MODERN ORTHODOXY: The Fundamental problems

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  • This topic has 166 replies, 30 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by Sam2.
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  • #616891
    Rabbi of Crawley
    Participant

    At its beginning, The idea of modern Orthodox Judaism was fantastic. Why follow the masses like many of our

    Neighbours and join reform, conservative and what not, we can keep Halacha , study Torah and continue our business with the outside world without any compromise in Halacha. We should learn their science and philosophies and take an interest and participate in the broader society. Rabbi soleveitchik was a big Talmud chochom.

    Now in 2015, the picture is very different and the reform “crusade” is no longer fighting for our soles.

    So what is modern orthodoxy today about?

    Modern orthodoxy comprises of people who use the idea of Torah I’m derech eretz as an excuse to enjoy a substantial amount of pleasure in this world.

    Imagine a person who has sincere love of Hashem and cries when he Davens, – exactly what the Torah wants from us. Would such a person be part of modern orthodoxy?

    Why not?

    Because modern orthodoxy is not compatible with this mans values.

    Therefore modern orthodoxy is invalid. Because it does not uphold the torahs values.

    The whole movement is flawed. Why do modern Orthodox Jews tend to be more lenient in Halacha? Halacha has no compromises . Is this Torah im derech eretz?

    And why do many of them go to cinemas, go to football matches And other places which are China’s hagoy. Is this “derech eretz”. “Derech eretz” is meant for a livelihood and not for pleasure in chukAs hagoy. Derech eretz means going to law school, speaking in congress, campaigning to the gov’t, even going to uni. But watching sick movies , going to inappropriate places, and unfiltered internet, is this “derech eretz?”

    And how does support for Zionism fit into Torah I’m derech eretz? Zionism are trying to turn Judaism from religion to a culture. Where does Torah and derech eretz fit in?

    To summarise, changing the way of the mesorah, not just halachically , like reform but also hashkaffically, can have tremendous ramifications as the world continues to become more and more immoral.

    One final question which has an obvious answer.

    Why is it that “open orthodoxy” manages to attract so many modern Orthodox Jews, young and old?

    May all yidden be ???? to continue to continue the derech of ????? ????? ???? ????

    #1119035
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Dont know who said this, but they are likley british as the term Football matches is used. In American English this means a Soccer game,

    #1119036
    Matan1
    Participant

    Let me try to understand. God wants us to cry while davening. Nobody who cries while davening is Modern Orthodox. Therefore, Modern Orthodoxy is wrong.

    Do I even need to say why this is absurd?

    #1119037
    Meno
    Participant

    You should organize your thoughts before writing something like this. The logic and flow make no sense. Pretty much sounds like an incoherent rant.

    #1119038

    so are you telling me that Ner yisroel of baltimore is Modern orthodox since they live by & go with the motto of torah im derech Eretz?

    you asked:

    “Why is it that “open orthodoxy” manages to attract so many modern Orthodox Jews, young and old?”

    cause they make it easy to convince them to go even lighter in yiddishkeit & be convinced that they are still frum.

    #1119039
    golfer
    Participant

    …”fighting for our soles” indeed!

    You won’t bring the MO back into the fold if you insult their intelligence with a piece like this.

    Even if they’re not insulted, they’ll be laughing too hard to get back to the shtenders.

    What you may actually have proven might be the need for a little derech eretz in the sense that RSR”H may have intended.

    #1119040
    yichusdik
    Participant

    The inherent arrogance and insensibility of someone OUTSIDE of Modern Orthodoxy determining its problems and offering its solutions illustrates perhaps a more important problem: The increasing irrelevance of the “assumed leadership” of that element of Chareidi society which insists on telling others what to do and how to do it as if there were not shivim ponim l’Torah.

    The day will come when Modern Orthodoxy will stop looking over its right shoulder. And then there will be a reckoning with those who will take a cheque from an MO donor but not let him daven at the Omud in their mosdos and kehilos.

    A Far better thing to do than issuing circular arguments is to find those areas of common purpose and common action – and there are many – and build upon them.

    #1119041

    OP has clearly never met a single Modern Orthodox person.

