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  • in reply to: Ahavas Yisrael for those in YU/the MO community (Ask me anything) #2004021


    Just wanted to make one final point:

    Regarding alumni percentages (noticed a couple of those, so thought I’d comment on it): It is a fact that the current situation in the Modern Orthodox Chinuch world is such that the majority of alumni from Yeshiva High Schools (whether seperate [both genders included] or coed) are set on a path of frumkiet in the direction of building frum families. For example, in my graduating class in HS (just a few years ago), nearly 100% of the class went to Yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael, and that has been a trend for the past 15 or so years at least, and is not unique to my HS.

    in reply to: Ahavas Yisrael for those in YU/the MO community (Ask me anything) #2003549


    Whether or not he’s born with it is your word vs. his/her/theirs? (I’m just kidding). However, if someone were to have a Taava for Chilul Shabos, that is what HaKadosh Baruch Hu challenged them with, and if said person goes out and tries to find support for themselves among others who have a Taava for Chilul shabos in an effort to strengthen their commitment of not giving in to their Yeitzer HaRa, then support should be thrown behind it. However, going around and parading that one wants to be mechalel shabos is just silly, and should be condemned, even if said person does indeed struggle with that. Insert “Shmiras Einayim” in place of “Chilul Shabos”, and you’ve got a perfectly acceptable movement. Why not for Toeiva or Beged Isha as well?

    in reply to: Ahavas Yisrael for those in YU/the MO community (Ask me anything) #2003546


    I’ve refrained from responding to @AviraDeAra directly just yet; I wanted to sit on his list. Bear in mind that all of this is only from my own life experience and the institutions I have been associated with (MO teenage boy fresh out of HS). Here goes:

    1. I don’t think this is the mainstream view. At least in the schools I went to, Rabeim tried continuously to impress the importance of Shmiras Einayim/Bris/Inyanei Kedusha, including but not limited to having a girlfriend, and to the extent RL of inappropriate internet use. Perhaps this is because it was a seperate school, but I do not know. I have siblings and very good (male, fear not) friends in co ed schools, and the school policies themselves are very strict. However, you must bear in mind the totality of the picture: a person with whom I have a very close relationship went to a co ed school, despite the fact that said person’s parents were pressuring said person not to, and had said person gone to a seperate school, should would not nearly be as religiously grounded as said person currently is. Second, had these coed schools not existed, many more modern parents would prefer to send their children to either a coed conservative school or public school. So for them, see it as a Kiruv operation. However, every good Kiruv operation needs good peer-role models, which is where the more religious crowd comes in (speaking of Camp Morasha, that is why camp Morasha was started: to create an environment where Talmud Torah kids and kids that attended public schools would be exposed to those that had gone to Yeshiva day schools). If not for having a more religious crowd within the school, the Kiruv (or even the keeping of the religious status quo) would not work. Hence, despite the fact that a principal of a coed school told me that he himself was not always comfortable accepting more religious kids from more religious homes, he said the trade-off was and is worth it.

    2. In what context would Rabbi Lamm call anyone a caveman? See here for a full transcription of the speech you are referring to: Sorry, no outside links Although I agree with (I don’t recall who said it)’s point about hate from the MO world towards the Yeshivish world (that it exists), it is unfortunately true. I am not trying to dance around it, and I believe it’s wrong. To quote Rodney King, can’t we just all get along?

    3. Equating is very different than comparing. Never would anyone in the MO world say that Russeau had Ruach HaKodesh or that Shakespeare wrote holy works. No one. To compare a proverb in the Epic of Gilgamesh to Sefer Koheles is totally fine (see verse 70 in the Penguin edition, compare to Koheles 4:12, and is a clear proof that Sefer Koheles was written by Shlomo HaMelech [Penguin’s translation is based on a manuscript that dates back to Shlomo’s era]).

