Sunday, February 12, 2012

The One-Way Street

Some observations:

- Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi synagogues support Charedi charities, but Chareidi synagogues do not support Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi charities.

- Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi synagogues often have Chareidi rabbis, but Charedi synagogues never have Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi rabbis.

- Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi synagogues and organizations often have Chareidi rabbis as guest speakers, but Charedi synagogues and organizations never have Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi rabbis as guest speakers.

- Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi schools often have Charedi rebbeim, but Chareidi schools never have Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi Rebbeim.

- Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi Jews often fund Chareidi publications, but Chareidi Jews never fund Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi publications.

It's frustrating that Chareidim do not respect the Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi. But it's even more frustrating that Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi do not make more of an effort to perpetuate their own existence, and then complain about Chareidim.

(In other news - my Torah Tour of the National Zoo in Washington tomorrow has been replaced by a two-part multimedia presentation on the Animal Kingdom In Jewish Thought, at Beth Sholom in Potomac at 2.30pm, entrance donation $10.)

85 comments:

  1. "Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi schools often have Charedi rebbeim, but Chareidi/ Dati Leumi schools never have Modern Orthodox Rebbeim."


    Was the last part a typo?
    Anyway what exactly does "Modern-Orthodox" mean? Also Dati Leumi can mean a range of things as well (some Mimlahtim and others more of Kahanists) and by the way their is also a lot of bigotry from those "moderns" and others towards the others they disagree with as well especially towards those termed "Kahanists" where even normal dialogue can be censused (possibly including this post as well). Soo if we are going to talk about hypocrisy lets unravel all of it and fight against such things from all that it comes from.

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  2. This is a frustrating phenomenon for those in the MO camp but I see it quickly disappearing in America. The new generation of MO are not donating to haredi organizations and the number of MO schools with haredi rebbeim is quickly vanishing.

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  3. there's a very simple explanation to all of this...the MO knows the chareidi world is more frum. These things only work one way!

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  4. "But it's even more frustrating that Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi do not make more of an effort to perpetuate their own existence, and then complain about Chareidim."

    i didn't get that; and does 'not' contunue to 'and then complain...'?

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  5. In my town, you can replace "Chareidi" with "Orthodox" and replace "Modern Orthodox/Dati Leumi" with "Reform."
    On the other hand, the Orthodox here do contribute nicely to the local Federation. (Even though one could argue that the purpose is so that the Federation helps out with the local Day Schools.)

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  6. excellent veragi! you have exactly made my point, because reform will argue they patronize the orthodox but the other way is not done! Do you R' Slifkin see that as a problem, or should orthodox take reform rabbis as well?

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  7. Eh?

    Obviously many Reform Jews would be bothered by that, but I am not Reform so it doesn't bother me!

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  8. So if a Reform Jew would write "It's frustrating that Orthodox do not respect the Conservative/Reform"? what would your reaction be?

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  9. Or were you addressing the criticism on Charedim? The difference is that Chareidim acknowledge that we are in the same basic camp - keep same halachah, etc., - so there is less justification for refusing to hear any Torah from others. And certainly less justification for not supporting the tzeddakas of others.

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  10. I would understand why he frustrated, but I would not share his frustration.

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  11. You are simply incorrect; the charedi world in general views the bulk of MO as simply lax in halacha. With MUCH justification.

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  12. What does that have to do with anything?

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  13. because you said they consider the mo in the same camp because they keep the same halacha. If they are lax in halacha that is NOT keeping the same halacha!

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  14. That has nothing to do with not listening to Torah from MO/DL rabbis, not supporting MO/DL Torah scholarship, or not supporting MO/DL tzeddakah.

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  15. R' Slifkin, are deliberately being obtuse? is this part of the tactic?

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  16. "If they are lax in halacha that is NOT keeping the same halacha!"

    Given the repeated financial scandals at the highest levels of the charedi world, I would suggest that the charedi communities might want to reconsider who is being lax in halachah.

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  17. After reading that exchange between R' Slifkin and Benny, I have to say he got the best of you R' Slifkin. You didn't show that nimble intellect I expect from you.

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  18. "Chareidim acknowledge that we are in the same basic camp - keep same halachah, etc."

    No, they do not. See EJF.

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  19. > The difference is that Chareidim acknowledge that we are in the same basic camp

    No they don’t. Officially, maybe. But you can’t tell me with a straight face that the kids in the Mir or Chaim Berlin or Torah Temmima really think that they’re “in the same basic camp” as the kids in Yeshiva of Flatbush or Rambam or Magen David.

    In the yeshivish perception, MO is just a hair this side of Reform.

