December 31, 2008 6:06 am at 6:06 am #629416
Just as simplicity and truth are separate entities, so are extremism and greatness separate entities: Extremism is the perfection of the topic. One who waves the banner of moderation and hates extremism, is in the same camp as liars or imbeciles. If there is no extremism there is no perfection and without perfection there is no beginning. For the beginning is with constant questioning and doubts, and perfection is the sharp reply which puts each statement in the right and truthful place.
We are used to hearing certain circles declare that they are not extremists, and yet still consider themselves faithful Jews with enough faith in Torah and Torah opinion. From an arbitrary point of view, we say that just as there are among the lovers of wisdom none who love just a little wisdom and hate a lot of wisdom, so among the lovers of Torah and its commandments there is no love of mediocrity and hatred for extremism.
The above is a quote from the Chazon Ish, Yalkeit Daas Torah.December 31, 2008 1:09 pm at 1:09 pm #629417
To Joseph, simply,I do NOT believe you on what you wrote and I maintain that you have taken it totally out of context. You write that it was a hesped,hence – at best- it is something that was written down later by someone else and it is not a reliable source about anything.
Second- you are indeed correct in saying hat I consider ALL jews-including Reform and Conservative- Jews that must be embraced, not rejected. NOTE that I say “Jews’ and not shittas. In that I simply follow the gemoro that tells me to despise the “chet” (sin) and not the “choitim” (sinners). You can look it up in gemoro berochos.
Hence, I reject your artificial conjecture of “ROB vs. R’Aharon”. That is silly and you are only trying to avoid the actual question.
Lastly, it would be wrong for anyone to try to shove out of Klal Yisroel any Jew. In that, I follow the shittah of the Lubavitcher rebbbe and yes, Rav Kook.Two gedolim that you do not embrace but that I have the full right to follow.
So, yes, to talk about ORTHODOX Jews ,as if they were “Poshim” is offensive.December 31, 2008 2:49 pm at 2:49 pm #629418
Rob, You never believe facts to your disliking.
Secondly, Lubavitch was opposed to Rav Kook approach.
Thirdly, my quote above from the Chazon Ish includes both paragraphs, despite the only partial italics.December 31, 2008 2:51 pm at 2:51 pm #629419
Yes, dd, because I know of no other way to refer to the man. And I try not to.December 31, 2008 4:00 pm at 4:00 pm #629421
ROB – do a google search for TEIQU and Kugel. You will find that this supposedly kosher YU organization recently invited him to speak. And if you read the same article that I did, you will find quoted that they were interested in hearing him speak because they study his “work” in their classes. If his stuff is not bible criticism, I don’t know what is.
Not to mention that I know of such classes first-hand (i.e. speaking to someone who was in these classes) and that you can research them on the YU website.
The kefirah problem is not limited to the fringes of YU. It is YU.December 31, 2008 5:41 pm at 5:41 pm #629422
joseph- again, I have never trusted traslations and I am not even sure what the Chazon Ish was talking about. Second-I only quoted Lubavitch and Rav Kook together because their approach to Jews was similar- to embrace them rather than expel them.
squeak- i will google your names but you did not reply to my main contention that many of the 19th century gedolim had a very good knowledge of Bible criticism so as to able to refute these criticisms.December 31, 2008 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #629423oomisParticipant
“In that I simply follow the gemoro that tells me to despise the “chet” (sin) and not the “choitim” (sinners). “
I really appreciate, ROB, that you posted this, because when I recently posted the same thought, someone said my quote was a goyische concept. I did not know the source from G’ Berachos that stated this, having not learned Gemarah, so I am happy to have a validated view.December 31, 2008 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #629424
ROB, I would have to say I don’t know. But I think that a present day talmid chochom would be able to easily refute any bible criticism that comes his way withough actively studying the subject. One with a true understanding of the Torah can defend it from falsehood. I see no reason why 19th century gedolim would HAVE to study the subject of criticism, in order to know what to refute.
