August 12, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm #604519
What would be an accurate definition of middle of the road MO (Modern Orthodoxy) and what are their hashkafos?
As a part 2 to the question, who are their main Rabaanim and leaders?
ThanksAugust 12, 2012 3:05 pm at 3:05 pm #891250EnglishmanMember
Rabbi Avi Weiss is the leader of LWMO and Rabbi Herschel Schachter is the leader of RWMO. I’m not sure who the leader are or what the hashkofos are for “middle of the road MO”.August 12, 2012 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm #891251
Is there middle of the road? What are Rav Shachters hashkafos and how does it differ with the regular right wing yeshivish hashkafa?August 12, 2012 7:21 pm at 7:21 pm #891252oomisParticipant
Middle of the Road should mean just that. Neither Machmir nor Mekeil.August 12, 2012 7:51 pm at 7:51 pm #891253EnglishmanMember
RWMO is meikel. Believes in interpreting halacha to conform with modern, 21st century, western sensibilities. LWMO is practically Conservadox. Appoints women rabbis (or rabbas).August 12, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm #891254Ctrl Alt DelParticipant
I have struggled for a definition myself for some time now. I grew up cloaked in all things yeshivish. But over the years I merged secular and modern lifestyle ideas with my yeshiva upbringing and the 2 didn’t seem mutually exclusive. But what was I? How could I define myself? Did going to college make me compromise on Kashrus? No. Does watching TV or seeing a movie lessen my observance of Shabbos? No. So what mahalech am I following? And what would you call the millions like me? Just what is MO? After a lot of discussion with friends and family I think I have come upon a definition. Now, you always have those that follow extremes, but I think this is a very reasonable and measured take on MO. I think that MO means, that when a problem or conflict (big or small)comes up between our Jewish Values and observance and modern concepts and values, we do not automatically and reflexively recoil and say NO. Its very easy to say no. But it comes at a price. An analogy would be….
Imagine that you have to cross a street. Could be a small one that is seldom traveled, it could be a large, dangerous thoroughfare. You have 2 choices. Carefully navigate across, or stay on your side, keep walking, maybe cross later, maybe never at all. But, should you continue to walk you may run into the neighbors dog. A vicious cur that will most likely chase you across the street and remove from you the luxury of being careful as you cross.
A massive thoroughfare on par with the most dangerous boulevards in the world. Cars hurling left and right threatening to brain even the most careful and alert pedestrians. What do you do? Well what was done by most of the Chareidi world was to keep walking. We will cross somewhere else. First, ignore it. Its just tumah! Then, its assur!! If we find it in your home, your kids will be kicked out of our school!! But then years of walking down the road came to a halt… they met the neighbors dog!! The net was everywhere already. It was already in the hands of almost every Jew. With its vile filth and its productive contributions. Now you have to run into the street. Make an Asifa. Make filtering software. Hurry hurry, stop the bleeding from the dog bite and avoid the cars!! Its all a little too late. Yes, some will be saved. But many will not. The measured MO response was wait… lets analyze this and see if it has positive aspects. Hey we can post the entire daf yomi on here!! we can have shiurim from far and wide on here. Jews who are unaffiliated can now connect with frumkeit across continents!! Uh oh, there’s bad stuff here too. Lets see if we can outweigh the vulgar with holiness. Lets educate those that use this and stress the good that can be done. And to be careful.
This is what I think MO comes down to. Carefully navigating across a street instead of just the usual “we’ll just keep walking along.” Because while “assuring” something and walking by might work for a while with some things, it has a tendency to fail. And when it does, it is a spectacular failure.August 12, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm #891255vochindikMember
Why is the term a “modern orthodox bungalow colony” inevitably a euphemism that they have mixed swimming?August 13, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am #891256ready nowParticipantAugust 13, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am #891257Ctrl Alt DelParticipant
Thank you for your concern Ready, but this is not about me.August 13, 2012 12:48 am at 12:48 am #891258WhiteberryMember
Sigh.August 13, 2012 1:30 am at 1:30 am #891259dullradianceParticipant
In the orthodox world, there are ultra orthodox, chasidish, yeshivish and modern orthodox.
