What is MO?

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  • #598319

    gefen
    Participant

    I know it means Modern Orthodox, but what exactly does that mean? There are groups called “conservative” “reform” “traditional” etc. They have their specific “set of rules” they go by.

    But is there a GROUP called “modern orthodox” or is it just a term we are using to describe those who hold by orthodox yet are a bit more modern? I would just like to know more about it. Ex: do the women cover their hair?, what kind of shuls do they go to? kosher mechitza etc.?,

    #792426

    MO….. They go to orthodox shuls with a totally kosher mechitza. Some of the women I know that are MO, do not cover their hair, while others, cover their hair with baseball hats and other hats that tend to show some hair. They are not mechalel shabbos and they keep kosher. They drink chalav stam and don’t pay attention to pas yisroel. They only eat Glatt meat. They have TVs, computers, Facebook… and they send their kids to Day Schools. Sometimes those day schools are co-ed. Sometimes not. I see some MO women where I live that wear pants. They teach their children good middos. And are often treated as goyim by some yeshivish or chasidish people.

    #792427

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Modern Orthodox is generally the Young Israel ,Orthodox Union (o-u) and Yeshiva University

    The Shuls have seperate seating with Mechitza only MEN count for aliyot and davening.

    They have more secular study education so many have regular jobs.

    They look and dress like more like your average american except they wear kippot (No Peyot and usually not beards)

    The women are SUPPOSED to cover their hair, but some do not as many who go to Modern Orthodox shuls are not as religious (You will not regually see a non-chassic person for example go to a Chassic Shtebul except for Chabad)

    Because the modern orthodox shuls are more open to people than chassidic and Yeshivish shtebul and occur in not as reliogious communities many people who attend their shuls their religious observance can vary however the RABBIS are frum.

    #792428

    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    First of all, “traditional” does not have a set of rules. To be traditional basically means “the shul I don’t go to is Orthodox.” IOW, Orthodox hashkafically but don’t keep halacha 100%. Modern Orthodox is something else, or to be precise two somethings else.(Yes, haifagirl, that is 100% grammatically correct.) There is a Modern Orthodox hashkafa that emphasizes the value of certain parts of the secular world as useful for avodas Hashem. Most of the Rabbi-Drs. with phd’s adhere to this hashkafa regardless of their dress code.

    Most hashkafically Modern Orthodox Jews also never accepted the current interpretation of the phrase “daas Torah.” They still consider rabbanim to be scholars of halacha who may have special siyata dishmaya in psak beb’chinas dayan hadan emes l’amito but not necessarily have ruach hakodesh in other matters. When Rav Lichtenstein, for example, says “I’m not a navi” they believe him. As far as I can tell, that is the main sticking point in hashkafa between Modern Orthodox and charedim. The charedim see the MO as not giving proper kavod to talmidei chachamim and the Modern see the charedim as ascribing too much power to human beings. I hope I represented each hashkafa accurately without saying anything objectionable about either one.

    There are also people who, regardless of hashkafa are modern in practice. They may follow either charedi or MO hashkafos philosophically but are more modern in their choices of dress and entertainment.

    #792429

    Sender Av
    Member

    Smiley, the whole chalov yisreol thing. I know Yeshivish people who hold by R’ Feinstein’s heter to eat Chalav Stam here in the U.S. I am sure you do to. I dont see that as a major difference between Yeshivish and MO.

    #792430

    It is not a major difference, you are right, Sender. It is just something that came to my mind.

    #792431

    Feif Un
    Participant

    One of the major differences is how to handle the modern world. Both MO and chareidi Jews agree that the world is filled with things that are dangerous to a frum Jew. Let’s take the internet as an example.

    MO says, “Yes, the internet is dangerous, but we recognize that we can’t block it out. Therefore, let’s educate ourselves and our children about it, and show them how beautiful the proper path is. Therefore, when the temptation arises (as we know it will), we will be better equipped to withstand it.”

    Chareidi Judaism says, “The internet is dangerous. Therefore, let’s assur it. If our children can’t access it, they won’t have to face the temptation.”