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  20. I know a Rav in Israel who is attempting to introduce a new method of Talmud study to high school age boys. He says studies show that most boys that age do not really like Talmud and do not really understand it at the level that is considered desirable for that age by educators. What is especially interesting is that the studies this Rav has been involved in says THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NATIONAL RELIGIOUS YOUTH AND HAREDI YOUTH in this generally negative attitude to Talmudic studies. The big difference is that the Haredi world puts a bigger emphasis on Talmudic ability as a major criterion for social mobility than does the RZ world which gives other avenues for advancement as well (military service, academic training, etc) to the young person.
    The reason I mention this is as a response to the claim that "MO's are more lax in halacha". The fact that someone you are looking at is wearing a black hat and coat does not mean you can tell how "lax" or strict the person is in halachic observance, how accomplished a Talmudist he is, how much emunah he really has, etc. You can't tell a Jew by his cover and it is time for non-Haredi Orthodox to get rid of this chip on their shoulder and get on with strengthening our camp.
    Rav Slifkin, I believe it would be best if you would forget the Haredim, put a kippah serugah on your head and wear it proudly , show the world that many people wearing Kippot Serugot are just as serious about Torah as many Haredim are, and keep up your avodat kodesh in teaching everyone what the truth in the Torah is.

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  21. Natan,

    This is a pretty one sided way of looking at things.

    - Charedi Jews have Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi doctors, but Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi Jews do not have Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi doctors.

    - Charedi Jews have Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi accountants, but Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi Jews do not have Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi accountants, lawyers.
    etc.

    Isn't it possible that there are valid, reasonable explanations?

    Is it possible that Chareidim don't fund certain publications because they don't agree with the views espoused by these publications?

    Isn't it possible that there aren't that many people in the Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi world that want to be Rebbeim?

    Etcetera...

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  22. Rabbi Slifkin,
    What are you referring to when you say that "Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi do not make more of an effort to perpetuate their own existence". Is it related to the statements above about MO/dl being open to a larger scope of hashkafot? I'm not sure what the reference is. Could you explain it?

    On the topic of charedi separatism, I think you covered this very well in your defense of those who banned your work for their particular communities.

    Gary Goldwater

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  23. The comparison of Reform vs MO to MO vs Chareidim is a red herring.
    With the former, it is a religious gulf that separates the two. As an Orthodox Jew I cannot pray in a Reform Temple with its mixed seating. I cannot eat in a Reform home with its non-Kosher food. Reform clergy subscribe to beliefs that are considered heresy by the Orthodox world. How could an Orthodox school hire them to teach there?
    With the MO vs Chareidi division it's a political gulf. Rav Hershel Schachter and his comrades in America, Rav Lichtenstein and his comrades in Israel, are not invited to teach or speak in Chareidi communities because they are not politically aligned with the Chareidim despite keeping just as kosher and shomer Shabbos.

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  24. Given the repeated financial scandals at the highest levels of the charedi world, I would suggest that the charedi communities might want to reconsider who is being lax in halachah.

    Couldn't have said it better, Charlie Hall. On this and many other things.

    To continue along the lines of James' comment, I think such is also the case in Israel. I think the dati leumi world is getting stronger and stronger, and I see less of the "charedi envy" that seems to exist among anglos. You wouldn't know this by politics, because the dati leumi parties have steadily been losing ground, by I believe this reflects a conscious decision by many dati leumi voters that larger and more inclusive parties are healthier for the country than parochial religious parties. I think this is helping the dati leumi world, because politics seems to increase corruption and cynicism. I think, to a large extent, the haredi world has suffered greatly from the influence of politics and politicians.

    In general, my impression is that there is a broad range of dati leumi rabbis and institutions, from Tzohar to the hesder yeshivas, and that they are forging their way forward and making themselves relevant to their followers and constituents. For the rest of us, I think the best thing to do is to ignore the haredi world and its shtuyot, and to seek truth in more positive directions.

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  25. Isn't it possible that there aren't that many people in the Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi world that want to be Rebbeim?

    Of course! That is part of my point - that if MO/DL wants to thrive, it has to produce its own rebbeim, its own publishing houses, etc.

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  26. Yonasan Rosenblum actually made a similar point (in question form) in his weekly Mishpacha column a short time ago. He didn't answer the question but I gave a similar answer to yours. See this post of mine A one way street for Rosenblum's question and my answer.

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  27. Your observations make perfect sense and are compatible with the obvious differences in Hashkafa between the two groups.
    The MO/DL tend to be more open and tolerant and consequently are willing to to be exposed to those whose worldview they do not agree with. The Chareidim for the most part are terrified of having their people exposed to ideas not in accord with theirs and do everything they can to prevent this from happening.
    As well, MO/DL are at least willing to consider the possibility that those who disagree with them have legitimate ideas to contribute to the general discourse, while the Chareidi world can see only danger in listening to MO/DL people, and being exposed to notions that in their view range from "Shtuyot" in a best case scenario, to "Kefirah".

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  28. " it has to produce its own rebbeim, its own publishing houses, etc."

    Out of curiosity, and since you are in a position to know. How many "potential customers" does a publishing house need to stay in business? 50,000? 100,000? 600,000? 1,000,000?

    At some point, you have to stop chopping up and dividing the Jewish people.

    FWIW, I do believe that the OU press is not Charedi, and is a publishing house.

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  29. One of the biggest scandals that exists in this regard is the seating arrangement's at Agudath Israel's Siyum Hashas. Rabbi Hershel Schachter, for example, has to sit in the crowd. Maybe it's only Agudah rabbonim who get to sit at the dais. But is that really kavod haTorah?