    4. This is not mainstream either. Just to be clear, someone following a Kula because they were taught to follow a Kula is unlikely to know it’s a Kula, just like if one were to be raised in a world of Chumra, one could easily confuse Chumra and the standard Halacha. It’s quite difficult to run headlong into a Kula if you’re unaware it’s a Kula. And if it’s a Kula, although it may not be ideal, it doesn’t make it wrong, the same way that other people rely on Kulos. In terms of Chumros regarding Ticheiles, that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms. Certainly a majority of the Modern Orthodox world does not agree with Rav Schachter (as @DBS can tell you, Rav Willig is very vocally opposed). However, there are people who just disregard it because they think it’s too expensive, or buy without asking a Rav/Rebbi. Both of these approaches should be amended: he that doesn’t buy should do a real Cheshbon if he truly can’t afford it, and everyone should ask their Rav/Rebbi before accepting such a thing (perhaps, since to the eye that is not holding in the Machlokes, it would seem Pashut to buy). For example, I indeed asked my Rebbi before purchasing Ticheiles, and he said that if I truly thought it was correct, then I should, so I did, and I continue to do so.

    5. Regarding feminism, I don’t think that is mainstream either. The MO world is opposed to female rabbis (as @DBS could tell you, Rabbi Willig is very VERY vocally opposed to this [it’s practically in his backyard! {he lives in Riverdale}]). If they weren’t, they would jump ship to the OO. In terms of the latter part of this one, please define your terms: What do you define as meta-halacha?

    6. As mentioned in point 3, comparing is very different than equating. But now we’re talking about applying. If one subscribes to the belief that Torah is the guidebook HKBH gave us to lead life, of course this book is going to have something to say on everything, and if something isn’t clear, then it is the believer’s Achrayus to try to figure out what the Torah viewpoint is. Once again, Machlokes in this context is okay, but not hatred against a person based on the viewpoint he/she subscribes to. So “adding” self-determinism or emphasis on leisure to the Torah doesn’t really make sense, as the Torah already has something to say about it. It’s just a matter of figuring out what and why. Regarding allowing secular concepts to influence Halachic decision making, they don’t. Feminism will never change Halacha. Ever. Neither will Self-determinism, or any other “secular” concept. You can ask @DBS to clarify Rav Willig’s view on this as well: he is unequivocally opposed to postmodernism and all it’s philosophical ideas, for the stated reason that post modernism does not believe in objective reality, whereas Judaism does. For example, the Torah was given to Moshe Rabeinu on Har Sinai by HKBH. Period. Full stop. That is the end of the story, no debate neccesary; no saying “oh, only some of it was given at Sinai”, or “nah, HKBH didn’t really mean to Aser x or y thing”.

    7. I don’t think this is true either. When I first read George Orwell’s 1984 in 10th grade, I didn’t even know that there were inappropriate scenes in the book, as the school had forbidden them from being taught. Any TV show or movie that I wanted to watch had to be cleared with my parents first. AS mentioned above in no. 1, Rabeim try incredibly hard to wean their Talmidim off of their phones and to have filters installed on them. And yes, it is irresponsible of parents anywhere in any community to not filter their children’s devices. There are indeed standards. They may be lower than in other communities, but they do exist.

    8. Regarding the beginning: Darkei Shalom. If Jews did not stand up for Black people if they are oppressed, how can we expect them to stand up for us if we’re oppressed? And how can we expect government officials to not percieve us as being incredibly selfish if we show we do not care? Regarding the second part, about driving hybrids: If that’s how a person decides to do their Hishtadlus, all power (lol) to them. That doesn’t mean they deny HKBH is in the driver’s seat (lol again)

    9. Perhaps one could say affirming Toeiva is Taluy on the following: Is Toeiva a Mitzva that HKBH provided us with the logic to comprehend? Or not? If it’s the former, if one does not have the power to punish for doing so (see below regarding the death penalty), what’s wrong with Goyim deciding that it’s mutar for themselves (see above, 6)? We’ll just have more Goyim to kill when it does indeed come time that Beis Din can carry out capital sentences? Death penalty for murder as administered by an American court is not the same as Sayif for a murder by Beis Din. I guess you could say it’s a MAchlokes in the Svara of why the Sheva Mitzvos carry the death penalty: Is it to take evil off the street (UViarta HaRa MiKirbecha al pi Pshuto)? Or is it to strengthen Klal Yisroel in affirming that the action this person committed is wrong (UViarta HaRa MiKirbecha al pi Drusho? That one must remove the evil from within themselves by killing the offender?). Dunno… Just my thoughts… Perhaps, if the latter view is true, then Jews should vociferously protest the legalization of Toeiva. But if not, then who cares? Al Kol Panim, the entire community believes that Toeiva is Asur. Whoever does not believe such should not consider themselves orthodox, in my opinion.

