JPPPI Don’t Like Frum People

An op-ed piece in the JPost today caught my eye — apparently the Jewish People and Policy Planning Institute‘s conference on the Future of the Jewish People was planned and organized to the exclusion of the charedi community.

Granted, many “pluralistic” events often mean “we invite everyone except traditional Orthodox people”, but to exclude the fastest growing sector of the Jewish population from a conference talking about the future of the Jewish people is a horrible oversight at best, a patch in panim (slap in the face) at worst.

Like David Eliezrie, a Chaba”d shliach from Yorba Linda, California, writes:

The conference boasts an impressive array of academics and organizational leaders, but it seems there is little or no attendance from the more religious end of the Jewish world. I am sure there are some there sporting yarmulkes but few, if any, have come from the more haredi sector.

If one takes a look at Jewish life it’s without question that the more Orthodox are succeeding in the crucial area of Jewish continuity. While assimilation chips away at many in the Jewish world, the Orthodox seem to be both retaining the loyalty of the next generation and expanding their numbers. We are far from a utopia – parts of the ultra-Orthodox community are insular and have minimal concern for the totality of the Jewish people, unless it’s on their own terms. And there are internal problems that are acute and need to be met.

Still, even a casual observer will note that we are not doing something right. And around the world, in community after community, traditional Judaism is gaining root and expanding…

Not everyone in the frum community is prepared for this type of engagement. Some see little value in dialogue with more secular Jewish leaders. However, in the interest of intellectual honesty they should at least be invited.

Failing to do that raises a deeper question. Is not the unwillingness to extend such an invitation merely the mirror image of a narrowness found among segments of the haredi world? Shouldn’t the spirit of liberal tolerance prompt organizers to seek partners outside their own world view?

Nu?

And let it not be forgotten — the charedi world (at large, even if Meah Shearim is still not quite there yet) is changing and becoming more diverse. From staunch chardali Zionists to Neturei Karta-niks, from those who make niggunim to those who make hiphop, the charedi world is becoming more of a mosaic as it is joined by various ba’alei tshuva, converts, and a new generation of kids (52% of Israelis under 18, according to the last census, are charedi Orthodox) who have been exposed to varying levels of the secular world and are beginning to incorporate new ideals into tradition.

Many of us are the future of the Jewish people. Continuing stereotypes of the “oppressive white guys with long beards” with 18th century mindsets benefits no one. Open dialogue — or at least open invitations to have such — benefit k’lal Yisra’el.

Filed under Events, Hareidim, Religion

60 Responses to “JPPPI Don’t Like Frum People”

  1. I believe that, lulei demistafina, these discussions are irrellavent. At the end of the day it is what it is.


    ClooJew · July 9th, 2007 at 5:34 pm
  2. Im sure DK was pumped to see this. He hates anyone frummer then him.


    fran · July 9th, 2007 at 6:12 pm
  3. There’s no way that 52% figure is correct. Note that the JPost article you cite said: “Every fourth baby born in Israel is haredi and so is 52% of the Jewish population under 18 year old…” But given the high haredi birthrate, the proportion of the under-18 population that is haredi is certainly lower than their proportion among births. The Jerusalem Post article is certainly in error.

    See comment #25 on this post, for what may be an explanation:

    www.cross-currents.com/archives/2007/05/01/a-charedi-majority-with-buying-power/


    Daniel · July 9th, 2007 at 6:24 pm
  4. Haredi Jews might be the future, but it sure ain’t a future I want to be a part of. And just like the secular zionists predicted the haredim would disappear – and were proven wrong – secularism and nonobservance, not to speak of kefira and “leaving the derech” shouldn’t be mourned just yet.
    The more haredim there are, the less haredi they become, i.e. if they are the future, then they aren’t.
    Chew on that.


    Amit · July 9th, 2007 at 6:52 pm
  5. I was trying to think of a more diplomatic reply to this plea for inclusion … but BOO EFFING HOO.