It seems that your concept of gadlus b’torah is too shallow.December 31, 2008 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #629425
Rob, I’m sorry the facts don’t fit in with your sense of reality, but I’ve provided the mekors and everything I quoted from Rav Aaron ZTV’L and the Chazon Ish are in context. Why don’t you crack open the Sefer and read it for yourself?December 31, 2008 6:47 pm at 6:47 pm #629426
You said” But I think that a present day talmid chochom would be able to easily refute any bible criticism that comes his way withough actively studying the subject. One with a true understanding of the Torah can defend it from falsehood”
That is simply not true and is very well demonstrated by rabbi miller’s faulty attepmts at disproving both evolution and bible critcisim.
what you arnt getting is that it dosnt matter what the chazon ish said on this subject as other talmidei chachomim who we have no real reason to assume were any less great then the chazon ish argued on him.
If you decide to hold by evrey opinion of the chazon ish that is fine but if someone else dosnt and you have no real logical reason to say that they are wrong (if you do please post one) for going with a talmid chochom (M.O. or otherwise) who argues on the chazon ish be very carefull before you are mvazeh there talmidei chachomim or look down at them.December 31, 2008 6:49 pm at 6:49 pm #629427
“In that I simply follow the gemoro that tells me to despise the “chet” (sin) and not the “choitim” (sinners). “
Can everyone leave this out of the discussion? why? Because no one is referring to the people (Choitim), they are referring to the chataim (sins) so why is this being used as an argument?December 31, 2008 8:21 pm at 8:21 pm #629428
joseph – you are indeed right in asserting that “nesei sefer venechzei” (bring a sefer and let’s see what’s there”. IYH I’ll try to get hold fo these seforim and look into your mekoros.
intellegent-the point is that many posters actually denigrate the PEOPLE who espouse the confliecet views. that is clearly wrong.December 31, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm #629429
squeak, I did google the names mentioned. I also read most of the lecture that Kugel gave this past month about Chazal ans the Midrash. From what I have read, this is not even close to Bible criticism. All that Kugel does is explain the relationship of Midrashim to the Torah and how various writings of all kind are reflected in the text of the Torah. I didn’t see any Bible criticism of any kind in this lecture.
I suggest that you try to understand what classical Bible criticism was about. It was asserting that there were different authors in different time periods and how this was reflected in the actual text of the Torah. The Meforshim who were confronted with this showed that those questions had no validity and that there was absolutely no reason to believe-chas vesholom- that the Torah had different authors in diffferen times.
The above may sound strange to you but in the nineteenth century , a lot of weight was given to the study of the text and its internal contradictions. Kugel says nothing of the kind and I fail to see where Teiqu is a “pseudo -orthodox’ group,as you suggest. Please enlighten me if you can.December 31, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm #629430
I suggest that you research Kugel’s main area of scholarship. He believes that Torah was written by human beings CH”V and he does not “agree” with everything that is written. Check it out – or don’t. You’re better off not knowing this kefirah.
Yes, he did avoid the controversial topics at that speech, but I’m not sure why. The quote that I read from the TEIQU spokesperson indicated that they brought him in precisely because they had studied those works and were interested in exploring them further.
And I’m sad to say that your last paragraph does not sound strange to me, because I am aware of the criticism. No need for you to suggest that I research it. I know far more than I want to.January 1, 2009 12:23 am at 12:23 am #629431yossieaParticipant
squeak, IIRC, he believes that the Torah is of divine origin, just not everything is 100% historical. That is a far cry from what you are saying.January 1, 2009 2:18 am at 2:18 am #629432
er.. is that the cover story?
Ignore the blurb. Open the book.January 1, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am #629433
“squeak, IIRC, he believes that the Torah is of divine origin, just not everything is 100% historical. That is a far cry from what you are saying. “
No idea who “he” is but whoever he is is a total SICKO and can’t believe he is being spoken about on a supposedly frum website.
I probably should stop coming here and not because of bittul zman!!January 1, 2009 8:15 pm at 8:15 pm #629435
oomis, the gemoro is on berochas daf yud (ten) amud alef, on the story of Rav Meir, his wife and the evil people in their neighbourhood. It clearly states that you pray to eliminate the sin and, in such a way, bring the sinner back to teshuvo.January 1, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm #629436oomisParticipant
Thanks ROB. I can’t learn Gemarah, but will ask my son to explain it to me. Have a good Shabbos.January 2, 2009 12:35 am at 12:35 am #629437
The point isn’t that it is wrong for anyone to be MO. Its all about madreigas. If someone is not religious, becoming MO going up many madreigas. For him MO is good. But for a Chareidi to consider becoming MO, is going down many madreigas.January 2, 2009 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm #629438
I cannot believe what some people are saying on this thread.