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  30. So true. One anecdote:
    Many years ago I mentioned to a charedi relative that my kids celebrate Yom Atzmaut in gan/school. They draw pictures, sing songs, etc. I commented that it seems so natural and healthy that someone growing up here would have a positive attitude towards their state, with all the problems.
    Their response: we listen to Gedolim, not to children! Ouch.

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  31. Yosef Greenberg said:
    -----------------------------------
    Isn't it possible that there aren't that many people in the Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi world that want to be Rebbeim?

    -----------------------------------

    That is certainly NOT the case in the Israeli National Religious world. It is true that up to 30 years ago, many of the teachers in the Dati Leumi schools and yeshivot were Haredim, and it was not uncommon for these teachers to try to get their students to think that "real Judaism" is Haredism and to switch to Haredi yeshivot institutions, but today the Dati Leumi yeshivot and institutions are turning out their own Rabbanim and teachers.


    Baruch Gitlin said:
    -----------------------------------
    I think the dati leumi world is getting stronger and stronger, and I see less of the "charedi envy" that seems to exist among anglos.
    -----------------------------------

    I couldn't agree more and the "Haredi envy" syndrome he is referring to is fortunately not found much among Israeli Dati Leumi people. They simply are not involved in the endless controversies that are engulfing the Haredi world. We simply don't feel we need their approval for what we are doing and I must give great credit to the pioneers in the Dati Leumi world (Rav Kook, Rav Neria and many others) for allowing the Dati Leumi educational and ideological framework to come into being in spite of the high personal price many of them paid, the result being that our generation is not forced to pay the same price for remaining loyal to our ideological roots of Torah and intellectual inquiry.

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  32. Ok, le me spell it out. MO are OTD in the eyes of chareidim. When R. Lichtenstein says that Gdoilei Yisroel have to study philosophy, literature and art this is OTD. He will never be invited to a chareidi shul or yeshiva to share his views. Please, the rabbi who taught in Drisha Institute on the subject of Jewish identity the day after you, gave us sorces from Buber, Rosenzweig and Nitzshe. It was a geat shiur but don't expect this to be aught in a chareidi or even an RZ yeshiva like Har HaMor.

    Off the topic. Your lecture was great. I'm reading the Sacread Monsters and it's awesome. The best read in a long time.

    Kind Regards from Boro Park.

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  33. Garnel Ironheart said...
    > The comparison of Reform vs MO to MO vs Chareidim is a red herring.
    > With the former, it is a religious gulf that separates the two. As an Orthodox Jew I cannot pray in a Reform Temple with its mixed seating. I cannot eat in a Reform home with its non-Kosher food.


    No, it’s the exact same thing. As a Chareidi Jew one cannot pray in a center-to-left MO shul because the mechitza is not high enough/ made partly of glass/ is a balcony where the women are visible if you look up. One cannot eat in a MO home with its unfiltered water/ inadequate hechsherim (i.e., OU, triangle-K)/ chalav stam/ non-yashan etc.

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  34. Also lets not forget that Haredim are generally poor while many of the "MO" and others do have more $. We (or I) dont see MO or RZ Jews going around collecting $ but sure doo see Haredim collecting and being in need of it. And about institution wise, each person generally supports what he/she believes in. For example I don't expect a Satmar Chassid supporting Lubavitch, or vice-verse, as I don't expect them or anyone else supporting MO, because people's ideas and ideals are different.
    The goal should be to have open dialogue and a system (or Beit Din) where all the differences can and should be discussed where the right ideas win out over the false one's (through honest dialogue, and the search for the truth and correct path).

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  35. If the modern orthodox / dati leumi were to cut of funding charedi interests and having charedi rabbis lecture in their shuls and teach in their schools we will see how quick the attitude of the charedim will change.

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  36. I appreciate your frustration.

    The bottom line is that Modern Orthodox scholarship simply doesn't appeal to the yeshivishe velt. To their ears, everything sounds like kefira or haskala. It's a matter of taste, more than anything else...

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  37. "If the modern orthodox / dati leumi were to cut of funding charedi interests and having charedi rabbis lecture in their shuls and teach in their schools we will see how quick the attitude of the charedim will change"

    Because, cutting your nose to spite your face is always such a good idea.

    We are one people with millions of ideas and opinions and points of view, not millions of people with a single point of view.

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  38. "we listen to Gedolim, not to children!"

    Funny, the Gemara says just the opposite. :-)

    There are lots of MO (or MO friendly) publishing houses in Israel, by the way, Hebrew and English.

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  39. michael weiss said...
    > If the modern orthodox / dati leumi were to cut of funding charedi interests and having charedi rabbis lecture in their shuls and teach in their schools we will see how quick the attitude of the charedim will change.

    The attitude wouldn’t change at all. We’d just start hearing stories circulate about the evil “Moderns” who like to pretend that they’re frum, but really hate Torah and Yiddishkeit and who, despite their wealth, refuse to support holy yeshivos or show the proper respect to gedolim.

    Similar to the stories about secular Jews and Maskilim that I heard in yeshiva.

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  40. nobody in particularFebruary 12, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    what's frustrating is that the mo continue this pattern of supporting something they largely oppose. it's just dumb and I wish they would stop.

