride on horses and today they don’t.

    #1218604

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “Joseph, there is also Chareidi Leumi (Chardal).”

    Which is the proof that anyone who is Torahdik is Chareidi even if they are also tzioni.

    #1218605

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The 17th and 18th century were turbulent times for Jews and Europe in general.

    Jews suffered greatly from anti-semitism and poverty. The general peasants in Europe suffered similar problems. Revolutionary fever was spreadin g in europe following the French Revolution

    The Shabtai Zvi false messiah was particulay damaging as people lost faith.

    In general in Europe the Church was seen as corrupt and unfortunatly many people who called themselves Rav , did not deserve the title.

    The response to these crisis were several, Some people felt the way to respond to anti-semitism was to get more rights and become more like the general Europeans and others to seperate themselves more. Those who wanted to become more like the general Europeans became part of the haskalah and those against became more charedi.

    Charedism was not a response to the Haskallah, but rather both were responses to the general crisises in the jewish and European communities in general

    #1218606

    akuperma
    Participant

    If you looked at an Ashkenazi Ben Torah from 250 years ago (i.e. pre-haskahah), it would look amazingly like a modern day hareidi. It is the secularized Jews who changed.

    Those claim that the “hareidi” movement is a modern invention is part of the “big lie” of the non-orthodox Jews (including some of the modern orthodox) that Torah and Mitsvos are a recent creation and that being Jewish is function of ethnicity and social customs (including support of left-wing political movements, among other things).

    #1218607

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Thank you for your replies

    Have to go in a min so just posting this and will read the rest of the replies after…

    A lot of Judaism is a reaction. Or response. Including monogamy.

    I want to give the rabbi the benefit of the doubt here.

    To me it sounded divisive but hopefully he did not intend it to be so.

    Just came to say that even saying that it is a reaction doesn’t have to come with a judgement.

    Ahavas Yisrael always ?

    #1218608

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    LB: “Just came to say that even saying that it is a reaction doesn’t have to come with a judgement.”

    LB, you wrote this in your OP:

    “Charedi was really a response to the Haskalah and unrelated to some “true” Judaism.”

    Sure sounds like a judgment to me.

    Was the Rabbi trying to deligitimize “Chareidiism”? That is how it sounded from your OP.

    None of us here heard the shiur, so we don’t know if that was really his point, and it is possible that you quoted him out of context. All we know is what you wrote. From what you wrote, it sounds like a deligitimization of Chareidiism, and that is what everyone is reacting to.

    #1218609

    golfer
    Participant

    Lightb,

    Ahavas Yisrael always.

    Good words.

    Just don’t confuse loving with emulating.

    Be’avonoseinu harabim we have been stuck in a bitter galus for many centuries. Many members of Yisrael are, tragically, not Shomer Shabbos, not Shomrei Torah u’Mitzvos, and have lost their Emunah.

    We still have to love them.

    At the same time we have to be clear, to ourselves and to others, that we neither love the way they behave, nor subscribe to their beliefs (or lack thereof).

    It’s not up to us to choose which members of Klal Yisrael to love. We love them all indiscriminately and without judgment.

    It is most certainly up to us to decide which members of the Klal to learn from, to follow, and to interact with socially.

    Joseph’s last paragraph is a gem of a paragraph!

    Read it two or three times before you move on.

    (I did!)

    #1218610

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    lightbrite

    The Rabbi is 100% correct.

    This has been discussed multiple times in the past on this forum.

    I dotn think I’m contributing much that hasnt been said before.

    “If you looked at an Ashkenazi Ben Torah from 250 years ago (i.e. pre-haskahah), it would look amazingly like a modern day hareidi.”

    This is demonstrably false. for example: Most Ashkenazi Benei torah 250 years ago worked.

    ” It is the secularized Jews who changed.”

    This is true

    LU

    you kind of hit the nail on the head, but then dont follow through.