Squeak, the disrespect you show for R’ Soloveitchik is uncalled for. If nothing else, the term Rabbi is from gaining smicha (which is a degree nowadays since we don’t have mesorah) which he has. Is there a reason anyone should show any respect to “your” rabbonim? Imagine if I made nasty comments about R’ Avigdor Miller himself – you would be up in arms. Yet, the reverse is ok. R’ Soloveitchik was an exceptional rav – you want to question his philosophy? his piskei halacha? That’s fine. I do that with many rabbonim. When you degenerate to disrespecting him by calling him his English initials, that is NOT ok. Just remember, Hashem can forgive you for sins against Him, but not against other people.
As for the gay club and transgender professor – first, remember that its not assur to be gay, just to act out on gay feelings. I have no idea what goes on at this club, but you might not either. Maybe its more like an AA for orthodox gay men who are struggling with this? The transgender professor is a very sticky subject that the YU rabbonim came out against. Unfortunately, we live in a country that has rules and there was no way to stop this from going through. I don’t know if you know laws of tenure, but it was only after he had tenure that he told them he was having an operation. The laws of discrimination in the country are designed to protect people – Jews included. Remember that.
The point isn’t that it is wrong for anyone to be MO. Its all about madreigas. If someone is not religious, becoming MO going up many madreigas. For him MO is good. But for a Chareidi to consider becoming MO, is going down many madreigas.January 2, 2009 5:34 pm at 5:34 pm #629439
What does that mean “my husband left being yeshivish to become MO”? He suddenly decided one day that he approves of mixed swimming and immodest dressing? Or that shmiras einayim and negiah are not worth keeping?
If you meant that he stopped learning full-time to go to work and maybe stopped wearing a black hat, or even put on colored shirts, why does that make him MO? It doesn’t. Will you please clairfy.January 2, 2009 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #629440
What you dont get is that alot (most?) of the black hat chareidei world is brought up to think that there gedolim are the only ones worth listening to and that anyone that disagrees with them on that is just not getting it or stupid.
Now if they were ever able to explain WHY (other then there own personal opinion wich is not necessarly better then yours or mine) there talmidei chachomim are any less likely to make mistakes or why they think that there rabbonim are necessarilly bigger talmidei chachomim then say M.O.rabbonim, then i guess there would be somthing to argue with them about.
However when you ask them for a reason they generaly just get offended or they just say that they are doing a good thing beleiving that there rabbonim are the greatest without having a logical reason to do so (you must have “emunas chahcomim” only in THERE gedolim, only THERE gedolim have “daas torah” ect.).
You just cant win an argument with people who think making no sense is a good thing, so dont get worked up about it.January 2, 2009 6:06 pm at 6:06 pm #629441
Squeak, my husband doesnt believe in mixed swimming and immodest dressing, nor that shmiras einayim and negiah are not worth keeping. You obviously don’t know anything about MO. If you want to say that because some MO people do those things that makes it a MO thing, that would mean Charedim believe in abuse and tax evasion.
My husband believes in MO philosophy and now follows a MO rav. He was so glad to leave yeshivish society because of the attitude and hypocrisy.January 2, 2009 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #629442
000646 I really hope you are wrong about that, and its only the vocal ones. I really don’t want to think that so many people are really that ignorant.January 2, 2009 9:00 pm at 9:00 pm #629443
Me too! However unfortunitely i think i am correct.January 4, 2009 12:07 am at 12:07 am #629444brooklyn19Participant
000646 i’m not such a stickler, but when you capitalize a word to make a point it kinda sticks out. (and when you do it twice i needa point it out…)
…THEIRJanuary 4, 2009 12:15 am at 12:15 am #629445
THANKS!!!!January 4, 2009 12:16 am at 12:16 am #629446brooklyn19Participant
anytime :}January 4, 2009 1:33 am at 1:33 am #629448dovid_yehudaParticipant
“My husband believes in MO philosophy and now follows a MO rav. He was so glad to leave yeshivish society because of the attitude and hypocrisy.”
