Respecting Differences

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    I see a lot of bashing in YWN CR of other communities and Jewish institutions without fully understanding the full picture of the demographics within said communities and institutions. What works for Lakewood or Brooklyn isn’t necessarily helpful or realistic for other communities. What are ways we can bridge the gap and have mutual respect as frum Jews?


    We shouldn’t bash the Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist communities?



    Can you please explain in more details examples of “What works for Lakewood or Brooklyn isn’t necessarily helpful or realistic for other communities”?

    In Lakewood/Brooklyn the men put on Tefilin six days a week. I assume that isn’t an example of what you’re referring to. So what is?


    Hi. That is a pretty strong accusation without details to back it up. Care to share examples?

    (like your username btw)

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    1- PLEASE don’t engage. Just wait til someone posts a real response. Not worth it.

    Sam Klein

    Best way for everyone to have mutual respect for each other and all jews is invest in eternal charity mutual funds that last forever and are mutual….


    #1: Are any of the following examples of what works in Lakewood and Brooklyn but isn’t realistic for other communities?

    A. Tznius k’hilchasa
    B. No opposite gender friendship
    C. No television or unfiltered internet
    D. No coed institutions or mixed gender events
    E. Getting married young
    F. Prioritizing Limud Torah over secular studies
    G. Not fraternizing with gentiles or with non-Torah observant
    H. Dressing conspicuously Jewish

    #1, can you also please share and explain with us in full detail the reasons WHY these things (whatever they are) that works in Lakewood and Brooklyn do not work in other communities?

    What is it regarding these other communities’ demographics and institutions account as to why these things don’t work there?

    If you could kindly explain all this it could help alleviate the problem you identified in your OP.

    Yasher Koach

    Sam Klein


    perhaps he feels it doesn’t work on these other out of town communities cause they are more modern Orthodox and not totah focused communities and don’t live on such a frum high standard of Judaism frumkeit although these out of town communities are still frum orthodox Yidden who keep the Torah JUST NOT ON SUCH A HIGH LEVEL like keeping Shabbos until 72 or 90 minutes after sunset but they still keep Shabbos until 60 or at least 45 minutes after sunset and many other examples


    I repsect all, minus the trolls

    Reb Eliezer

    When it comes to motzei shabbos, Chabad is interesting. In the SA Harav the Baal Hatanyeh paskens like the Rabbenu Tam, 4 mil from shkia, 72 minutes but in the siddur he paskens like the geonim, 3/4 of a mil after shkia, according to the location. They say that the Baal Hatanyeh changed his view in the siddur which was written later.


    Sam, you haven’t answered a single one of ujm’s taanos which the Torah world has on modern orthodoxy/some OOT. Instead, you reductively state that the only difference is whether or not you hold of rabbeinu tam for ending shabbos; I’m guessing you believe the difference also to be whether or not one eats gebrokts, since there are differing customs in that regard as well.

    Modern orrhodoxy doesn’t merely adhere to one authority or minhag which is more meikil. German Jews are “meikil” in halacha more than others, but are very medakdek in halacha just as any other Torah community. Chasidim are known to be even more lenient in halacha, yet have high standards in mussar and hashkofa.

    “Not being Torah focused” is a huge deal, and it’s a lot more than if you end shabbos according to the Gra or Rabeinu Tam.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    The only way to have an actual *conversation* about this where people give over information
    and express themselves in a way that may actually be conducive to educating people who really want to know, and who may grow from it, would be to ban Joseph and avirah from this thread. Otherwise close it up, it’s just another conglomeration of people yelling while wearing earplugs.
    Mods? Please?


    Literally none of the prewar Jewish communities of Europe would have been “good enough” for UJM.


    ymr – some were, and those that were were far better than any jews today, but most were off the derech or headed that way when WW2 started. Severely off. The gedolim had warned that the mad dash towards secularism and haskalah was going to end in tragedy, and they, as now, scoffed and called them fanatics.

    reb e – chabad nowadays keeps 72 as far as I’ve heard, but they do keep the baal hatanya’s zman for krias shema, which is the same as the gra.

    syag – i do agree that there are some things that work in yeshiva communities that are too intense for places that are predominantly baalei batim, or people with limited backgrounds, but condoning mass transgression of halacha is not acceptable, no matter what.

