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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Where do I belong?

The following expresses much better then I could many of the issues that I have with contemporary orthodox society, Ready To Be Orthodox, But No Place to Go. Obviously I am religious, but I find myself not really fitting in, either in MO or UO. Below are some excerpts, it is very worthwhile to read the whole article and the comments

...The MO strike an occasional responsive chord within me. While Torah study is primary for me, I am in favor of some secular learning, want to be part of the world, and support fully the State of Israel.

But there are aspects of MO that give me pause. I find them too casual, and careless, about their Judaism
...
More seriously, I find in the MO an emphasis on material success and careers – just like in the majority culture. While I agree that a Jew should be part of the world, I think the MO tend to blur the narrow line between involvement with the world and yet resisting the vulgar values that permeate that world
...
Yes, they are technically observant, but it’s an observance that to me seems superficial, robotic, without passion. In many MO day schools, Torah study is a subject among other subjects
...
I would like to identify with them, but I am uncomfortable with the whiff of compromise that they exude
...
With the yeshiva/haredi world? Not really.
...
After 120 years, are we to be asked about our hat color and brim width? Do we burn in hell if we wore a gray hat, or a blue one? Is admission to heaven denied to those who wore suits of gray or blue, or, heaven forfend, a sport-jacket?
...
In the real world, there are gradations of gray between black and white – there actual colors out there ! – but for the haredim these do not exist.
...
In general, haredim seem to want to close themselves off from the world of art music, culture – and one cannot blame them. After all, it was the cultural elite of the 20th century who were also the leaders of 20th century brutality, playing Bach while the crematoria did their work. Nevertheless, there is a world out there that helps us understand Creation: physics, biology, mathematics – even music.
...
within their world, is there also room for genuinely pious and learning people who also work, earn livelihoods, have university degrees?


Obviously he is painting with a very broad brush, but there is definately some truth to his characterizations.

2 Comments:

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Rebeljew said...

The problem has been around at least since Moreh Nevuchim. The problem is not that we do not fit in orthodoxy, but that orthodoxy is no longer true to orthodoxy. They ahve developed this strange mentality, this "mystical approach", which requires one to take leave of their senses in order to follow it. The rishonim did not require us to put aside our common sense, but only our preconceptions. When they came up with a solution for such conflicts, it was an understood solution, not a "use your imagination" or a "curse that rotten science" solution.

 
At 12:15 PM, Blogger Kin said...

I must admit, that is one thing that irks me about the Yeshivish world. You have to look the same as everyone else. This is a very new thing. 50 years ago, if you walked into Lakewood only the Rebbeim wore black. And you were considered a major ba'al gaiva if you put on a black hat. Heck, not everyone wore fedora type hats. There were blue and beige and grey and brown. No two suits were the same. If you look at the old pictures of the Mir from Europe, you see the same thing.

In any event, that's why I'm happy with the more serious Dati Leumi crowd in Israel. They take learning seriously, they respect talmidi chachamim and they expect you to be able to support yourself and at least were we live, material excess is frownded upon.

 

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