I am sincerely happy to hear that you and your husband have found a Rav who inspires you to deeper levels of Torah, Mitzvot and Chesed. But your message is marred by delivering it at the expense of other Jews who follow a different Rav or haskafa.January 4, 2009 2:23 am at 2:23 am #629450Will HillParticipant
SJS, putting aside the sheker you said about the Yeshivisha oilem, can you cite a few examples of what you colloquially refer to as “MO philosophy.” I wasn’t aware there was in fact an “MO philosophy” that was generally accepted amongst all the MO, so perhaps a few examples from you can help all of us know to what you refer to. ThanksJanuary 4, 2009 2:49 am at 2:49 am #629451abcdParticipant
SJS- This is in no way intended as an attack of any form, however, I am very curious about what exactly is MO philosophy. Do you think you can please explain? Thanks:)January 4, 2009 2:55 pm at 2:55 pm #629452
Why are you sooo into the tax evasion stuff?
“I really hope yeshivish people in general are not like some of the people in this thread. The ones I know generally are not, but this is one reason my husband left being yeshivish to become MO.”
Now I understand why you are so against “Yeshivish” olam as you refer to it.
Your argument about chasidis is not a good comparison. Chasidus was (is) a different derech of becoming closer to H-m which many people were against. I don’t believe the idea of mo is to become closer to H-m after all is said and done. Also, Chasidus is lasting for many, many years. I don’t think the same can be said for Modern Orthodoxy (but of course you’ll disagree).January 4, 2009 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #629453[email protected]Participant
sjsinnyc, I think you should sit back and think since you have become officially MO if you have become close to HaShem because that is the whole point of living, if yes very nice, if not maybe rethink why you are at that point.January 4, 2009 5:17 pm at 5:17 pm #629454
I think she’s mo from birth. it’s her husband who changed.
By the way sj, there are many definitions of yeshivish, and what you refer to as yeshivish, I probably do not consider yeshivish.January 4, 2009 5:18 pm at 5:18 pm #629455lessmoderorthodoxMember
i used to be more modern orthodox but became closer to Hashem and follow the mitzvos more closely so now i am less mordern orthodox. when i became less modern orthodox i started dressing more appropriately for a jewish person, being more careful in my kashrus, etc.January 4, 2009 7:32 pm at 7:32 pm #629456
The seriousness of today’s situation in Eretz Yisroel does not bode for long discussions about matters that do not touch our everyday lives. However, I want to respond to Joseph and his quotation on Modern orthodoxy by R”Aharon Kotler zz’l.
I finally had the opportunity to find a “Mishnas Aharon’ and did check his source.
Joseph, you are indeed correct that R’Aharon ,in his hesped on the Brisker Rov zz’l, has harsh words on the Modern orthodox way of yiddshkeit. He does indeed take Modern orthodoxy to task for its changing of some customs and, in that way, compares in to Reform. That is indeed in that writing.
It is a written quotation of the hesped and I have no way of knowing if these were indeed the exact words of the hesped or if they were subsequently written by a talmid.
Be it what it may, this is R” Aharon’s own hashkofoh. If you follow his derech,chapter and verse, then you may indeed accept this an indictment of SOME of the ways of modern orthodoxy.
If one does not follow R”Aharon’s ways, then it is just R’Aharon’s words and one does not have to suscribe to it. You may follow whatever godol or Rov that you wish.
I am only writing this because of the original discussion. For now, I will concentrate on the news of the day- something much more important than our idle talk.January 4, 2009 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #629457
rob, did I just hear Mea culpa! Mea culpa!?January 5, 2009 12:25 am at 12:25 am #629458
SJS, I am sure that I understand quite a bit about MO. What you seem to be missing (and correct me if I’m wrong) is that it is possible to be fully Orthodox (i.e. charedi) without being “yeshivish”. There are plenty of fine Jews who are not yeshivish (and I count myself as one). The prefix “Modern” connotes a desire to modify Orthodox standards to “fit with the times”. Choose what example you will, but you can’t avoid the fact the the MO philosophy, as you put it, is simply “permissiveness”.
