Different Tracks of Modern Orthodoxy
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- This topic has 258 replies, 21 voices, and was last updated 1 month, 1 week ago by amiricanyeshivish.
January 20, 2023 11:40 am at 11:40 am #2158048
You have the left elements which look similar to conservative Judaism though their shuls usually have a passable mechitza. Then you have the more right wing side – the Frum YU types. You’ll even find those within that camp who dress yeshivish and learn solid and their wives dress tznius, but are too afraid to call out the dangerous liberal elements. You won’t find a YU type rabbi as frum as he may live call out some of the problems that exist within modern orthodoxy and try to elevate the frumkeit if it’ll make the women and liberals upset. When a young Rav tries to bring more frumkeit to their shuls, often times they won’t get a new contract. Now I think the YU right have a lot of ehrliche yidden but the gains could be so much more if they weren’t too scared of the liberals.January 20, 2023 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #2158121n0mesorahParticipant
What is Judaism really about, adhering to the Torah or being against liberalism?January 20, 2023 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #2158134
You have MO shuls with an open parking lot on Shabbos.
The LWMO is a larger constituency than the RWMO, for the simple reason that any real Ehrlich Yidden left MO, and you can find them today in regular Yeshivish Shuls and Yeshivos everywhere.January 20, 2023 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #2158137
“when it hurts, you scream” – rav chaim brisker told that to someone who asked what the point of protesting freikeit was, because they weren’t going to listen anyway.
Some in YU might be personally observant, but they’ve been desensitized to multi generational violations of torah in their community, and they lack the courage to fight for anything except antisemitism on college campuses.January 20, 2023 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #2158155Yabia OmerParticipant
This is a very very important post and is critical in 2023.January 20, 2023 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #2158156
Different Tracks of American Yeshivish Orthodoxy
You have the right elements which look similar to Chareidim in Eretz Yisroel, though there are generally a few more folks who understand that we’re not RASHBI. Then you have the more left side – the shpitzy Lakewood types. You’ll even find those within that camp who dress casual during the week and aren’t in kollel and their wives wear long sheitels, but are too afraid to call out the dangerous anti-everything elements. You won’t find a Lakewood type rabbi as realistic as he may live call out some of the problems that exist within Chareidikeit and try to elevate the normalcy it it’ll make the yungerleit and shadchanim upset. When a young Rav tries to get his shul off the kollel-only train, often times they won’t get a new contract. Now I think the Lakewood working folk have a lot of ehrliche yidden but the gains could be so much more if they weren’t too scared of getting their daughters married.January 20, 2023 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #2158158DaMosheParticipant
I don’t know where you get your ideas from. Plenty of Rabbonim who are YU musmachim have no problem calling out the liberal elements – my Rav does so all the time! The vast majority of my community is very frum – many men have daily sedorim to learn, and the women dress tzniusly. No, most of us don’t dress yeshivish – you’ll see colored shirts, and few black hats, but that doesn’t mean we’re not frum!January 21, 2023 6:06 pm at 6:06 pm #2158191hashem says noParticipant
I’m just curious. Who are any of us to judge these people.January 21, 2023 6:06 pm at 6:06 pm #2158186LostsparkParticipant
Torah u’ abissel Maddah
Maddah u’ abissel Torah
These are the two types, when the Rabbi is giving a Shabbos vote on what he watched on Netflix, it’s probably not a good place to be davening.January 21, 2023 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #2158314CTLAWYERParticipant
I agree with your post. Many in the CR have blinders in and suffer in-town myopia.
At almost 70 years of age, I don’t a black hat or a black suit. As I posted a long time ago: the first time I appeared in court as a young attorney, an esteemed judge took me aside and advised, in this business only the judge wears black. My suits and hats are midnight blue or darkest charcoal.