    #1119042
    Joseph
    Participant

    yichusdik: Rabbi Gordimer is not an outsider. He is Modern Orthodox.

    #1119043
    HaKatan
    Participant

    yichusdik:

    Shiv’im panim laTorah applies only to Torah approaches, not to those outside of Torah like MO, as many gedolim have clearly stated and even entreated the MO to return.

    #1119044
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Shiv’im panim laTorah applies only to Torah approaches

    Ah yes, the Henry Ford approach to Judaism.

    “You can have your Model-T in any color you want, so long as it’s black.”

    The Wolf

    #1119045
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    “Imagine a person who has sincere love of Hashem and cries when he Davens, – exactly what the Torah wants from us. Would such a person be part of modern orthodoxy?”

    Because he sees no reason to wear a black hat or remove women from pictures, so he has to default to MO.

    #1119046
    yichusdik
    Participant

    Hakatan – distancing a group from the “machane” isnt compatible with entreating them to return. And it calls into question the viability of the “machane”.

    Shivim Panim Latorah is not subject to your definition and limitation. HKBH knows what it encompasses. You are not HKBH, and as holy and learned as they are, neither are those defined as gedolim.

    Joseph, Rabbi Gordimer is not the OP, I think. Unless the OP plagiarized something of his without attribution. Is that what you are asserting, Joseph? You know, sort of like you have done word for word from Frumteens over the past several years in the coffeeroom? (as is evidenced in many postings that are searchable here)

    And in any case his arguments are about Open Orthodoxy vs modern orthodoxy, not some validation of this particularly arrogant skein of chariedi vs Modern orthodoxy.

    As I wrote above, the pendulum has begun to swing back. Moro D’Asroh’s of MO shuls are no longer swayed by the threats of local chariedi zealots (and I am at pains to say – its the arrogant and the zealots I am describing, not the majority) when they have a frum speaker of the wrong taam or politics. MO donors are harder to convince for support when there are many other good and needful organizations vying for the tzedokoh dollar who aren’t denigrating at the same time as they are asking for help.

    If you wish to peddle this message of supremacy – be it to the MO, or other Jews, go right ahead. marginalize yourself further. Or maybe you could learn something from Chabad. or many others who are involved in kiruv rechokim, kerovim, and all Jews. Many of them have figured out what you seem to be unaware of. We all have what to learn from all of our brothers. We all have a responsibility to each other that doesn’t start and finish with what we perceive the other is doing wrong. It starts at a yom tov table, in a quick gut shabbes, with making a minyan for a kaddish zugger. And you don’t have a monopoly on those things.

    #1119047
    Joseph
    Participant

    yichusdik: The following is copied word for word from Rabbi Gordimer:

    Redeeming Modern Orthodoxy

    And Rabbi Gordimer is demanding MO fix it myriad of severe failings, aside and separate from any issues with OO.

    #1119048
    Joseph
    Participant

    yichusdik: You have your head deep in the sand if you think the pendulum has swung away from right-wing/Chareidism to something more MO or on the left. The Orthodox Jewish community in the United States has become significantly more right-wing/Chareidi over every 15 year period, including between 1998-2013, for the past 50+ years. And the MO community has, at best, stagnated (in 2013 they had the same number of children in school as they did in 1998 while the Chareidi community doubled during that same period – yes, doubled in 15 years, check Avi Chai). According to the 2013 Pew Research Study, Chareidim account for 71% of American Orthodox Jews, including 81% of American Orthodox Jews aged 30 and younger.

    #1119050
    Sam2
    Participant

    Joseph: That same Pew study that said that 1% of American Chareidim have Christmas trees? Yeah…

    #1119051
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    MO’s are raised Zionistic and many younger have decided instead of being an armchair zionist, become a real zionist and move to Israel. Many younger MO’s have moved to Israel and become Dati Leumi’s so while the MO community in the US is stagnent. the DL community in Israel is quite large.

    #1119052
    Joseph
    Participant

    Sam, nu, so they were off by a percent. Even scientific surveys aren’t exact. But the trend is undeniably clear that chareidim are constituting an increasingly larger percent of orthodoxy. And very quickly.

    ZD: In Israel chareidim are also outgrowing DL by leaps and bounds. And also very quickly.