    #792432

    I’d also like to add that the majority of MO people and their shuls are very pro Israel…emphasis on both a Torah and secular education..

    #792433

    gefen
    Participant

    Thanks everyone for your answers. I think I sort of had the right idea about it but wasn’t so sure.

    #792434

    kylbdnr
    Member

    mikehall, what you’re saying is true.

    A lot of them go to Israeli Day Parade…I always meet them there – it’s very cute to see 🙂

    #792435

    The Frumguy
    Participant

    It seems that the Modern Orthodox will attempt to use all Kulos when dealing with Halacha. They hold the minimum z’man for Motzoei Shabbos, the smallest size kippah, kulos regarding food as was mentioned above (chalav stam, pas palter, etc.) and women with heterim in dress that sometimes don’t really exist. In short, they take the “easy way out.”

    #792436

    twisted
    Participant

    M.O.= Modus Operandi

    #792437

    oomis
    Participant

    As soon as you put labels on people, you are pre-judging them. There are Orthodox Jews, some who are more chareidi in their OBSERVANCE, and some who have more secular aspects integrated within that halachic observance. Both are frum. We are ALL modern Jews, because we live in modern times. “Modern Orthodox” is often used almost as a pejorative expression by some people. There really is only a more observant or less observant Jew.

    #792438

    Itche srulik: Litvishe Chareidim historically have never believed their rabbanim had special powers [even if they did believe that some leaders had ruach hakodesh, it was never an obligation or considered a central part to their Judiasm]. Only Chasidim hold that belief in the spiritual powers of their rebbe is a crucial part to their Judaism.

    Feif un: I don’t think the internet can be used as a definition of Modern vs Chareidi Judaism since the split between Charedim and Modern Orthodox occured way before the internet was invented. Additionally, many Chareidim also hold that the internet should be taught to be used when filtered and for productive purposes.

    #792439

    oomis
    Participant

    It seems that the Modern Orthodox will attempt to use all Kulos when dealing with Halacha. They hold the minimum z’man for Motzoei Shabbos, the smallest size kippah, kulos regarding food as was mentioned above (chalav stam, pas palter, etc.) and women with heterim in dress that sometimes don’t really exist. In short, they take the “easy way out.”

    FrumGuy, what YOU are forgetting is that these so-called “kulos” are HALACHA. They are within the framework of acceptable halachic standards, otherwise, they would be called AVEIROS.

    The minimum z’man for Shabbos IS what Hashem commanded. The fact that I choose to hold a later time, is my business. If a woman is wearing something that is too short, it is not a heter. She’s doing something that is not proper. But there still is a minimum standard that IS halachically acceptable, so if her skirt covers her knees, even when she is sitting down or getting in and out of a car, it is her business and she is a frum woman. If you want your female family members to wear it even longer, kol hakavod.

    If the issur on milk derives from drinking milk from an unkosher animal, but the country in which you reside ONLY sells kosher animal’s milk as i.e.,USDA certified AND rabbonim who paskened for us here said it is permissible for that reason, then there is nothing for you to say to the FRUM YID who drinks it. Don’t drink cholov stam yourself, but it is wrong to think that people who do not hold by that are doing the wrong thing. And it is even worse to call those things that they do, “looking for the easy way out.” Who says being a frum Yid has to be “the hard way in?” Hashem gave us great halachos to follow. If we are following them, then we are doing His Will.

    #792440

    Feif Un
    Participant

    The Frumguy: No, MO don’t look for kulos. We just don’t accept unnecessary chumros as halachah. We don’t all hold the minimum zman for motzei Shabbos – the shul I daven in definitely doesn’t daven at the earliest zman. Chalav Stam is an issue I don’t want to get into again – but it’s not a kulah, being makpid on C”Y is the chumrah. As for pas Yisrael, as in the chareidi world, it is gaining popularity. Many chareidim still aren’t makpid on it. It’s not only Modern Orthodox. As for the tznius issues, the chareidi world invented many chumros, yet still can’t seem to get their act straight. Every week I hear about the tznius crisis in Lakewood, how women are dressed to kill, etc. ut just because Modern Orthodox women might keep the basic halachah, without the additional chumros, they’re labeled as not being tznius? Why is that?