    A lot of examples come to mind; cholov yisroel, yoshon, separate seating by wedding meals(not dancing), tucking tzitzis in when among goyim, relying on rav moshe’s opinion about tznius issues and shul mechitzos…none of which constitute violation of halacha, though they are objectively lower standards.


    ymribriat: I can assure you that most prewar shtetlech were very strict about adhering to tznius, not having girl friends, not having mixed gender schools, secular studies were an afterthought – if they even had any, they certainly did not fraternize with the Goyim or the Reform, they dressed very conspicuously Jewish that you could differentiate a Jew from a gentile a mile away and, yes, they got married young and had many children.

    It’s true some things weakened after World War I, but certainly prior to that it was very strong and even after WWI it was much better than we see in OOT America.



    In the prewar Europe of Joseph’s imagination, everyone was extremely frum. All women dressed tzniusdik k’hilchisa from infancy and wore sheitels after getting married at age twelve. All men had full beards, peyos, dressed chasiddish, learned in yeshiva until they were eighteen, then married and spent the rest of their lives learning in kollel.

    No Jew had any secular education whatsoever, none had any contact with non-Jews and were certainly not Bundists, Socialists, Communists or heretics.

    Joseph should know, he still resides there.

    Reb Eliezer

    Chabad shows currently for the last shabbos 40 minutes from shkia as the ending of shabbat in NYC.


    ujm There are pictures and video from prewar Europe. You are simply making things up out of while cloth. Jews, including women, dressed appropriately according to the fashions of the time.
    Furthermore, before the Beis Yaakov “movement”, the only education girls received were at local gymnasiums with non Jews and mixed classes.
    The only times when Jews did not fraternize was when they were legally segregated into ghettos or pales of settlement.
    The kind of historical revisionism you are pedaling is, not coincidentally, tied to the argument the the Holocaust was the ‘fault” of the non religious, and the antisemitism is “good” because it keeps the bloodlines pure.
    When you see where the road leads, you can appreciate how disgusting the argument that gets you there.


    > Literally none of the prewar Jewish communities of Europe would have been “good enough” for UJM.
    ujm> most prewar shtetlech were very strict

    As UJM demonstrates, our idea of pre-war Yidden is often limited to Fiffler on the Roof and Artsrcoll… Things were not that simple especially in the last 150 years. A couple of totally random examples, not extreme ones, about middos and education:

    – Chofetz Chaim’s daughter asked her father for a brocha to have children tzadikim. Her father complied and gave her a brocha to have many children. She had to correct her Tati and asked for children tzadikim. He replied that in that generation he can’t, he can only give a brocha for having more children and hopefully some of them will be alright… There was no date on this story, but given he was born in 1830s, this discussion would be not later than 1870s. And he says this about his own grandchildren.
    – Telshe yeshiva at some point lost all students to revolutionary activities and new students were sent from Slobodka. This is Lita that was more traditional than some other places.
    – R Salanter’s son was an engineer, maybe in Germany. He visited his father and showed him a drawing of a naval engine that he was able to improve. R Salanter asked him not to tell him, studied the drawing, and pointed out to the improvement. He would later proudly tell (or show?) this to others. Here is a Rosh Yeshiva’s son an engineer and his father proud of second-guessing him.

    Not saying that there were not upright and (separately) insular communities, it is just the variety of Jewish life was more than some imagine.


    1> What are ways we can bridge the gap and have mutual respect as frum Jews?

    A good question. On one hand, this is a good place where we can discuss these things that many don’t get an opportunity to do in their own places. On the other hand, online discussions are prone to flaming and using stereotypes. Rarely thanked mods reduce the second part, of course. Maybe we should be less argumentive and more descriptive when we describe what is happening in different communities, so that others do not respond with immediate condemnation.

    More generally, as we know, only discussions “le shem shamaim” work. So, if you are discussing in order to hear and respoect other opinions, this might work out.


    One example where I’m from School A (mixed seating at functions, Zoom during Covid, some kids have TVs, etc.) School B (separate seating, phone not zoom during Covid, no TVs, many no internet, etc)
    They both engage in projects and the kids from School A go to School B to compete & the next time B goes to A. They play in the same sports leagues & do joint Chesed projects.
    You can have a different Hashkafa but still respect & get along with those different than you.


