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S/O - Modern vs Modern Orthodox, let's break it down (again)
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 4:29 pm
Exactly.

All the “but did your rabbi allow purple socks?” posts are really missing the point.
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vintagebknyc




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 4:32 pm
OOTforlife wrote:
People might not want to eat from their home, even if they keep kosher.


The only observant thing my paternal grandmother did was keep a kosher kitchen; I'd trust the kashrut in her home as much as I would anyone else's, regardless of her other behavior.
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 4:35 pm
CCwife, I think you are missing something fundamental about modern orthodoxy. Its not a label that starts and stops at specific points on the spectrum. Its a continuum. Someone could do xyz and be LWMO and another person could do the same and be RWMO because of something else. Such specifics are really not needed. ANd not always used.
As someone else said above, you are seeing things through your yeshivish lens and that is making things blurry in a way you probably wont be able to fix.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 4:40 pm
I did hear a YI rav say that he'd love to have his congregants talk to him about stuff. Nothing wrong with that. Soliciting eitzas, bouncing things off another person doesn't make a person chassidish or yeshivish or chareidi.
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yamaha




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 4:54 pm
Chickensoupprof wrote:
ey does it mean... that if you ask shailas more you are less MO?


No, but that's exactly the point. MO isn't about what you do, it's about your mindset/ideology.
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yamaha




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 5:33 pm
Also thanks everyone for a really good discussion. I'm learning a lot.
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meiravit




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 6:49 pm
shabbatiscoming wrote:
CCwife, Im wondering why you keep referring to Rav Kook as a leader for the MO world. He is not. He never was. He was a chasid who believed in Israel. You can say the dati leumi community and more specifically the torani dati leumi kehilot, is where his teachings ended up, but most definitely not MO.

And also, NO, most MO people do not ask hashkafa questions to rabanim. Some do, but the majority do not.


Interesting, because I always lumped R' Kook and the dati-leumi community together with MO.

So who would you say is a leader in the MO community as far as hashkafa and developing their derech?
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zaq




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 6:52 pm
keym wrote:
.
Which is where the irony of R SR Hirsch being the father of the community comes into play, since he was a big proponent of keeping his community totally segregated from the general world.


No. The classical Hirschian outlook was NOT to divorce oneself from the world in general or reject secular education and secular work. Hirsch himself attended the University of Bonn after getting semicha. What Hirsch refused to associate with was Reform Judaism (Conservative Judaism didn't exist).
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dancingqueen




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 6:54 pm
Fox wrote:
One of Modern Orthodoxy's strengths is that it spends limited time on gatekeeping. Conformity is demanded less and there is room for people who wish for more individuality in how they dress and conduct themselves.

However, one of Modern Orthodoxy's weaknesses is that it spends limited time on gatekeeping. There are many MO individuals who are learned, knowledgeable, and committed to Torah U'Madda. And there are also individuals who have no deep understanding of MO hashkafos -- they just don't want to be that frum.

Dr. Samuel Heilman identified this issue in his sociological study of an MO shul, Synagogue Life. The rabbi of the shul was frequently discouraged by this phenomenon, but he attempted to influence such congregants through example and ahavas Yisroel.

So when a woman in a tank top and miniskirt presents herself as "Modern Orthodox," there's no one to stand up and say, "Um, no. You may be aspiring to be Modern Orthodox, and we value that, but please go put some clothes on."

This is not always a bad thing. There are many people who grew up in irreligious homes for whom RW communities would seem too stifling. There are people who grew up in RW communities who need a little more air. Modern Orthodoxy provides a home for such people in addition to those who are truly committed to Torah U'Madda.

But the price Modern Orthodoxy pays for its tolerance and inclusiveness is that, frequently, its least-qualified members end up representing it to the rest of the Jewish world without much pushback from rabbonim or anyone else.
____________________________

Over the years, there's been a tendency for these kinds of threads to devolve into Purina Dog Chow contests ("My dog's bigger than your dog!"). That's a mistake. Communities are like husbands: they all have problems; you just have to figure out what problems you can put up with.