    “For example, in EY today, the Chareidi world tends to be more hesitant than the Chareidi world in the US is about having secular studies.”

    that is an understatement. The charedi world in EY has been militantly (at times literally) opposed to secular studies. Read Rav Shach’s Michtavim Umamarim (for example regarding Michlala) OR priro to that when R’ Hildesheimer wanted to oppen arabbinicla seminary.

    ” This is probably due at least in part to concern about secular-zionist influence.”

    Exactly right! In repsonse to an outside threat a new dogma was written into Torah-True-Judasim TM. In the US it is a little less extreme in that sense there is some allowance for a degree.

    But ask yoru average Charedi, if Somebody goes to a secular college can he be considered a Torah-True Jew?

    This doent make it wrong. Based on new realities (eis laasos) things change. Kollel is now necessary to ensure a steady supply of benei Torah. College is assur (with few exceptions depending on circumstances) because of changes (that you identified) that have taken place.

    “I’ve read that before the enlightenment, the number of Jews who were openly mechallel Shabbos could probably be counted on the fingers. Before then, virtually all Jews kept Shabbos, kashrus,”

    youve read wrong. Open up any sefer you will find many refrences to Yidden Not performing mitzvos properly or at all. I can provide dozens of examples if needed but the to that pop to my mind are the Remah finding limud zechus for yayin nesech which yidden werent practicing. 1000’s of years before that Ezra criticizing intermarriage

    #1218611

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Most Jews who were not “Frum” before the enlightenment became christians or members of other relgions.

    Spinoza is considered the first secular jew. Secularism was against the law in most of Europe before the Englightenment

    #1218612

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “the Remah finding limud zechus for yayin nesech which yidden werent practicing”

    Apparently, they were Frum or he wouldn’t have bothered finding a limud zechus for them, and he wouldn’t have been able to find one either.

    #1218613

    Avi K
    Participant

    Ubiquitin, you are over sixty years behind the times. The Chazon Ish said that universal life-long learning was a necessity for two generations to rebuild the Torah world after the Holocaust. Today the Chareidi sector has grown and there is no one to support them. The generation that worked is gone, American donors are still reeling from the financial crisis and working Israeli are sick of supporting them (besides, every time a new budget is adopted it is less than the previous in order to keep the private sector, which is Israel’s future, growing). Add to that shelom bayit problems due to women who work and in many cases earn decent salaries in the general work market. Add to that boys who are going OTD because they simply are not cut out to learn all day.

    In fact, more and more Chareidim are enlisting in the IDF, getting degrees and regular jobs because the pressure is too great – and turning to the police to protect them from the extremist hooligans. IMHO, the rabbanim are priavtely acquiescing while publicly opposing to protect themselves (even Rav Elaishiv was stoned when he reached an agreement with the government on moving graves).

    #1218614

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    LU

    “Apparently, they were Frum or he wouldn’t have bothered finding a limud zechus for them, and he wouldn’t have been able to find one either.”

    I’m sorry I don’t follow. IF you are not familiar with the example, just ask I can elaborate.

    do you have another definition of frum? IF a person doesnt follow halacha whether he drinks stam yaynam or intermarries then he isnt frum. OF course that doesnt mean we just write them off nor does it mean we should tell them they dont have to keep any other halacha. Especial yif they are

    omer mutar” and otherwise not chashud.

    The Remah I refer to is Teshuvas Hremah 124 where while finding a limud zechus for the community in question, refers to those who drink stam yaynam as “ovrei aveira” and is concerned by publicizing his teshuva othwer “ovrei averia” will follow this community

    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1204&st=&pgnum=182

    avi K

    I dont think you are arguing with anything Ive said.

    However, in regards to: ” you are over sixty years behind the times. The Chazon Ish said that universal life-long learning was a necessity for two generations”

    How long would you say a generation is?

    and how long ago did the Chazon Ish live?

    #1218615

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    That’s strange – why did Ubiquitin’s last post disappear – I wanted to respond to it! Is he editing it?