If the newspapers catch you doing something wrong you are invariably ultra orthodox.
If you are not chasidish and you are not yeshivish then you there is a good chance you are modern orthodox.
LWMO and RWMO are as much a simplication as chasidish and yeshivish. Where would ???”? fit in?August 13, 2012 4:08 am at 4:08 am #891260
“Believes in interpreting halacha to conform with modern, 21st century, western sensibilities.”
Does this mean kula shopping as well as that if theres something they want to do and they find a daas yachid they will pasken like him?August 13, 2012 2:53 pm at 2:53 pm #891261lesschumrasParticipant
Why is it time?August 13, 2012 3:37 pm at 3:37 pm #891262oomisParticipant
I think that many people here should try to understand that someone relying on a kula, is ALSO following the Halacha. Your choice to be machmir is fine. For you. But apparently it doesn’t work as well for another perfectly frum and fine Yid, whose rav paskens that the chumrah is not the Halacha, and the Kula is JUST as valid.
Hashem gave us a beautiful Torah and admonished us “Vachai bahem.” Some of us have forgotten what it means to live our lives with enjoyment,and view that enjoyment as sinful somehow, which btw is EXACTLY what the Goyishe views were, as espoused by certain Christian groups.
If someone legitimately follows a kulah, as per his/her LOR, don’t look down on that religous observance as somehow not being proper. It certainly IS, even if you choose a more stringent mode, which is proper for you. And that, btw is the true meaning of live and let live.August 13, 2012 5:44 pm at 5:44 pm #891263lesschumrasParticipant
Oomis is right. What many people here are following was first proposed by the Calvinists and later the Puritans. Why doesn’t Chukas goyim apply here?August 14, 2012 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #891264simcha613Participant
There is one basic difference between the Yeshivish/Charedi world and Modern Orthodoxy. The difference between the two has nothing to do with being meikil or machmir in halachah or interperting halachah to conform with secular society. It happens to be that many people who claim to be Modern Orthodox are more meikil in an effort to be more like modern society, but that’s not real Modern Orthodoxy. That’s an unfortunate result of what true Modern Orthodoxy was meant to be.
Basically everyone agrees that there are positive and negative things about secular society. The Charedi/Yeshivish world believes that the negative aspects of secular society are too great and therefore we should shut ourselves out to secular society unless it is absolutely necessary. Modern Orthodoxy believes that there is tremendous positive that exists in secular society and we should try our best to take advantage of those positives while keeping away from the negatives. Basically, an ideal Modern Orthox Jew is as shomer Halacha as a Charedi, values Torah as much as a Charedi, but feels a greater involvement in the secular world is a positive thing.
In terms of leaders- I guess the main leaders are the Roshei Yeshiva of YU like R’ Schachter and R’ Willig. Though, to be honest, while the Charedi world in general aren’t machshiv the Rabbanim of the Modern Orthodox world, the ideal Modern Orthodox Jews have tremendous respect and are influenced greatly by the Charedi Gedolim like R’ Elyashiv zatzal and R’ Kanievsky shlita. For example, in YU and many other Modern Orthodox yeshivos and shuls, there were hespedim this year for R’ Scheinberg zatzal, R’ Elyashiv zatzal and R’ Nosson Tzvi zatzal. I am not sure if the main Rabbanim of YU would get that same respect in a Charedi or Yeshivish yeshiva or shul.August 14, 2012 5:51 pm at 5:51 pm #891265oyveykidsthesedaysMember
If Englishman wants to place Rav Schachter as the leader of RWMO, then he must first acknowledge that the definition of RWMO as “meikel” is absolutely ridiculous. Every posek has his chumros and his kulos. Anyone who knows Rav Schachter knows that he has some wild chumros and some wild kulos. Also, he does not “interpret halacha to conform with modern, 21st century, western sensibilities.” He has said on many occasions that the definition of Modern Orthodox is to re-evaluate every pesak halacha of previous generations based on the changing circumstanes, as all the posekim have been doing for thousands of years. The halacha itself, however, never changes. The only question is how the pure, immutable halacha should apply itself in every particular scenario.
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