Modern Orthodoxy

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  • #616410

    square root of 2
    Participant

    Just a quick introduction: My parents are both baalei teshuvah but are now totally frum, as much as they know (they’re constantly learning new halachos and keep them). Our family was raised frum–we all went to regular yeshivos, and basically by now you can’t tell that they were ever not frum, except they’re a little more American in terms of speech and even mentality.

    Therefore, our family doesn’t have any labels. We’re not chassidish, litvish, yeshivish, heimish, or anything else. My father works but he’s very into learning, so I don’t think he’s called balebatish.

    I only say all this so you understand that I’m not a typical yeshivish guy (I’m in eleventh grade, BTW) in terms of taking certain things for granted and also that my next question is about something I have nothing to compare with, given my background. As mentioned, I’m in a regular yeshiva and (I hope) have regular, frum hashkafos.

    I’ve heard so much about Modern Orthodox and my question just is how exactly are they different from regular orthodox? It seems to me that everything they do is compatible with halacha, and if it’s because they go to college and put a strong emphasis on work–whether you agree with them or not, there are a lot of regular orthodox “balabatim” who do the same thing and aren’t considered modern orthodox. Ditto for any laxness they might have in any area. A lot of “chareidi” people also do. It seems to me almost that the only difference there is is that they tend to be more American and I don’t think that’s so bad.

    Again, I’m asking just because I’m a little out of it and not to provoke anyone or anything. Please answer only in respectful terms, without any lashon horo.

    #1145886

    Joseph
    Participant

    Read the very first (and long) post (OP) on the following thread and most of your questions will be answered:

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/modern-orthodox-judaism

    #1145887

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Modern Orhtodoxy is as orthodox as Charedi however the biggest difference is not everyone who calls themselves MO follows all the tenets, MO says to keep Kosher everyone, but some people who call themselves MO will eat dairy or fish outside the home. The people on the right will then blame everyone else who might be MO for those people who are a little more on the edge. In the charedi world you are either with them 100% or you are not one of them, in the MO world its more shades of grey

    #1145888

    NeutiquamErro
    Participant

    There will doubtless be a glut of more informed (and less informed) replies, so I will simply say this.

    Labels are often wrongly ascribed, and I would venture to say that anybody referring to your family as MO would be shooting wide of the mark.

    And it is not as if there is any concrete meaning to any of these terms, they depend on people’s perceptions, which can be very misguided. There is a significant difference between being from a ‘normal orthodox/heimish’ but with a more modern bent, and being a self-identifying MO. And, as in most things, it is not black and white, but on a spectrum with many shades of grey.

    But with regards to what most people would call MO, it is where the ‘modernity’ impacts significantly on their understanding and practice of yiddishkeit, which can get very problematic. This can be found amongst certain ‘official’ MO organizations and movements, where interpretations and hashkafa get skewed. I am not going to make any judgements about the extent or severity of this issue.

    So to sum up, there is a world of difference between Modernly Orthodox and and Orthodoxly Modern. Especially since it is something of an oxymoron. And I am being deliberately soft, partly to avoid causing offence and partly because I do not claim to have a deeper knowledge of the subject matter, although if I had the time or inclination to delve further I suspect I would be much harsher.

    #1145889

    flatbusher
    Participant

    Square, if you don’t want to wade through that extraordinarily long response found in that link, I think Modern Orthodoxy is more than the fact someone works or goes to college. Best to illustrate by some example, among the modern orthodox there is a more liberal view of the role of women in halachah, in terms of their involvement. You might find among them women’s minyan or women in leadership positions. In addition, some modern orthodox women may be more relaxed regarding tznius in terms of dress and hair covering. As far as men go, modern orthodox may be more relaxed in terms of dress when it comes to dress for davening (shorts, no hats). In general, MO tend to be more maikil in halachic issues

    #1145890

    Sam2
    Participant

    Well, I just read through Joseph’s whole Shpiel. I don’t know the history. I never lived in the 60s. But a lot of what he says there just isn’t true nowadays. You will not find Halacha-observant self-identifying Modern Orthodox people who violate Halachos (which Joseph neglects to name, aside from mixed swimming, which no one MO supports). That’s all I really need to say on the subject.

