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S/O - Modern vs Modern Orthodox, let's break it down (again)
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simcha2




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 11:34 am
ccwife wrote:
Ok that makes sense. But I don't even mean the laymen. I mean the actual hashkafa and the Rabbanim that lead them.

For example, in my world (yeshiva world not so much yeshivish), our Poskim vehemently disagree on psak halacha sometimes. We have one Rav who holds it's a completely assur to use baby wipes and another who, based on his understanding of halacha, does not. Obviously there is no judgement if one follows their Rav. But each Rav gave his psak based on his mesorah and way that he understands the halacha.

Is the same true for MO. Are all of the Rabbanim following their Mesorah? I think I'm finding it hard to understand because if there was mostly one leader how is there such a discrepancy between the Rabbanim that are carrying on their mesorah?


I think in your baby wipe example the same could be true between two MO Rabbanim. But the issue is nothing to do with mesorah, per se. There weren't baby wipes in the time of the Talmud, or even pre-war.

The psak is based on an understanding of how much liquid is "squeezed" when wiping and how much emphasis there is on kavod habriut (why we can do other things on Shabbat that l'chatchila could be considered problematic).

So, it would be based on that Rav's understanding of the practical issues involved and how they have been taught to balance varying halachot that are opposed to each other (I guess that could be considered mesorah...I thinking this through as I type it), so within MO they could come to different conclusions all within the confines of halacha.

The main differences between MO and yeshivish are not in the realm of paskening halacha, but rather in hashkafa (the role of da'as Torah etc).
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jkl




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 11:41 am
OP - Beautifully put! Your post should be permanently pinned to the imamother homepage.
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keym




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:01 pm
simcha2 wrote:
I think in your baby wipe example the same could be true between two MO Rabbanim. But the issue is nothing to do with mesorah, per se. There weren't baby wipes in the time of the Talmud, or even pre-war.

The psak is based on an understanding of how much liquid is "squeezed" when wiping and how much emphasis there is on kavod habriut (why we can do other things on Shabbat that l'chatchila could be considered problematic).

So, it would be based on that Rav's understanding of the practical issues involved and how they have been taught to balance varying halachot that are opposed to each other (I guess that could be considered mesorah...I thinking this through as I type it), so within MO they could come to different conclusions all within the confines of halacha.

The main differences between MO and yeshivish are not in the realm of paskening halacha, but rather in hashkafa (the role of da'as Torah etc).



I always thought the main difference between yeshivish and MO is the difference of opinion on remaining sheltered and separate versus extracting what we can from the secular world and not bshita staying separate.
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.
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ccwife




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:01 pm
simcha2 wrote:
I think in your baby wipe example the same could be true between two MO Rabbanim. But the issue is nothing to do with mesorah, per se. There weren't baby wipes in the time of the Talmud, or even pre-war.

The psak is based on an understanding of how much liquid is "squeezed" when wiping and how much emphasis there is on kavod habriut (why we can do other things on Shabbat that l'chatchila could be considered problematic).

So, it would be based on that Rav's understanding of the practical issues involved and how they have been taught to balance varying halachot that are opposed to each other (I guess that could be considered mesorah...I thinking this through as I type it), so within MO they could come to different conclusions all within the confines of halacha.

The main differences between MO and yeshivish are not in the realm of paskening halacha, but rather in hashkafa (the role of da'as Torah etc).


You're right. I regretted the example after I posted Smile. (Though R' Moshe held that wipes are fine and when my relative brought every brand of wipe to R' Dovid Feinstein, he was told they are all muttar. While my Posek who learned under R' Elyashiv only holds of specific ones. Point being that there is a little mesorah however contemporary it may be.)

I think my point applies for hashkafa as well. My mesorah is to follow the way our original RY learned in Slabodka and from the Alter specifically. His derech hachaim and focus on mussar comes from his Rebbeim. His mesorah for his learning style comes from his Rebbe in Radin. His son became the next RY and passed it on as well. Therefore all the talmidim of our Yeshiva strive to live in the way he taught and they all the learn based on his mesorah.

R' Kook is not that much older than our original RY. I'm curious as to what happened to the Rabbanim under him. Is that they didn't agree with him and adapted it to their own? I'm just not understanding how there can be such different hashkafic views in one sect.

The one answer I can think would be based on your point that we don't view daas Torah in the same way. Meaning R' Kook had his views and didn't want his followers to just copy him. Because if they did they would live like him. And if you say that the RW MO does for the most part carry on his mesorah the "best", that brings me back to my original question of how are the left wing viewed.

