December 23, 2015 4:47 am at 4:47 am #616882
Redeeming Modern Orthodoxy
By Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer
The patient is hemorrhaging. In fact, the patient does not seem to even know who he is. It sounds pretty dire.
What went wrong?
What can be done?December 23, 2015 6:29 pm at 6:29 pm #1153813
This article really didn’t say anything. Other than offering a historical defense and definition of “Modern Orthodoxy” (one I have said here many times), he’s not providing any sort of solution or idea.December 23, 2015 7:41 pm at 7:41 pm #1153814
Do you have a solution?December 23, 2015 7:50 pm at 7:50 pm #1153815gavra_at_workParticipant
Modern Orthodoxy = ChassidusDecember 23, 2015 7:51 pm at 7:51 pm #1153816
Rav Schwab zt’l offered a solution.December 24, 2015 12:17 am at 12:17 am #1153817theprof1Participant
REITS was the best yeshiva in America in the 1930s and 40s. Somehow YU moved its emphasis of Torah and Madoh, as promulgated by the Rov, to an emphasis on secular education. Along with that went the dream of a “modern” Orthodoxy. The so called modern frum developed a distaste for the ultra orthodox and chasidim, who looked down at them for going so secular. and started going more left. When you teach your kids that mainstream orthodoxy is wrong, they go along with that. Becoming more secular, especially on a college campus, means going off the derech. But still, you cant generalize. The 5 towns, which was the capital of modern orthodoxy, has gone seriously to the right.December 24, 2015 12:19 am at 12:19 am #1153818
“Reading the writings of Rav Soloveitchik”
WADR there isn’t much to read. The Rav published very little during his lifetime.
Insisting that communities should teach gemara to women, preferably in co-ed environments, was revolutionary.December 24, 2015 1:24 am at 1:24 am #1153820
theprof (an ironic name): RIETS/YU does not emphasize secular education over Torah in the slightest.
DY: I don’t see such an issue. Populations always have natural shifts in attitudes and observance. The “Modern Orthodoxy” of the 1960s was different than that of the 1980s and is different than that of today. The “Chareidi” community of the 1960s had different attitudes on things than we see today. There is still a strong population of completely Frum people who value interacting with the outside world. As long as that exists, “Modern Orthodoxy” will have its place.December 24, 2015 4:08 am at 4:08 am #1153821
charliehall: There is literally only one student of the Rav who claimed that co-ed was preferable. Everyone else said that it was only super-Bedieved, where a community could not support separate schools.December 24, 2015 5:25 am at 5:25 am #1153822yehudayonaParticipant
I got as far as the second paragraph, where the author uses the term “Open Orthodox/Neo-Conservative.” Open Orthodox I understand, but isn’t neo-conservative a political term? Has anyone here seen it used to describe the religious beliefs or practices of a group of Jews?December 24, 2015 5:35 am at 5:35 am #1153823
DY: I don’t see such an issue.
There are communities in which more kids go off the derech than stay on. How is that not an issue?December 24, 2015 5:42 am at 5:42 am #1153824☢️ Rand0m3x 🎲Participant
I’ve seen it written that the Open Orthodox are following in the footsteps of the Conservative movement. I assume that’s what was meant.December 24, 2015 6:30 am at 6:30 am #1153825
yehudayona: It’s the author’s personal way of refusing to call the Open Orthodox actually Orthodox.December 24, 2015 6:30 am at 6:30 am #1153826
DY: I really don’t know that it’s true that the “MO” have a higher OTD rate. I know the claims, but I really don’t know how true it is or how meaningful it is if true.December 24, 2015 10:32 am at 10:32 am #1153827BarryLS1Participant
DaasYochid: Where is that? I never heard such a thing. There are plenty of Chassidim and Yeshivish kids going off the derech, for various reasons also. Tragically, no group is immune.
The term “Modern Orthodox” has changed its meaning to include anyone not Chareidi. It’s in the eye of the beholder. The problem is really that there are too many labels and all that does is divide people at a time when we need Achdus the most..December 24, 2015 11:34 am at 11:34 am #1153828
Barry: I heard it about Boston. No group is immune, true, and there are different types of Modern Orthodox, and I’m not painting all with the same brush. I am saying that the most modern, who send to dormitory colleges, are losing a lot more.December 24, 2015 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm #1153829
Modern Orhtodox is much more inclusive than charedism . When you are Satmar for example you are either 100% Satmar or 0% Satmar there really is no in-between. However Modern Orthodox is much more inclusive and includes people from those not much different than Charedi to those sort just hanging on and only marginally religious.