    #1218616

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “Read Rav Shach’s Michtavim Umamarim (for example regarding Michlala)”

    He wasn’t against Michlalah because of the secular studies.

    “that is an understatement. The charedi world in EY has been militantly (at times literally) opposed to secular studies.”

    That’s not completely true. The boys have secular studies in elementary school, and the girls have throughout elementary and high school and three years of post-high-school. Nowadays, even the most Chareidi Bais Yaakov high school in Yerushalayim gives some bogrut (yeah, I was also surprised when I found that out recently). This would seem to show that the main issue with secular studies is bitul Torah (since that is the only good explanation as to why it is not considered a problem for the girls).

    Also, it is not SO different in EY than in the US. In the US, the more Yeshivish Yeshivas usually do not have limudei chol either (at least in Lakewood), and in elementary school, the limudei chol is also limited to 2 hours a day (fairly similar to most Chadarim in EY).

    “you kind of hit the nail on the head, but then dont follow through.”

    Not sure what you mean by that. My whole point was that these types of things do not define Chareidiism any more than whether one drives a car or rides a horse to get to Shul.

    #1218617

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    LU

    “He wasn’t against Michlalah because of the secular studies.”

    Have you read it? I’ll be happy to provide quotes later.

    “That’s not completely true. The boys … ”

    Fair enough, I was referring primarily to boys but (Michlala was but one example)

    “Also, it is not SO different in EY than in the US. In the US, the more Yeshivish Yeshivas”

    This is a very new development. And strngthens my point, as it is further change that we can see unfolding in charedi orthodoxy as we speak.

    “Not sure what you mean by that. My whole point was that these types of things do not define Chareidiism any more than whether one drives a car or rides a horse to get to Shul.”

    what I meant was that you were right in identifying a change in charedi Judaism (kudos to you, many will insist it was always this way)

    where you then go wrong in is downplaying the significance of the change. An aversion to secular studies is one of the defining practical characteristics of charedi Jewry today. IT is not something that always existed.

    #1218618

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “An aversion to secular studies is one of the defining practical characteristics of charedi Jewry today. IT is not something that always existed.”

    My point is that an aversion to secular studies is not one of the “defining characteristics of chareidi Jewry today.”

    I don’t even think it’s a characteristic of Chareidi Judaism at all. A desire to remain unaffected by secular influence is a defining characteristic of Chareidi Judaism. Likewise, a desire that boys not be mevatel Torah is a defining characteristic of Chareidi Judaism.

    Someone can be very into secular learning and consider himself Chareidi and be part of the Chareidi world and no one would say, “He’s not Chareidi because he is into secular learning”.

    “what I meant was that you were right in identifying a change in charedi Judaism (kudos to you, many will insist it was always this way)”

    I should just qualify my original post by saying that my knowledge of history is lacking, and I was making an assumption based on various things I’ve heard, but I really don’t know what was going on in pre-haskala times.

    I also didn’t necessarily mean to compare to pre-haskala times per se’ – I just meant that during the haskala and then later, during zionist times, some of the attitudes were based on trying to stay away from haskala or zionistic influence. But I can’t really compare to the attitudes towards secular learning in prior times, since I know nothing about what was going on then.

    If you are talking about college education, I don’t think that Frum Jews were attending college 500 years ago. And if you are talking about informal secular education, most Chareidim are not against that. I went to Chareidi schools and lived in Chareidi communities, and I was always taught to value secular education, and most people I know think that knowledge is a very valuable thing. Of course, it shouldn’t be at the expense of Torah or Torah hashkafa, but that is something else.

    “He wasn’t against Michlalah because of the secular studies.”

    “Have you read it? I’ll be happy to provide quotes later.”

    Not recently, and I may not have read the same ones that you read. I think he has several. It certainly wasn’t the only reason he was against Michlalah. For one thing, you can go to Michlalah and not study secular studies. Also, what I think I remember was something about the way they teach Limudei Kodesh. In any case, I’d be happy to see it.

