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FACTIONS-----modern orthodox-how it began


MODERATOR Posted - 06 March 2002 19:32

Modern Orthodoxy is nothing but a label. It is used by different people at will, to describe so large a range of beliefs and actions, that there are MO who consider beyond the pale the beliefs and actions of others who are called MO.

The reason for this confusion is because, unlike Chasidim, Conservatives, Maskilim, Briskers, and other "movements" stemming from Judaism (some legitimate and some not), MO was never officially created. Rather, it began as simply people violating accepted standards of Orthodoxy, and then, when these low standards became the norm within certain communities, they decided to self-proclaim themselves MO, giving the illusion that their indiscretions are instead some kind of set of beliefs.

There were no rabbis that decided "OK, we are creating Modern Orthodoxy. These are our teachings..." the way all the other movements were created. Just the opposite. After certain behaviors became accepted in certain communities, those communities said "Well, I guess we're just Modern Orthodox!".

And anyone can do that to justify any type of behavior, we have so many diff groups and definitions and people claiming the title for themselves.

The only coherent explanation of Modern Orthodoxy comes form Rav Soloveitchik in his Five Addresses, which is, in a nutshell, we must compromise our standards in America because traditional Torah standards will not survive here. Only Yeshiva University type Judaism will survive and all else will die out.

Which means the integration into secularity must be done to the extent that we must in order to survive.

Obviously, the whole idea was a mistake. But where does that leave them now?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Although I agree that modern orthodoxy is just a label, as most people in America use, but others use terms like Torah Umadda, and Centrist orthodoxy. I will use the term Torah Umadda because it best describes MO. TUM began when we began as the Jewish people. My sources for this is an article written by R' Hirsch in Torah im Derech Eretz. He writes it is because of the ghetto lifestyle that caused the Rabbis to shun secular culture and secular learning because the youth saw them as direct conflictions and they chose one or the other, but if this was not the case the rabbis for sure would have embraced secular learning in that it enhances Jewish learning. The Rambam seems to have held of a TUM lifestyle in the way that he was a physician and a philosepher and many other things. One cannot makee the argument that he only did what he needed top do for parnasa because he was not paid to be a philosepher.
And the comment about the Rav, that the only semi clear explanation is from Chamesh Drashot is incoorect also, if you would read his other writings you would see numerous other explanations of TUM.
Also in the ideal TUM halachah is kept to the fullest extent according to our understanding.
and if you want to start bashing MO communities, it is just as easy to bash Charedi.
Like the Rambam says the ideal is for one to work 3 hrs and learn 9.
Rabeinu Tam says work is the Ikkur
Peirkei Avot says Torah without work isn't really even Torah, and in some Chareidi communities there is a huge lack of humanity. I'm from one so i know. A peronal example, I was at shul, (yes, Igo to shul even though I'm MO) and they were chareidi kids making fun of a mentally retarded kid, while my friends who went to a MO school always were better at dealing with special kids. why is this is humanistic traits not taught at chareidi schools and only at MO schools if thats the case I know I would pick the MO school.
Also it tends to be that charedi way of life tends to make people arrogant, narrow minded and haughty.
And Daath Torah is absurd. Who is the best person to ask if i should have a certain surgery a proffesional doctor or a rabbi with no medical training?
I should ask the rabbi about the halachik ramnifications of the surgery, but not if I should have the surgery at all!
And you're summary of
Chamesh Drashot is terrible.
I don't mean to be harsh but it is this type of writing which causes such hatred between our Jewish communities.
And how can you write that the whole thing was a mistake. YU for one is thriving, the Rav's students, R' Lichtenstien( his son in law), Rabbi twersky ( his son in law), R' Lamm, R' Shaechter... are all known as gedolei hatorah. If you ask me that is pretty succesful. I will give you the benefit of the doubtand assume when making this statement that you didn't include Israel were most people are daati leumi and besides the fact that they dont where a hat you wouldn't have known it.
Also an interesting argument, Is it better for people who are less observant to fall away at the sides of the road or hold onto something? when most people say they are MO they dont even know what that entails, but in my opinion thats better then saying im not jewish. and also because this year in Israel revolution that occured many "MO" have become fully observant which they wouldn't have if they were reform conservative or unaffiliated.

To end off when I first clicked on this link" modern orthodox-how it began " I thought I was going to read an interesting unbiased report instead I read your article.

Once again I'm truly sorry if this offends you, but as the saying goes those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

I think instaed of bashing MO you should try to truly understand what it really means

Once again I'm truly sorry if this offends you and I hope that this does not cause a negative effect.