    I believe the OP was simply acknowledging that the CR has many attributes of an echo chamber in the context of a few posters having deputized themselves as the official bashers of several million unaffiliated, reform, conservative and even MO yidden around the world.


    Kuvult, it is often hard to do this for kids. Many parents or schools “protect” the children by explaining that their way is the only correct one. I think we here, as (mostly) adults, have a higher chance of communicating with each other than kids. I think when discussion goes down to halachik arguments and facts, many people try to stick to the item of the discussion.


    @ Gadol And my point would be that history shows an incredible diversity that makes today’s intolerance suspect.
    You can’t argue on the one hand that “we stand in the shoulders” of previous generations, and then dismiss everyone except a specific חסידות or ראש הישיבה as “exceptions”.
    The opposite is true. There were specific personalities, Mendelssohn or Heine, who were כופרים. And there were many people who through a combination of crushing poverty, virulent antisemitism, and lack of moral character, completely left their Judaism behind. And there were גדולים, ,like the חפץ חיים.
    Most people fell somewhere in between.
    More to the point, only a fraction of the tens of thousands of people learning Lakewood can accurately claim that they come from an unbroken chain of the typr of orthodoxy UJM seems to cherish.
    If R’ Aron had agreed.eith UJM and rejected or excluded anyone holding”Modern Orthodox” views, be wouldn’t have had a yeshiva.
    And if Sarah Schenirer hadn’t completely revolutionized Jewish education, it’s very possible that there wouldn’t be a Jewish people.
    So rather than getting on a high horse and making lists of what is wrong with other Jews the week of יוה”כ, keep in mind that differences in character and temperament are opportunities for growth.


    Worse than insulting ignorami and sinners is the sin of ziyuf hatorah, for which the yam shel shlomo says is yehereg velo yaavor.

    It is ziyuf hatorah to say that the Holocaust was due to the spectre of racism, and wasn’t from Hashem. How can it not be the result of the wicked and our sins? it’s in basic chumash.. We just read ki savo – do you believe in the tochacha? Do you believe in only some parts of the Torah? .if you don’t keep the torah, horrible unspeakable things will happen. The false neviim said not to worry about the warnings…do as you please, and shalom yeheyeh li, ki beshrirus libi eilech… Would you believe in a god who isn’t just and fair? Our ancestors did horrible, horrible sins. Haskalah was rampant, chilul shabbos was everywhere, women were not tznius, as you mentioned… have you ever heard of tzvi migdal? Almost no one talks about it. It’s a shame that they don’t, people need to know the truth of how evil and worse than goyim secular jews can be. They destroyed in body and soul, tens and thousands of polish, chasidishe girls.

    Antisemitism being good is mentioned in tons of seforim, because it keeps us separate, not because it keeps the bloodline pure – no one says that. You made that up in order to disparage those, such as the beis halevi, who say that it’s for our best. “If a Jew doesn’t make kiddush, the goyim make havdala”

    In places where jews mingled, you only had pogroms, inquisitions, expulsions, massacres, and Holocausts…. How many times does is have to happen, how many messages does Hashem have to send before people listen and separate! Ve”avdil eschem min haamim. I have separated you from the nations. Vayisarvu bagoyim… They mixed with the nations and learned from their actions .. It’s everywhere; wake up!!!


    > Mendelssohn or Heine,

    even in these two examples – I don’t think either was a kofer. M. was a personally observant Yid who was looking for an honest response to modernity, having disadvantage being one of the first to be confronted with it. His efforts were mostly a failure, so what. R Yochanan till the end of his life was not sure whether his conversation w/ Vespasian was or was not a failure. Many learned people failed in their anticipation and response to Russian revolution and Nazi occupations, it does not diminish their achievements. We are not Neviim.

    Heine converted out of social considerations after being raised in non-religious environment, not any religious feelings. He is clear about that. He was coming back to his Jewishness later on. See his poem about Ibn Gabirol and his later diaries.


    Avira> In places where jews mingled, you only had pogroms, inquisitions, expulsions, massacres, and Holocausts

    So, you are turning to a totally opposite position than UJM who sees a perfect view of earlier European Jewry (as those were the places of pogroms and Holocausts), with both of you claiming a undisputable power to peach to everyone else. Maybe you can figure out between each other, whose tradition is correct.

