November 21, 2010 5:33 pm at 5:33 pm #593141
Everything else is irrelevant. We have a Torah and a Shulchon Aruch and we must follow its guidance. Terms and labels are Just an excuse to do Aveiros in most situations, oh I’m a “Modern” Orthodox so its ok for me to watch TV, Movies, talk to girls…its all an attempt at distortion and diluting our pure values.
Keep the Torah. Forget the labels.November 21, 2010 6:07 pm at 6:07 pm #711372
WIY: Aren’t you referring to the godol HaRav Shimon Schwab zt”l, (of KAJ)? He said “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”. This is published in the Mitteilungen, Bulletin of Khal Adas Yeshurun April/May 1989.
Yet lest anyone say the gedolim are against anyone, Rav Schwab continued:
“And now we address ourselves to our chaveirim bedeah, our achim bemitzvos of the Orthodox Rabbinate 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on you to join us, the true Modern Orthodoxy [Rav Schwab is referring to previous statements of his that MO is today outdated and “anything but modern”], which is a generation of sincere mevakshei Hashem”.November 21, 2010 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #711374
Well, to each his/her own, but I do not find the MO derech and limud either stale, stagnant, or fossilized. However, it indeed might not be correct to call it “modern” as it is the derech that Jews have followed for millenia.November 21, 2010 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #711375
It’s a nice notion, but all you’re doing is shifting the question of “what is your label” to “do you fit the definition of a Torah Jew?” Is a Zionist a “Torah Jew?” Is an anti-Zionist? Is someone who works instead of learning full-time? Is someone who doesn’t spend every free minute learning? Is someone who doesn’t wear a hat and jacket in the street (forget davening for the moment)? Is someone who wears blue shirts? And on and on and on…
While dumping labels is a good idea (one which I wholeheartedly support), in the end, by framing it as you did (“are you a Torah Jew?”) you haven’t really accomplished what (I believe) the main goal of dropping labels is in the first place — to promote achdus in K’lal Yisroel.
The WolfNovember 21, 2010 7:18 pm at 7:18 pm #711376
I would like to quote HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook zatz’l on the subject…
“The Jewish People have become divided into two camps, through the categorization of Jews as “chareidi” and “chofshi” (secular).
These are new terms, which were not used in the past. Of course, not everyone is identical, especially in spiritual matters: but there was never a specific term to describe each faction. In this respect, we can certainly say that previous generations were superior to ours.
By emphasizing this categorization, we obstruct the path toward improvement and growth in BOTH camps. Those who feel that they belong to the religious camp look down on the secular camp. If they think about teshuva and improvement, they immediately cast their eyes in the direction of the secularists, devoid of Torah and mitzvot. They are confident that full repentance is required by the irreligious, not by them.
The secular Jews, on the other hand, are convinced that any notion of penitence is a religious concept, completely irrelevant to their lives.
It would be better if we could ALL concentrate on examining our OWN defects, and judge others generously. It could very well be that others have treasure-troves of merits, hidden from sight. We should recognize that there exists in each camp a latent force leading toward goodness. Each camp has much to improve upon, and could learn much from the positive traits of the other camp.
Let us be known by ONE name – Klal Yisrael. And let our prayer be fulfilled ‘May they all become agudah achat to fulfill Your will wholeheartedly.”
(from ‘Silver From the Land of Israel’ by R’ Chanan Morrison)November 21, 2010 7:21 pm at 7:21 pm #711377
What was done for millenia? Watching TV, mixed swimming, pants, or uncovered hair?November 21, 2010 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #711378
I have no idea what you are talking about. We don’t have a tv, don’t go swimming, and my wife covers her hair and wears long skirts.November 21, 2010 9:49 pm at 9:49 pm #711379
You said its been done for “millenia”. So I asked if that followed derech for millenia included watching TV, mixed swimming, pants, or uncovered hair.November 22, 2010 12:08 am at 12:08 am #711380
Obviously he feels he is representative of the whoole MO community. He’s what’s called today MO Machmir he’s well to the right of what MO is or used to be. However these days there is a trend that many MO started to have leanings to the right.November 22, 2010 1:06 am at 1:06 am #711381
Wolfishmusings, I like what you said. I am reading a book now by Rabbi Meir Lamberski “Through Your Hands” the complete story of Chanukah. And today, whilst swimming during the “religious ladies swim” in our community pool, I looked around and asked myself, what exactly WERE Torah Jews like, in those days? In other words, would we — swimming around here–even be considered frum to them? I don’t think so. IT may have looked like the misyavnim who were building the gyms and pools for the body.November 22, 2010 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #711383
so right, WIY, you’re completely wrong about Modern Orthodoxy. MO believes that we can integrate into modern society and still be good, frum Jews. It doesn’t believe in taking on unnecessary chumros to shelter ourselves from society. It definitely doesn’t allow for flagrant violations of halachah such as married women not covering hair. Are there women who don’t cover their hair? Yes, there are. Will a MO Rav say it’s allowed? No. But that isn’t a claim against MO Judaism. Look at the raid in Israel yesterday – would you say charedi Judaism allows lying and stealing from the government because a large group was doing it? No, you’d say they’re a minority who didn’t do what they’re supposed to. Same thing with MO people who don’t do what they’re supposed to.November 22, 2010 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm #711384
Feif – it isnt WIY saying that about MO. It is Rav Schwab ztl, Rav Gifter Ztl, and hundreds of gedolei yisroel.November 22, 2010 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #711385
wiy or so you claim, you seem to be using labels quite often, instead of doing it that put your money where your mouth is and kive up to what you suggested, (although your post indicates the exact opposite.November 22, 2010 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm #711386
R’ Gifter blasted YU for the gay club. That was it. I’ve heard the Diversity in Orthodoxy speech (that’s the speech I reference in the moser nefesh thread), and he doesn’t blast MO in it. I can’t comment on what others have said, because I don’t know enough about it. I do know that R’ Soloveitchik, who was one of the gedolei hador, held highly of MO.November 22, 2010 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #711387
Helpful, I can’t speak for R. Miller, but as far as R. Schwalb goes, that is not at all what he was saying. R. Schwalb, steeped in Torah im Derech Eretz, did not have a problem with MO hashkafa (i.e., integration with the larger world while adhering to halachah). While there are significant differences between TIDE and Torah Umaadah, I do not think either would condemn the other so strngly. What R. Schwald has a problem with, as should we all, is the use of a particular hashkafa to justify violations of halacha. EDITEDNovember 22, 2010 6:03 pm at 6:03 pm #711388
I don’t want to ditch the labels. If there are only torah jews and not torah jews, I am afraid many people will group me with the not torah jews.
