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What is Modern Orthodox?


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#41 BaronPhilip

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 08:56 PM

Personally, I am not comfortable with the idea of mitzva tanz. Why would I want all the men standnig around and watching me "dance?" yichers

:lol:

but it seems that the Conservative movement started out kind of how Modern Orthodoxy is now.

I think you're right. (but only if you're referring to the non-observant kind of MO, that is) The "Modern Orthodox" group "Edah" seems to be currently organizing itself around a hashkafah that's virtually indistinguishable from what Conservative Judaism started out as. I call it "Conservative Judaism: Take 2". The guiding philosophical principle for both groups is what we call "positive historicism". This term comes out of the German philosophy of the 19th century (e.g. Hegel) and is just a fancy way of saying "human morality and wisdom are progressively improving" and is exactly the opposite of yeridas ha-doros. For example, Edah advocates women having aliyos because of the "progress" of feminism.

One big difference, in my opinion, between early Conservative Judaism and Edah is that the early Conservatives (e.g. Zechariah Frankel) explicitly said "we are historical positivists", whereas Edah doesn't openly explain that this is what is driving them. The Edah people just assume that positive historicism is obvious, or aren't self-aware enough to realize. Or maybe, (now this is cynical) they just don't want to say it out loud because they don't want to be seen for what they're all about.

=================================

At first glance, I think some of the back-and-forth on this thread centers on terminology. When TRA says "Modern Orthodox", he is sometimes referring to people who aren't really committed to halacha, people that Opus prefers to call "Modern Orthodox lite".
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#42 reelee23

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 09:01 PM

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#43 reelee23

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 09:03 PM

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#44 payel

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 09:07 PM

Before the WWII, Orthodoxy and conservativism were virtually indistinguishable as movements

May EDAH look like Conservative Judaism down the road? Yes. Is it there now? No. Things like this should not always be followed to their logical conclusions.

#45 BaronPhilip

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 09:24 PM

Is that his whole thesis, antithesis, synthesis thing?

It's very interesting that you should mentioned that. Nachman Krochmal, who lived from 1785 to 1840, is considered by Conservative Judaism as one of it's first great philosophers. (In fact, the current head of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Ismar Schorch, is a specialist in the ideas of Krochmal and wrote his PhD dissertation on him.) In his book "Moreh Nevuchei Ha-Zman", Krochmal tried to apply the whole "thesis, antithesis, synthesis" thing onto the history of Judaism.

Here is a link to a short little article about this subject, Reelee: Nachman Krochmal: A Guide for the Perplexed of His Era

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

But Hegel's idea of "thesis, antithesis, synthesis" wasn't the only model of positive historicism. There were other versions of it. The common denominator of all of them was the notion of "progress", which was a very popular idea in 19th century Germany. So Conservative Judaism isn't necessarily founded on the system of "thesis, antithesis, synthesis", but it's definitely founded on the notion of progress.
The fascination of what’s difficult
Has dried the sap out of my veins

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#46 BaronPhilip

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 09:31 PM

Before the WWII, Orthodoxy and conservativism were virtually indistinguishable as movements

Yes, but only in America, and I would better say "before World War I".

The early days of the Jewish Theological Seminary (1886 to 1902) were actually relatively "frum".
The fascination of what’s difficult
Has dried the sap out of my veins

—Yeats

#47 the Real Adiel

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 10:04 PM

"All the men" are your brothers, uncles, and grandfathers. And you don't "dance". It's a formal, stilted, awkward, symbolic "march" up and down about five steps, while you avert your gaze -- and most choson kallahs cry. Pity I dont have a scanner to show you what mine looks :)

I got to dance with my best friends Kallah at a mitzva tanz, with a gartel of course, however she had decent footwork.

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#48 the Real Adiel

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 10:17 PM

The MO is definitly drifting right wing, the new group that is moving to the left (basically on Woman issues) is splintering off mainstream MO in my opinion. On the whole things you would find in a typical Young Israel shul many subtle changes that have taken place over the last 3-4 decades. The rabbis have black hats and wives have shaitels. Mixed dancing at shul functions don't exist in most Young Israel shuls anymore. Slowly and quietly the MO has drifted right wing. I don't look at it as an even split down the middle among the MO rather a medium sized splinter group.