This does not make me less frum. I don’t feel out of place at a Yeshivish minyan or the annual Agudah Dinner. To be perfectly frank , they don’t care about the color of my suit or the color of my checks.January 21, 2023 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #2158309
Yserbius there are more chesed and advocacy groups within yeshivish circles than in modern. Did you ever hear about an Asifa? The agudah convention? Modern communities don’t have these things.January 21, 2023 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #2158304
I recall rabbi shechter exhorting the girlfriend-having crowd to wear techeles a lot more than to stop having girlfriends. Maybe there’s some talk about how Avi weiss went too far, but where’s the outcry over pritzus? Negiah? Unfettered internet and social media access? There’s a reason that such asifos are only in the Yeshiva world, while YU’s “yom iyun” featuring female and male speakers are always about politics or pareve topics like davening better etcJanuary 21, 2023 8:37 pm at 8:37 pm #2158307
Yserbius the yeshivish world is on a much higher level overall.January 21, 2023 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm #2158353Yabia OmerParticipant
Very important discussionJanuary 21, 2023 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm #2158340
DaMoshe: When you say “tzniusly”, how are you defining that term? A skirt that covers the knees when standing erect but not all other times? If above the knees is exposed when walking, running, bending, going up/down stairs, walking in a mild wind, getting into/out of a car, etc., does that still qualify as tznius in the community you speak of? Does a baseball cap covering “most” of the hair qualify?January 22, 2023 1:30 pm at 1:30 pm #2158497hujuParticipant
The MO the merrier. That’s their real appeal.January 22, 2023 1:30 pm at 1:30 pm #2158498hujuParticipant
Then, of course, there is the MO track called Track 29, which takes you to Chattanooga, and you can get a shoe shine, but skip the ham and eggs in Carolina.January 22, 2023 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #2158540
>> Unfettered internet and social media access? There’s a reason that such asifos are only in the Yeshiva world, while YU’s “yom iyun” featuring female and male speakers are always about politics or pareve topics like davening better etc
I think this discussion is somewhat meaningless, just want to mention that yo can turn this other way around: one groups learns about davening, while another about internet filters.
As to the substance, I am sure there are lots of people who need filters, but also there are more such people in charedi communities, given their lack of knowledge and experience with electronics.
You can see it here with many people bringing good knowledge of tosfos but not able to verify specious claims about current events with a google search.
This is not such a big deal. Same as villages used to have asifos about cars on big highways before going to the markets, while city people drive those highways every day without asifos.January 22, 2023 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #2158591
Is there a frum track and a non-frum track?January 22, 2023 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #2158593
AAQ MO people need filters. Everyone does. They know what’s on there they just don’t want to talk about it and tell their community to get a filter because it’ll get backlash.January 22, 2023 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm #2158616
lakewhut > Everyone does.
Please be aware that google search is personalized. Thus, it continues searching for thing similar to what you looked at before… I am curious, even envious, what you are finding out there. Usually, whatever I search for, I get either Jewish sites or academic papers or news… (I do have google safe filter on). Worst I saw was a reform sermon … I guess I would need to search for something inappropriate explicitly to see it. Thus, most people who use computers habitually for work, do not “stumble” into things. I am sure there are people who do search for something. But it is not much different from getting inappropriate magazines from a friend in the good old days.January 22, 2023 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm #21586451Participant
The biggest Rabbonim have filters. Ain Apotropus L’arayos.January 22, 2023 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm #2158653
The article entitled “Modern Orthodoxy’s Moral Failure”, authored by Ben Shapiro and published on December 12, 2022 in the Jewish Press is well worth a read by everyone.January 22, 2023 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm #2158654
Another must-read article is Reactions to Avi Ciment’s “The Modern Orthodox Conundrum” by Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, Dec. 9, ’22.January 23, 2023 8:28 am at 8:28 am #2158665
This Ploni b’ Shapiro article starts well quoting Rambam and R Hirsh, descending into political issues that he favors, not about the communal issues. Second reference seems to be in topic, thanks.