I don’t think it makes sense to group people into only two groups.
Now, if someone were to argue that we should stop grouping people at all, I would be more amenable to that idea.
But still, grouping helps us understand people and refer to them easily. I know what to expect from someone who is yeshivish, or MO. I know who to set up with my niece, and how to refer to her in a way that people will understand better than no label at all.November 22, 2010 6:18 pm at 6:18 pm #711389
As you know, Rav Schwab was the Rov of the TIDE Kehilla. In addition to his above quoted comments regarding modern orthodoxy, he also stated the following:
This, from the Rav of the Torah Im Derech Eretz kehilla. TIDE is not an integration into any foreign culture nor an entry in any sort of way, into the outside community. The idea there is for Jews to be literate and learned enough to present a positive impression and an effective message to the “outside world”, plus, the ability to withstand the powerful anti-Torah impressions and messages of the outside world. TIDE does not espouse sending Jewish children to outside Universities. Rav Hirsh made his own schools – he did not send his students outside of the community. TIDE also includes what Rav Hirsch called “austritt”, meaning that secular knowledge is only acceptable after it is separated from and discards secular culture, values, and environment. Modern Orthodoxy has omitted this fundamental condition.
Nobody is questioning the fact that there are people who would be willing to be MO or not religious at all. The issue is, What is MO and is it the preferable mode of Judaism? The fact that it is, to some, the only version, or the maximum, that they are willing to accept does not address the issue at hand. If Modern Orthodoxy would be a Kiruv stage for people who aren’t yet ready for real Torah life, that would be fine. The problem is that they consider themselves not a b’dieved, but a l’chatchilah – a full fledged legitimate lifestyle. They often even make claims of being superior to Torah Judaism. That is the problem – compromises sometimes have to be made for individuals who are on their way up. But to take those compromises and make believe they are not compromises at all, thereby fooling people who WOULD be able to go higher that they need not, or worse, that they are already the highest, is a terrible crime. While it is true that on an individual, private, level, we are allowed to even proactively cause someone to sin if by doing so we will have prevented him form committing a greater sin, nevertheless, we may never, ever institutionalize those sins, making a b’dieved into a l’chatchilah, making the exception into the rule.
The reason why it would be a mistake to view MO as merely responding to the times as opposed to making compromises, is because when a response involves lowering standards it becomes, by definition, a compromise. MO has incorporated their inadequacies into Orthodoxy – they officially allow, encourage, and even support things that are wrong. They changed the definition of wrong and right. The difference between traditional Orthodoxy and MO in regard to meeting the times is NOT a difference of quantity. It is the difference between keeping exceptional cases as exceptions versus making them into the rule.
The problem with Modern Orthodoxy is not what their Jews do, but what their Judaism says. Jews are imperfect – we know that and accept it – but Judaism is perfect, and unchangeable. We do not make over G-d in our own image.November 22, 2010 6:21 pm at 6:21 pm #711390
I think before anyone blasts or praises M.O., or before anyone decides that M.O. is, or is not, appropriate for someone for a shidduch, we need a precise definition of what M.O. IS.
I’m not looking to start another thread with this question, but I’m sure that if the question were posed, there would be MANY very different answers.
The point is, that being the case, these terms are NOT really very useful, and they ARE very devisive.November 22, 2010 6:43 pm at 6:43 pm #711391
I know many “MO” Jews who are very frum. The differnce between “MO” and not “MO” is the amount we accept and don’t protest the people or families who do not care to live within the halacha of the shulchan aruch and mesorah, in our shules and schools. That is we accept them in our community , and I’m not talking about people who don’t know better. The fact that all we care about is achdus shows that the other issues don’t really bother us. This is a symptom of a fundimental flaw in hashkofa.(I hope I am being clear and you understand what I am trying to say)November 22, 2010 7:41 pm at 7:41 pm #711392
There’s a certain (delicious) irony in the fact that in a thread about dumping labels, the discussion has turned to how to define one of those very labels.
The WolfNovember 22, 2010 9:22 pm at 9:22 pm #711393
Bottom line, dumping labels is wishful thinking. Its not going to happen.November 22, 2010 9:35 pm at 9:35 pm #711394
I used to have a rebbe who did say there ARE only two kinds of Jews…
–Those that are shomer Torah u’mitzvos, and
–Those that are not shomer Torah u’mitzvos – yet!November 22, 2010 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm #711395
Raboisai, there’s actually only one type of Jew. The type you must embrace as a brother. The type you must defend with your life. The type you must be moser nefesh to help when he is in trouble. The type you have to work with to bring the geulah. The type you have to teach and to learn from. And if you don’t know who that type is or how to take his hand, then you need to figure out if YOU are the type of Jew you must be.November 23, 2010 3:53 pm at 3:53 pm #711396
Here here, my Brother!
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