    #1218619

    akuperma
    Participant

    Most Bnei Torah today, as in the past, work in jobs considered appropriate for a Ben Torah, such as communal civil service (teachers, soferim, etc.), scholarship, etc. Then as now, many Bnei Torah also run businesses.

    The biggest change is that the percentage of Bnei Torah is higher, since the people who 300 years ago would have been a frum Am ha-Aretz, is not secular, and probably vanished due to assimilation – and those who remained frum remained frum becuase they decided to be Bnei Torah. History suggests there is really no option between assimilation (meaning giving up being Jewish and joining the general population) and being a Ben Torah. One can’t raise kids to be a little bit Jewish.

    #1218620

    Joseph
    Participant

    In 1892 the Netziv closed the Volozhin yeshiva rather than agree to the Russian government’s demand on implementing secular studies.

    #1218621

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Joseph – that was during the time of Haskala. I’m not sure what point you are trying to make?

    #1218622

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    LU

    “My point is that an aversion to secular studies is not one of the “defining characteristics of chareidi Jewry today.””

    I got your point. however you are wrong. And as you demonstrated on the previous post on the subject, your definition of “Charedi” isnt quite right

    “Someone can be very into secular learning and consider himself Chareidi and be part of the Chareidi world and no one would say, “He’s not Chareidi because he is into secular learning”.”

    Lol! (Have you been following Israeli news over the past few years?)

    Joseph, care to weigh in: In your opinion, Can someone Charedi be into secular learning?

    ” I went to Chareidi schools and lived in Chareidi communities, and I was always taught to value secular education,”

    was this in America or in Israel?

    I too went to (American) chardei schools and was taught secular studies are assur and a waste of time other than what was required by t the government

    “Not recently, and I may not have read the same ones that you read. I think he has several.”

    Yup there are several. He was particularly opposed to combining yeshiva + college. However even just college he opposed see See chelek aleph siman 76

    “It certainly wasn’t the only reason he was against Michlalah.”

    yup that is true.

    LU See Joseph’s quote above. It is a perfect example of Charedim rewriting their history so to avoid the very real conclusion that charedism (like other movements) change.

    I will spare you any of several academic sources on the subject since I suspect you will dismiss them as having agendasd (correct me if I’m wrong)

    However see The artscroll book on the subject “My Uncle the NEtziv pages 206-208. surely they cant be accused of being “Academic” R”l

    .

    #1218623

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The closure of the Volzhin Yeshiva is not so simple, secular studies WERE taught in Volozhin.

    The closure seems to have been a combination of financial pressures and the Russian government wanted MORE secular studies taught, not that secular studies taught

    The Yeshiva reopened in 1899 after being closed for 7 years

    #1218624

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    LU, the first thing that I wrote in my OP was what the rabbi said.

    What I wrote later were my thoughts. Even if he said that it’s a reaction, so what, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

    #1218625

    Avi K
    Participant

    Ubiquitin, the Chazon Ish died at the beginning 5714. That is definitely two generations.

    Joseph, the Netziv closed the yeshiva because the government, at the instigation of the Maskilim’ wanted to eevntually eliminate Torah learning altogether. On the other hand, talmidim in Pressburg took the external exams for the equivalent of a HS academic diploma (in NYS the Regents, in Israel the bagrut) and received draft deferments as theological students. This eventually turned out to be good for the Orthodox in Hungary as their rav, Rav Koppel Weiss, spoke to Franz Yosef in his native German whereas the head of the Neolog spoke in literary Hungarian, which is an extremely difficult language that gave the emperor fits. BTW, many American yeshivot as well as yeshivot for English speakers in Israel offer bachelors’ degrees in Talmudic Literature in conjunction with colleges. This enables the talmidim to go on for JDs or MBAs after earning high enough frades on the LSAT/GRE.