    #1119053
    HaKatan
    Participant

    yichusdik:

    This has zero to do with any opinion of mine – I merely quoted – and it is plain fact that MO has zero historical authenticity. We have gone over this in many other threads.

    Joseph has quoted your “Rav”‘s “chameish drashot”, where he clearly states that MO was a radical new invention that he thought was necessary, that Traditional Orthodoxy would become a museum piece, etc.

    With the benefit of hindsight, this is obviously not the case. That’s besides for the gedolim’s clear and strong condemnation of MO, Zionism, etc. with one even specifically stating explicitly that your “Rav” cannot be considered as a link in the mesorah from Sinai.

    Again, it is absurd to suggest that “shiv’im panim laTorah” can justify a non-starter like MO, Zionism or any other kefirah, A”Z, etc.

    Nonetheless, Rav Schwab seemed to recognize that MO was simply misguided and, therefore, implored them to return to the Torah. And, yes, he addressed MO as “our achim baEidah”.

    #1119054
    Excellence
    Participant

    You don’t have to cry when you daven. Chassidus says to be happy. Those with deeper knowledge will know what happens when one is sad and worse, and what can happen when cheerful.

    #1119055
    Avi K
    Participant

    On the contrary HaKatan, MO goes back to Yosef. Crying during davening? I have never seen this inb a yeshivish minyan. Perhaps there is someone who wrote in his sidur “??? ?????”. As for OO, there are many problems but some people need a halfway house. I once heard Rabbi Weiss comment that many people who started at HIR will no longer daven there. You should also differentiate between secular and religious Zionism. The latter is, in fact, the expression of 2,000 years of religious yearnings.

    #1119056
    Sam2
    Participant

    HaKatan: To quote you, Ad Masai Atah Poseiach Al Shtei Hase’ifim? Are MO’s Kofrim and Ovdei Avodah Zarah or are they just misguided?

    #1119057
    Luna Lovegood
    Participant

    Rabbi of Crawley- I have so many issues with your premise that I don’t even know where to begin.

    I guess a good place to start would be to let you know that I identify my practice of Judaism to be in the category of “Modern Orthodox”. My family and friends are Modern Orthodox. The high school I went to and the seminary I attended identify as Modern Orthodox. So I have a pretty good handle of Modern Orthodox hashkafa and practices.

    Modern Orthodoxy is not an attempt to ” water down” halacha. It’s the chariedim or “yeshivish” that insist on taking the halacha above and beyond the basic rules. Which isn’t a bad thing. But you can’t tell others that a chumra is halacha. I keep all the halachot that I am obligated in and take upon myself the chumrot I

    think will enhance my religious life.

    You have no right to tell me that just because my conviction in God stems from a more rational approach instead of the “just believe” approach and that I choose to live a life that interacts with tje world around me that it has any less meaning and importance.

    Also, I am a Zionist. I beleive in the State of Israel and I support it in whatever way I can. It is the only place that Jews are truly safe from persecution. In a time of real trouble it is not America, England, France or any other country that will save you. Despite what they say they all hate you for the simple reason that you were born a Jew. And when push comes to shove I beleive Israel will always be there to protect the Jewish people even when all others have abandoned us. The current religious situation is not ideal but it’s better than having no state at all.

    The Torah was given to Man and it is our job to interpret it and live by it’s rules. I do not think that one interptation within orthodoxy is any more valid than the other. It is each person’s responsibility to find the path that is right for them. And neither you or I have have any right to tell another person that the path they have chosen is wrong. Only God can judge.

    #1119058
    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    .”As for OO, there are many problems but some people need a halfway house. I once heard Rabbi Weiss comment that many people who started at HIR will no longer daven there. “

    Perhaps if they defined themselves as a halfway house, one could be ???? ???? on them. They view themselves like the gay rights movement views itself, not just another type, but the preferred type.

    As far as those who won’t daven there anymore, it’s not that they’ve moved up, they’ve moved out of yiddishkeit entirely, that why they no longer daven

    #1119059
    TheGoq
    Participant

    “ZD: In Israel chareidim are also outgrowing DL by leaps and bounds. And also very quickly.”

    and i suppose the birthrate has nothing to do with that right??