    #1145891

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    You will not find Halacha-observant self-identifying Modern Orthodox people who violate Halachos

    Sure, no true Scotsman…

    Will you find more halacha violating among those who identify as Modern Orthodox than those who identify as what the OP calls “regular Orthodox”? That question, at least, is not self answered.

    #1145892

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    Here we go again…

    First of all, ignore anything Joseph has to say on the subject.

    The majority of Modern Orthodox people are fully shomrei halachah, just like chareidi Jews. Are there those who aren’t? Obviously, just as with any group.

    The main difference is in how to relate to the world around us. Modern Orthodoxy does not seek to shelter itself from the outside world. It believes that since we will have to interact with it, it is better to understand it, and know how to deal with it. Chareidi Judaism believes it’s better to shield yourself from the world, and not expose yourself to the temptations that are out there. The end result is that chareidim are “safer” earlier on, but can have a hard time adjusting when the exposure eventually comes. MO may have some who give in to the temptations earlier on, but later are better at dealing with the world because they are prepared for it.

    Another difference is the view on secular knowledge. Chareidi Judaism is mostly against studying anything other than Torah, with the possible exception of studying to earn a living. MO believe that since all knowledge comes from Hashem, and has its source in the Torah, it is worth studying. Even if it won’t help you learn Gemarah, it still can help you relate to the world that Hashem created, and appreciate it better.

    One more difference is how to view Israel. That’s been discussed ad nauseam here, and I don’t see a need to go into details.

    #1145893

    square root of 2
    Participant

    Thanks for the answers, everyone. I didn’t yet read through all of Joseph’s post, I’ll have to save that for some other time, but basically everyone else seems to indicate that there isn’t much difference.

    What flatbusher said, many “balabatish” people don’t wear hats for davening and aren’t considered modern orthodox, and as far as women being more relaxed in their dress: you’re right about that, but as far as halacha goes the only thing they really do wrong is not covering their hair and that’s not enough to define the difference between modern orthodox and regular orthodox. (I know I took that line out of context and your answer was more substantial than that.) (And as it happens, there is a major decline in tznius among chareidim recently.)

    #1145894

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    That’s all I really need to say on the subject.

    Sam is chareidi. Don’t listen to him.

    #1145895

    Little Froggie
    Participant

    Well, I just read through Joseph’s whole Shpiel…

    No you didn’t. I’m still a quarter way through..

    #1145896

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Let’s be honest.

    DaMoshe and Sam2 are accurately depicting MO at its core.

    Also, MO does not only exist at its core.

    Which part of “madda” is related to not covering hair?

    Which part of “modern” is related to eating milchig and pareve at non-kosher restaurants (yitayningwut’s expertise aside)?

    Which of the Rav zt”l’s (or Rabbi Lamm’s, or Rav Lichtenstein zt”l’s) teachings relate to “not being shomer” (as if its a choice)?

    #1145897

    Chortkov
    Participant

    Modern Orthodoxy does not seek to shelter itself from the outside world. It believes that since we will have to interact with it, it is better to understand it, and know how to deal with it. Chareidi Judaism believes it’s better to shield yourself from the world, and not expose yourself to the temptations that are out there.

    I don’t really understand what you mean by ‘interacting, understanding and dealing’ with the Modern World. What does that involve? Does this mean socializing with the outside world, having televisions, being part of the western culture (showbiz etc.)?

    #1145898

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    BTW the real answer to your question is 1.414

    #1145899

    kfb
    Participant

    As someone who grew up modern, became yeshivish and went back to being modern, here are my thoughts; Modern orthodoxy tends to include women more in the services/events, whereas the Yeshivish orthodoxy tends to leave them out of most things. It’s called Modern orthodoxy bc they are adapting to the modern world with the Torah. Women couldn’t vote 100 years ago and barely left the house, that’s why it made sense that women didn’t participate as much. Nowadays alot of women are the breadwinners in the family, therefore alot has changed in their roles in Judaism as well. I definitely agree with what “Damoshe” said above about how we interact with the world.