When you have a greater range of religiousity it does mean there will be more drop outs.December 24, 2015 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm #1153830
ZD, firstly, that’s not true about Satmar. More importantly, there is a huge range of people who would fall under the chareidi label. Satmar are not the only chareidim.
Modern Orthodox ranges farther to the left, which is why there are more dropouts.
We’re talking about people who keep Shabbos, and want their kids to, but sadly many don’t. Rabbi Gordimer (and others) are correct to sound the alarm.December 24, 2015 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm #1153831👑RebYidd23Participant
I know people who are 1% Satmar.December 24, 2015 2:31 pm at 2:31 pm #1153832rwndk1Member
Let’s talk straight – MO used to mean being more involved in the outside world, etc. The fact is that Haredim are very involved in the outside world, especially in USA they hold jobs in all sorts of things.
MO today, unfortunately, means justifying not being stringent in halachic observances. While in all groups not everyone is a tzaddik, myself included, the difference is that if I am lax in a certain mitzvah I know that I am wrong.
MO today means you can go to mixed beaches, kiss the mother of the Bar Mitzvah boy even though she is a married woman, Shacharis at 9 AM on Shabbos regardless of zman Krias Shma, etc. Again, there are many Haredim who are guilty of the same infractions and more but they know they should be doing better. Any MOs out there with an internet filter? After all you have to be “normal” and bring pornography into your house at a button’s press. MO justifies this behavior – sad but I don’t think there is anyone out there who can deny it.
I was brought up MO and believed in what they stood for, went to YU, etc. What did I do? Throw in the towel and raise my kids Haredi – there is no choice for one who is serious about his Yiddishkeit and wants to lead a life of kedusha, times have changed and the era of the Rav, etc. are gone.December 24, 2015 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #1153833
I think you missed my point about Satmar. How many people who regulally go to satmar dont dress , speak and act like one. In MO places there is more a gammut of people and some who go really arent religious, but are placed in the MO community. I went to a MO school at least half the kids who went were not relgious at home. At least they tried how many more Charedi places would take someone more on the fringe of religiousity , the upside is many will stay, but the downside is many will leave.December 24, 2015 5:24 pm at 5:24 pm #1153834
DY: That’s true. Many who go to secular college (who don’t live at home) are lost. Which is why so many MO won’t send to secular colleges now. At least, not to live on campus.
rwn: That’s mostly not true. Honestly, from all the research I have done on that it is a label that was forced onto the “MO” by either others or by those who chose to identify as MO when they weren’t fully Orthodox. There are still a lot of people who are completely Halacha-observant while being MO.December 24, 2015 6:26 pm at 6:26 pm #1153835
How many people who regulally go to satmar dont dress , speak and act like one.
You’ve obviously haven’t been in Satmar much.
The answer to your question: Many.December 24, 2015 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm #1153836yehudayonaParticipant
“MO today means … Shacharis at 9 AM on Shabbos regardless of zman Krias Shma, etc.” So Lubovitchers are MO?December 25, 2015 10:15 am at 10:15 am #1153837BarryLS1Participant
DaasYochid: That’s reasonable. Years ago, you never heard of a Frum person living in a college dormitory. They may have lived off campus with other Frum people, but that’s it.
In my day, we went to college, took our classes and left. We never hung around or got involved in anything besides our classes.May 30, 2016 2:12 am at 2:12 am #1153838
Many who go to secular college (who don’t live at home) are lost. Which is why so many MO won’t send to secular colleges now. At least, not to live on campus.
That’s reasonable… In my day, we went to college, took our classes and left. We never hung around or got involved in anything besides our classes.
Whoa, is the MO world beginning to acknowledge the dangers inherent in unfettered exposure to secular culture?May 30, 2016 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm #1153839
Halevay.May 30, 2016 2:01 pm at 2:01 pm #1153840
mw13: Frum MO have always acknowledged dangers. No one wants their kids to live on a college campus (with a few exceptions). Everyone filters what television and movies and books and such that kids can read/watch. It has never been totally Hefker. With a few exceptions, most are realizing that kids living on college campuses is a bad idea.May 30, 2016 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #1153841MameshhTov98Member
Addressing the topic directly, I would go as far as to day that Modern Orthodoxy really does not need to be ‘redeemed’ at all. In fact, I believe that without MO, less Jews would be engaged with Yiddishkeit and Judaism as a collective religion would be less accessible and vibrant to the idle Jew. I view Modern Orthodoxy as the real success story of 21st Century Judaism with active MO communities shining the Jewish light by making otherwise mundane and tamei social media and internet sites glorified, thus making the Jewish nation as a whole stronger and viewed in an increased positive light.