But, anyway – same as failures in charedi community – social failures in MO communities do not take away from Rambam and R Hirsh views. Confronting mdernity is a challenge and, so far (after just 200 years) nobody got a perfect solution. So, YU having some inappropriate club does not excuse a charedi person not passing his SATs (and other way around). It is always easier to point problems in others.
In the last Parsha, Moshe gives his famous kal ve’homer: if Jews did not listen to me, then Pharaoh will also not and goes quiet – apparently realizing how weak this praise of Jews is, just better than Pharaoh. R Avigdor Miller expands on that saying it is not enough to be just better than others …January 23, 2023 8:28 am at 8:28 am #2158660
Another – well recommended – way to deal with electronics is to have it in the open in public room, whether in yeshiva or home. Maybe I don’t need filters because my kids come by with their issues at any time.January 23, 2023 1:25 pm at 1:25 pm #2158768
Also read the underlying three part articles of “The Modern Orthodox Conundrum” by Avi Ciment.January 23, 2023 1:25 pm at 1:25 pm #2158760
The MO aren’t balancing education and Torah as R Hirsch and Soloveitchik had in mind.January 23, 2023 1:25 pm at 1:25 pm #2158722
There’s no passing grade on the SAT. You don’t really need one altogether. The modern orthodoxy approach to modernity is let’s try to incorporate the left wing view to Yiddishkeit not what does Yiddishkeit think about the left wing view.January 23, 2023 1:32 pm at 1:32 pm #2158813
The elements of Modern Orthodoxy that you are troubled by have always existed in Yiddishkeit and are right not Baruch Hashem fading (except in certain circumstances where certain Rabbis who graduated from certain non-YU places call themselves “Modern Orthodox” but are not frum).
Right now I think the responsibility we have is in taking the beam out of our own eyes. There are numerous endemic problems right now in frum trends that many people are afraid to openly address, and those that do are labeled outsiders. And it’s only getting worse.January 23, 2023 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm #2158871
Avi Weiss, Yushke “rabbi” Shlomo Riskin, Kenneth Brander, etc are all YU alumni, which is where they got ordained and were “rabbis” within YU faculty.January 24, 2023 10:30 am at 10:30 am #2158981CTLAWYERParticipant
It is only in areas of large frum Jewish population that all these distinction matter so much.
In small town America making sure you have a regular minyan of frum Jews is enough and the right/left Hasidic/misnagid/Israeli divisions cease to function within the shul walls.
This week, the shul where I attend daily minyanim (in the next town), moved minyan to the home of a member sitting shiva. He and his sons Yeshivish Litvak, 4 Israelis, 3 Hasidism and a number of us senior citizens who are EuroTraditional. Each there for the purpose of having the community make sure there was a minyan three times each day.
In the shul, there are a half dozen varieties of siddurim that serve assorted traditions, but whoever is shsliach tzibur davens from the official shul suddur. Harmony ensures survival, we avoid the narishkeit of labeling JewsJanuary 24, 2023 10:30 am at 10:30 am #2158957
lakewhut > The MO aren’t balancing education and Torah as R Hirsch and Soloveitchik had in mind.
Possibly, I am not so familiar with various streams in MO. But, as YS suggests, rather than bashing each other, maybe we should ask ourselves – how do we balance these right.January 24, 2023 1:34 pm at 1:34 pm #2159062
Personally, I think that the current trend of denying children an education of anything that isn’t Gemara and Halacha starting from age 12 is a far worse problem than any Modern Orthodox liberalism.January 24, 2023 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #2159140
Yseribus: Then you’re a twit. The MO have an OTD rate of somewhere between 33% and 50%. Read the articles I referenced above written by Modern Orthodox Jews (Avi Ciment, Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer as well as by MO Rabbi Steven Pruzsnsky.) They all openly admit huge percentages of children and adults in MO families are giving up keeping Shabbos and Kashrus.January 24, 2023 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #2159145
Yserb, so being bilingual without knowing English and having possibly (although most are just fine) a hard time navigating the American system is worse than rampant sinfulness, apikorsus, and the upheaval of all yiddishkeit values?