    #1145900

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Which part of “madda” is related to not covering hair?

    Which part of “modern” is related to eating milchig and pareve at non-kosher restaurants (yitayningwut’s expertise aside)?

    Which of the Rav zt”l’s (or Rabbi Lamm’s, or Rav Lichtenstein zt”l’s) teachings relate to “not being shomer” (as if its a choice)?

    So? Which part of being chareidi says you should molest kids, or steal, or say lashon hara, or make fun of people on the internet?

    #1145901

    OURtorah
    Participant

    neuitquamerro- “which can get very problematic”. That statement is problematic. judging the way another jew proactice their relgion and connection to hashem is not for you to call problematic.

    square root 2- I grew up modern and shifted to the right, although i dont think I qualify as charedi either as my open minded views from my upbringing are still with me. Modern orthodoxy is different than charedi, or yeshivish hashkafa because of the things that it stresses. If you look at the high school I went to, israel was a huge stress. not eretz yisroel, medinat yisroel. I learned about zionism and about rabbis who began the modern orthodox movement. We learned Torah, navi, halacha, we did learn gemara. Moden orthodoxy just has a more open view on the world, pushing its members to interact with the world around them, but not for the sake of “going off the derech”, rather their view is to use your skills as a frum jew and be or lagoyim. Yes, there has been alot of skewing, a lack of tznious and that comes with going over a slippery slope. This is why charedis try to cut it out completly, or as much as they can. They do not want to get to that slippery slope. chareidim keep their lives revolved around Torah.

    The problem of this conversation is that because chareidim r protrayed as the ones who live revovling around Torah, which is emes, and its beautiful, MO people get looked upon as not frum which is so wrong.

    It is important to keep into perspective that they r just as much frum as you are, and you can label anyone you want, they simply serve hashem in a different way than you, and thats ok. Everyone serves hashem differently, there is NO problem. If someone has a problem then they should be working on their ahavas yisroel a little more…

    #1145902

    Sam2
    Participant

    Flatbusher: A Women’s Tefillah Group, which a few (certainly not a majority) “Modern Orthodox” Shuls accept is not a “women’s Minyan”. No place that can honestly call themselves “MO” have partnership Minyanim, let alone full-fledged women’s Minyanim. People had to invent a whole new denomination just to get Partnership Minyanim to fly.

    #1145903

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    So? Which part of being chareidi says you should molest kids, or steal, or say lashon hara, or make fun of people on the internet?

    It’s different. Nobody says “I can molest kids, because I’m chareidi, so it’s ok.”

    You’re a moron, because you should have asked about stabbing girls at parades.

    #1145904

    funnybone
    Participant

    Another big difference will be the height of the mechitzah in shul. R. Moshe said that we can rely on a 10 tefachim mechitzah, but many chareidi rabbonim say it must be high enough so that you can’t see the ezras nashim.

    #1145905

    square root of 2
    Participant

    R. Moshe was modern orthodox?

    #1145906

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Of course not. R’ Moshe assered college – would anyone say he was Modern Orthodox?

    Regarding mechitzah, yes, he held of a lower shiur (shoulder height which is 18, not 10 tefachim) meikar hadin, but he didn’t think it was optimal.

    #1145907

    Joseph
    Participant

    No, Rav Moshe was chareidi.

    Rav Moshe ruled that the mechitza should be at least 66 inches high l’chatchila, but b’dieved if it is at least 60 inches (18 tefachim) then you should not rebuke them.

    #1145908

    Chortkov
    Participant

    @kfb, @damoshe – I understand the dictionary definition of ‘interacting with the world’. But – chassidim aside – the charedi yeshivish world also interact with the world in all the ways that conform with halocho. I think the main point that MO is different to Charedi jewry is in another point: something which sounds a lot better when slipped in as part the ‘interacting’ spiel, but perhaps not so noble when examined on its own. And Damoshe pointed it out himself; they don’t shield themselves or their children from outside influences.