    #1218626

    akuperma
    Participant

    One should remember there is a difference between schooling and education, between what one does in a structured setting, and what one learns. If Hareidim rejected “secular studies”, then when one walked through Boro Park of Williamsburg you would notice that all the stores were run by goyim or at least “modern” Jews, since running a business requires a variety of skills involving secular knowledge (languages, math and accounting, law, economics, etc). The fact that most hareidim do not study “secular subjects” in yeshivos (e.g. no learning Latin, or how to solve quadratic equations, or the difference between Keynes and Hayek, or Marxist social theories) does NOT mean they are ignorant and dumb. Frum Jews have always, and still do gain secular knowledge as necessary – but gaining such skills is NOT a function of what one does in a formal school setting, since traditionally frum Jews reserve the formal school setting for Torah studies.

    #1218627

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Avi K

    “Ubiquitin, the Chazon Ish died at the beginning 5714. That is definitely two generations.”

    Ah, but you said “you are over sixty years behind the times.”

    #1218628

    lesschumras
    Participant

    LU, pardon me for asking but how can you offer any rational opinion when you readily admit that that you know little about history in general and virtually nothing about pre Haskala

    #1218629

    Avi K
    Participant

    Ubiquitin, the CI obviously made that statement over sixty years ago. Therefore, by stating it as a need for now you are sixty years behind the times.

    Akuperma, being that you frequent Boro Park I suggest that you pay a visit to Rabbi Prof. Israel Kirzner. He can certainly give you talk on Keynes and Hayek. In any case, not everyone can open a store in Williamsburg or Boro Park. Even those who do need to be able to communicate in English. Math trains one to think analytically. In fact, Rambam says at the beginning of the Guide that Math and Physics prepare one to learn Troah. Both Rabbenu Bachya and the Gra say that if one lacks knowledge of secular fields he will be lacking 100 times in Torah. Rav Kook explained that a person who lacks secular knowledge will not be able to explain Torah to people.

    #1218630

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Avi

    I dont follow

    “the CI obviously made that statement over sixty years ago.”

    OK

    ” Therefore, by stating it as a need for now”

    I never stated that

    ” you are sixty years behind the times.”

    How? If he made the statment > 60 years ago and was to last 2 generations. Assuming a generation is 25 years wouldnt I (if I made the statment) be 10 years or so behind the times?

    #1218631

    Avi K
    Participant

    Ubiquitin, you implied it. You also implied that the time to make the horaat sha’ah is now. That puts you more than sixty years behind the times. Really, you are probably over seventy years behind the times because the time strated right after the Holocaust. However, more than sixty includes more than seventy.

    #1218632

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    As we learned from the last thread on this topic, everyone has a different definition of what being chareidi is.

    Back to the OP- if by chareidi the person meant a strong adherence to halacha, keeping mitzvos without compromise, emphasis on learning Torah and emunas chachamim, then those things have always defined frum people from Sinai and had nothing to do with the haskala.

    If he was referring to some aspects of chareidi lifestyle, like isolationism, type of dress, keeping out secular influences, whether in education or other forms, then he may be correct. These aspects did develop as a response to changing times- afterall, pre- enlightenment times it was not necessary for such policies to be made when frum Jews lived in isolated shtetels, when the general goyish population was ignorant and illiterate and their lifestyle not particularly enticing, and those who went “OTD” shmaded themselves and left the community altogether.

    #1218633

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Back to the OP- if by chareidi the person meant a strong adherence to halacha, keeping mitzvos without compromise, emphasis on learning Torah and emunas chachamim, then those things have always defined frum people from Sinai

    Rav Schecter and Rav Lichtenstein ZT’L fit in that category, but they are not Charedi and nobody considered them Charedi

    #1218634

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Avi

    1) I didint mean to imply that. I was explaining the existing change that began over the past century. (Im sorry if that wasnt clear)

    2) I did not imply it should start now I am explaining the existing mentality (I’m not even sure how you made this inference, did you think I was suggesting starting a brand new kollel movement that doesn’t currently exist?)