Is physical success (which again, most chasidim do have) so much more important to you than eternity in olam haba, or for some, an eternity in gehinnom because of their institutionalized heresy and promotion of sin?January 24, 2023 4:15 pm at 4:15 pm #2159171
@ujm The OTD rate is misleading. Most of those MO people who leave you would be surprised that they ever considered themselves “Orthodox”.
@AviraDeArah “Bilingual” is a stretch, I doubt most people who grew up in the “Gemara only” Yeshivos can have full conversations in more than one language. Many can barely have conversations in their native tongue to people outside of their social areas. And if the only reason was “Navigating the American system” I may concede that you have a point. It’s however far more reaching than that. Knowledge of basic language, science, math, history, and geography are crucial to our Torah values. We are not RASHBI, we can’t live our lives on Bitachon alone. I would go as far as to say that raising children completely ignorant and closed off from the world is sinfulness, apikorsus, and the upheaval of yiddishe values.
And no, people who grow up like that for the most part do not have “physical success”. Some neighborhoods have economies equivalent to that of third world countries with many families relying on theft from the government just to make ends meet. And the rampant ignorance of basic concepts tevah and society has lead to crazy situations such as disease outbreaks, and kids getting thrown into jail in Japan for smuggling drugs. When the current NY government got all up in their business about this very issue, it fell to the Agudah to try and bail them out. Which is kind of ironic.
I would argue that MO for the most part does not have leaders who encourage “institutionalized heresy and promotion of sin”. Sure the individuals may follow these paths, even some entire communities as a whole, but (again, with the exception of some notable individuals) you’re not going to find Jewish Action promoting that people start dating in high school nor will NCSY give classes on how to understand the Documentary Hypothesis (Rachmono l’tzlan).January 24, 2023 4:56 pm at 4:56 pm #2159225
Yseribus: You’re mistaken. We’re talking about that MO OTD rate of those who grew up keeping Shabbos and Kashrus and later, while teenagers and young adults, stopped keeping Shabbos and Kashrus.
Read the articles I referenced above in previous comments.January 24, 2023 4:56 pm at 4:56 pm #2159216
Yserb, you’re putting your own values in Hashem’s mouth. Where do chazal say that one must or even should know secular studies? Achronim write that there’s an inyan, and that your Torah knowledge is limited if you don’t know certain chochmos.
So having a potential limit on their torah knowledge is the same as cultivating a community that not only has almost no Torah knowledge at all, but accepts feminism, evolution, pritzus, LGBT, and the view of halachos such as intergender mingling, touching, hair covering, and many more as a “personal choice”?
MO don’t value secular studies because they help them learn Torah…they value them because they believe in them as an ends to themselves, as normann lamm so eloquently blasphemed.
And no, chasidim do not live in 3rd world conditions. The majority go into and are wildly successful in business. So much so that ehen they succeed, the media pans “rich jews” and when they dail, the times insults “poor, uneducated jews” – they can’t win.
And yes, chasidim are bilingual. They know lashon kodesh, and yiddish. They spend 12 hours a day immersed in these language academically throughout their education.January 24, 2023 6:57 pm at 6:57 pm #2159243
@ujm I think that the authors of those articles are a little too optimistic about the lifstyles that the OTD generation grew up with. Take a poll of people in their 30s who went to a MO Co-Ed highschool and I would venture to guess you will find few that made any effort to put on teffilin every day, or be careful about mitzvos when they weren’t in school or shul. This is already two or three generations down the line. Of course kids are going off the derech! Their parents were barely on it to begin with!
@AviraDeArah So you think it’s appropriate to (as Chazal tell us) teach your children how to steal? Because all your justifications don’t amount to much against that one thing.