    Also, lately, bli ayn hara, the places without pogroms include US with the tremendous assimilation happening in last 100 years and Medinat Israel, protected by Tzahal. We, of course, may notice that both places have great and growing Torah communities, but you can’t deny “mingling” also.


    @ Always Ask. I had a similar debate with my son over Marcus Jastrow. Reportedly שומר שבת and one of the 2 Rabbis who walked out from the “trief banquet” of 1883, he eventually lost his congregation in Philadelphia because he resisted more radical “Reforms” and was the first professor of Talmud @ the Jewish Seminary of America, which was originally an Orthodox school.
    In his time, Jastrow was affiliated with the Reform movement, but today would probably fall somewhere on the traditional side of the Modern Orthodox camp. That is more a commentary on early reform than modern orthodoxy. As many have observed about recent politics, the left tends to run further to the left, while the right tends to hold its ground, and a liberal from the 80s may easily find himself voting Republican today.
    You need more aggressive historical contexualization to argue that either Mendlson or Heinz fall within the Jewish traditional. Indeed the most charitable interpretation of Mendleson’s ideas is that he was merely of philosopher whose notoriety and fame were used by others for their own interests. Heintz on the other hand transgressed on a basic principle that even the most estranged Jew would have despised. Claiming that he did it for personal advancement even in context does not excuse him.


    It’s good to know that Brooklyn was once a diverse neighborhood of different types. Both yeshivish shuls and young israels were fully occupied on Shabbos. School choices were enough to accommodate different types of people. What’s happened as a result of a more right shift taking over the communal establishments and as a result anyone who isn’t yeshivish moves out of Brooklyn once they get married and one who is seriously yeshivish moves to Lakewood. The main reason many of the Jewish shops are open is because the Syrian community keeps them open. They care about each other even if some become more frum(Ateret types) or less(Magen David). There’s a mutual respect between each other and their community is strong because of it.


    To the OP, and everyone else, I’m just reiterating Syag’s point: Please ignore ujm and Avira if you want to have a genuine, productive conversation about how to respect people’s differences.

    Here’s one example off the top of my head: I don’t personally support the idea of pushing the majority of our young men into learning in kollel full time. I think it’s not how the frum world is supposed to exist. Yet, I can respect those who are pursuing this path sincerely. How? By being mature enough to understand that there isn’t only one way to accomplish the ratzon Hashem.

    Another example: I don’t have the patience to sit through davening in shul when there’s tons of singing. It’s not my way of connecting with Hashem. But I can understand that other people do feel inspired by it, and so I can respect it for what it accomplishes.

    Amil Zola

    YMBR many years ago someone here mentioned, There Once Was a World by Yaffa Eliach’s chronicle of her shtetl of Eishyshok. I immediately found it online and got it at a bargain price. I’ve read it 3 times. It is rife with photos that example the diversity of Eishyshok. Today I just discovered a PBS program on YouTube that is called There Once Was a Town. In the film Eliach tours her old shtetl. Like her book, this film shows photos of the diverse Jewish population of her shtetl prior to the extermination of it’s Jewish population.As you probably know already Yaff Eliach compiled the photos for the three story display in the Holocaust Museum in DC known as The Tower of Faces. It would be refreshing if other posters here availed themselves of these resources which document how different that frum world and its people were from todays. Consider this post a mere footnote to your earlier posts. Clearly in that old world, the frumma lived and associated quite differently than todays shtetls here in the US.


    When I sometimes feel all is lost I take comfort watching videos of the large school I went to. The Bar Mitzvah video shows Davening. There’s a healthy mix of boys that have no hat or jacket, some jacket no hat & some hat & jacket. Boys with knit yarmulkes, leather yarmulkes (with sports logos) & black hats are dancing together. Boys have Peyos that are barely Kosher & boys have long Chasidish Peyos. Some will probably end up in Lakewood & some in YU. The parents could split up into little slices that exactly serve who they are but they recognize diversity (within reason) & exposure to other types of Jews when their young is a positive not a negative. This is how all Jews should be like.


    Clearly in that old world, the frumma lived and associated quite differently than todays shtetls here in the US”

    Want to learn how to be Jewish by copying the way jews lived before the churban beis hamikdash too?


