Chasidus Filling a Void Within Modern Orthodoxy

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    Sechel: twisting a Gemara to meet your beliefs is likely apikorsis. Following the teachings of pretty much every major Rav outside of Chabad (including major Rabbonim who have paskened l’halachah that a person who believes the Rebbe is Mashiach can’t be counted towards a minyan, and wine they touch must be spilled out) is not.

    Lostspark: you’ve been listening to Joseph way too much. The stuff you’re writing is falsehood, plain and simple. As for the club, do some research. There is no club promoting aveiros. There is a club that provides support for people with urges that go against the Torah, who want to still live a frum life – it’s a very tough situation, and they can use all the support they can get. That club is a good thing, and it is overseen by major Rabbonim.

    As for the high-end scotch, I suggest you go to Brooklyn, Lakewood, or Toms River – I’ve heard far more discussion in shuls there about whiskey and meat boards than I have in any MO shul. If you think people in those areas don’t want TV or movies, you’re mistaken.


    Rav Aharon Kotler ZTV’L, in Mishnas Rabi Aharon (Vol. 3, Hesped on the Brisker Rav) states that the essence of Modern Orthodoxy is the same as the Reform and Conservative. That is, change Judaism into something that more people will be willing to accept.

    Rav Shimon Schwab (Mitteilungen, Bulletin of Khal Adas Yeshurun April/May 1989) says:

    “Sometimes the Modern Orthodox halachic foolishness which is flirting with the anti-Torah establishment, may border on heresy. This is all part and parcel of the spiritual confusion of the dark ages in which we happen to live.

    Rav Shimon Schwab (Selected Essays pp.160-162) says:

    “However, in addition to the legitimate shitos we have discussed, there is yet another, more modern version in vogue called “Torah Umaada”. Apparently this is identical with Torah Im Derech Eretz, especially since both claim a belief in the priority of Torah over maada. Both seems exactly alike, but like two left gloves which cannot be worn together, they don’t fit! . . .

    “Rav Hirsch ZT’L has inscribed two emblems on his banner. One is Torah Im Derech Eretz and the other is the so-called “Austritt”, which means severance, or total and non-recognition of any type of institutionalized heresy, “minus” or apikursus. This is also a resolution not to contribute, participate in, or support any cause which accords validity to the disbelief in Hashem or to the denial of the authenticity of Torah shebiksav or Torah shebaal peh. In other words, “Austritt” states that the Torah is our sovereign ruler, and it makes us independent of all those who deny its Divine origin…

    “To summarize, Torah im derech eretz without Austritt is considered treif l’chol hadeios! Even if you call it Torah Umaada.”

    Rav Shimon Schwab (ibid p. 89):

    “Let me single out two examples where silence is not permitted . . . “The first item is Modern Orthodoxy . . . most of it has become stale, stagnant, and fossilized, and we could not call it modern anymore. “In the meantime, the contemporary generation has advanced and risen to higher standards, Boruch Hashem. We are witnessing the rise of a new type of American Orthodoxy. This is the Yeshiva and Bais Yaakov generation . . . This is the new generation of Bnei Torah and baalei batim who do not intend to stand still and remain satisfied with a tiny yarlmuka or a teaspoonful of Jewish knowledge…They are marching on! And so we are zocheh, Baruch Hashem, to prestigious yeshivos gedolos in America and American-born Roshei Yeshiva , rabbanim, and poskim. “Today, our youth in America is the real Modern Orthodox, if you must use this expression, and they are marching forward. Whether they belong to chassidishe, yeshivishe, or Torah im derech eretz variety, they are marching forward, step by step, to a more wakeful form of avodas hashem. . . Their greatest pride and joy and nachas consists of children who are talmidei chachamim, bnei torah and bnos Torah.”

    Rav Shimon Schwab (ibid p. 151):

    “Shameful are the ways of the glorified am haaretz who . . . condones the aberrations which Hirsch condemned, such as religious nationalism, Orthodox-Reform collaboration and neutral Judaism. Foolish are those who sympathize with the “Department Store Academy”, where Brisk and Slobodka are offered on the first floor and Graetz and Dubnow on the second. When such a person takes Rav Hirsch’s name in vain, wielding Torah im derech eretz like a weapon against recognized Torah schools, he becomes somewhat ridiculous! “What a travesty! Rav Hirsch, who was the warrior without compromise against those who hated the Torah, has to let his memory be invoked today against those who love the Torah. . .


    Rabbi J.B. Soloveichik in his Five Addresses clearly states that “separatist Orthodoxy” (Chareidi) would disappear and only MO will survive. “Tourist attractions” he says Chareidim would end up being. Clearly, he was 100% wrong. And it was that which he said justified “Modern Orthodoxy” – survival, nothing else. If these words seem a bit difficult to understand today, you must appreciate them within the context of the prevailing secular social attitude during the time they were said, the early 1960’s. Many people were dazzled by the “new social and economic order” and even frightened about the future of Torah in America. The typical alter litvishe water carrier didn’t seem to fit in to the picture of what they imagined to be the technologically fueled, fast-paced, high-educated America. Once a Rebbi in Yeshiva University, a super chareidi of the Brisker school, who did not even speak English fluently, who was vehemently opposed to Modern Orthodoxy, was asked why he left MTJ (Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L’s Yeshiva) to accept a job in YU. “[Rabbi Soloveichik] convinced me that the future of Torah in America depends on YU”, he said in Yiddish, shaking his head in disbelief at his own decision. This was in the mid 1980’s.