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  41. nobody in particularFebruary 12, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    benny, we agree they are more frum. we disagree that this is what god wants, or that this is a good thing. they are much frummer than I am, but I believe not such good jews.

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  42. nobody in particularFebruary 12, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    and, of course, it's possible that being lax in halacha is ok with g-d, as long as you are strict in derekh eretz. I firmly beleive this.

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  43. I have often bemoaned that MO/Dati Leumi Jews respect a world that has no respect for them or their most cherished values. If one really believes that secular education, rationalism, contributing to society, living in Israel etc. are really life's central goals, why would one support or respect someone who rejects all of them?

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  44. "it has to produce its own rebbeim"

    I'll match the roshei yeshivot at Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan Theological School or Yeshivat Chovevei Torah with any charedi yeshiva of similar size.

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  45. i go to a charedi school. 1) One of the rebbeim is a rationalist enough for me to call him modern orthodox. 2) I'm trying to get the Rav of my shul, who is modern orthodox, to be a guest speaker in my school for Rosh Chodesh Adar (I'm in 11th grade and we pretty much take over the school during adar). 3) They think the same about us - A guy from lev le'achim spoke at my school last week. Towards the end he said,"Who's going to support us? Not the Reform. Not the Conservative. Not the Modern Orthodox. Only the bnei Torah!" they think modern orthodoxy doesn't support chareidi organazations.

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  46. RNS,

    There is a whole rainbow of haskafos. It not just Chareidi v MO. Example:

    The Toldos AY Rebbe just gave a speech at Yeshiva Torah VoDaas. Let me know when they invite Rav Belsky or Rav Reisman to give a drasha at TAY yeshiva in Mea Shearim.

    Ditto with "heimishe" hashgachos in the U.S. There are groups that ignore all other hashgachos (including Lakewood yeshivish). Again, it is a one way street. And again, it is not telling you anything at all about the quality of the hachgacha.

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  47. No, it’s the exact same thing. As a Chareidi Jew one cannot pray in a center-to-left MO shul because the mechitza is not high enough/ made partly of glass/ is a balcony where the women are visible if you look up. One cannot eat in a MO home with its unfiltered water/ inadequate hechsherim (i.e., OU, triangle-K)/ chalav stam/ non-yashan etc.

    G*3,

    The difference is that the issues that the Chareidi has with the MO shul is entirely due to confusion of chumra with halacha. Basically, the Chareidi is completely ignorant of the possibility that a makill psak is still halachically valid.

    Reform, by definition, reject halacha.

    Indeed, I have come to believe that Reform and Charaidism have more in common than Charaidism and Judaism (Modern orthodoxy, in todays venacular).

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  48. Allow me to share an anecdote with you.

    I lived in a part of America where you did not have to prove legal residency to obtain a drivers licence. Consequently, a lot of shiluchim would pass through our shul, obtain a drivers licence and then move onto "richer pickings". Sometime the shaliach would stay for a shabbat or two. Invariably these guys would sit down for tefilah la'medinah. Once such a shaliach, raising money for some Yeshiva, approached me for a donation. My response was;

    "You have such little Kvod Tzibur that where it is minhag in our shule to stand and say the Tefilah La Medinah, while everyone else in the shule is standing, yet my money is good enough for you...?"

    (I also suggested to the Rav that people who have such low Kvod Tzibur should not recieve Kibudim...)

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  49. for Yossi Said: regarding the relationship between reform and charedi, see the interview with Rav Riskin (please - no flaming) by Hagi Segal a few weeks ago in the magazine section of Mekor Rishon.

    --dan

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  50. As a product of the Charedi world (and not just a sheep but actually a magid shiur) who has chosen to move to the Dati-Leumi world let me add my 2 cents.

    No matter what people will tell you from the Charedi world there is a tremendous amount of "bitul" of other religious Jews on the part of the Charedim.

    If you learn in Ner Israel then YU isn't "kosher". If you learn in Lakewood then Ner Israel is "treif". Of course the "real" Briskers aren't "gores" Lakewood either. And we haven't even entered the Chasidishe velt.

    All of the above look with disdain on MO/DL/RZ/YU Jews. They are viewed as nothing more than wonderful sources of income for Charedi mosdos and even better a great feeding ground for their yeshivos. (MO boy goes to EY after High School. He starts out in one of the fine yeshivos and after 2 years will be in the Mir, Brisk,Rav Moshe Schapiro, etc..chalk another one up for the Charedi world).

    Let's not mention RZ/MO/DL "Torah (ie Rav Kook, Rav Tzvi Yehuda, Rav Neria,the Rav, and Ybl'C Rav Lichtenstien and Rav Shachter).
    These ginats don't exists in the Charedi world and their Torah is not "Torah".

    Since my entrance into DL world I see thing very differently. While some "distaste" for the Charedi lifestyle does exists I don't see a wholesale bitul of charedi rabbonim or individuals. Kavod Rabbonim still exists. And yes, almost all DL will contribute to Charedi causes. The reverse is rarely true.

    I find that the avodas HaShem of my family and myself is much more wholesome. We worry much less about externals and concentrate on what the real avoda is. We don't have to look over our shoulders or keep up with the Rabinowitzs and their chumros of the day.