    I am always mildly entertained when the usually intolerant coopt the rhetoric of tolerance when they find themselves left out of something or other … so the haredim find themselves on the outside looking in at ONE Jewish people-y oriented activity … how about the Kotel for Reform and Egal Jews? Try having a spiritual moment while being spat at … so I gots to say, Y-Love, perhaps the calls for being inclusive to all of the “arba kanfot” of Klal Yisrael need to be directed to the folks who REALLY think they own all 4: the ultra-Orthodox world.


    DrDan · July 9th, 2007 at 7:25 pm
  6. Do we know that no haredim were invited, or is it possible that they were invited and stayed home?


    BZ · July 9th, 2007 at 7:50 pm
  7. Y-Love, Y-Love, Y-Love…this really was a Y-Love special.

    1) How many haredi organizations include non-haredi Jews in their decision making process? And I mean OUTSIDE of kiruv. Kiruv doesn’t count, so don’t bring some Big Aish precedent.

    2) “from those who make niggunim to those who make hiphop.”

    Oh, please. Again, that’s 1) kiruv, and 2) more kiruv.

    3) “We are far from a utopia.” Um…that’s one way to put it.

    4) “Still, even a casual observer will note that we are not doing something right. And around the world, in community after community, traditional Judaism is gaining root and expanding…”

    So is militant Islam. Growth does not make right. Growth means effective. Right?

    5) “the charedi world is becoming more of a mosaic.” right. Now it’s a real rainbow. No one cares about Hashkafa differences, Y-Love. They all wear black hats and suits in the summer. Who are you kidding? The bottom line is still FUNDAMENTALISM.

    6) “Continuing stereotypes of the “oppressive white guys with long beards” with 18th century mindsets benefits no one.”

    No, you know what does benefit us? The mentality that the secular world and scientific method is out to get us and secular/liberal Jews caused the Holocaust. And that work is for others. That’s a healthy mentality. Right?

    Amit wrote, “Haredi Jews might be the future, but it sure ain’t a future I want to be a part of.”

    Damn straight.


    DK · July 9th, 2007 at 11:43 pm
  8. Amit wrote, “Haredi Jews might be the future, but it sure ain’t a future I want to be a part of.”

    agreed.

    open up the kotel so that its 50-50 for men and women and women are allowed to doven and read torah there without being harassed and physically assaulted and maybe we can open up this discussion on equality and inclusion in the jewish world.


    sam w. · July 10th, 2007 at 12:36 am
  9. we-ell, what I hear Y-love saying is, all the evolutions i the world are possible with Charedi culture, because it’s growing too fast to not be subverted by all the new available information in their language. Who controls a culture?


    yoseph leib · July 10th, 2007 at 1:39 am
  10. how about opening up the kotel so that i can approach the wall with my brother or father? 50 50 is a good start. the kotel has become not only an uncomfortable place for me, it’s become a truly miserable spot that i don’t think i’ll visit again.


    sarah · July 10th, 2007 at 4:18 am
  11. Instead of 50-50, how about 33-33-33? Or I’d settle for 40-40-20.


    BZ · July 10th, 2007 at 11:14 am
  12. DK, seriously, get off it:

    1) How many haredi organizations consult with non-haredi Jews? Um, outside of the multi-million dollar endowment yeshiva world (BMG, Mir, et al.) many organizations have to. Granted, it’s often just for the donations. Even Ohr Somayach in Monsey (yeah, I know, one of your many kiruv nemeses) when I was there, had a guy come in to talk about how kollel was bad and how “work was therapeutic”. This from a place where “nu, so where are you learning?” was the next logical question whenever someone announced their wedding plans.

    2 & 5) It’s not just music, from charedi authors to charedi journalists (on TV, afilu!) to charedi promoters and publicists and behind-the-scenes people (even the guy who does legal counsel for Victoria’s Secret is frum), there is a lot more diversity of opinion and thinking today than even 20 years ago.