    As a few posters pointed out, you cannot confuse those who are not Shoimrei Halocho with the ideal MOs; no ideology would be supported by competent MO rabbanim which allowed any breach in Halocho. But I also think that the ‘not sheltering our children’ attitude is a sad result of the MO hashkafa, not the hashkafa itself. And that is what leads to the startling number of people who associate themselves with MO who are not Shoimrei Torah uMitzvos.

    Popa – In true PBA style [is there any way to express my reaction to your inimitable style without descending to the degrading level of ‘lol’ or the demeaning emoticons? “Snort”?], you pointed out something very important. The people who are not shoimer halacha in Chareidi world do not let it become part of their shittos. The “theory” of yiddishkeit and the practice are unfortunately too different. But when the wrongdoings enter the ideology – when people do it beshitta – you know something is wrong.

    #1145909

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    You’re a moron, because you should have asked about stabbing girls at parades.

    Where we know of exactly one person who said it’s okay.

    #1145910

    crispandrefreshing
    Participant

    basicly charedim live around torah and halacha and that is the only ideal mo have ideals and values and belifes besides for torah

    #1145911

    NeutiquamErro
    Participant

    OurTORAH:

    Perhaps if you had read what I said… It is where modernity becomes considered a reason to alter fundamental aspects of the Torah, such as taaruvos, or to ignore or even denigrate the practice of certain halachos in an attempt to fit the Torah into their ‘modern’ viewpoint, that it gets a lot more than just ‘problematic’. I was very careful to avoid castigating the entire movement, only aspects of it that use its banner. And even that was only because I haven’t seriously examined the subject to the extent where I feel comfortable making general proclamations. Although my suspicion is there is certainly much more egregious aspects to be addressed.

    #1145912

    mw13
    Participant

    Many here are making what I believe to be an important distinction between two very different groups within MO. There are MO who live up to MO ideals, and embody the concept of Torah u’Maddah, whether you hate it or love it. Then there the self-identifying MO who would probably be more accurately classified as Orthodox-lite: those would like to get away with as much as they can while (in their own minds) staying just within the confides of authentic Judaism. The differences between these groups is most obvious when one compares their fealty to Halacha; the first group will usually keep it scrupulously (although not most of the stringencies that those on the right keep), while the second will often times just ignore it.

    The difference between the “ideal MO” and the average “baalabos” are indeed not too great. For the most part I agree with the differences listed by DaMoshe (if not the slant that he put on them):

    Chareidim tend to believe that it is best to try to remain as unaffected as possible by the permissive culture that surrounds us. MO tend to believe that there is nothing wrong with immersion in that said culture (or that the benefits outweigh the risks). This difference manifests itself in watching TV/movies, listening to non-Jewish music, reading non-Jewish books, and limiting internet access.

    Secondly, as indicated in the YU slogan Torah u’Madda, MO tend to believe that any knowledge is inherently important and worth pursuing. Chareidim tend to view secular knowledge as nothing more than a means to an ends.

    Then there’s Zionism, which is technically a separate discussion (it is possible to be Zionist and Chareidi, as well as anti-Zionist and Modern) but one who’s fault line on these shores are often drawn between the Chareidim and the MO.

    However, there is another distinction as well (besides attitudes towards chumros, which I mentioned above): The question of balancing one’s obligation to support one’s family and one’s obligation to learn Torah. Chareidim will usually try to stay in learning for as long as possible, even if that means supported by their parents/parents-in-laws, wife, or government programs. MO tend to focus on earning a livelihood starting from shortly after high school.

    If one is looking for extensive review of the ideals and current state of MO, I would advise reading R’ Aharon Lichtenstein Ztz”l’s essay “Centrist Orthodoxy: A Spiritual Accounting”

    #1145913

    richashu
    Member

    I grew up non-observant, while simultanesouly attending MO day school through high school, and eventually ended up “american haredi,” started off learning in kollel and then went to work. I asked myself the same exact question that the original poster brought up—-

    “What is the difference between a working Haredi and a working MO- both spend 90% of their waking hours at work, learn a little and go to shul. So whats the difference????

    Great Question!

    I will tell you the difference.

    Out of my class of about 150 in my MO high school, about 20-30 are still “shomer shabbos and shomer kashrus”. How many of them learn torah on a daily basis- maybe 15. Out of 150.