I would say that the only potential flaw with MO is the consequence of a non-cohesive MO community where communal leaders practicing Modern Orthodoxy inconsistently act as a destructive example to community members, as shown by the materialisation of the Partnership Minyan, for example, thereby leading a false Jewish life and in some cases braking Halacha.
However, this can be avoided and it is the responsibility of proud MO Jews to wave the flag properly and live a true life ‘Torah Im Derech Eretz’.May 30, 2016 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #1153842ronald9Participant
I think that the Haredi world should focus on its own problems. Traditional Orthodoxy will be just fine thank you.May 30, 2016 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm #1153843
Ronald, Rabbi Gordimer *is* Modern Orthodox. Traditional Orthodoxy isn’t focusing on MO. MO itself is self-focused on its shortcomings.May 31, 2016 2:21 am at 2:21 am #1153844
” Rabbi Gordimer *is* Modern Orthodox.”
Whether he calls himself modern orthodox or something else, his expressed opposition to all existing formal programs of advanced Torah education for women is not consistent with where essentially all modern orthodox communities fall on the hashkafic spectrum.May 31, 2016 2:38 am at 2:38 am #1153845
Charlie, at what point do you drum someone out of Modern Orthodoxy? When he isn’t as far to the left as you deem acceptable?May 31, 2016 5:55 am at 5:55 am #1153846
Joseph: Charlie’s point is pretty fair here. Most Frum self-identifying “MO”s do agree on certain issues, that’s why they identify as MO and not something else. Rabbi Gordimer has publicly (and strongly) stated that some of those things are completely beyond the pale, such as Yoatzot Halachah. He is certainly right on Chovevei and PORAT and other such things, but it might be untrue and unfair to call him “Modern Orthodox”. He’s somewhere between “MO” and Yeshivish.May 31, 2016 2:02 pm at 2:02 pm #1153847
Frum MO have always acknowledged dangers. No one wants their kids to live on a college campus (with a few exceptions). Everyone filters what television and movies and books and such that kids can read/watch. It has never been totally Hefker. With a few exceptions, most are realizing that kids living on college campuses is a bad idea.
I believe there is a substantiative difference between the two points that you are addressing. Filtering the media that one exposes one’s kids (and just as importantly, one’s self) to is a question of removing content that is objectively Halachicly prohibited. And as you’ve pointed out, the Halachicly-observant MO have always done that.
But the question of whether or not living on a college campus “is a bad idea” is not a question of how to deal with objectively objectionable (couldn’t resist;) content. It is a question of whether immersion in the secular culture that surrounds us is a problem in of itself, even if nothing one is exposed to is Halachicly prohibited.
I’m curious as to what the attitudes in the “frum MO” world are about that question, and whether they are changing at all.
As for how to regard Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, while he is undoubtedly on the right-wing of MO, I think (hope?) that he is closer to the “MO ideal” than all of the pants/miniskirt wearing women who self-identify as MO. If he’s not MO, neither are a whole lot of other people who claim to be.May 31, 2016 2:41 pm at 2:41 pm #1153848
Sam, mw13 makes an excellent point. If you’re going to eject Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer from being MO because you claim he is too much on the right-side of the religious spectrum for the true MO, surely you should banish from rightfully claiming to be MO those who are so much on the left of the spectrum (and I’m not only referring to the Open Orthodox) that they actually (unlike RAM) openly violate halacha b’shitta. Like some of the examples mw13 gave, those MO (who you should categorize are really between MO and Conservative) that wear miniskirts, pants, don’t cover their hair, wear short sleeve shirts, aren’t shomer negiah, eat in non-certified vegetable or dairy restaurants, keep “half Shabbos” r’l, etc.May 31, 2016 5:49 pm at 5:49 pm #1153849MOSHE SMember
I know a MO shul that started a new minyan on Shabbos that the chazzan uses a mike. SADMay 31, 2016 8:56 pm at 8:56 pm #1153850big dealParticipant
I’m trying to figure out the purpose of this thread.