    I only wish that all of my fellow DL Jews would be as secure in their lifestyle! Your rav is a talmid chochum, your kid's yeshiva is a makom Torah, your mosdos are doing great things, your hechsher is 100% kosher and your avodas HaShem is your business, not your neighbor's!

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  51. Yossi said...
    > The difference is that the issues that the Chareidi has with the MO shul is entirely due to confusion of chumra with halacha. Basically, the Chareidi is completely ignorant of the possibility that a makill psak is still halachically valid.

    Sure, but a shtark yeshiva guy still won’t daven in a shul where the top third of the mechitzah is window glass. Even if he’s aware that there are shittos that allow it, nisht pas for a ben torah. The practical result is the same as the MO guy who won’t daven in a Reform shul with mixed seating because of “real” halacha.

    > Indeed, I have come to believe that Reform and Charaidism have more in common than Charaidism and Judaism (Modern orthodoxy, in todays venacular).

    Ah, but everyone thinks that “Judaism” = “My group.” From the Torah True (TM) Chreidim through atheistic Humanist Judaism, everyone thinks that they have an authentic interpretation of Jewish tradition, and most think that theirs is the ONLY authentic interpretation.

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  52. Of course! That is part of my point - that if MO/DL wants to thrive, it has to produce its own rebbeim, its own publishing houses, etc.

    Too true. I was recently at the YU seforim sale and I could not find any decent kids books that were geared towards DL or MO kids, one book was so bad it shows a picture of separate seating on the bus.

    Though the OU Press, YU Press and Koren have done a great job over the last few years, they need to expand. What about some decent gadol books that teenagers can read.

    As far as the Rabbonim go. This is a HUGE problem. First off, in America elementary school teachers are not paid enough to live an MO lifestyle so often the schools have to look outside the community for mechanchim for the younger grades. Additionally, many of the best, brightest and most idealistic that are going into chinuch end up making aliyah. We are doing a very bad job producing Centrist mechanchim that are on the same wave length as much of the community. Many of the rebbeim that are currently in the system are Very right wing YU (chardal) and their hashkafos are not necessarily in line with those of the community and they often end up steering kids to yeshiovos in EY that are not right for them only because they are “frummer”.

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  53. "I'll match the roshei yeshivot at Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan Theological School or Yeshivat Chovevei Torah with any charedi yeshiva of similar size."

    Charles, please stop these silly attempts to preach your leftist worldview. Do you think anyone is fooled with your "subtle" try to equate an oak trees with a lillypad? YU is one of the great yeshivas of the world. Some orthodox Jews may disagree with its hashkafa, but they cannot debate its giant heft in the world. It's rebbeim are known around the world. From R' shimon Shkop to R' Dovid Lifhsitz to R' Hershel Shachter, it's always had the big guns.

    "Chovivei Torah" by contrast is a speck of dust that does not even register on the orthodox radar screen outside of internet promoters, and never will. All you serve by such foolish comparisons is to show your contempt for YU.

    Guesty

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  54. The only way to beat them is to become them.

    We need to:
    • Identify our own Gedolim. It really disturbs me that the MO school my child started nursery in this year has a project in the older grades where they have to do a report on a Gadol and all of the contemporary ones they are presented with come from the Chareidi world.
    • Call out any chareidi leader every time they say something that goes against our core beliefs as endorsed by our gedolim.
    • If they don't seat our Gedolim at the dais at the Siyum Hashas, we start our own. Don't think for a minute that if the OU had started the siyum, that the Agudah would not have created their own if they didn't get their way.
    • Boycott the institutions affiliated with any rabbi who proclaims a knee-jerk book ban. Whether it be Rabbi Slifkin, Rabbi Nosson Kamenetsky, or Rabbi Boteach's latest work.., we should not tolerate intolerance, intellectual dishonesty, etc.
    • Boycott institutions that are identified as endorsing the zealots in Israel or other activities that we find morally bankrupt.
    • Build our own Torah U'mesorah to create Torah curriculum for our days schools based on rational positions. Kill two birds with one stone (1) Solve the problem you mentioned a few weeks back of children coming home with irrational teachings, and (2) we're not going to be able to replace all the chareidi teachers in the MO schools anytime soon, so we need clear instructional guides as to what they should teach and not give them the latitude they currently have in many classrooms.

    This is just my stream of consciousness of the topic... I can go on and on, but I don't have time now to be more analytic. However, there is one major problem with all this. You need a powerful central institution willing to take the lead to be able to be the watchdog and effectively communicate the message to the MO population. I don't think YU, the OU, the RCA, etc. have the courage to even touch upon the issue. YU hardly has an identity at all anyway. You have everyone teaching there from rabbis who are a better fit for Agudah to LWMO. The OU is unlikely to risk being banned in the more moderate chareidi world. The RCA? maybe, but probably not, too big an umbrella.

    The only organization that might have the courage is the new IRF (International Rabbinic Fellowship) as they clearly are willing to take unpopular positions. However, being LWMO they will like be marginalized by the rest.