Yes, Acharonim recognized that we are not on the level of our predecessors. We simply cannot gain everything we need to know from the Torah alone. We need to learn about the world around us. Studies of math and science aren’t “secular”, they are part of what we need to know. I’m not saying that you can’t learn Torah without other learning, but that other learning is absolutely an essential aspect of Jewish life. Do you think it’s a coincidence that Tosfos explains a geometry problem in the same way Socrates wrote it out hundreds of years earlier? Could the Agudah have launched their offensive against the New York government and Times without the help of hundreds of frum lawyers and people experienced in writing? Would we have Shabbos ovens had not engineers worked with GE and designed what was needed?
That’s not to say we need to have gender studies classes in Bais Yaakov C”V. I doubt even the most liberal MO schools have gone that far. It means what I said (and you conveniently ignored). Yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs need to teach basic science, language, and social studies. There is a chapter in Rav Hirsch’s Horeb where he outlines a school curriculum. It’s probably not nogeya today (this being 21st century America, not 19th century Germany) but it’s a great insight into what is needed.
Communities who live with this apikorsus idea of a Torah lifestyle means “only Gemara and halacha” absolutely are not “wildly successful in business”. For the most part they are destitute and rely on a combination of tzedaka and government handouts, with many of the more desperate ones resorting to cheating with things like cash-only businesses. There are yechidim that are successful and they (along with educated Torah Jews who are a bit naive from outside the community) keep the whole house of cards from falling. You have your facts as wrong as the NY Times does.January 24, 2023 6:57 pm at 6:57 pm #2159249GadolHadofiParticipant
The majority of chassidim go into and are wildly successful in business? While some certainly are you need to cite proof for your statement which belies reality.January 24, 2023 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm #2159314
> Where do chazal say that one must or even should know secular studies?
indeed, I perused a bilingual sefer of letters by Chofetz Chaim and he writes in 1920s – on the English side – that one should absolutely avoid sending kids to secular teachers and public schools…
Just as I started packing all the chemistry books in the garbage, I had some seichel to look at the original Hebrew (I don’t think this was translated from Yiddish). So, the Hebrew tzad tells me that I should not send my kids to anti-religious (Zionist? Hofshi) teachers and avoid heretical schools (obviously, there were no Jewish “public” school in 1920 Poland).
Now, I am very confused – which tzad of Chofetz Chaim should I believe?! Should I take the books out of the garbage or leave it there? So, as in the famous Gemora, the books are standing sideways into the garbage – they are not falling out of respect to Chofetz Chaim and do not stand straight out of respect of Chafetz Chaim.
And I would love to meet and look into the eyes of a person who spend so much time translating heilike seforim of Chofetz Chaim about purity of lashon and then creating these garbage problems. I hope I’ll see a soul, maybe a confused soul, but a soul nevertheless.January 24, 2023 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm #2159280
Yserb… I’m struggling to find the words.
Rav hirsch was extremely controversial in his setting up a school with secular studies. The ENTIRE European jewish world had chadarim that were torah only. They would learn a trade from their father or someone else.
You make it sound like rav hirsch was the….norm? And that there were a few outlying fanatics who just taught torah only? Are you serious? Are you aware of the rashba’s cherem against ANY secular studies until the age of 30? Are you aware of a single other jewish educational institution besides rav hirsch ‘s realschulle that did so?
He was accused, wrongfully, of being modern. He was intending to save klal yisroel, and his model served as a prototype for other parts of the torah world, including most(but far from all) litvishe yeshivos in America.
The chazon ish didn’t hold of it at all. According to your view, you would think he is an apikores, chas veshalom… because he didn’t hold of 2 achronim’s learning schedules????January 24, 2023 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm #2159279
Dofi, did you hear about the satmar business expo in September? Thousands of businesses were on display. And that was just satmar. They’re not “yechidim”. The satmar rov zy”a held of going into business instead of professions.January 25, 2023 6:19 am at 6:19 am #2159353
Avira > Rav hirsch was extremely controversial in his setting up a school with secular studies. The ENTIRE European jewish world had chadarim that were torah only. They would learn a trade from their father or someone else.
at that time, less than 1% of everyone in the world was studying science. R Hirsh was ahead.