I just want to address tzniut because people keep bringing it up. I think it’s hard for people from more RW communities to understand how MO can fully accept women who are less strict with tzniut into their communities, and the only way I can explain it is that tzniut just occupies much less of a primary status in our culture. This is true across the spectrum of MO, though more so among the more LW communities.
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Rosie89




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 6:57 pm
I work in a Modern Orthodox school. Boys and girls are expected to dress tznius (kippah for boys, long skirts for girls), daven, and adhere to all halacha while on school property. They learn tanach, halacha, and Talmud in depth—their textual skills put me (and my Bais Yaakov education) to shame.

The students, however, are not all observent; there’s a large range. Some, like the administration, are completely frum. Others don’t keep Shabbos or kosher at all. And the majority fall somewhere in between—they may not keep the laws of tznius, but they have amazing kavanah in tefilah. Or they might “eat out” in a treif restaurant, but they keep Shabbos. I think that because they attend an MO school, outsiders might view these students as MO, but some of the students themselves don’t even consider themselves religious.

(To be clear, this isn’t true of all MO schools. I’m just trying to explain why someone might confuse MO with those who are modern/less observant.)
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GreenEyes26




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 7:34 pm
dancingqueen wrote:
I just want to address tzniut because people keep bringing it up. I think it’s hard for people from more RW communities to understand how MO can fully accept women who are less strict with tzniut into their communities, and the only way I can explain it is that tzniut just occupies much less of a primary status in our culture. This is true across the spectrum of MO, though more so among the more LW communities.


This ^^. It really irked me when Fox used a tzniut example to make her point (which I also don’t agree with). The way women dress is just. Not. An. Issue. My shul has pants wearers and full-Shaitel wearers. Short sleeves and long sleeves. No hair covering and just a headband. Etc etc. No one notices or cares and it has zero affect on how you are treated as a person. In addition, your religious observance is independent of your dressing style. They are two different things. As they should be.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 8:54 pm
Rosie89 wrote:
I work in a Modern Orthodox school. Boys and girls are expected to dress tznius (kippah for boys, long skirts for girls), daven, and adhere to all halacha while on school property. They learn tanach, halacha, and Talmud in depth—their textual skills put me (and my Bais Yaakov education) to shame.

The students, however, are not all observent; there’s a large range. Some, like the administration, are completely frum. Others don’t keep Shabbos or kosher at all. And the majority fall somewhere in between—they may not keep the laws of tznius, but they have amazing kavanah in tefilah. Or they might “eat out” in a treif restaurant, but they keep Shabbos. I think that because they attend an MO school, outsiders might view these students as MO, but some of the students themselves don’t even consider themselves religious.

(To be clear, this isn’t true of all MO schools. I’m just trying to explain why someone might confuse MO with those who are modern/less observant.)


That's so nice. May they go on to greater accomplishments.
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Fox




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 11:06 pm
GreenEyes26 wrote:
This ^^. It really irked me when Fox used a tzniut example to make her point (which I also don’t agree with). The way women dress is just. Not. An. Issue. My shul has pants wearers and full-Shaitel wearers. Short sleeves and long sleeves. No hair covering and just a headband. Etc etc. No one notices or cares and it has zero affect on how you are treated as a person. In addition, your religious observance is independent of your dressing style. They are two different things. As they should be.

You seem, then, to be saying that Modern Orthodoxy rejects the halachos of tznius rather than simply having different interpretations or considering those people who fail to adhere to be works in progress.

So let's use kashrus as an example. As far as I know, Modern Orthodoxy doesn't vary in principle from RW groups. They may accept/reject a particular hechsher that other groups don't, but that's true of everyone.

Or use Sabbath observance as the example.