    Do Haredi schools have kids going off the derech, sure, a large amount, but nothing close to what is happening at MO schools.

    In short, the difference between the MO guy who works and goes to shul is a success story, he is among the top 10% that made it out of the system alive. Having made it out of the system, you are right, there is not SO much which differentiates him from Haredi working.

    #1145914

    OURtorah
    Participant

    neutiquam- I appreciate you holding back and not judging, because yes there is a lot to jduge. But if you dont know enough then out of fairness to the inocent reader who doesnt know anything about them, I would hope we would all want to shed light on what they ARE and not what they aren’t. I would hope we would promote loving them, versus hating their shortcoming. Not everyone was as priviledged to grow up in a home surounding Torah. In all sincereity, I live at home with a modern orthodox family. As modern as true modern orothodox gets. My mom doesnt cover her hair (wears a hat to shul), they dont follow the same standards of tznious as you might and they watch TV, go to movies etc. But they care about and love the Torah. Torah is spoken at my shabbos table, my dad davens three times a day and goes to weekly shiurim. My family has total respect for all rabbis, not just the modox ones they follow, and they r huge in hachnasas orchim, chessed and creating learning programs for people of all ages and genders.

    now I am talking to the klal, not just you neutiqram. It is difficult for me to understand the people who post here without putting themselves in the shoes of someone who is modox. They dont bend for Torah. A real true modern orthodox jew doesnt bend for Torah. They dont work on shabbos, they keep halacha and they typically cover their hair. They learn torah and live torah. Values are stressed alot more in other areas, but that does not mean they are bending torah rules to make the modern world fit into their lives. Im sure my family would be extremly hurt if I showed them some of your posts…

    #1145915

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Rav Moshe could not have assured College, His own son-in-law Rav tendler has a doctorate (and Taught at YU) and Rav Nissim Alpert also taught at YU and would never have gone against his rebbe

    #1145916

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    And that is what leads to the startling number of people who associate themselves with MO who are not Shoimrei Torah uMitzvos.

    There are many people who want to attend an authentic service and belive in hashem but for whatever reason dont want to follow all Halachas, They might attend a Young Israel and they are welcome to go there with open arms.

    #1145917

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    If MO schools take Non-frum students , which they do, you cant expect them all to be frum after school, The Charedi schools do not usually take non-frum kids. At least some of the non-frum kids will become frum so they school is a sucess

    #1145918

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Rav Moshe could not have assured College, His own son-in-law Rav tendler has a doctorate (and Taught at YU) and Rav Nissim Alpert also taught at YU and would never have gone against his rebbe

    Except that he did.

    #1145919

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    There are many people who want to attend an authentic service and belive in hashem but for whatever reason dont want to follow all Halachas, They might attend a Young Israel and they are welcome to go there with open arms.

    If MO schools take Non-frum students , which they do, you cant expect them all to be frum after school, The Charedi schools do not usually take non-frum kids. At least some of the non-frum kids will become frum so they school is a sucess

    Those are both excellent points, demonstrating that the raw numbers, without understanding the context, do not necessarily reflect failure to keep people frum.

    Regarding the second, I would ask richashu: how many of those 150 came from “shomer shabbos and shomer kashrus” homes?

    #1145920

    square root of 2
    Participant

    again, thanks everyone for your answers, especially yours, richashu. 🙂

    I want to point out, something I forget in my OP, that there are a lot of modern orthodox who are extremely scrupulous in halacha–more so than some ‘chareidim’–(unless maybe certain areas, i.e. tznius, which as I said before, there is room to be lenient even al pi halacha), R Lichtenstien being a perfect example. I know someone from a modern orthodox yeshiva who puts me to shame in learning. It’s probably more the attitude with which they approach yiddishkeit that plays the main difference; in a sense I can feel it, too, and has the outcome richashu pointed out.

    Hey, I meant to ask that as part of the question, but I realize I basically answered it–with all your help. Thanks!

    #1145921

    square root of 2
    Participant

    And zahavasdad, my username wasn’t a question, and your answer is inaccurate, anyway. The square root of 2 is irrational and doesn’t serve any apparent function besides provide material for mathematicians.