    #1119060
    Avi K
    Participant

    Nishtdayngesheft,

    1. While there are are some talmidim who seem to feel that way that is not the impression that I get from Rabbi Weiss. In fact, when I knew him (albeit thirty years ago) I had the distinct impression that he is much more frum than he lets on.

    2. If they called themselves a halfway house no one would come.

    2. Rav Asher Weiss says at the end of Minchat Asher on Sefer Bereisheet that today we have to bring people back with chesed as did Avraham Avinu.

    3. How dare you make such a statement? How do you know where they have gone?

    FYI, Rabbi Weiss explicitly used the term “became so frum”.

    #1119061
    Joseph
    Participant

    Goq, and if it has to do with the birthrates, that ought to tell you that those with the lower rate have it lower because they are suppressing their rate.

    #1119062
    yytz
    Participant

    Modern Orthodoxy in practice today means holding by a variety of halachic opinions, both strict, lenient and middle of the road, while being charedi means nearly always following the strictest opinion, and getting stricter and stricter with time. Scour the Torah and it’s hard to find a source for always picking the strictest opinion and getting stricter with time.

    But in practice it’s not true that all MO lean toward leniency and all charedim lean toward strictness. Privately a lot of charedim are not that strict, on matters that are not visible to others.

    Emotion and devotion in tefilah is a very individual thing. I’ve seen MO who daven their heart out at length while many charedim daven as quickly as possible. Many MO nowadays, particularly but not only in Israel, are very influenced by chassidic or other mystical teachings that emphasize spirituality and a fervent approach to davening (and Torah study and mitzvos).

    Popular culture is also a very individual thing. I know MO who don’t have a TV and don’t watch movies. It’s not unheard of among charedim to watch TV and movies and follow sports.

    Open Orthodoxy is a pretty marginal phenomenon within Orthodoxy. It just gets a lot of press. Look at the placements on YCT’s website and you’ll see that their graduates are mainly going to Hillels and small dying OOT shuls and such. And in practice many of the grads don’t rock the boat and are mainstream MO in talk and deed.

    #1119063
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Regardless what some think Chassidism only dates to the 18th century.

    #1119064
    yytz
    Participant

    “As far as those who won’t daven there anymore, it’s not that they’ve moved up, they’ve moved out of yiddishkeit entirely, that why they no longer daven.”

    Not necessarily. Let’s say someone belongs to a shul with an OO rabbi with a non-kosher hashkafa. But the shul have an identity as Orthodox, there’s a mechitza, they daven with an Artscroll siddur, etc. Then the person moves for whatever reason to a new area, which like most areas, doesn’t have an OO shul (OO shuls are few and far between).

    What do they do? Most of the time they will join whatever mainstream MO shul is available. At least on the surface, it will be closest to what they’re used to. And it will help them become more frum.

    #1119065
    TheGoq
    Participant

    Joseph maybe the DL just think its irresponsible to have umpteen children that they cannot afford.

    #1119066
    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    Joseph: As usual, you are wrong in your assertions. The birthrate of so-called “chareidim” in israel is NOT higher than the birthrate of religious zionists. It is obvious that you never met a dati leumi family with eight kids “beli ayin horah”. And, the proof is that the Knesset representation of chareidim has stagnated now for over sixty years,barely changing their percentage of the Israeli population. Welcome to true Judaism, Joseph, the religious zionist one!!

    #1119067
    Joseph
    Participant

    clergyofberlin: The massive Russian influx (of which many or mostly are non-Jews) to Israel is what kept them from a higher mk representation. It is remarkable that despite millions of new Russians in Israel, the chareidim *still* didn’t become a lesser percentage of the population and Kenesset. They managed this by their massive population growth.

    P.S. I told you this same point five years ago.

    P.P.S. The number of DL families with a lot of children are today a very small percent of their population. You are mostly limited to the Merkaz HaRav types and not the average DL family.

    #1119068
    yytz
    Participant

    Charedi birthrate is probably higher than either DL or MO (though some MO and DL certainly have a lot of children), but this isn’t a mark of legitimacy.