What are the lines -- based on any examples you want -- between someone who is legitimately MO and someone who simply isn't observant? Based on what you and others are saying, it seems like attending a MO shul is the only real requirement for deeming someone Modern Orthodox.
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chanchy123




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 11:53 pm
keym wrote:
Honestly, I don't care what she does.
I'm curious for the sake of knowledge and academics.
It's about scholarship.
I'm going to try to explain without insulting anyone.
Conservative Rabbis have "paskened" that one may drive to shul on Shabbos because not to go takes away from the spirit of the day.
If I see a person in finprof's shul driving on Shabbos, I might think that LWMO paskens the same and that would be problematic to me.
Now, being told that the Rabbis dont pasken that way, and the people who do it are lite, or less observant or any other label one wants to put on, that tells me that the basic halacha is the same.
The interpretation is on smaller things. But her Rabbi holds the same as mine on the big things.

I really hope I'm not insulting anyone. If I am, I'll erase.

In no world would a person who drives to shul on Shabbat be considered MO even if they attended a MO shul and sent their kids to a MO school- however, they are welcome to send to MO schools and attend a MO shul.
Did you actually think this condoned by modern orthodoxy? This is literally the most definitive example of Conservative hashkafa - no one who drives on Shabbat would consider themselves MO.
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keym




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 11:58 pm
chanchy123 wrote:
In no world would a person who drives to shul on Shabbat be considered MO even if they attended a MO shul and sent their kids to a MO school- however, they are welcome to send to MO schools and attend a MO shul.
Did you actually think this condoned by modern orthodoxy? This is literally the most definitive example of Conservative hashkafa - no one who drives on Shabbat would consider themselves MO.


I used an extreme example to make sure I wouldn't use one that might touch closer to home.
But eating in nonkosher restaurants (standard food, not specific requests), tank-top and shorts around, hugging and kissing during nidda. Many other things like this.
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chanchy123




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 12:03 am
vintagebknyc wrote:
The only observant thing my paternal grandmother did was keep a kosher kitchen; I'd trust the kashrut in her home as much as I would anyone else's, regardless of her other behavior.

I understand, but that’s not the way Halacha works - in Halacha there is a rule that one witness is trustworthy for issurim. So you don’t need a mashgiach for your cooking to be kosher if you are trustworthy on your own. In Halacha - the yardstick of being a trustworthy witnesses is being shomer Shabbat (and it makes sense to me as well, you are less likely to fudge at kashrut if you show you value Halacha by keeping Shabbat).
So as a rule of thumb there is no reason not to eat at someone’s house if they are shomer Shabbat, but it’s a problem if they are not.
In certain cases - like with close family - there are leniencies and this is a great example of a question a MO person would ask their rabbi (and not if they should maintain a relationship with said relative who does not keep Shabbat - but how to eat in their kitchen without offending them).
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chanchy123




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 12:06 am
keym wrote:
I used an extreme example to make sure I wouldn't use one that might touch closer to home.
But eating in nonkosher restaurants (standard food, not specific requests), tank-top and shorts around, hugging and kissing during nidda. Many other things like this.

Do you not understand that being mechalel Shabbat befarhasya is different from pretty much every violation of Halacha out there? I’ve seen posts in this site of chassidish and yeshivish women who hug and kiss during nida, certainly of chassidish women who were bikinis in a public pool in vacation etc etc
You don’t have to keep Halacha to the tee to be called MO or chassidish or yeshivish or whatever - but you need to belong to a community that strives to do so.
But yeah - being mechalel Shabbat befarhesiya makes you not Orthodox (washing off a stain on your new expensive dress in the bathroom in the privacy of your own house makes you struggling or ignorant - not non-Orthodox).
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heidi




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 12:12 am
ccwife wrote:
I'm not asking if they are judgemental. It's not judgemental to disagree with an approach. I'm asking if the Rabbanim in the MO world hold of the left-wing psakim. The OP mentioned that the rw mo world looks very similar to the yeshivish world. I'm wondering if the whole MO world follows the same hashkafa or not. And how is the left viewed to the right? I think it's a legitimate question that I've never been to able to ask. My personal views on other hashkafos (Chassidish, Yeshivish, MO, whatever else) are irrelevant.