    Unfortunately, MO Judaism, at least in the diaspora, is a lifestyle choice not a movement. A movement requires central leadership. Agudah has it, Chassidic groups have it, Conservative Judaism has it, Reform Judaism has it, MO Judaism has nothing of the sort in the US. You can't call the disparate half dozen groups that pledge fealty to MO Judaism but most of whom cower in the face of chareidi "gedolim" - leadership.

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  55. Ameteur said...

    "If the modern orthodox / dati leumi were to cut of funding charedi interests and having charedi rabbis lecture in their shuls and teach in their schools we will see how quick the attitude of the charedim will change"

    Because, cutting your nose to spite your face is always such a good idea.

    We are one people with millions of ideas and opinions and points of view, not millions of people with a single point of view.

    Michael Responds:
    I am confused by the "cutting my nose our nose in spite of my face" Although I should point out that the MO/Dati Luemi label is merely that - a label. I don't identify with any group other than the "children of Israel"
    That being said - how exactly is this cutting off one's nose in spite one's face - The implication here (if I understand the comment correctly) is that MO/Dati Leumi do not have worthy leaders that fall within the label and are required to outsource their spiritual guidance to charedi spiritual authorities.

    Also please explain the last of the comment "We are one people with millions of ideas and opinions and points of view, not millions of people with a single point of view" and how it anything to do with my suggestion

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  56. I only wish that all of my fellow DL Jews would be as secure in their lifestyle!
    ===========================
    BINGO - especially for MO in the US (at least a certain subsection) seems to think that we should be chareidi but nebech we're weak.

    The other elephant on the table is that we could do all these things (rabbeim etc.) but the supply and demand equation makes it much cheaper to use chareidi "talent".
    KT
    Joel Rich

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  57. "All you serve by such foolish comparisons is to show your contempt for YU."

    Uh, I'm on the faculty of YU. It treats me very well and I certainly don't have "contempt" for it.

    Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, while newer and a small fraction of the size of YU, has four outstanding full time rabbis. It is not a threat to YU and I do not treat it as such -- and it does not at all deserve the maligning you and other give it.

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  58. 'If they don't seat our Gedolim at the dais at the Siyum Hashas, we start our own.'

    Ok, I'm up for it. Anyone else?

    Rabbi Dov Linzer of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah is one of the very few RYs who actually teaches a daf yomi shiur. (Anyone know of any others?) I'm a regular attendee. I don't expect him to be on the AI platform with all the RYs who have never taught a daf yomi shiur.

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  59. Daniel Kern, is there an URL associated with that interview?

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  60. Maybe charedim don't support modox because we don't have any money?

    And do you think any self respecting modox with a PhD is going to teach a bunch of vilde chayes in a charedi yeshiva?

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  61. Sorry Yossi, I looked for a link to the article in Mekor Rishon but couldn't find one. I don't want to misquote the article. If you want to hear what it said, send me an email to danielykeren@gmail.com

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  62. The same is probably true between less religious groups such as Reform, Conservative, etc. and MO/DL.

    People are happy to accept money from anyone. MO rabbis are obviously happy to teach anyone (as are Charedim).

    A MO shul can't host a Conservative rabbi, for obvious reasons (and if they did it would be a controversy).

    Basically, the charedim think they're more religious than the MO, so everything they do makes sense.

    The issue is that their beliefs are backwards and they're intellectually dishonest.

    If we want more MO rabbis teaching our kids, we need to encourage more MO kids to become rabbis. Another issue is that any true MO/DL will move to Israel, so only Charedim are left to teach kids abroad.

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  63. Incidentally, R' Hershel Shechter is visiting London this week, and, among his other engagements, is giving a shiur at an unambiguously chareidi shul.

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  64. "That being said - how exactly is this cutting off one's nose in spite one's face - The implication here (if I understand the comment correctly) is that MO/Dati Leumi do not have worthy leaders that fall within the label and are required to outsource their spiritual guidance to charedi spiritual authorities.

    Also please explain the last of the comment "We are one people with millions of ideas and opinions and points of view, not millions of people with a single point of view" and how it anything to do with my suggestion"

    There is no such thing implied. If I'm giving money to org X or Y, there is no reason for me to stop giving money to them, just because I don't like the label of the org, or someone has decided that it's time to "declare war" against fellow Jews, because they "don't play fair"...

    We are all Jews, and you can only see a "one way street", if you view them as not Jews.

    There is always a one way street, between the Rich and the poor. The rich give to the poor, but the poor never give to the rich. Maybe we should stop this inequality, and force the Poor to give to the poor, and the rich to give to the rich!

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  65. "Another issue is that any true MO/DL will move to Israel"

    Excellent point :)

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  66. It seems to me much of the commentary misses the point. The Chareidi world, almost by definition, seeks to minimize the exposure to any other point of view, even within Torah. The "modern" view is that a broad perspective sharpens one's understanding of Torah and of God (R. Lichtenstein offers perhaps the clearest exposition of this view). The chareidi view is that broad perspective risks undermining one's faith. Naturally, they have different views on relating to people of different perspectives. By the way, I suspect both points of view are correct to some extent.

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  67. "There is always a one way street, between the Rich and the poor. The rich give to the poor, but the poor never give to the rich. Maybe we should stop this inequality, and force the Poor to give to the poor, and the rich to give to the rich!"