    However, perhaps what Amit said is an axiom — as the population grows, ostensibly, this diversity will grow and perhaps the haredi world as we know it today could cease to exist. Perhaps we will see a new reactionary split and the haredi world could “tighten the reins” even more, forbidding all media because there is “just too much” haredi input into mainstream media, etc. However, to return to the point of the article, regardless of what will come out of the charedi population growth, this definitely is part and parcel of the “future of the Jewish people”.

    6) I’m actually sort of with you on the first part of this, but with a caveat: halacha says when and where scientific method and “input from the secular world” are applicable. What we see today is often light-years past halacha. (Was the Ramba”m doing something forbidden when he studied biology? The Lubavitcher Rebbitzen zt”l had a degree in pure math? The Gr”a gave us “Kramer’s Rule”? There is no small number of gedolim in our history with advanced education.)

    Please don’t slip into irrational blanket generalizations and anti-haredi prejudice.


    Y-Love · July 10th, 2007 at 11:17 am
  13. “Granted, it’s often just for the donations.”

    Schnorring doesn’t count as dialog. C’mon, Y-LOVE!

    “Even Ohr Somayach in Monsey (yeah, I know, one of your many kiruv nemeses)”

    Exactly — bring me an example from the normative haredi world. Not BT institutions. Since I asked you to bring examples only outside of that and you can’t, I accept your concession that they are rare indeed on an institutional level, and have not heard of any.

    “halacha says when and where scientific method and “input from the secular world” are applicable.”

    Explain that, please. Give me a couple of examples where scientific method is not “applicable.”

    And by the way — Rambam was not haredi. What a terrible motzei shame rah on the Rambam!


    DK · July 10th, 2007 at 11:51 am
  14. yoseph leib’s comment is the most rooted in history.


    shmuel · July 10th, 2007 at 11:56 am
  15. ^that the one that is the most rooted in history, i mean


    shmuel · July 10th, 2007 at 11:57 am
  16. The Rambam didn’t have a TV!


    BZ · July 10th, 2007 at 12:08 pm
  17. Don’t worry, they don’t like women either. Last year they had a meeting where NOT A SINGLE WOMAN was on their panel. Not one.


    Annie · July 10th, 2007 at 12:17 pm
  18. By the way, yes, the Ramba”m was.

    And “schnorring” in that case, caused the yeshiva to promote a point of view which was drastically (diametrically?) different than the point of view it had been promoting. The speaker in that case, interacted with the bochurim, in front of all the roshei yeshiva. I have very little first-hand knowledge, admittedly, of non-endowed “mainstream” charedi institutions. My only experiences have been with BT institutions and rich institutions like the Mir and Chaba”d which are self-sufficient.

    What’s called “normative” anyway? And what are you calling “dialogue”?

    Among the charedi BT institutions, however, these types of things occur far more than your post would indicate that you realize.

    Where is scientific method not applicable? Just off the top of my head, the shita of Rabbeinu Tam regarding when Shabbat ends. In the latitude where Rabbeinu Tam lived in France, and in Boston, MA, the “time it takes to walk 4 parsa’ot” takes one to astronomical twilight. So, today we have space telescopes. But for those who keep shitas Rabbeinu Tam, their data is irrelevant — 72 minutes is 72 minutes. However, even to these people, one would not, say, pray mincha (for the most part, certain Chassidim excluded) so far after sunset, as one may have reached astronomical twilight, and the “time for Mincha” is “until the evening”. Scientific method valid in one place, invalid in another, and in the writings of the same Rishon.

    The “kohen gene” is irrelevant in determining who is a Kohen. Science never supersedes halacha, rather it goes alongside it.


    Y-Love · July 10th, 2007 at 12:34 pm
  19. “By the way, yes, the Ramba”m was.”

    Right — because Greek philosophy is a huge “YES” in haredi circles.

    “Among the charedi BT institutions, however, these types of things occur far more than your post would indicate that you realize.”

    The BT places don’t count. Just ask the real FFB yeshivas.

    “But for those who keep shitas Rabbeinu Tam, their data is irrelevant — 72 minutes is 72 minutes.”