    # Avira Isn’t that why we learn Torah? To emulate the way Jews lived?


    > Mendlson or Heinz

    I thought you are talking about a poet, but you seem to move to ketchup. Mixing up our kofrim varieties.


    ymrb > left tends to run further to the left, while the right tends to hold its ground,

    this seems so on the surface, often to me too. I am not sure there is such an easy dichotomy of “two feet bad, four feet good”. By R Salanter, if someone is not learning well in the litvish yeshiva, a Paris professor moves towards kefira… Say, we blame “reform” – but how did they become “reform” after being members of “frum” communities. Chofetz Chaim reportedly would not great the Rav who did not admit young Trotsky. Was that Rav reform or modern? Probably, not. Who was his teacher? who hired him? If Chofetz Chaim disapproved of him publicly, then who disagreed and presumably kept him employed?

    Another question – yes, we can easily see mistakes of those who accepted new directions too fast. It is harder to see mistakes of those who moved too slow. If we don’t blame those who was telling people to stay in Eastern Europe before WW2, then we should not blame those who thought they can translate Chumash into high German. The conservative slow approach is healthy and kept us going, but at some point it becomes a “safe” way to operate, like often happens, l’havdil, in government and medicine: if you follow instructions, things can turn out badly, but you will not be blamed. If you propose a new derech, then you will be blamed, even if you a Rambam.


    Not when they were wrong; Jews in the times of churban were influenced by goyim and sinned. Jews before the Holocaust were more influenced and far more sinful, and suffered a far worse punishment. It’s all basic judaism, and even a Karaite would agree with it, because it’s all over chumash. The Torah is called adus, testimony, because it speaks to what will happen in this world, leaving olam haba for torah she baal peh to explain. What it says in chumash, that if you copy the goyim and sin, you will be destroyed, happened in all of its horror…and people are so weak-minded and afraid to say it.

    anonymous Jew

    Avira, your world is so black and white, no shades of gray. The 2 milion+ Eastern European Jews who ignored Daas Torah and emigrated before the 1920’s restrictions survived the Holocaust. Hundreds of thousands more frum Jews who followed Daas Torah in the new Soviet Union were lost as yeshivas and shuls were closec and rabbis,mohelim, community leaders and teachers were murdered. In the Holocaust itself, countless frum Jews were murdered, including Gedolim.
    How does this fit into your narrative?

    P.S. the Jews of the early middle ages didn’t intermingle but that didnt prevent the Crusader massacres , blood libels and frequent expulsions



    The idea that Jews were punished because they copied the goyim is a theory that cherry picks the data to confirm with it. Please tell us, how the numerous Jews slaughtered during the Crusades or in Tach vTat were following the goyim? Or the other pogroms throughout the Middle Ages?


    I suppose the beis halevi just didn’t know about the crusades or tach vetat – oh well. Such chutzpah is exactly what’s under discussion here.

    And to conclude from the Holocaust that people were spared because they didn’t follow the gedolim? The chazon ish said that such people are apikorsim (maaseh ish)

    The facts are like this: the Nazis came within a few days of reaching eretz yisroel. Several miracles happened which impeded their army – do you think the anti Torah settlers deserved that? No. The reason why there was no Holocaust in eretz yisroel was, said the chazon ish, because the frum responded to it properly… They davened, and recognized the gezeros as being from Hashem, and didn’t rely on shtadlonus like their european brethren

    As for American jewry, gedolim have said different ideas… Some say that the zchus of all the tzedaka they give protected them, others say that they hadn’t gone off… They simply were never on to begin with.

    As for tzadikim suffering … Chazal address that by the churban, where many good jews were killed. Chazal say that poranius, punishment, begins with the tzadikim! You should learn how chazal understand antisemitism; the beis halevi is really just a gemara which rashi quotes on “veavdil eschem….lehios li”, that if you’re separate, you’re mine, and if not, you belong to Nebuchadnezzar.

    I’m shocked at the amount of ignorance here. I’m not saying any chiddushim.

    Re tach vetat and the crusades; gedolim discussed those issues. Assimilation usually leads to punishments, but it’s not the only sin possible. If jews are separate but talk in shul, they are also liable for punishment, as the tosfos yon tov was told min hashomayim during tach vetat itself

    Want to know what the seforim say about suffering? Go learn them! They all attribute it to our sins. It’s basic judaism.

    Reb Eliezer

    The Kli Yakar explains that when we live in fancy houses in galus, Eisav becomes jealous of us as it happened in Mitzraim.

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