I'm truly trying to understand sorry to nitpick, thanks!
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Chickensoupprof




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:08 pm
Really good post and it describes a big community I know from Amsterdam. Because of a few things I really feel I'm not MO. First my dh really is more Torah im derech eretz, like he will follow Hirsh and Rav Feinstein.
We are not really pro Kook and also not really Zionistic bnei akiwa like. I think MO really is different in every country and also as person. If I say to some people that we consider myself MO they laugh and say 'noooo you are at least Modern Yeshivish!!' I really feel MO is way more bnei akiva keeping everything but strong emphasis on Israel. When we say we don't do anything with jom hatsmaot we are according to them chareidi.

What I see is that some people are really judging already people to MO. Some people are frum traditional, more on the conservative side especially here in the Netherlands. We are in for Dutch Jewry really frum yeshivish/chareidi really frum. But when I visit some of my DH family in Manchester we are so modern because we have Netflix and secular books and everything. They say we are modern orthodox. While the people who are from the MO shul are having discussions why we should even have a 2nd day yom tov, tefilos for IDF and medinat Israel is the big theme and also seeing the state of israel as the beginning of the times of mosiach something my husband and I don't share...

Really... we went once to one of those places and I was the only one with a full sheitel and my husband the only one who was in full suit and velvet kippah. In Manchester... suddenly we are Modern Orthodox and I find that strange...
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simcha2




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:17 pm
ccwife wrote:
You're right. I regretted the example after I posted Smile. (Though R' Moshe held that wipes are fine and when my relative brought every brand of wipe to R' Dovid Feinstein, he was told they are all muttar. While my Posek who learned under R' Elyashiv only holds of specific ones. Point being that there is a little mesorah however contemporary it may be.)

I think my point applies for hashkafa as well. My mesorah is to follow the way our original RY learned in Slabodka and from the Alter specifically. His derech hachaim and focus on mussar comes from his Rebbeim. His mesorah for his learning style comes from his Rebbe in Radin. His son became the next RY and passed it on as well. Therefore all the talmidim of our Yeshiva strive to live in the way he taught and they all the learn based on his mesorah.

R' Kook is not that much older than our original RY. I'm curious as to what happened to the Rabbanim under him. Is that they didn't agree with him and adapted it to their own? I'm just not understanding how there can be such different hashkafic views in one sect.

The one answer I can think would be based on your point that we don't view daas Torah in the same way. Meaning R' Kook had his views and didn't want his followers to just copy him. Because if they did they would live like him. And if you say that the RW MO does for the most part carry on his mesorah the "best", that brings me back to my original question of how are the left wing viewed.

I'm truly trying to understand sorry to nitpick, thanks!


I don't think you are nitpicking- you come across as thoughtful and respectful.

I think when I referred to daas Torah we are talking different things. Hashkafically, the idea of asking, and being bound by the psak, for non-halachic questions, simply doesn't exist in MO.

You would never have, for example, the situation where someone asks what to name their child. Or what school they should send to etc.

These simply don't happen in MO.
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zaq




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:23 pm
meiravit wrote:
Thanks, this post was very enlightening.

But I'm not sure I understand the difference between Torah U'Maddah and Torah Im Derech Eretz.

Can you or someone else who is MO explain?


The SRHirsch people would tell you that TIDE means that Torah is primary and Derech Eretz is secondary, while Torah uMadda holds them as equal in importance. This is coming from TIDE people, not TU people, so it's their perspective and not necessarily real. I'm not convinced that there really is a difference.
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chanchy123




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:23 pm
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.

I understand where you’re coming from and I’ll answer honestly. I’m DL so probably more to the right on the MO spectrum - yes of course there is judgement and it goes both ways (more right wing people judging more left wing people as being too liberal and left wing people judging right wing as being too strict it chauvinistic or whatever) - but I don’t think it’s a matter of derech but more of a personal thing, so people are more judgmental than others. Like with your wipes example - some people will feel more superior for my using them and others will feel that those who don’t use them are just nuts.
But with ideology of course it can never be so simple. I mean open Orthodox and Conservatives are probably closer in practice and derech than open Orthodox are to very machmir RWMO (think stockings, shidduch dating, add kolel). While RWMO are probably closer the the yeshivish derech than you open Orthodox - with all that it entails.
Do they both follow the same general derech? Sure. Do they each appreciate and accept the other? I’m not sure that it is any more or less than any other derech in Judaism (think Chabbad Breslav and Skver they’re all chassidim but not really in the same box).
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ccwife




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:24 pm
simcha2 wrote:
I don't think you are nitpicking- you come across as thoughtful and respectful.

I think when I referred to daas Torah we are talking different things. Hashkafically, the idea of asking, and being bound by the psak, for non-halachic questions, simply doesn't exist in MO.

You would never have, for example, the situation where someone asks what to name their child. Or what school they should send to etc.

These simply don't happen in MO.