    3) Do you have a source for the Chazon Ish limiting to 2 generations (Ive seen it said, and probably quoted it myself but cant recall a source at the moment.)

    #1218635

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “Rav Schecter and Rav Lichtenstein ZT’L fit in that category, but they are not Charedi and nobody considered them Charedi”

    That’s not true about Rav Schachter. His daughter was very offended once when someone implied that he is not Chareidi.

    #1218636

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    WTP

    “Back to the OP- if by chareidi the person meant a strong adherence to halacha, keeping mitzvos without compromise, emphasis on learning Torah and emunas chachamim, then those things have always defined frum people from Sinai and had nothing to do with the haskala.”

    With the possible exception of Emunas chachamaim, which depending on what exactly you mean may be a new innovation (and one that defines Charedisim at that). The rest holds true for most of Orthodox Jewry and doesnt serve to define charedisim at all.

    OTOH,

    ” isolationism, type of dress, keeping out secular influences, whether in education or other forms, then he may be correct.”

    These are things that ARE unique to charedisim, and as you CORRECTLY note they “did develop as a response to changing times”

    #1218637

    Joseph
    Participant

    My earlier comment about the Netziv shutting down the Volozhin yeshiva rather than acquiescing to the governmental demands on secular studies is entirely accurate according to any version of the story. Read my words carefully. (Additionally, R. Baruch Epstein, who wrote the original book that Artscroll translated, was a bookeeper and a director of a tzedaka fund in NY; he wasn’t a godol or even a pulpit rabbi. His works are interesting and perhaps have some historic value, but they are not Toras Moshe. They do have errors and what is being cited from here from his book may well be one of them.)

    In any event, learning secular history, arts, social studies, geography, etc., is not something yeshivas taught or that Jewish children learnt before, during or for a thousands years after the churban Beis HaMikdash.

    #1218638

    golfer
    Participant

    Can someone please state the exact number of years since Yetzias Mitzrayim?

    Am I correct that we’re in the range of three thousand and three hundred years?

    And can someone (could be the same person) please list the 3 things we didn’t change back there in Egypt?

    Although we sunk to 49 shaarei tumah, keeping away from secular influences brought us the geulah.

    You can draw 2 separate conclusions.

    Please choose whichever —

    Either:

    Bnei Yisrael kept away from secular influences in ancient times.

    Or:

    Yotz’ei Mitzrayim, as evidenced by the shtreimel-clad men in the pictures our little ones bring home from Yeshiva, were chareidim.

    P.S.

    As for secular influence in education, you may be familiar with the Medrash that Yakov Avinu sent Yehuda ahead when they were going down to Mitzrayim to prepare batei medrash.

    And for avoidance of secular influence in general, just read any of the psukim in the Torah telling us to make sure we’re not influenced by the previous inhabitants of the Land of Israel as we’re about to enter and conquer it.

    #1218639

    akuperma
    Participant

    1. “Hareidi” is relative. If there were no non-hareidi Jews, then no one would be considered hareidi. If everyone were hareidi, then no one is. The halachic interpretations and lifestyles of the hareidi Jews were “normal” until 300 years ago, when the non-hareidi (secular, haskalah, reform, zionist, etc.) movement began.

    2. People frequently perceive past fashion erroneously. Indeed, only hard care “reinactors” try to get it right. It is quite normal that pictures of past events will dress them in anachronistic clothing – that’s normal in most cultures. It also tells the people to not worry about minor things like clothes, and look at the substance of what the people were doing.

    3. Jews have always adopted technology from the goyim. In matters that don’t matter, we never worried about copying from the goyim. Note the lack of shailohs discussing such matters as use of shoes that distinguish right and left, using pens rather than quills, what type of underwear to use (which no one ever sees in public). Note that no one every asked about the switch from clay tablets to papyrus to parchment to rag paper to wood pulp paper (except for things that really matter, such as a Sefer Torah).

    tiny edit (sorry for the nitpik)

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