    Oh — you mean Chassidim. Well, they consider lots of scientific method “inapplicable,” now don’t they? So why not just disagree with me, and say scientific method is secondary to 7th century (or 18th century) rabbis?

    “Science never supersedes halacha, rather it goes alongside it.”

    Wrong. See metziza b’peh, and witness a Litvak/chassidic divide within the haredi world, at least to some extent.


    DK · July 10th, 2007 at 1:06 pm
  20. And what was the shande about metzitza b’peh? There was already a halachic precedent (the precedent which gave us the glass tube in the FIRST place) which was being consciously overlooked by people. The other issue, from the pro-peh camp, was that the government was seeing as overstepping its boundaries by legislating a d’var halacha. There was no dispute of “maybe HSV can’t be transmitted via metzitza b’peh”.

    And regarding the philosophy thing, please see the machloket between the Beit Yosef and the Rem”a on the issue. You’re being very Ashkenazi-centric.

    And again — certain Sephardi Jews (this practice is, according to my former yeshiva roommate, relatively common among Sephardim in the UK) also keep 72. And so do many Litvish people. Bro, seriously, get it together.


    Y-Love · July 10th, 2007 at 1:25 pm
  21. “There was no dispute of “maybe HSV can’t be transmitted via metzitza b’peh”.” There absolutely was. The risk was diminished, and other explanations sought.

    “And regarding the philosophy thing, please see the machloket between the Beit Yosef and the Rem”a on the issue”

    Was that the debate when people burned his books? Ashkenazi versus Sephardic?

    “And so do many Litvish people.” Many? What do you consider many? Which Litvish groups? And don’t bring Litvish chassidim. Doesn’t count.


    DK · July 10th, 2007 at 1:41 pm
  22. Bro, if you’ll recall, the mohel in question refused to even be tested for HSV. The possibility of transmission of HSV was not even brought up. No one disputed that fact. And anyone who you’ll bring up who did, doesn’t count.

    (Agav, this “doesn’t count” BS is really starting to irk me — apparently the only thing that “counts” is whatever you have in mind at the time of typing.)

    “Was that the debate when people burned his books?”

    Were the people who burned his books not in error? Were they charedi or a mob worked up in violation of halacha? Why is “looking at external books” (sefarim chitzoni’im – a phrase which may or may not even refer to goyish philosophy) only brought up as a da’as yachid in the Gemara in Sanhedrin? How many Tanna’im agreed with that statement?

    Many? Go to ANY 72-minute minyan in ANY Litvish area. Lakewood, Flatbush, the Litvish parts of Monsey, ANYWHERE.


    Y-Love · July 10th, 2007 at 2:15 pm
  23. Y-Love, please note: www.koltorah.org/RAVJ/Sefirat%20Haomer%20During%20Bain%20Hashemashot.htm
    Some resistance to this opinion began with the Shach (Yora Dea 266:11) citing the Teshuvot Maharam Alashkar who believes that the Rif, Rambam, and Rosh disagree with Rabbeinu Tam. The opposition reaches its crescendo with the Vilna Gaon (Biur Hagra to Orach Chaim 261:2) who marshals many proofs from the Gemara to dispute Rabbeinu Tam. The Vilna Gaon believes that Shabbat 34-35 is the primary focus of this issue and that night begins thirteen and a half minutes after sunset[...] The Vilna Gaon writes, though, that the time period of thirteen and a half minutes, applies only in Jerusalem on the day of the equinox. The time must be adjusted according to the time of season and distance from the equator. Thus, common practice in this country is to wait forty-five to fifty minutes after sunset for the end of Shabbat (see Rav Moshe Feinstein, Teshuvot Igrot Moshe O.C. 4:62 and Rav Mordechai Willig, Am Mordechai pp.11-16).

    Litvak = Jew from Lithuania, and includes Lithuanian sypathetic Jews. NOT Jews of Hungarian descent who learn in a yeshiva. Okay?