    Modern orthodox don’t take the “easy way out”. Chareidim choose the hard road.

    #792441

    kylbdnr
    Member

    Not only chasidim believe in spiritual powers of their rebbe. Sephardim (at least the ones I know) believe in kabbala and in kabbalistic rabbis.

    I agree that internet should be taught to be used when filtered and for productive purposes. I feel that if people just have a filter and aren’t taught the reasons for having it and don’t know the real dangers of the internet, the filter has no purpose.

    When I was studying for a CLEP, I was using a non jewish forum where users were able to send messages to each other. It happened coincidentally that there was a chassidish guy using the same forum and sent me a message. I answered him back. After that he kept sending me messages and told me where he’s from. He told me he’s married and has 3 kids but he kept talking to me inappropriately until I ignored him. I don’t know how but he figured out my cell number and kept calling. He told me he doesn’t have internet at home. This guy lived a few blocks down from me and it really scared me. I didn’t wanna tell his wife cuz I wasn’t sure if I’m allowed to… anyways the point of me telling the story is to show that we shouldn’t categorize like saying “all MO take the easy way out and all chareidim are all good”

    There are modern Jews who wouldn’t do wrong things on the internet and there are chassidish people who will…

    #792442

    Frumguy…. Thanks for that sweeping generalization… You gave no clue

    #792443

    Feif Un, Mikehall: i agree with you that Chareidim seem to be obsessed with looking for the hard way, which is not a good thing. However, Modern orthodox do tend to look for the minimum requirement when it comes to mitzvos bain adam l’makom. It seems that Modern Orthodox lack somewhat in their motivation with mitzvos bain adam l’makom, whilst Chareidim seem to be over obsessed with chumros on bain adam l’makom mitzvos to compensate for their lack of focus on bain adam l’chaveiro mitzvos.

    #792444

    I think what it boils down to is Zionism and valuing a secular education…watering down of

    Mitzvos is not MO…it may be “traditional” but not MO…also it is very common for “traditional” Jews to be active members of an Orthodox Shul…thus outsiders may be confused and think that everyone who goes to a young israel is MO, which they are not.

    Unfortunately many with no knowledge of MO, make sweeping false generalizations. To group “reform” “conservative” with MO, is like comparing a circle with a square. They are both shapes, other than that they have 0 in common…

    Wikipedia has some good info as well as Yeshiva University website

    #792445

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    And it is even worse to call those things that they do, “looking for the easy way out.” Who says being a frum Yid has to be “the hard way in?” Hashem gave us great halachos to follow. If we are following them, then we are doing His Will.

    But why do certain people consistently follow the lenient approach, if not because it’s easier? Is the more stringent opinion in halachic matters not also “His will”?

    #792447

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Modern Orthodoxy is a description used for modern movements in Orthodoxy, such as chassidus and the mussar movement.

    #792448

    DovidM
    Member

    I have visited several MO shuls, and found that they didn’t have a valid mechitzah. I am referring here to mechitzahs that are four feet high and mechitzahs that are nothing but a lattice work with five inch gaps in the lattice. I only daven there if it is Shacharit and there are no women present. The MO also sometimes have mixed seating at weddings.

    #792449

    Feif Un
    Participant

    DovidM, have you ever read R’ Moshe Feinstein’s teshuvah on mechitzos? R’ Soloveitchik’s? The main point of the teshuvos is that the point of a mechitzah is to show a separation between men and women, not to hide the women.

    As for the seating, having separate seating is a recent thing. When R’ Moshe Feinstein married off his children, there was mixed seating. When R’ Aharon Kotler married off his kids, there was mixed seating. Separate seating was just an additional chumrah that was adopted recently by chareidim, most likely taken from chassidim, who have been doing it for longer.

    #792451

    shlishi
    Member

    The main point of the teshuvos is that the point of a mechitzah is to show a separation between men and women, not to hide the women.