    #1145922

    Joseph
    Participant

    Chareidim do not follow any specific teachings of any specific Rebbi, nor do they believe in any specific values not already in the Torah. Chasidim follow the specific teachings of the Baal Shem Tov and his disciples; Telzers follow the teachings and Minhagim of the Telzer Yeshiva; the Mussar movement was started by Rav Yisroel Salanter – but “Chareidi”? There was no beginning to “Chareidism” except on Har Sinai; no particular person whose teachings they follow except Moshe Rabbeinu, and no particular Minhagim they perform. So there really is no such thing as a “Chareidi.” It is simply the generic, default, traditional manner of being frum.

    #1145923

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    (unless maybe certain areas, i.e. tznius, which as I said before, there is room to be lenient even al pi halacha), R Lichtenstien being a perfect example.

    Certainly with regard to hotzoas shem rah, apparently.

    You BLASTED RASHA!! You just said Rav Lichtenstein is “perfect example” of being lax in tznius! You better go to his grave with and APOLOGIZE!

    #1145924

    Chortkov
    Participant

    This difference manifests itself in watching TV/movies, listening to non-Jewish music, reading non-Jewish books, and limiting internet access.

    This is a far cry from simply “integrating” with the goyim. What I’d really like to know is whether the allowing TVs, Movies, unfiltered internet etc. is something they feel is right, or if it is a sad repercussion of their lifestyle?

    Secondly, as indicated in the YU slogan Torah u’Madda, MO tend to believe that any knowledge is inherently important and worth pursuing. Chareidim tend to view secular knowledge as nothing more than a means to an ends.

    I really don’t like writing against Gedoilei Yisroel, so before I say something stupid can somebody please show me a Mareh Mokom of any of the Rabbis who support learning ????? ???????? without necessity?

    However, there is another distinction as well (besides attitudes towards chumros, which I mentioned above): The question of balancing one’s obligation to support one’s family and one’s obligation to learn Torah. Chareidim will usually try to stay in learning for as long as possible, even if that means supported by their parents/parents-in-laws, wife, or government programs. MO tend to focus on earning a livelihood starting from shortly after high school.

    Again – is this the hashkafah or it’s unpleasant manifestation? In the Chareidi world, great value is put on Torah. Could it be that less people stay in learning and go to work before they need to because there is less appreciation of Torah in those circles? Perhaps because too much emphasis is placed on things that contradict Torah lifestyle?

    #1145925

    BarryLS1
    Participant

    There is a big problem with how the term “Modern Orthodox” has evolved in the minds of many people here.

    Now, many of you consider MO to be anyone who is not Chareidi. The term was always used for people with the Hashkofo of Avi Weiss. Most people who you would call MO are so far from that view. Within every category, there is a wide range of perspectives.

    Now, people who are Yeshivish are also called Chareidi, but there is also a difference.

    I think we should drop all the labeling altogether. It’s just a means to divide us at a time where everything depends on Achdus.

    #1145926

    Chortkov
    Participant

    I would hope we would all want to shed light on what they ARE and not what they aren’t. I would hope we would promote loving them, versus hating their shortcoming. Not everyone was as priviledged to grow up in a home surounding Torah.

    @ourtorah: That was a beautiful post, and thank you for that. You are certainly right – both that (a) we must be careful what we write because we may be offending many people and (b) we should never, ever be judging people.

    There is a difference between ‘judging’ and ‘accepting’, in my eyes. This is a very delicate point, and I hope I can express it properly. I truly have the utmost respect for people like your family, who continually strive to be good, upstanding Jews in spite of their backgrounds. And when it comes to the ‘shortcomings’, as you put it, we can never judge people until we experience the same things (I can tell you from experience a few eye-opening stories that made me realize this, even without the Mishna ?? ???? ?? ???? ?? ????? ??????). We must love every Jew for what they are. And I definitely condemn the ‘houlier-than-thou’ attitude.

