Thursday, December 08, 2005

Confessio Pro Vita Sua: Modern Orthodoxy

Gil Student has a very nuanced, and moving post about importance of Modern Orthodoxy (and the absolute necessity for a broad education) as part of an integrated Orthodox worldview. His remarks has made me reconsider my position that the major challenge to Tradition comes from the relativism of the Humanities and Social Sciences. The (so-called) Exact Sciences are still no less of a challenge, thanks to the people of the type who crucify Slifkin.


Anonymous said...

dont quite see what it has to do with mo in any sense.
what gil and myobiter seem to be championing is simple honesty.

is the hareidi world necessarily dishonest? can they not hold gil and myobiters views re: tsbp?

Jeffrey said...

It depends how you define MO. I give it a four-part definition: 1) Openness to Broader Culture and Knowledge 2) Religious Zionism 3) Commitment to the Jewish People as a whole 4) Realization of the fulness of the place of women within responsible halakhic parameters.

The Haredi World, out of a dogmatic rejection of #1 has maneuvered itself into a procrustean bed which can lead to serious cognitive dissonance.

Anonymous said...

the rw cognitive dissonance is at once both fascinating and frustrating to me.

you forget the most obvious, and most important:
unfailing commitment to halakha, and an awareness/publicity of the various pitfalls of the "Openness to Broader Culture and Knowledge" and the proper response to them.

i have found that often the rw world will raise issues that the mo world will not. how the rw deals with these issues is a far different question, but at least they do not sweep important fears, (such as the internet, or the dangers of a university education) under the carpet.

i am big fan of both the net and secular education, but the dangers therein must be recognized and dealt with.

settler said...

Is a Torah Im Derech Eretz afficianado who accepts 1, 2 and 4 (and I know of at least one prominent, well-known dynamic young Rabbi in London who admitted to me that he is such a person) not Modern Orthodox?

What about those who accept 1,2 and 3 - but reject MO's (over?) emphasis on 4 (and much of the National Religious community in Israel meets this definition)? are they not MO?

And does someone like Rav Dr. Borganski of Mitzpeh Hoshaya, who accepted all 4 but now says that over-emphasizing no. 2 was a mistake? is he off to become Haredi?

Though most of the people that identified with the first definition above have since WWII become either Religious Zionists or have moved into the Haredi world with the resulting de-emphasis on number 1 (and possibly 3 as well), it seems to me that those who identify with the second set of parameters above are not necessarily going to start once again hiding their Bialik or Shakesepeare under the bed (TV's in the closet is a different story) and are not going to dust off their grandfathers' kapotes any time soon - even if they aren't taking out memberships at Yakar - or Shira Chadasha.

settler said...

I meant 1,3, and 4 for the Torah Im Derech eretz type - everything except Religious Zionism