    Wrong. It must be at least 66 inches according to Rav Moshe. The women must in fact NOT be visible to the men. If it isn’t high enough, the shul is treif.

    I once asked a Charedi rav about a mechitza and he said the minimum is 36 inches, so 4 feet is OK.

    No Orthodox Rov, let alone a Chareidi one, ever said that.

    #792452

    Some people have forgotten the difference between Halacha and chumrahs…confusing one with the other…

    #792453

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Wrong. It must be at least 66 inches according to Rav Moshe. The women must in fact NOT be visible to the men.

    I’m about 99% sure you made that up. Why don’t you give us a citation before I find a contrary one?

    #792454

    shlishi
    Member

    Igros Moshe 1:40, 1:42, O.C. 4:31

    #792455

    Feif Un
    Participant

    R’ Moshe said that a mechitzah should be the height of a woman’s shoulders. He said in modern times, 5 feet is enough. R’ Soloveitchik held that 3 feet is enough.

    R’ Moshe also held that a mechitzah made of glass is fine, as the issue is to prevent mixing, not seeing.

    #792456

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Yes. In fact I looked up Igros Moshe 1:39. He specifically says that the purpose is not that the men not see the women. Rather, the purpose is to separate them. Therefore, he says it needs to be shoulder height, which he says is 18 tefachim.

    So you made it up. The women may in fact be visible to the men.

    #792457

    shlishi
    Member

    Rav Moshe said 17-18 tefachim (66 inches).

    #792458

    Shlishi….why do you make stuff up? You seem to have a wild imagination…

    #792459

    Feif Un
    Participant

    shlishi, nobody argued on that point here. R’ Moshe held hat height. R’ Soloveitchik held 3 feet was enough – and R’ Soloveitchik was a big enough gadol to rely on.

    The point of this thread was to define Modern Orthodoxy. Let’s get back on track.

    #792460

    shlishi
    Member

    Rav Soloveitchik never held 3 feet is enough. Please cite a source, as I have for 66 inches, and you will find none.

    #792461

    woww.

    i love how on rosh chodesh av theres bash the mo.

    real good.

    #792462

    mw13
    Participant

    As others have pointed out, there are two different types of MO: the Ideologically Modern and the Behaviorally Modern.

    The Ideologically MO have several main hashkafic differences with the Charaedim:

    1) The MO believe in trying to fit the Torah together with the modern world and its culture, while the Chareadim believe in keeping away from any foreign culture as much as possible. This debate is the root cause of differences in how secular education, movies and TV, etc. are looked upon in the Modern and Chareadi worlds.

    2) The MO usually hold a positive view of Zionism, while the Chareadim look at it as foreign and dangerous.

    3) The MO have a much narrower view of the Mesorah than the Chareadim do. This gives the MO much more flexibility in deciding how to approach any situation. Also, this can arguably be called the root cause of all the other hashkafic differences that exist between the Chareadim and the MO.

    4) The MO advocate giving women a larger and more public role in Judaism, while the Chareadim advocate a more traditional role for women.

    5) The Chareidim often try to make sure that they follow every possible halachic opinion (chumros), which is not as common in the MO world.

    The Behaviorally MO do not necessarily share any of these hashkafos. They are simply “modern” because they are not as traditional as the Chareidim. The Behaviorally MO are often far more lax with the Halacha than either the Chareidim or the Ideologically MO. They will often rely on the most lenient halachic opinion, and sometimes even (CH”V) ignore the Halacha altogether.

    #792463

    truthsharer
    Member

    BTW, 17-18 tefachim is not 66 inches either.

    Also, the R’ Soleveitchik who held 33 inches or so, was R’ Aharon (at least that is what the Charedi rav told me). I am not stating what his brother held.

    #792464

    shlishi
    Member

    1 Tefach is just under 4 inches. 18 Tefachim = 66 inches.

    Please cite any source to the allegation that either Rav Soloveitchik held 3 feet or 33 inches (as two conflicting claims above make) and which Rav Soloveitchik (another conflicting claim above between Feif and tsharer), as I believe no source for any such claim will be found.