During Satmar Rov times – 10% of men went to college.
That is why, for example, R Moshe reasonably says that one can live comfortable life without it.
There were also lots of options to not be a slave at a factory and be an independent businessmen.
In our times > 50% of people go to college. that is not the same “college” as before – IQ of 50% is still not the same as of 1% 100 years ago. Current college student is not able to read Madison – and is not interested.
Small business opportunities are very limited. Your store will compete with walmart and amazon.
Current college teaches you currently required skills – nurse, computer programmer – that are equivalent of being a butcher 100 years ago (and some programmers are very good at butchering code). It takes maybe more years to learn to code than to learn to butcher, but productivity is also hire, and thus the pay and comfort of the job. THat’s all to that, it is not about learning heresy or mixing with co-eds.
You can as well say that Rabban Gamliel was against travelling at 60 mph, it was too dangerous to the horses.January 25, 2023 6:19 am at 6:19 am #2159352
I think we should acknowledge that both community have problems and stop making fun of each other – I don’t think Hashem will be happy that one or the other group fails …
for stats: we do not need to be cautious how we interpret that. Some of “MO” schools accept not very religious people to begin with, and also some kids with hashkafa problems first move to more “MO” schools, so they might count as “MO” dropouts.January 25, 2023 6:19 am at 6:19 am #2159351
@AvirahDeArah Don’t pick on one aspect of my comment and ignore the rest. I addressed your questions, now you address mine. I only brought up “Horeb” as an example of a non-Gemara curriculum that Yeshivos can follow (notably, it doesn’t mention teaching your kids to choose their own pronouns).
Satmar, to their credit, encourage their Chassidim to learn business and go into it. (The same cannot be said of many other Yeshivish and Chassidishe communities.) I’ve heard once that if the Rebbe ZT”L would have agreed with Rav JB Soleveitchik ZT”L on one thing, it was kollel. The big Satmar companies, however, are still just yechidim. A few hundred successes in a sea of tens of thousands. And of those tens of thousands, many have reportable income far below poverty level. I think something like nearly half of all Palm Tree residents are on Welfare and Food Stamps, which is far far above national average. You cannot point to a handful of nursing homes and mortgage brokers and say “Well it obviously works” when on the other side you have that.January 25, 2023 6:19 am at 6:19 am #2159344GadolHadofiParticipant
A Satmar business expo doesn’t mean that most chassidim are wildly successful in business any more than an MO expo does. If that were the case, why are so many chassidim on welfare? Why did Satmar admit to defrauding the government and have to repay eight million dollars several months ago? Why are the vast majority of those soliciting tzedaka in shul chassidim?January 25, 2023 11:31 am at 11:31 am #2159450
The chasidim who are wealthy and there are a lot give back more to their communities far better than modern do. The ones who are poor are able to make weddings b’kavod because the chasidim give back . MO communities often they’re the majority of the community and they are too soft to take over the local governing boards and they don’t all have bussing. The chasidim take over the towns and use power for their benefit. The chasidim can accomplish for their towns in 6 months far better than the MO do in ten years. E.g. the one shared mikveh that’s a mile away.January 25, 2023 2:30 pm at 2:30 pm #2159502
@lakewhut Everything else aside, you’re making a lot of objective statements bashing other frum Yidden with nothing in the way of evidence to back it up. “Chassidim give more than modern” isn’t a factual statement. It’s an opinion.
And I’m going to have to hotly disagree with you that exherting power and taking on local governments is always a good thing. Plenty of times this power was used for personal gain and often it was used in ways that created a massive chillul Hashem. Besides, in the current big matziv where New York is going after Yeshivos, it’s the Agudah, with their askanim who are knowledgeable and educated in the ways of the world, putting their necks on the line for the Chassidim who are unable to do the same.
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