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#49 hashkcoffee

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 01:04 AM

Sure it does.  It violates tznius.

I have been to many MO weddings and even had one myself.  And I've never seen the chosson dancing with the kallah.

Actually, I saw it once at a yeshivish-lite wedding (see next post for definition).

it doesnt violate tznius bcz its not a romantic dance. its purely symbolic.

There is no one like the chasidishe oilam who are so makpid on tznius. If this would really violate tznius the rabbanim would outlaw it a long time ago.

Have you ever really seen one?

#50 hashkcoffee

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 01:06 AM

do u think that in a mitzvah tantz the kallah is any more on display than she is throughout the whole wedding?
i had one, and it didn't feel like it!

she absolutely isnt more on display.

None of them men even look at her. They are busy shmoozing in the back of the room and laughing at the badchan's corny jokes.

PS -- they are all her close relatives.

#51 hashkcoffee

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 01:07 AM

"All the men" are your brothers, uncles, and grandfathers. And you don't "dance". It's a formal, stilted, awkward, symbolic "march" up and down about five steps, while you avert your gaze -- and most choson kallahs cry. Pity I dont have a scanner to show you what mine looks :)

The pictures that I've seen from mitzvah tanzes have had many more men there than just family. I don't it isn't really dancing, that's why I put it in quotes.

well the mitzvah tantzes you've seen, violate tznius principles. You probalby havent seen the willy type mitzvah tantzes which occur at 3 am in which only the uncles and brothers of the couple are present...

#52 cynic

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 09:25 AM

There is no one like the chasidishe oilam who are so makpid on tznius. If this would really violate tznius the rabbanim would outlaw it a long time ago.

Mindy, do you honestly believe this?
Why do you think people make fun of the couples who walk down the street with a Shtreimel, Bekeshe and skin-tight,knee-length skirts?

Stop saying that "There is no one like the chasidishe....." for anything. It's stupid, insulting and quite frankly shows your ignorance of the "outside" Jewish world.

#53 cynic

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 09:26 AM

it doesnt violate tznius bcz its not a romantic dance. its purely symbolic.

So in your opinion, shaking hands would be OK? After all, it's purely symbolical.

#54 NIRC1

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 09:54 AM

There is no one like the chasidishe oilam who are so makpid on tznius. If this would really violate tznius the rabbanim would outlaw it a long time ago.

Mindy, do you honestly believe this?
Why do you think people make fun of the couples who walk down the street with a Shtreimel, Bekeshe and skin-tight,knee-length skirts?

Stop saying that "There is no one like the chasidishe....." for anything. It's stupid, insulting and quite frankly shows your ignorance of the "outside" Jewish world.

I don't know where you come off attacking everyone else. The meaning behind a mitzva tantz is extremely lofty, but the fact is most of us don't understand the meaning behind it.
Granted there are chasidim to whom tznius isn't a priority but the overwhelming majority are more makpid on tznius issues then the yeshivishe velt. I think your issue is one of misunderstanding and therefore misconstruing chasidishe minhogim. I've only been to two mitzva tantzes because only close family is supposed to stay, and that is how the chasidishe oilam is makpid. By the way by some chasidim the kallah is in a different room with the gartel going around a corner or through a door.
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
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#55 Opus

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 10:00 AM

Do you think that Modern Orthodoxy can last?

It makes me sad but I believe that Modern Orthodoxy is dying. Baron and I are anomalies (and we are old friends). People like us tend to either join the yeshiva world and let our kids become totally yeshivish or join the MO lite world and let our kids become typical MO lites. Granted, we think that we can train our kids to follow our path exactly, but we can't. My point is that there is no community for us.

Right now, Edah and plenty others are farther to the left than many Conservative rabbis I know (these Conservative rabbis have agreed with me when I said it!). This has many of people just fed up and leaving Modern Orthodoxy. I predict that within a decade Modern Orthodoxy will be ordaining women rabbis and everyone sane will be fleeing to the yeshiva world.