    DK · July 10th, 2007 at 3:38 pm
  24. I’m holding out for the next big secular revolution to come out of the haredi world. The last time ex-yeshiva bokhrim started making secular art and politcs and en masse, we got Yiddish literature, Socialism, and the underpinnings of the modern social sciences. Who knows what’ll happen next time?


    ephraim · July 10th, 2007 at 4:20 pm
  25. It seems everyone but the Rambam himself wants to take the Maimonidean Mantle. From haredim to MO to even the rationalist atheists…

    And BZ and Annie may be onto something. Just because none showed up doesn’t mean the invitation wasn’t sent.


    B.BarNavi · July 10th, 2007 at 5:20 pm
  26. Y-love
    dont even bother arguing with DK he is bitter about the Kiruv movement for some reason or another. No matter how much sense you make he will come up with some unintelligent, lie that proves his point


    fran · July 10th, 2007 at 9:37 pm
  27. 1. How could Rambam be haredi if he vehemently opposed living off public funds while learning torah?
    2. Being “frum” and being “haredi” are obviously not the same thing. Lawyers and doctors are only borderline haredi.
    3. Its not DK – its many of us who are bitter with the Kiruv movement, becuase it is an organization that sells lies to simple people and makes them think they are talmidei hachamim when in fact they are fundamentalist amei aratzot.
    4. The science debate is interesting but irrelevant. No haredi would kill a louse on shabbat (halakhically muttar, since halakhic lice don’t reproduce), and all MO accept shabbat according to their calendars and not visible sunset. Its all in the sociology – and I don’t like the sociological characteristics of the Haredi world – not the oppression of women, not the social control, not the censored education, not the exultation of a parasite-like existence at the expense of the (Israeli) taxpayer.
    5. So, Y-Love, stop trying. it might work for the idiots who send money to Aish, but it won’t work for people who have enough of a sense of ownership over their own torah and Judaism to actually not feel inferior to haredim.


    Amit · July 11th, 2007 at 7:37 am
  28. OH, how could I miss THIS –
    Y-Love, haredi Judaism is anything but “traditional”. There is no tradition in the haredi word – only pesika.


    Amit · July 11th, 2007 at 8:00 am
  29. Amit wrote, “Y-Love, haredi Judaism is anything but “traditional””

    This is a critical point. Both the Chassidic and yeshiva movements are modern fundamentalist movements which have become much more stringent since WWII. “Traditional” is really a much more fitting term for the Modern Orthodox (but not the Zionist zealots).


    DK · July 11th, 2007 at 8:47 am
  30. OK, for me this boils down to a serious issue:

    What is haredi? Someone who fears the word of G-d (chared – shaking). Those of us who are religious believe in the Written and Oral Torah. Is “not living off public funds” not written ALL OVER the Gemara? (“Flay a carcass in the marketplace and don’t depend on others”, “Treat your Shabbat like a weekday just don’t depend on others”, Abba Chilkiya was a day-to-day contractor living ON the poverty line, etc.) Lawyers and doctors are borderline haredi? You mean like the Abarbanel and Ramba”m?

    Frum and haredi are the same thing — unfortunately the latter term has become politicized and equated with a sociological phenomenon more than a degree of Torah observance. Amit, I’m sure has had a different set of experiences with the term, and almost assuredly did not pick the term willingly to apply to himself as I did.

    I’ll even go further — I wonder how frum the “haredim” you are embittered from actually are. The anti-parade protest is a huge example: Rav Ovadia said “don’t protest, have a yom tefillah instead.” Bada”tz said “don’t protest, have a yom tefillah instead.” The Yesh”a rabbis, everyone, all said the same thing. What happened, l’maskanah? 10,000 people showed up to the protest! Is this even Orthodox? When all the batei din say X and you rally up people to do Y?

    Fundamentalism is not a bad thing, and unfortunately, that word too has been co-opted by the likes of the 700 Club inter alia. The Ramba”m was also a fundamentalist — he codified THE fundamentals in 13 statements — and we see that his ideal world and what we see today are two drastically different things.

    Pesika IS what codified tradition. Remember that.