    Acceptance, however, is a different thing entirely. Turning a blind eye and saying “Live and Let Live”; not recognizing these shortcomings as shortcomings, but allowing them under the guise of ‘we are difference’, is something we won’t do. If something is below our standards, we will not lower to it out of respect to those who are on those standards. We cannot let our children see people with standards that fall short of what we feel is required, and laugh it off by saying that ‘we are different’. And while we very much respect people for what they are, and understand that they are not necessarily lesser people just because they started off on a lesser note, accepting them with open arms is not necessarily an ideal option. And more to the point, agreeing and supporting the ideals is also wrong.

    This happens to almost everybody on a degree, wherever you are on the spectrum. I have family members who are incredibly polite but won’t eat in my house, won’t come out on trips with us, because we are not as super-Frum as them. And I don’t feel one bit offended, because I agree with them. Politeness and Love is not a reason to let down standards.

    People on the receiving end often find it difficult to accept. When I won’t allow my kids [theoretical] to go to a friends house because the friend sits and watches TV and I don’t want my son doing the same, it isn’t an insult, nor does it mean I don’t value the person for what he is. We simply have a difference in standards; if you have a reliable source for your standards, ???? ???? ??. And if you don’t, then we hope and pray that you will have the strength to overcome the ??????? in due course, and we don’t judge you for taking time over it.

    I was once learning with a boy who was not Shomer Shabbos, who came from a family who were anti-religious, and he was ‘checking out the frum world’ to see what it was like. He came to my yeshiva as part of a program, and I was learning with him. We started a discussion (the usual God and Holocaust, Prove your religion, molesting Rabbis…). In the middle, he suddenly burst out with a complaint: He said that it was all very good for me to be patiently explaining to him about right and wrong, but it’s not fair! I was born and raised in a frum loving home, so it is easy for me to ‘become a Rabbi’ [his words]. He was born in an environment that made it totally impossible for him to do the same. He was very bothered that he wasn’t given an equal opportunity.

    I told him two points:

    (a) HKB”H wants different things from different people – it could be that his entire tafkid is to make that move to keep Shabbos or eat Kosher, and nobody expects him to be giving a Shiur to 300 people. Not everyone is supposed to be a ‘Rabbi’.

    (b) More importantly, I told him that not only do I not look down on him for being who he is, but I respect him a lot more than most of my peers. Because HKB”H doesn’t give anybody a nisayon they cannot overcome. If Hashem gave him this particular nisayon and not me, it may well be because he had the moral strength of character to overcome the hurdle which I would not be able to overcome. HKB”H gave me the head start of being Frum because I apparently wouldn’t have been able to make that jump. It is my shortcomings that placed me where I am, and his strengths that put him in that nisayon.

    #1145927

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    The term was always used for people with the Hashkofo of Avi Weiss

    No, the term was never how someone with the hoshkofo of Avi Weiss was referred to. The current term for that is Open Orthodox. The old term was Reform.

    #1145928

    Joseph
    Participant

    Avi Weiss not only was always considered MO by himself as well as by others, but the premier MO rabbinic organisation, the RCA, has continually accepted him as an official MO rabbinic member of their fraternity for many decades.

    #1145929

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    yekke2: Try reading Torah Umadda by R’ Norman Lamm. He goes through different approaches, including the Rambam and R’ Hirsch, showing why ALL knowledge really helps with understanding the Torah (and therefore isn’t really secular).

    Many posters here have commented on MO and tznius. Do MO and chareidim have the same levels? No. However, to say MO does it wrong is incorrect. Chareidim take on many extra chumros when it comes to tznius. This isn’t halachah, it’s chumrah. Most MO don’t take on most of those chumros. Does that mean it violates halachah? Absolutely not! Now, are there those who don’t keep even the basic halachic standards? Yes, of course there are. Just as there are chareidim who also don’t keep them. There are also chareidim who violate biblical prohibitions on other things, as well as MO who violate the same things. Nobody is perfect, and every group has its black sheep. That doesn’t mean the underlying ideology is wrong.

    richashu, as was asked before, I wonder how many from your class came from frum homes, or if your statistics are true at all. I’ve never seen anything like what you talk about, from any MO school. The only similar case I know of is my wife’s high school class – and that was a Beis Yaakov! Out of 20 girls, 13 of them went off the derech. One of the 13 became a baal teshuva afterward.