Got it. But would you ask if your home should have a TV? Or other hashkafic lifestyle questions? Most of my community wouldn't ask about names in the sense of tell me what to name my kid. It would be more like my great-grandmas name was a Yiddish name is the Hebrew substitute the same?

I'm thinking of 2 families. One very RW MO and one LW. Their hashkafos seem worlds apart. How often they daven, learn, wgat they do in their free time, etc. Are they really both what R' Kook or other leaders in the MO community had in mind? It could be there's no good answer to my question and I respect that.
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keym




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:27 pm
simcha2 wrote:
I don't think you are nitpicking- you come across as thoughtful and respectful.

I think when I referred to daas Torah we are talking different things. Hashkafically, the idea of asking, and being bound by the psak, for non-halachic questions, simply doesn't exist in MO.

You would never have, for example, the situation where someone asks what to name their child. Or what school they should send to etc.

These simply don't happen in MO.


Can I ask respectfully.
Do you feel any part of this Daas Torah is "filtering" across to MO.
This wasn't actually a intrinsic part of Yeshivish lifestyle. It filtered over the last 30 years from the Chassidic lifestyle. (I've had long conversations about it with various Roshei Yeshiva).
But this thought has been percolating for a year or so. When they published those pictures of R Herschel Shachter and Rabbi Willig getting the covid vaccine, it made me wonder if anything is changing.
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chanchy123




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:31 pm
ccwife wrote:
Got it. But would you ask if your home should have a TV? Or other hashkafic lifestyle questions? Most of my community wouldn't ask about names in the sense of tell me what to name my kid. It would be more like my great-grandmas name was a Yiddish name is the Hebrew substitute the same?

I'm thinking of 2 families. One very RW MO and one LW. Their hashkafos seem worlds apart. How often they daven, learn, wgat they do in their free time, etc. Are they really both what R' Kook or other leaders in the MO community had in mind? It could be there's no good answer to my question and I respect that.

Like Chabbad and Skver are both followers of the Besht but in very different ways.
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OOTforlife




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:33 pm
ccwife wrote:
Got it. But would you ask if your home should have a TV? Or other hashkafic lifestyle questions? Most of my community wouldn't ask about names in the sense of tell me what to name my kid. It would be more like my great-grandmas name was a Yiddish name is the Hebrew substitute the same?

I'm thinking of 2 families. One very RW MO and one LW. Their hashkafos seem worlds apart. How often they daven, learn, wgat they do in their free time, etc. Are they really both what R' Kook or other leaders in the MO community had in mind? It could be there's no good answer to my question and I respect that.

Is the family you call "LW" really "LW" or are they just "lite"?

To me, "LWMO" refers to people associated with YCT or who support YCT-type hashkafah. They are thoughtful, learned, and observant according to their approach to halacha.

On the other hand, people who are "lite" are just really chilled about halacha and don't feel they need to keep things very carefully or strictly. They may have inherited this approach from their parents or reached it on their own. They may have always affiliated MO or just drifted to MO because MO is more accepting socially and also with schools.

People who are lite in observance may not be at all left wing hashkafically. They may be very uncomfortable, for example, with girls learning gemara or with women dancing with a sefer Torah, just because it is not what they are used to.
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ccwife




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:33 pm
chanchy123 wrote:
I understand where you’re coming from and I’ll answer honestly. I’m DL so probably more to the right on the MO spectrum - yes of course there is judgement and it goes both ways (more right wing people judging more left wing people as being too liberal and left wing people judging right wing as being too strict it chauvinistic or whatever) - but I don’t think it’s a matter of derech but more of a personal thing, so people are more judgmental than others. Like with your wipes example - some people will feel more superior for my using them and others will feel that those who don’t use them are just nuts.
But with ideology of course it can never be so simple. I mean open Orthodox and Conservatives are probably closer in practice and derech than open Orthodox are to very machmir RWMO (think stockings, shidduch dating, add kolel). While RWMO are probably closer the the yeshivish derech than you open Orthodox - with all that it entails.
Do they both follow the same general derech? Sure. Do they each appreciate and accept the other? I’m not sure that it is any more or less than any other derech in Judaism (think Chabbad Breslav and Skver they’re all chassidim but not really in the same box).


Thanks for this explanation. Would you say that the Rabbanim of each "type" hold of the other ones? Do they disagree ever and do they discuss their views?
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yamaha




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:34 pm
ccwife wrote:
Got it. But would you ask if your home should have a TV? Or other hashkafic lifestyle questions? Most of my community wouldn't ask about names in the sense of tell me what to name my kid. It would be more like my great-grandmas name was a Yiddish name is the Hebrew substitute the same?