    And, get over the kiruv thing. Why you consider the Jewish nation to be better served by a spiraling towards secularism and detachment from religion is beyond me. Aish is not going anywhere, Ohr Somayach is not going anywhere, Yitzchakim are not going anywhere, people will still find answers to soul-searching in the words of Torah and mesorah — please get over it.


    Y-Love · July 11th, 2007 at 10:45 am
  31. “You” in the above comment was mostly directed towards DK, not Amit, btw.


    Y-Love · July 11th, 2007 at 10:47 am
  32. “Those of us who are religious believe in the Written and Oral Torah.”

    No, n ot a good definition of haredi. All Orthodox Jews believe that, not just haredim. A definition of haredi must not include Modern Orthodox Jewry, but be specific only to ultra-Orthodox Jewry.

    “Is “not living off public funds” not written ALL OVER the Gemara?”

    Correct. What the haredim are doing is not normal, and not in accordance with Jewish tradition. I NEVER meant to suggest that haredism is Normative Judaism. Why are you proving my argument for me? Do I need your help?

    “Fundamentalism is not a bad thing, and unfortunately, that word too has been co-opted by the likes of the 700 Club inter alia.”

    Fundamentalism is not traditionalism. It is a modern radicalized religious modern movements, and they exist in all religions, particularly the Abrahamatic religions. I think it best to avoid a bad or good argument, because I am a good sportsman, and would prefer not to hold your face in my palm as you swing helplessly against my arms.

    “Why you consider the Jewish nation to be better served by a spiraling towards secularism and detachment from religion is beyond me.”

    Because fundamentalism has little to do with traditional Judaism, then I don’t see fundamentalist Judaism as similar enough to be worth the cost all too often incurred. If traditional Judaism cannot survive, then the fundamentalist substitutes must be addressed as the New Religions they are, not as anything like the claims of being “your heritage” that are falsely made by both movements you listed. They are something new. Not traditional Judaism.

    This is not the traditional Jewish faith of my ancestors, and it is not the traditional faith of most Jews who came here prior to WWII (mostly prior to 1925). They were traditional, they were not haredi. This should be understood. If it ever is, these places will shrivel up like a snail under salt. Well, not quite, but it will stunt their growth and bottom line considerably.


    DK · July 11th, 2007 at 11:30 am
  33. “Why you consider the Jewish nation to be better served by a spiraling towards secularism and detachment from religion is beyond me. Aish is not going anywhere, Ohr Somayach is not going anywhere…”

    Are those the only choices? No matter how many times you say it, frum does not equal haredi, just as not being frum does not make one detached from Judaism. Like Aish and OS, I am also not going anywhere. Time to expand your horizons, Y-Love.


    judi · July 11th, 2007 at 11:30 am
  34. Actually, I’ve already stated on my blog at least twice, that the “mainstream usage of haredi is horribly out of sync” with what the word actually means.

    In fact, I even question whether or not what we’re seeing today is a new “re-formed Judaism”, surpassing even jihadi daydreams. What you seem to be clinging to is the juxtaposition: these people call themselves charedi, so therefore this is charedi Judaism. That doesn’t even do Meah Shearim justice, much less the diversity of opinion that is extant in ultra-Orthodoxy.

    There are modern Orthodox Jews who have extremely high levels of emunas chachamim and yiras shamayim, whose beliefs do not deviate one iota from the Principles of Faith. People who take halacha quite literally. I met charda”li Jews in Israel sitting with their kippot s’rugot and khaki slacks learning Torah for hours on end. You’re not going to tell me that people like this do not have pervasive fear of the word of G-d.

    And that is, ultimately, what charedi means. To say that a group of people who defy their gedolim (whose hechshers they scrupulously check for) are “fundamentalists” when Scripture specifically says not to do what they are doing is just a farce.

    I think you’re doing more reacting than thinking.