    Even if you argue that financial considerations are not a factor in whether to have another child, it’s hard to argue that mental health and psychological capacity should not be a consideration.

    Some charedim may be having more children than they can psychologically handle (ie, having more children even though you’re already having nervous breakdowns or feel like you’re about to), just because it’s expected as a sociological matter in one’s community that each family has a large number of children.

    Also note that before the 20th century, it’s very hard to find examples of gedolim having numerous children (even counting those who didn’t survive).

    #1119069
    MDG
    Participant

    “Charedi birthrate is probably higher than either DL or MO (though some MO and DL certainly have a lot of children), but this isn’t a mark of legitimacy. “

    No, but the ‘winner’ can rewrite history.

    (sarcasm on) Besides, having more children can prove more righteousness, at least that’s what Hagar understood when was more fertile than Sarah Imainu. (sarcasm off)

    #1119070
    MDG
    Participant

    “clergyofberlin: The massive Russian influx …”

    Joseph, please don’t name call. You made a valid point, and name calling is not necessary nor productive.

    #1119071
    Joseph
    Participant

    1. There is no evidence or reason to believe families with many children have better or worse mental/psychological health/copying than families with less children. Indeed, I’ve seen surveys indicating parents with more children were generally happier than parents with less children.

    2. Being honest, most people who supress the number of children they have do so for ostensible financial reasons rather than mental health reasons. They will even tell themselves that if they had ten million dollars they’d have a large family since that would make them happy.

    #1119072
    MDG
    Participant

    ” I’ve seen surveys indicating parents with more children were generally happier than parents with less children.”

    What does more and less mean numerically? 1 vs. 2, 2 vs. 4, 5 vs. 10 ?

    Also, we may have correlation, but what is causation? In other words, do more children bring happiness or do happier people have more children?

    I tend to believe both sides are true and they help each other.

    #1119073
    HaKatan
    Participant

    Avi K:

    Most of your post doesn’t apply to mine. Regardless, your own “Rav” admits that MO is a radical new invention.

    Sam2:

    We’ve discussed this before. The theology is indisputably erroneous. But the gedolim still hoped that the MO would return to the mesorah of unadulterated Torah from Har Sinai.

    Luna Lovegood:

    The Zionists themselves have already disproved your theories about Zionist protection. The Zionists created and maintain their state solely for the sake of Zionism, and not to protect Jews as, again, they have more than amply demonstrated both before and after 1948.

    Regardless, your choice of being a Zionist, with the faith in the Zionists that comes with that, has zero religious backing, contrary to Zionist belief.

    May Hashem protect all His children, wherever they may be.

    #1119074
    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    Joseph- your point is besides the point. You wrote that the chareidim are becoming a majority of jewry “very quickly”,both in the US and in israel. well, that certainly is not true in israel. Whether it is the Russian alyah or other factors, chareidim in israel are not becoming the majority any time soon and probably never.

    #1119075
    Joseph
    Participant

    rob: Do not put words in my mouth. Nowhere, absolutely nowhere, have I “wrote that the chareidim are becoming a majority of jewry”. Nowhere. There are still more Reform Jews than chareidim. I wrote about Orthodoxy and Orthodoxy only. And Chareidim have already become a majority of the Orthodox. By a long shot. Not even close. As cited, 81% of American Orthodox Jews aged 30 and younger are Chareidi, and 71% of American Orthodox Jews overall are Chareidi. So the pattern is very clear. With each younger generation orthodoxy is becoming increasingly Chareidi. In Israel the trend is the same notwithstanding the Russians who many/most are not even Jewish, let alone Orthodox. (Despite their hocus-pocus ” conversion” before getting right back to their pork and shellfish meal.)

    #1119076
    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    Joseph: You took those figures from a very suspect Pew Survey. 81% of orthodox kids are chareidi?? If you beliive that, then all the Day Schools in the US are chareidi-certainly not the case. In any case, I don’t beleive in polls anyway-see politics-. I only trust actual numbers. Here in the US this cannot be counted accurately but in israel, where there are elections- one can. Hence my comment about the knesset figures. Incidentally , there were not ‘millions of Russians’olim, as you write, and your attack on Russian jews, who were in the dark and in a place of shmad for three generations worthy of any jew. You probably would have thrown away your black hat and shtreimel at the first decree from the Communists. Respect the jews who fought hard to remain jewish.