    10. I don’t know about admiration as much as Hakaras HaTov or learning lessons from them. Take Moshe Dayan, for example. A Menuval? Yes, but Jewry owes him a great debt of gratitude: if not for him, we would not have access to Mearas HaMachpeila, the Kosel, Har HaBayis, etc. In terms of learning lessons: try Steven Covey. A Goy gamur? Yeah, but a Yashar person, who tries to lead his life in an ethical manner (one of my Rabeim called The Seven Habits “The Mesilas Yeshorim for Goyim”).

    11. See above, 6. It’s not adding, but rather applying. Judaism attributes value to the feminine, but what is the Torah’s view on how that effects how we think about women in the modern age?

    12. See whoever-said-it’s comment about the difference between the state and the land. The state bears supporting because it protects Jewish lives. If not for the state/army, millions of Jews would be fair game to Arabs.

    13. BaDerech SheAdam Rotzeh Leileich, Molichin Oso. Even HKBH could not stop Bilaam HaRasha from going to curse Klal Yisrael. Rabeim and Rabonim try really hard, but at the end of the day, HaDavar Talui Bo, or Bah, or BaHem, or BaHen, etc. (see above, 1).

    14. See above, 1 and 4. Is the lack of Tznius dress in the MO world a problem? Yes. But, As stated above in no. 1, that is not anyone’s fault. People are not interested in being told that what they’re doing is wrong across the board, not just in the MO world.

    15. Care to provide an example? I assume you’re thinking of Ivanka Kushner. Rav Schachter was on that Beis Din. I’m sure that the Geirus itself was 100% Kosher ViYashar. What happened afterwards has nothing to do with it. A Ger wanting to turn back on his Gierus can’t be all that uncommon, but is that the fault of the original Beis Din?

    16. I don’t think this is mainstream. Musar/Hashkafa is extreme in name only: everyone has an outlook, and every Drasha of every Shul Rav either contains Musar and/or Haskafa. When the Rabbi speaks about the lesson we learn from the Parsha, that’s Musar. And for the most part, people have their ears open. My family’s shul (staunchly MO) was just involved in a search to find a new Rov. Overwhelmingly, the highest priority for the membership of the Shul in their Rav was to “inspire them religiously through Drashot and other avenues”. Sounds like Musar to me…

    17. Sacrifice is a bit of a strong word. I’d rather go with prioritize. It doesn’t make sense to talk to people who don’t cover their hair about every Chumra in the book about Kashrus. Sometimes, the immediate focus has to be on the basic issues, even if they are not on the same technical level of DiOriesa or DiRabanan, etc. Furthermore, sometimes, speaking to people about a certain issue will turn them off to said issue. For example, if one were to come out with guns blazing and say that female shul presidents are terrible, they wouldn’t be able to influence their audience to–say–cover their hair, etc. Additionally, if something is a lost cause (for example,

    18. See above, no. 6. Not sure why you picked Davka Amaleik and the Akeida, but I can assure you that mainstream MO does not feel the need to justify Avraham at the Akeida or the annihilation of Amaleik.

    19. First of all, in the time of Josephus, the Rabonim he is referring to are those that sat on the Sanhedrin and had the fire of “ViNosata MeiHodicha Alav” going back to Moshe Rabeinu. Nowadays, Rabonim do not have nearly as much Halachic authority as given to them by the Torah itself to steer the Eida. Is it right to follow a Rabbinic authority blindly? One could be Dan on that, but the Isur of Lo Sasuru MiKol HaDavar Asher Yagidu Lecha is Mugdar Al Pi Rov Rishnim to be referring specifically to Torah.