Perhaps, but in a more hadracha, not psak sense. It's not a must, but if DH and I wanted to get his opinion or talk it over, we might ask our rav.
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yamaha




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:36 pm
keym wrote:
Can I ask respectfully.
Do you feel any part of this Daas Torah is "filtering" across to MO.
This wasn't actually a intrinsic part of Yeshivish lifestyle. It filtered over the last 30 years from the Chassidic lifestyle. (I've had long conversations about it with various Roshei Yeshiva).
But this thought has been percolating for a year or so. When they published those pictures of R Herschel Shachter and Rabbi Willig getting the covid vaccine, it made me wonder if anything is changing.


For sure. And especially because many RW MO young adults end up learning in yeshivas with rabbanim/teachers from more yeshivish communities. There's a lot of osmosis between the communities.
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elmommy




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:36 pm
So my post was ignored, but I still following this conversation and I still want to know the general age range of those posting on both sides. I really have seen a shift in MO and want to know if this is my imagination or if this is an accurate thought.
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simcha2




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:36 pm
ccwife wrote:
Got it. But would you ask if your home should have a TV? Or other hashkafic lifestyle questions? Most of my community wouldn't ask about names in the sense of tell me what to name my kid. It would be more like my great-grandmas name was a Yiddish name is the Hebrew substitute the same?

I'm thinking of 2 families. One very RW MO and one LW. Their hashkafos seem worlds apart. How often they daven, learn, wgat they do in their free time, etc. Are they really both what R' Kook or other leaders in the MO community had in mind? It could be there's no good answer to my question and I respect that.


No one would ask about TV in the home. Or whether the Yiddish substitute is the same. (These are both hashkafic and not halachic issues).

With regard to the two families, is it that they are hashkafically/halachically different, or that they have different levels of observance? Meaning, if you asked both of them to describe the ideal would that be different?

(So if there is a yeshivish guy who doesn't daven shacharit is he hashkafically different to the guy who does? Or is he just at a lower level of observance?).
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chanchy123




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:37 pm
keym wrote:
Can I ask respectfully.
Do you feel any part of this Daas Torah is "filtering" across to MO.
This wasn't actually a intrinsic part of Yeshivish lifestyle. It filtered over the last 30 years from the Chassidic lifestyle. (I've had long conversations about it with various Roshei Yeshiva).
But this thought has been percolating for a year or so. When they published those pictures of R Herschel Shachter and Rabbi Willig getting the covid vaccine, it made me wonder if anything is changing.

I can answer about Israel- which is not exactly a MO community. It is more common among Sefardim and seeping into chardal communities as well. A large segment of Israeli DL society is very much connected to chassidish hashkafa as well, so you’ll see some chassidish manifestation such as asking for a Bracha or seeking guidance from a gadol.
This obviously does not apply to everyone. According to my more Litvish/Gush haskafa people will tend to consult with a rabbi if there is a question that is borderline halachic and will discuss matters with a rabbi rather than seek an answer to a question (but not which car to buy or whether to take certain medication - more complex matters that might have halachic repercussions). Also in my experience the more knowledgeable and learned you are the less you’d ask for a psak and more you’d learn the issue yourself by opening books and possibly consulting with a rabbi which considerations you should have or learning the issue more like a chavrusa.
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ccwife




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:40 pm
yamaha wrote:
Perhaps, but in a more hadracha, not psak sense. It's not a must, but if DH and I wanted to get his opinion or talk it over, we might ask our rav.


But that's the difference between yeshivish and Chassidish. It's not a must in the yeshivish world either to ask things that are either known amongst the comments to be not what we do or the opposite. My question about the TV was more like how did it become that MO doesn't have views about lifestyle like that, not so much your specific family.

I feel like I'm missing something. Though I'll admit I view life through a very specific, small sect lense (and I'm very young, I'll learn!). It's hard for me to grasp the concept of such a huge community, if it could even be called that.
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simcha2




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Oct 13 2021, 12:40 pm
keym wrote:
Can I ask respectfully.
Do you feel any part of this Daas Torah is "filtering" across to MO.
This wasn't actually a intrinsic part of Yeshivish lifestyle. It filtered over the last 30 years from the Chassidic lifestyle. (I've had long conversations about it with various Roshei Yeshiva).
But this thought has been percolating for a year or so. When they published those pictures of R Herschel Shachter and Rabbi Willig getting the covid vaccine, it made me wonder if anything is changing.


I think in general there has been a shift to the right across the entire Orthodox spectrum. (I happen to think this is not a good thing, but that is my own opinion).

I don't think there has been a move to da'as Torah for non-halachic issues, but the line between halacha and hashkafa has become more blurred.

So, are vaccines a personal choice, or does it fall under halacha (nishmartem meod, for example). But even with this, I don't think you would have a general psak from an MO Rav that one must get vaccinated.
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