Otherwise, you are just Orthodox.
And although this is an entirely different discussion, you should be able to understand from this why MO is clearly NOT the scion of Rabbiner Hirsch.January 5, 2009 2:28 am at 2:28 am #629459Josh31Participant
The term “modern” orthodox can mean many different things to different people. To me it means you can not go back in time. The State of Israel is a reality. Most of us will have to earn a living in the modern marketplace.
We can not jump forward in time either. We have to live in this world and keep the Torah in this world. We were revealed a Torah for how we are to behave in this world. We were not revealed details of other worlds. We know that there is reward and punishment and eternity, but the details of the World to Come are a divine secret into which we are not allowed to probe.January 5, 2009 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #629460
joseph- mea culpa only in that you were correct in quoting R’Aharon”s words. It does noe mean I (or others) have to agree with this view. In this, we would be going back to the manifold discussion what is ‘daas torah” and ’emunas chachomim” and when is it applicable. Not the time and place for this now.
squeak- so-called “modern orthodoxy” has two pillars. One is that we can and should interact with the world, including getting secular education and working in the general society. This is ABSOLUTELY R’ SRH Hirsch “shittah”.
The other pillar is the recognition of Israel as being the instrument of the Almighty in bringing back the Jews to their ancestral homeland. On this, we do not know what R’ SRH Hirsch would have done (he died in 1888) but a number of his followers were indeed anti-zionist in the early stages. In that, you may say that Hirsch is not a precursor for modern orthodoxy.
I think many of the so-called “modern orthodox” would take very vehement exception in your characterization of modern orthodoxy as being one of ‘permissiviness”. Actually, I do not know where you take this idea from. The fact that some of the tenets of MO is to ‘fit in with the times’ means nothing. Throughout history, we have always “fitted in with them times”. I don’t see you or others wear a turban or long ‘djelabbah’, although the Rambam and all other Sefardim wore this for centuries.I don’t see you wearing the pointed hats of the sixteenth century either.
I also think that the Rambam and others studied “alien’ philosophies and ,for sure, studied medecine.The Ramchal,auhtor of the Mesilas Jeshorim, was steeped in the local culture and so were all the Rishonim in Spain.We have always adaptd to our surroundings,while keeping the basic tenets of our traditons and halacha.
It is only in the last two centuries that, suddenly, nothing can be changed and everything must be frozen in anno 1780 or thereabouts.
BTW, I am writing all this as one who loves the chassidische “levush” but I realize that it is a tradition, not “halocho lemoshe misinai’ (who certainly did not not wear a shtreimel)January 5, 2009 5:36 pm at 5:36 pm #629461
Your argument about chasidis is not a good comparison. Chasidus was (is) a different derech of becoming closer to H-m which many people were against. I don’t believe the idea of mo is to become closer to H-m after all is said and done. Also, Chasidus is lasting for many, many years. I don’t think the same can be said for Modern Orthodoxy (but of course you’ll disagree).
Honestly, that is what the anti-chassidus people would have said way back when! You should reread what you wrote and try to apply it the start of chassidus.January 5, 2009 5:57 pm at 5:57 pm #629462[email protected]Participant
sjsinnyc, I would think that is a good thing if it stregnthened your relationsip with HaShem which is the whole point…January 5, 2009 6:00 pm at 6:00 pm #629463dovid_yehudaParticipant
I regret all the labeling, e.g. Modern Orthodox, Yeshivish, Chasidish, Chareidi, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Dati Leumi …
To my way of thinking we are all Jews – Bnei Yisroel – all sharing one soul, and all connected and responsible for each other. However, some Jews are Torah observant and, sadly, some Jews are not.
It’s either kosher or not, there is no such thing as kosher-like (although I see this regularly on program announcements for what kind of food will be served).
But, I feel strongly that it is the obligation of every Jew to extend loving kindness to all Jews and by positive interaction, maybe, hopefully, bring those Jews who are currently distant from Torah (but ready to change), closer to complete Torah observance.
We really share so much more than what divides us.January 5, 2009 7:45 pm at 7:45 pm #629464
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