    General comments: I will now address you directly. I have refrained as best I could in my responses to refer to any “you”s, “they”s, “we”s, or “I”s. I have tried my best to present the mainstream view of the modern-day Modern Orthodox world in which I live. I hope you can find it in your heart somewhere to accept Modern Orthodoxy as a form of authentic Judaism, at least in principle (the Chiluk between MO in theory and practice deserves it’s own essay). Every community has its shortcoming and nobody is perfect, and I hope I am not offending you by including you and I as well. I seriously question why you would want to publish a book on this topic that it would seem to me wouldn’t help anybody with anything other than deepening the divide between fellow Yiden (the MO won’t even buy it, and if they do, LeShitascha it’s highly unlikely they’ll care, and it nearly certainly won’t spark broad based change [see above, no. 16], and the Yeshivish could RL use it to raise their snouts). So long as one has a Jewish mother, they are Jewish, and one is Mechuyav to love them as such. My point in starting this thread was to try to bridge that gap, and if I even succeed with one person, then I view it as a success. Obviously, at the end of the day, this thread is going to end as your word vs. mine, but I hope I’ve at least shed some light on my world from the inside.

    in reply to: Ahavas Yisrael for those in YU/the MO community (Ask me anything) #2003482


    You are correct; I had noooo clue that this was such a deep-seated issue with some of the residents of the coffee room. I did not intend to stir Machlokes, Chas VeShalom, but quite the contrary, as I stated above. I had assumed that most of the Yeshivish world hates on Modern Orthodoxy out of utter ignorance (for example, a Bochur from scranton genuinely asked a good friend of mine if it was true that in YU they bound the math textbooks to the Gemaros), which I would be more than happy to absolve and reject. Are there issues with Modern Orthodoxy? Yes, and in fact, I agree with quite a few of @AviraDeAra’s points. But my point was not to come here to stir up a fight, but to try to clear up any misnomers, and thus try to show that we have waaaay more in common than we don’t, and thus to create some sort of mutual understanding. I am not an insider here, and thus had nooo clue that this issue ran so deep.

    in reply to: Ahavas Yisrael for those in YU/the MO community (Ask me anything) #2003484

    That’s not the point. What I meant was that you cannot blame people for that which they don’t know, hence that even if they are mistaken, it does give anyone the right to disown them, especially an entire community.

    in reply to: Ahavas Yisrael for those in YU/the MO community (Ask me anything) #2003382


    Ujm, I attempted to respond around an hour ago, but the moderators have yet to let it through (I think… I keep getting error messages that are telling me I already posted something similar to this, but I don’t know…). Either way, we you just said was incredibly insulting. Once it comes through, Ayein Shom what I wrote as to my anticipations for this thread. The unbelievability just keeps piling up…

    in reply to: Ahavas Yisrael for those in YU/the MO community (Ask me anything) #2003359


    Oooooookay… This has become a gehenom-hole… I opened this thread because, in my naivete, I believed that the rift–at least within the residents of the coffee room–could have been somewhat bridged between the MO community and that of the Yeshivish if given proper level-headed exchange of ideas. However, I was greeted with utter disbelief as a saw (I read through every single post [perhaps why it took so long @coffee adict]) the anger and passion that is behind some of these posts. I had intended for level-headed discussion and to prove that our similarities far outweigh our differences, and was instead met with anger and seeming hatred (baggage or otherwise @common saychel). I am in utter disbelief that Jews can talk this way about each other. Having a disagreement is absolutely okay and necessary, but to be so biting and hateful is just simply uncalled for. The clear Siman of this is that I asked for questions, not for attacks, and pretty much all I got were attacks. Essentially, my argument is not to justify the modern orthodox outlook–of course, any strongly halachically-minded Jew (myself included) would have their objections–but rather to attempt to maybe, just maybe, dis-spell some stereotypes and create some common ground of understanding and acceptance. The most poinient example of this was the story @Puttinginmy2cents cited about the secular cab driver (I think it’s in a Magid book somewhere…): no matter how far from our Tatteh in Himmel some of our brethern may be, that does not give any one of the other brothers/sisters the right to write them off. Most of the issues in the MO community are the cause of ignorance, not malignant violations of Halacha; think of it as a Tinok SheNishba situation of sorts (Chas VeShalom, I am NOT calling the MO community Tinokos SheNishbeu). Most of all, I wanted to convey that which @Avi K had tried to: drop the labels, people! The only label that truly matters is Ben Shel HaKadosh Baruch Hu or not. Treat everyone with respect, even if you disagree (and you may even be right!), and perhaps maybe–just maybe– our Gzar Din this Rosh HaShana will be one of Geula Sheleima… In the state erm… I mean land of Israel, of course…

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