    So the Charedim are the 'rich' and the DL/MO are the poor. Hmmm.. Maybe it's like when we tell able-bodied poor to "get a job".

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  68. Someone above said the modern orthodox world must "Identify our own Gedolim." He also says "If they don't seat our Gedolim at the dais at the Siyum Hashas, we start our own."

    By such statements you already concede the fight. The very concept of "GEDOILIM" is a charedi construct. It has no business in the vernacular of thinking Jewry. You may refer to "Rabbis" if you wish, but even that should be limited. The fixation with "Torah professionals", however they are styled, is altogether foreign to thinking Jewry. If the MO world really wants to "beat" the charedim (to use the commenter's term) it has to be comfortable in its own skin.

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  69. ""There is always a one way street, between the Rich and the poor. The rich give to the poor, but the poor never give to the rich. Maybe we should stop this inequality, and force the Poor to give to the poor, and the rich to give to the rich!"

    So the Charedim are the 'rich' and the DL/MO are the poor. Hmmm.. Maybe it's like when we tell able-bodied poor to "get a job"."


    You guys are funny.

    I was actually thinking that the more liberal leaning Jews who are willing to gain knowledge from wherever it comes, are the rich ones.
    And the people who close themselves off to group-think are the poor.

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  70. DF wrote: "The very concept of "GEDOILIM" is a charedi construct."


    Agreed.

    DF wrote: "The fixation with "Torah professionals", however they are styled, is altogether foreign to thinking Jewry."

    Not really. There have always been rabbinic leaders who have been regarded as being at the top of their field, so to speak, and those who were more average. There are the Rav Aharon Lichtenstein's of the world the Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler's of the world who each have more expert knowledge that elevate them in certain regards over lesser known congregational rabbis and rebbeim.

    In truth, I too find the term Gadol offensive, but if we're going to "beat" them (meant in the sense of stopping us from losing the battle for our children's future of what it means to be a "Torah true" Jew.) then we need to use a common language and adopt their tactics. Taking the moral high ground hasn't been working for us.

    Why do non-chareidi Jews even continue to use the term Gadol in reference to the chareidi rabbis to whom the title has been bestowed? The fact that we continue to grant that honor to them, but not our own leaders undermines any efforts to claim our leaders represent a more authentic hashkafa.

    Even RNS, who has 10x the courage of the vast majority of MO rabbis continues to use the term Gadol in this blog regularly as a show of respect to these chareidi leaders.

    With regard to Rav Elyashiv: RNS has suggested that Rav Lichtenstein is a truer Gadol than we find in the chareidi world. He pointed out that we can not ascribe any credibility to the various proclamations made Rav Elyashiv's name for some time now. He has also shown there are defects in his approach by signing bans without having heard both sides. However, he has stopped short of saying (to the best of my knowledge) "You sir are a talmid chochim but not a Gadol."

    Who of consequence is going to get up say "The emperor is naked"? Unless you find MO/DL leaders willing to stand up and declare the chareidi "Gedolim" as naked and without the moral courage and leadership then we need to start naming our own. Because, it's clear to me that the labeling of Gadol as used by Chareidim, has had an adverse effect on the MO world who appear, on the surface, to lack "Gedolim".

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  71. I am not referring specifically to HaRav Elyashiv but it appears to me that because of the intense marketing done by the haredi world of their gedolim there is an inflationary trend which places many haredi rabbis on relatively very high pedestals. The intense marketing by the haredi world on the one hand and the lack of marketing by the dati leumi world on the other hand of their own great rabbis has created this current inflationary reality.

    There are dati leumi rabbis whom many have never even heard of who have tremendous knowledge yet get less recognition because they aren't being constantly promoted.

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  72. " . . . we need to use a common language and adopt their tactics. Taking the moral high ground hasn't been working for us."

    Who says its not working? Young couples are making aliyah every year by the thousands, the great majority of whom are either mizrachi or MO or at any rate, not charedi. Look around you, non-charedi schools are bursting at the seems and opening all the time.

    In a sense your comments remind me of those republicans who constatnly fixate on the left-wing media. While their arguments may be true [and they undoubtedly are] they forget about their own massive media presence on the radio, online, and TV. They worry about the "other", without stopping to think that just one Rush Limbaugh program reaches more listeners than the newshour of ABC, CBS, and NBC combined, or that Fox News viewship dwarfs that of CNN.

    My intent is not to be political. It is rather to show that people worry so much about the successes of the other side, that they forget about their own. The MO will never be able to compete with Charedi media - it's not part of the MO mindset to require a separate media. Likewise, the visible yeshivah presence will always be charedi, and the MO should have no intention of competing there.

    This is a HUGE exageration, but yet in some sense, anyone who leaves a yeshivah today and doesnt go into kollel is a success for the MO world. [To go political again, it's like saying the absence of a numper sticker is itself the bumper sticker of republicans.] Look around. Kollel guys are still a big minority. Guys are still going to college, still going to work, still being "normal."

    Bekitzur, the successes of the charedi world have been many indeed, but so have the successes of the modern world. They simply cannot be measured by the same metrics.