Have we sunken so low that our current form of entertainment is gossiping about various groups/individuals who do not keep Halacha as obligated and how they transgress? You find such people all across the Jewish spectrum unfortunately.
I think it’s wrong. No good can possibly emerge of it.June 1, 2016 2:15 am at 2:15 am #1153852
Joseph: Haven’t I been saying since the day I got here that it’s unfair to call them “MO” and that you slander the Halacha-observant “MO” when you mix them together? I have been arguing that since Day 1. You have been fighting my claim forever. Your last post was a vile bit of sophistry that you should retract.June 1, 2016 1:30 pm at 1:30 pm #1153854
Joseph those people who are abusers , molesters, tax cheats and other sorts criminals but otherwise like the charedi life do you consider them Charedi?June 1, 2016 1:47 pm at 1:47 pm #1153855
ZD: Sam doesn’t consider them chareidi since they don’t keep halacha properly. Same idea of him not considering MO those who don’t keep halacha properly.
Though, a notable difference between the two is that a self-identified chareidi who is a tax cheat when asked why he cheats on his taxes doesn’t answer “because I’m chareidi and chareidim hold its okay to under-report owed taxes”; otoh, a self-identified MO when asked why they wear pants, shirt skirts or aren’t shomer negiah often will answer that it is because they are MO and they hold b’shitta that it is okay to do that.June 1, 2016 1:48 pm at 1:48 pm #1153856
Sam: Do you consider to be MO those who are openly toeiva, go to YU (where Cardoza and Einstein have YU funded and sanctioned toeiva clubs that are listed on the YU website and even REITS held a public toeiva symposium with an overflow attendance that was presided over by R. Blau) and self-identify as MO?June 1, 2016 1:56 pm at 1:56 pm #1153857Elazar ValkParticipant
The answer is simple: Religious Zionism. If you look at the Israeli counterpart of Modern Orthodoxy, not only it is thriving, but is also growing both in numbers and its Torah learning and influence in the broader Israeli society. It turns out the vision of Rav Kook is playing out better than that of Rav Soloveitchik.June 1, 2016 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm #1153858
“the chazzan uses a mike”
If it is a Tzomet microphone — and it probably is — what is the problem?June 1, 2016 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm #1153859Elazar ValkParticipant
Moshe S. The shul that uses a mic is not Modern Orthodox or Orthodox of any colour. Please do not spread hotzaat shem ra on Modern Orthodoxy that has no foundation in reality.June 1, 2016 2:02 pm at 2:02 pm #1153860
YU is legally not MO, they are legally non-sectarian because of some government funding that only places that obey NY state laws about discrimation. Because certain people are considered minorites and illegal to discriamte against, YU had to obey the law or lose this funding which was significant and would have hurt many students as they use government funding to pay for schoolJune 1, 2016 2:06 pm at 2:06 pm #1153861
“The shul that uses a mic is not Modern Orthodox or Orthodox of any colour. “
There *are* orthodox synagogues that use the Tzomet sound system on Shabat.June 1, 2016 2:10 pm at 2:10 pm #1153862
There *are* synagogues that call themselves orthodox that use the Tzomet sound system on Shabat.
ftfyJune 1, 2016 2:31 pm at 2:31 pm #1153863rabbiofberlinParticipant
Elazar Valk and Moshe S : There are certain voice amplifiers -such as megaphones, that are muttar on Shabbos. Check R’Moshe Feinstein on that. So, your assumption is probably wrong, as there are systems that are fully permissible on Shabbos.June 1, 2016 4:06 pm at 4:06 pm #1153864MDGParticipant
“Though, a notable difference between the two is that a self-identified chareidi who is a tax cheat when asked why he cheats on his taxes doesn’t answer “because I’m chareidi and chareidim hold its okay to under-report owed taxes”; otoh, a self-identified MO when asked why they wear pants, shirt skirts or aren’t shomer negiah often will answer that it is because they are MO and they hold b’shitta that it is okay to do that. “
While charaidim won’t justify their improper behavior with the excuse of “I’m charaidi so it’s muttar”, there seems to be some that use charaidism as a justification for their bad behavior. For example, there is a community that took millions from the government to do various public works and pocketed the money. Or the guys in Beit Shemesh that would verbally harass DL girls. All of those charadim (and more) felt that their cause justified their actions.
While I’ve seen more MO people skirt halacha (pun intended) on an individual basis, the few charaidim that act improperly stick out.
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