YU Roshei Yeshiva have registered their disagreement with the open Orthodox movement in public speeches and in print.
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LovesHashem




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 12:25 am
chanchy123 wrote:
Do you not understand that being mechalel Shabbat befarhasya is different from pretty much every violation of Halacha out there? I’ve seen posts in this site of chassidish and yeshivish women who hug and kiss during nida, certainly of chassidish women who were bikinis in a public pool in vacation etc etc
You don’t have to keep Halacha to the tee to be called MO or chassidish or yeshivish or whatever - but you need to belong to a community that strives to do so.
But yeah - being mechalel Shabbat befarhesiya makes you not Orthodox (washing off a stain on your new expensive dress in the bathroom in the privacy of your own house makes you struggling or ignorant - not non-Orthodox).


What if people aren’t striving for more? Are they not MO?

What about people who say they don’t currently believe in the Oral Torah? Or people who have different beliefs like saying:

I don’t really believe in tchiyas hameisim, or that our souls continue on.

I understand that rabbanim made halachos 1000 years ago about stuff, but times has changed. Lots of it’s irrelevant, like tzniyis and other things. I don’t believe G-d wants me to these things.

People who believe their Rebbe is G-d


If anyone and everyone is accepted into shul and into the community, how do you differentiate who is MO and who is Open Orthodox or Conservative?

What’s the lines? Is it just shabbos?

What if someone says they don’t believe Hashem still exists but they think shabbos is a nice concept and love the songs in shul and community. So they keep shabbos, go to shul, and their kids wear more modest clothing since they are more conservative leaning people, but not because they believe in Hashem.

When it comes to yeshivish and chassidish there’s clear lines that once you do xyz you aren’t part of the community. And there are so many of them.

So my questions is where and what are those lines? Do they exist?
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chanchy123




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 12:44 am
LovesHashem wrote:
What if people aren’t striving for more? Are they not MO?

What about people who say they don’t currently believe in the Oral Torah? Or people who have different beliefs like saying:

I don’t really believe in tchiyas hameisim, or that our souls continue on.

I understand that rabbanim made halachos 1000 years ago about stuff, but times has changed. Lots of it’s irrelevant, like tzniyis and other things. I don’t believe G-d wants me to these things.

People who believe their Rebbe is G-d


If anyone and everyone is accepted into shul and into the community, how do you differentiate who is MO and who is Open Orthodox or Conservative?

What’s the lines? Is it just shabbos?

What if someone says they don’t believe Hashem still exists but they think shabbos is a nice concept and love the songs in shul and community. So they keep shabbos, go to shul, and their kids wear more modest clothing since they are more conservative leaning people, but not because they believe in Hashem.

When it comes to yeshivish and chassidish there’s clear lines that once you do xyz you aren’t part of the community. And there are so many of them.

So my questions is where and what are those lines? Do they exist?

I didn’t say that they strive for more (in any of the examples) but that they belong to a community that strives for more.
I think we’re back to the MO language vs yeshivish language here.
I don’t need a line where one is not allowed to attend my shul. Anyone who is Jewish can take part and anyone who is Jewish can send their kids to my school - they don’t need to subscribe to any sort of orthodoxy to do so - I don’t care.
I’ve seen countless threads here along the lines of “I look 100% but it’s all fake…” are these women not yeshivish or not Orthodox?
To me orthodoxy is about practice and not about faith - in almost all cases. And I actually have known people who are agnostic but keep Halacha because they value the way of life.
Mechalel Shabbat befarhesya is a halachic term - and carries certain weight (they cannot be considered a faithful witness for instance) and no one who does it would consider themselves Orthodox of any brand.
You don’t get a certificate of being MO open orthodox or Conservative. It doesn’t matter to us what they are - these are labels people are free to give themselves as they wish.
Just like you can still call yourself chassidish but dress in a bikini when in vacation - because it’s a matter of community identity - even if your behavior is not condoned by chassidish hashkafa. You can still be MO and eat dairy out - because it’s a matter of community identity.
However no one who drives on Shabbat would identify as MO or Open Orthodox for the matter.
There is no real world application for being eligible for a label - we just don’t care.
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