    Rav Shimon Schwab (Selected Essays pp. 90-91):

    “And now we address ourselves to our chaveirim bedeah, our achim bemitzvos of the Rabbinic Council of America. Ad masai? How long do you want to remain a branch, without becoming part of the tree? . . . We say to our achim b’mitzvos, “have Rachmonus with yourselves, and lemaan Hashem, part company with those who have given obscene semichah to to’evah clergymen” . . . Have rachmonus with yourselves, and break off your professional relationship with those who, for instance, consider Yishu HaNotzri merely a failed moshiach . . .We implore you . . . to part company with those gravediggers of Torah. I know it is a painful subject but it is unavoidable . . . We call on you to join us, the true modern Orthodoxy [Rav Schwab is referring to previous statements of his that MO is today outdated and “anything but modern”], which is a generation of sincere mevakshei Hashem”.


    Thanks for these quotes. I think they are railing against something what was MO in 1930s to 50s. I never heard a “modern” MO quote Graetz or Dubnow or having O-R collaboration in issues of religion (R Soloveichik paskens that it is osur to enter a non-O place of worship even at the expense of not fulfilling mitzva of shofar).


    @da . I wrote before that I want to start a thread to discuss a sugya in gemarah with you and the others on this thread so I can see your level of learning.
    Btw that statement about rabbonim saying not to eat shchita of chassidim who say the rebbe is moshiach, is bologna, do your research. Not arguing about this but see shmo shel moshiach .com
    There was maybe a couple of misnagdim (like you who don’t accept the baal shem tov) who said that.



    Back to trashing other Jews who are different from you? Beating your scrawny little chest over the sins of the MO? How many child murders and suicides did the YU community have this year, you slimy slug?


    AAQ: The quotes above from Rav Schwab zt’l are as late as from the ’80’s and ’90’s.


    > And it was that which he said justified “Modern Orthodoxy” – survival, nothing else

    This is not the justification I saw in R Soloveitchik speeches and letters. Maybe there are several and I paid attention to the one that speaks to me.

    This is the one I read, my paraphrase:
    The world is changing very fast and we are exposed to new challenges. If we, Jews, claim that we have eternal Truth from Hashem, then we should be able to address these challenges. “Hiding in the caves” is not an adequate response to challenges that Hashem is sending us.

    Re: YU, he writes, I think, in 1940s-50s, probably while considering or just after starting at YU, he proposes a goal of streamlined curriculum that mass-produces Rabbis who can lead communities: say a parsha dvar Torah, organize davening, do correct marriages and know enough of gittin to refer to more knowledgeable people. He contrasts it with Litvishe yeshivas that he knew from the old world, where people could be studying esoteric subjects for years without giving back to the community. He is not, obviously, against learning lishma, he just felt a need to produce Rabbis for multitudes of Yidden, especially those who were arriving. As he already lived in US for a couple of decades, he was probably a good observer of the social changes.

    Was he able to produce Rabbis that would reach those who were rapidly assimilating? I don’t know. But the direction looked reasonable. This is about same time Chabad was starting their efforts. Separatist O had great strides in protecting and growing their own community, but I don’t think it found enough confidence to deal with other Yidden until maybe 1980s.


    R Schwab (what year?) > break off your professional relationship with those who, for instance, consider Yishu HaNotzri merely a failed moshiach

    Great language on unity in these words, but can someone clarify when did RCA have such a relationship with other religions? R Soloveitchik paskens that it is possible to meet with other religions to discuss social/political/world issues, but _no_ discussions about theology. When someone asked about an invite to the Vatican congress where they decided to rescind their anti-Jewish doctrines in 1960s, he paskened not to attend: if they want to do teshuva, great, they should deal with that. We have nothing to do with that and should not even come and thank them for that.


    However, we are still very far removed from the ideal. And so

    are all other yeshivos and mesivtos which employ for their “English” department non-Jewish or irreligious Jewish teachers. If only the secular teacher would be endowed with ידבוע become toneshamos Jewish mechanech and desire to be hashkafaha proper ! Then he or she would not only manage to impart a masterful secularםשה education with results which would impress the parents as well as the authorities, but every secular lesson could be turned into a genuine Jewish experience. Rather than subjecting the students of a yeshivah to the schizophrenic jolt of switching over in the afternoon from kodesh to chol, and exposing them to the fascination of a foreign culture and non-Torah values, the ideal Torah im Derech Eretz teacher of the secular department would be capable of serving the whole . ןילוח לע תרהט שוקה to the students as menu of secular knowledge First of all, the secular teacher would impress his or her students with the concept that a first-class general education gives the student the wherewithal to make a kiddush Hashem in the outside world. Secondly, as a true mechanech, he or she would control the library, and all required reading of English literature would be discussed from a Torah viewpoint, clarifying where our Torah ideology differs from the philosophy of the author. The compositions written by the students should discuss the ideological Jewish interest contained in the literary masterpieces: what we can accept, and what we must reject.


    We need to define MO before we argue about it. See the text above I just posted. For me, this is MO, and I think many gedolim would agree to it, r Soloveitchik, R Schwab, R Auerbach. Not sure about R Kotler.

    Reb Eliezer

    The rebbe should filll that void.

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