    #1119077
    Avi K
    Participant

    How does one define Chareidi in the American context? Generally speaking the Litvaks have academic degrees and work in secular professions, often not in specifically Jewish offices. When they make aliya they are very likely to ghettoize because of the vast cutural and hashkafic divide between them and Israeli Charedim (when Rav Leff opened “Maarava” and introduced secular studies he was excoriated by the Chareidi press and when someone I knew told a barber that he lived in Telz Stone and claimed that it is Chareidi the barber said “American Chareidi”). Sometimes they gravitate to Chardal communities (in Bet-el Bet there are a number of men who wear hats on Shabbat, almost all American or Russian).

    #1119078
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    When I was in Israel, I notice it actually was a bit harder sometimes to tell the difference between Charedi and Dati Leumi. I saw people who appeared to be DL but with Peyes. Something you dont see in the US. Yeshivish Charedim in the US dont usually work although the Wives do

    #1119079
    Joseph
    Participant

    rob: The truth is shocking, isn’t it? A “quite revolution” had occurred in Orthodoxy over the last 35+ years. Orthodoxy had become increasingly Chareidi to the point today that American orthodoxy is overwhelmingly Chareidi, as a highly respected secular national polling/survey outlet with no skin in the game or reason to fudge had reported. In Israeli Orthodoxy it is the same story.

    The reason this is a hidden revolution is because chareidim have a tendency to congregate and live in very close proximity to each other and overwhelmingly live in large numbers in a small number of metropolitan areas’ very limited neighborhoods. So when you’re outside in the wider world it’s very easy to miss this phenomenon.

    As far as the Russians I’m referring to, they are not even Jewish. They are outright gentiles. Even the Zionists admit add much and thus try to pretend they “converted” them despite their continued eating pork and not keeping Shabbos post-pseudo-conversion.

    #1119080
    writersoul
    Participant

    zdad: DL=/=MO (as you can see in the news…). Go to Kiryat Moshe or, indeed, the Shomron and you’ll see plenty of DL with peyos.

    There are many types of DL in Israel.

    #1119081
    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    joseph: You will always find a truth that you like. But, “lemai nafka minah”? Does it matter-here in the US- which group is the largest ? Apart from being able to squeeze money from the goverment, who cares whether the chareidim are the biggesnt group? It makes zilch difference. American policy will not change based on the number of chareidim.It may even be detrimental. In Israel, however, where ther size of a group truly matters-in elections- there hasn not been an appreciable increase of chariedim as a percentage of the population. As far as the Russian olim-you keep on insulting them. very un-Jewish. I prefer to follow Chabad in their ways of kiruv. And, by the way,Chabad is actually the biggest chassidus!

    #1119082
    Joseph
    Participant

    rob: Chabad is not mekarev goyim. And they are not the biggest chasidus. Satmar is much larger than Lubavitch.

    BTW, I think that the Religious Zionist/DL community had been losing representation the Kenesset every period from ’48 through future elections. Compare what the RZ party won in the first two elections to what they won in later elections. Eventually the NRP got so small they were wiped off the map. The current situation with Bennet might be an exception because he made his party partially secular/non-religious, i.e. Shaked.

    #1119083
    Avi K
    Participant

    Joseph, they are the victims of their own success. RZs are so well integrated that msot do not respond to identity politics. In fact, two of the most senior Likud MKs, Tzippy Hotobelli and Ze’ev Elkin, are RZs.

    #1119084
    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    Joseph: you are wrong in the numbers-as the religious zionist slate continues to grow- but look at Avi K’s answer: The Likud, in effect is religious zionist “light”. To the names that Avi K quotes, add maarzel, Gideon Saar- who is shomer shabbat, Edelstein-speaker of the knesset and many other who are very traditional and take their cue from the religious zionist rabbis. You can throw in the present Ambassador to the US who is also religious. The future of Israel is clearly religious zionist. And, by the way, you are also wrong as far as Chabad. Chabad is in every corner of the universe and,on a daily basis, interacts with over a million jews.

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