    #792465

    truthsharer
    Member

    How about you quote R’ Soleveitchik and tell us where he wrote how big a mechitzah you need.

    #792466

    shlishi
    Member

    He didn’t write anything on size altogether I believe. If you dispute that, cite your source as I have mine above for 66 inches.

    #792467

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    If you dont hold by the mechitza of the MO, dont eat O-U products either, make sure you only eat Badatz

    Especially dont drink COKE, since its under the O-U.

    #792468

    mommamia22
    Participant

    MO believe that the establishment of the state of Israel is d’hatchalta d’geula. That’s why they are zionistic, support serving in the Israeli army, send their kids to frum tzioni schools.

    #792469

    mommamia22
    Participant

    MO believe inhesder yeshivot: combining periods of full time learning, alternating with serving in frum units in the army.

    #792470

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Most hashkafically Modern Orthodox Jews also never accepted the current interpretation of the phrase “daas Torah.” They still consider rabbanim to be scholars of halacha who may have special siyata dishmaya in psak beb’chinas dayan hadan emes l’amito but not necessarily have ruach hakodesh in other matters. When Rav Lichtenstein, for example, says “I’m not a navi” they believe him. As far as I can tell, that is the main sticking point in hashkafa between Modern Orthodox and charedim. The charedim see the MO as not giving proper kavod to talmidei chachamim and the Modern see the charedim as ascribing too much power to human beings. I hope I represented each hashkafa accurately without saying anything objectionable about either one.

    This is correct and IMHO the main difference. I know Yeshivish people who look for Kulas, and “MO” who look to be machmir, so that can’t be it. There are yeshivish people who hold of Rav Yoshe Ber, and MO that don’t.

    From what I can tell, Yeshivish borrowed the “Rebbe” idea from the Chassidim, and applied it to Gedolim.

    (I know that probably makes me MO, but since Rav Reuven is also MO, I’m in good company).

    Charaidi is a whole different ballgame.

    #792471

    Jersey Jew
    Participant

    @ zahavasdad: For your info, if you walked into the kashrus division of the OU and saw the rabonim there, you would think you were almost in a ‘heimsha’ holier than thou hashgocha. Let’s just say the yeshivas such as Ner Yisroel, Torah Vodaas, Chaim Berlin, Long Beach, Scranton, etc., are more represented there than YU etc.

    That being said even the minute amount of “MO” rabbonim there, know more about kashrus and its practicalities than just about any “heimish” hashgocha!

    #792472

    Can someone explain what Yeshivish but With-it means 🙂

    #792473

    eyefortruth
    Member

    the opinions being brought here are actually quite amusing. every single person who has ever posted something on this website should be considered a modern orthodox jew, at least by modern orthodoxy’s understanding of modern orthodoxy. if you have the internet, even kosher internet, its because you realize that an adjustment must be made in modern times. you need email, you need to get the news online. thats all modern orthodoxy is. an adjustment to the times when it is necessary, but always within the boundaries of halachah.

    for contrast, one may look at the orthodox societies which refuse to embrace the internet in any form, which grow up speaking yiddish in the united states of america, which do not embrace some minimal form of secular education in the most basic of subjects. forgive me, but youre all modern orthodox. oh, and me too.

    #792476

    mamashtakah
    Member

    Someone here said MO only eat glatt meat. That depends. If the regular rabbanut hechsher is glatt, then yes. If the regular rabbanut hechsher is not glatt, then the statement is incorrect. Many MO will eat a regular rabbanut hechsher. Those that are chardal will only eat glatt.

    #792477

    mewho
    Participant

    well, well, well. isn’t it jsut lvoely that the month of Av has just begun and we Jews are bickering and belittleing one and other here?

    I would like to request taht the MOD use some discretion and REMOVE this post in tis entirety so that the different groups of yidden who come here and read posts do not have to see it and develop more sinas chinam than it has already caused.

    MODS, you have refused to post some of my messages over teh months that I come here for one reason or another (though I don’t see why) I respectfully request that you not allow posts here that cause our own brothers and sisters to fight and insult each other due to their different levels of religiousity. Thank you!

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