    You think MO people don’t learn much? Come to my shul. We have 3 daf yomi shiurim every day, which are all well attended. The earliest one begins at 5:30 am. There are shiurim and/or chaburos given nightly. Many men learn b’chavrusah with kollel members every night. On Shabbos, many people (myself included) forgo a Shabbos afternoon nap to attend multiple shiurim. Try walking into the RIETS Beis Medrash any given night. See if MO people aren’t learning.

    #1145930

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Another big difference will be the height of the mechitzah in shul. R. Moshe said that we can rely on a 10 tefachim mechitzah, but many chareidi rabbonim say it must be high enough so that you can’t see the ezras nashim.

    Totally not. Many “Charaidi” shuls have balconies where the women can see the men (and vice versa, if the men look up). The Chassidim (a completely different issue) have a long standing Shittah (based on the Simchas Bais HaShoeivah) that there be no visual contact.

    In the here and now, due to a “not Frum enough” complex, Frum non-Chassidim feel the need to be as Frum as the Chassidim (or feel inferior), they say you need the visual mechitza.

    V’Harayah, the famous story at the the Agudah convention with the Chofetz Chaim, (who agreed to a visual mechitza due to the insistence of the Chassidim) which has been quoted here many times.

    #1145931

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    There was no beginning to “Chareidism” except on Har Sinai; no particular person whose teachings they follow except Moshe Rabbeinu, and no particular Minhagim they perform. So there really is no such thing as a “Chareidi.” It is simply the generic, default, traditional manner of being frum.

    Moshe Rabbainu came down from Shomayim wearing a Borsalino, a Spodik AND a Straimel!!!

    #1145932

    Chortkov
    Participant

    yekke2: Try reading Torah Umadda by R’ Norman Lamm. He goes through different approaches, including the Rambam and R’ Hirsch, showing why ALL knowledge really helps with understanding the Torah (and therefore isn’t really secular).

    So it’s not learning secular subjects for the sake of it, it is all for Torah then. That is very different to what was written above.

    I wonder how many from your class came from frum homes, or if your statistics are true at all. I’ve never seen anything like what you talk about, from any MO school

    The fact that those are the people attending MO schools also says something, even if they are not the run-of-the-mill MOs.

    #1145933

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    yekke2: What exactly does it say when people from homes that aren’t Shomer Shabbos attend MO schools? That we’re more accepting, and hope to set people on the right path? Would those kids be allowed within 50 feet of a chareidi school?

    #1145934

    NeutiquamErro
    Participant

    OurTORAH: Yekke2 has pretty much said what I was planning to, plus a significant amount more.

    And I particularly agree with the distinction he made between judging and justifying. As you kindly acknowledged, I was careful above to be none-judgemental. But not judging does not mean justifying behaviour one does not agree with.

    Another important distinction was also made several times in the above discussion to what extent ‘Chareidim’ keep not just pure halacha, but ‘chumra’, and that practices one would consider problematic from a ‘Chareidi’ viewpoint is actually not as contrary to halacha as one might seem. But to label all areas where MO differ from ‘typical orthodox’ as ‘chumros’ would be no more true than labelling them all unforgiveable aveiros. A fair number of the issues cited above are certainly not ‘chumros’.

    And, OurTORAH, reading your admirably worded and touching post, I again feel the need to reiterate that this is not a matter of judging. I fully accept your point about your family loving Torah, and loving yiddishkeit. And I also understand that much of what is written here could be hurtful, and I hope nobody is upset by this. But accepting people, their love of yiddishkeit and their individual mesiras nefesh and devotion to Torah, does not translate into accepting an entire movement who’s central ethos may contain aspects that some might consider very problematic. Perhaps my perception is misguided, and actually there is no matter of concern there. But, based on past experience and my limited knowledge, and I am genuinely sorry to say this, there are issues with the general movement. And whilst this shouldn’t be the central message of this thread, which should be about accepting people and finding common ground, it is an unfortunate reality.

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