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  73. I have often considered the reality of the "one-way street". On the one hand we should maintain our ahavath yisrael even if others do not. On the other hand, it is sensible that we put our money into those institutions with which we most identify.

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  74. "Who of consequence is going to get up say "The emperor is naked"? Unless you find MO/DL leaders willing to stand up and declare the chareidi "Gedolim" as naked "

    Rabbi David Bar Hayim has done that, and I'm sure many other people have as well.

    And according to the interwebs, he did it years ago.

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  75. in general the books that i have seen in the charedi world about gemara are better than those of the MO world. If this makes people gedolim or have daat Torah i don't think so. In general you cant tell this from chardi English nonsense. but in Hebrew the general level of scholarship of the charedi world is high. and people that are called gedolim often have some book which is fact does represent a high level of scholarship. In the MO world you just don't see this.
    there is a basic level of charedi magazine about subjects in gemara which are pretty good. then there is a higher level of stuff from roshie yeshivot which tends to be better. then there are works even higher like the stuff that rav shach wrote. This is good stuff. On the other hand from the Mo world the best i saw was that collection of articles that they publish (the religious Zionists that stuff sometimes was OK if it was about archeology of the beit hamikdash or stuff like that but in terms of gemara learning or understanding it was deplorable.)

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  76. ahg - creating our own institutional framework is a wonderful idea. Unfortunately, too many of our existing institutions (YU being the most significant) have too much overlap with the Charedi community and far too much fear (inferiority complex?) of being put in Cherem by that world that it just won't happen. Just look at the reaction YU had to YCT.

    As for the comments being made about the Siyum HaShas - the AI's global celebration plans are a perfect example of the hypocrisy and lack of integrity in that organization. The "gedolim" they are putting on the dais used to look down on daf yomi.

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  77. Meir: I had posted your comment on Rabbi Maryles' site and it looks like you have a whole fan club already:

    >2 days ago, 7:03:36 PM
    Liked by
    Baruch Gitlin
    Daniel Schwartz
    Chani from Israel
    2 Guests<

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  78. Rabbi Slifkin- Any idea when these Failed Messiah guest posts are going to end and Rationalist Judaism is going to return?

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  79. Perhaps synthesizing modernity and orthodoxy is very hard, and therefore still highly incomplete, and in that proportion we find very powerful "valences" with "Haredut".

    Consider this bit about "Brisk and Berlin", told by Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff [transcription courtesy Jonathan Baker]:

    [[start of quote, emphasis mine]]
    Reb Chaim Heller and the Rav: Reb Chaim was not a teacher to the young Rav Soloveitchik, but something else. R' Chaim merged Eastern Europe with the Enlightenment, through being a Torah giant. He founded the Bet Medrash Elyon, where the idea was to mix Torah with scientific knowledge. Unfortunately, this was not successful, as the sort of people he was looking for had to be R' Chaim Hellers themselves, and there just weren't many people of his caliber. R' Heller became a father figure to Rav Soloveitchik in Berlin. He was a connection to the Rav's roots.
    [[end of quote]]

    Which I read in light of Rav Soloveitchik's characterization of Rav Heller at fn. 12 of איש ההלכה:

    "...
    ידידי הגאון מאור הגולה מהר"ח העליר שליא"א
    ..."

    [In Dr. Lawrence Kaplan's translation it's fn. 13: "... my friend, the Gaon, light of the Diaspora, R. Hayyim Heller ... [now of blessed memory] ..."]

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  80. shaul- I agree had the same thoughts especially after reading this-

    http://esseragaroth.blogspot.com/2012/02/most-dangerous-wedding-in-world.html

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  81. This is why a LAPID-LEIBERMAN led coalition will be the most ideal situation for Israel and the religious world. It will force the religious back to sanity and Rav HaGaon Slifkin will be at the forefront of this new breed of intellectual, articulate, Rabbis.

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  82. But it's even more frustrating that Modern Orthodox/ Dati Leumi do not make more of an effort to perpetuate their own existence, and then complain about Chareidim.

    Well said.

    There is truth in all Jewish communities. We debate how much or how little each has to offer, but the spark is there, IMHO. Just to be clear, I am NOT a pluralist.

    One more thing, there are actually two Datti Leumi camps, the Mamlakhtim (undying State loyalists), and the Toranim (an imperfect name, so please suggest another) who recognize (more and more) the increasing number of sestiroth popping up between halakhah and Israeli law.

    Esser Agaroth

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  83. Part of the problem is that the M in MO implies embracing the modern world - its technology, its scientific advancements, and its higher culture. However, for the hamon am, it also means being open and engaging of popular material culture - along with the related costs. The charedi world - even with its ample narishkeit/wig competitions/the need for the biggest Borsalino brim or most full key chain - is far less tied to this. As such, their values tilt more towards having and supporting kids and keeping them separated from popular culture.

    Extremist cultures win for a long time, until they over reach (see Taliban), implode (see Republicans), or just keep winning (see Wahabis). The question is how does it work for us?

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  84. 10 Aggeroth is right - There is "some" truth in every community - just EVERY COMMUNITY needs to hold down a job and be self sufficient and don't be a burden on Der Wurker!!! This is the torani path!

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