And, I'll add, Modern Orthodoxy gave up (or lost) the fight when Richard Joel was appointed President of YU. He has no moral or religious authority to fight for the old Modern Orthodoxy, and he will not stand up to the Edah group because some big money-men might not contribute if he does so.

#56 NIRC1

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 10:09 AM

And, I'll add, Modern Orthodoxy gave up (or lost) the fight when Richard Joel was appointed President of YU.  He has no moral or religious authority to fight for the old Modern Orthodoxy, and he will not stand up to the Edah group because some big money-men might not contribute if he does so.

I think most importantly he doesn't have the intellectual authority to fight against EDAH
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#57 Opus

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 10:17 AM

I think most importantly he doesn't have the intellectual authority to fight against EDAH

Don't overestimate the intellectual authority of Edah. They might have some smart people who can use big words, but when it comes to learning they don't have much of a brain trust.

#58 shim

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 10:31 AM

There is no one like the chasidishe oilam who are so makpid on tznius. If this would really violate tznius the rabbanim would outlaw it a long time ago.

Mindy, do you honestly believe this?
Why do you think people make fun of the couples who walk down the street with a Shtreimel, Bekeshe and skin-tight,knee-length skirts?

Stop saying that "There is no one like the chasidishe....." for anything. It's stupid, insulting and quite frankly shows your ignorance of the "outside" Jewish world.

I don't know where you come off attacking everyone else. The meaning behind a mitzva tantz is extremely lofty, but the fact is most of us don't understand the meaning behind it.
Granted there are chasidim to whom tznius isn't a priority but the overwhelming majority are more makpid on tznius issues then the yeshivishe velt. I think your issue is one of misunderstanding and therefore misconstruing chasidishe minhogim. I've only been to two mitzva tantzes because only close family is supposed to stay, and that is how the chasidishe oilam is makpid. By the way by some chasidim the kallah is in a different room with the gartel going around a corner or through a door.

With all due respect, how do you know this? It would be one thing if the mitzva tanz was something that dated from Sinai or at least Talmudic times. But it doesn't. I can't say for certain where it arose and when and why and who approved of it. But I think I'm right in suggesting that if somehow it had never come into being R' Yoilish zt"l wouldn't have instituted it. The reason why a stop isn't put to it is because the zeides did it and who are we to argue with them. But this began at a point in time, someone first did it whose zeide didn't.

#59 cynic

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 10:43 AM

There is no one like the chasidishe oilam who are so makpid on tznius. If this would really violate tznius the rabbanim would outlaw it a long time ago.

Mindy, do you honestly believe this?
Why do you think people make fun of the couples who walk down the street with a Shtreimel, Bekeshe and skin-tight,knee-length skirts?

Stop saying that "There is no one like the chasidishe....." for anything. It's stupid, insulting and quite frankly shows your ignorance of the "outside" Jewish world.

I don't know where you come off attacking everyone else. The meaning behind a mitzva tantz is extremely lofty, but the fact is most of us don't understand the meaning behind it.
Granted there are chasidim to whom tznius isn't a priority but the overwhelming majority are more makpid on tznius issues then the yeshivishe velt. I think your issue is one of misunderstanding and therefore misconstruing chasidishe minhogim. I've only been to two mitzva tantzes because only close family is supposed to stay, and that is how the chasidishe oilam is makpid. By the way by some chasidim the kallah is in a different room with the gartel going around a corner or through a door.

So stop saying Chassidishe people are.........
And BTW, I'm probably more chassidishe than Mindy or anybody else on this board. And how am I attacking everyone else? All I said is that Mindy's constant posts about Chassidus are insulting to many people, besides being highly ignorant. She lives in her little ghetto and doesn't see out, yet she feels OK in posting as if she knows everything about all the Jews.
Did you know that she probably won't eat in your house? Do you know why? She doesn't think you're kosher enough.

#60 Nechama

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 11:05 AM

(yeah, well some people here may think twice before eating in my house because my father wears a wedding ring... So at least I think she has a more legit reason if she does not hold by the same hasgshas I do )
[/go on, I just needed to insert a off topic side remark]
If I have interesting things on the walls, no one will notice how dirty the floors are - right?




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