    Y-Love · July 11th, 2007 at 12:32 pm
  35. Your attempt to challenge a sociological employed term with examples of inner piety is absurd. Charedi is ultra-Orthodox, whether or not the person always acts like a good Jew or not. Modern Orthodox means an Orthodox Jews who publicly and privately embraces scientific method (like say, Evolution), whether or not he learns all the time. That means, no Rabbi Gottlieb apologetics about how God made the earth old.

    You bring up “diversity” like an E.O.E. recruiter. No on said that all haredi “hashkafas” are the same. It doesn’t matter. They make their teenagers wear black hats and black suits in the summer, they are haredi.


    DK · July 11th, 2007 at 1:05 pm
  36. And now – how typical – we’re back to semantics. So we’ve been arguing over who exactly constitutes “haredi”, and who’s “frum” and who’s just plain old “orthodox”? I don’t think so.
    I think you’re doing alot of glossing over, Y-Love. We know exactly who’s who, and so do you.


    Amit · July 11th, 2007 at 1:16 pm
  37. Then what does the word charedi mean? Note, I didn’t use the term “ultra-Orthodox”. I think “ultra-Orthodox” and charedi have two drastically different connotations — the first being an invented term, the second being an adopted term. People have already talked about this.


    Y-Love · July 11th, 2007 at 1:24 pm
  38. And, hello, DK, seriously, Rav Dessler, the Bostoner Rebbe, and other traditional Orthodox rabbis have said not like that. R’ Gottlieb is more on the same page with Chaba”d.

    And what I’m trying to do, Amit, is critically look at the use of the term.


    Y-Love · July 11th, 2007 at 1:31 pm
  39. Y-Love writes:
    Frum and haredi are the same thing — unfortunately the latter term has become politicized and equated with a sociological phenomenon more than a degree of Torah observance.

    But haredi is a sociological phenomenon, and that’s exactly how this whole thread started, with your lament that a “sector of the Jewish population” (defined sociologically) was not present at a conference — not that a “degree of Torah observance” was missing.

    Even putting aside the fact that there are differing definitions of “Torah observance”, you yourself write that:
    There are modern Orthodox Jews who have extremely high levels of emunas chachamim and yiras shamayim, whose beliefs do not deviate one iota from the Principles of Faith.

    …yet there has been no assessment as to whether any of the modern Orthodox Jews at the conference fit this standard, which would satisfy your definition of “haredi”. So clearly that’s not what any of us are talking about when we say “haredi”.


    BZ · July 11th, 2007 at 1:31 pm
  40. One love to BZ for bringing it back to the article.

    What I was referencing above (in the past few comments) was my own blog posts not the above article. :D


    Y-Love · July 11th, 2007 at 1:34 pm
  41. Y-Love, BZ is exactly right. Seriously, plenty of ultra-Orthodox Jews are swarmy when it comes to defining haredi/ultra-Orthodox when it suits their needs, but not usually in the same thread. This is unabashed!

    Also, isn’t R. Gottlieb a Bostoner? So it can’t bother the Bostoner that much, now, can it?

    And what do these rabbis have to say about our man Rabbi Slifkin? About him being banned by “daas Torah.” Silence there too, right?


    DK · July 11th, 2007 at 1:38 pm
  42. (I’m actually reading about the Slifkin ban now. I was under the — apparently, erroneous — impression that the issue was macro-evolution. Apparently, what I had always assumed to be “the da’as Torah” about the “age of the universe” is the position of the Leshem Shevo Ve-achlama)

    To tie this back in, Jews with traditional observance (and unwavering beliefs in line with Jewish fundamentals, i.e. fundamentalists) were who was being excluded from this event, IMO. That’s how I define charedi, and how I think the word should be defined mei’atah v’ad olam.


    Y-Love · July 11th, 2007 at 2:11 pm
  43. To tie this back in, Jews with traditional observance (and unwavering beliefs in line with Jewish fundamentals, i.e. fundamentalists) were who was being excluded from this event, IMO. That’s how I define charedi, and how I think the word should be defined mei’atah v’ad olam.

    Then I’ll ask the question again: if there are modern Orthodox Jews who fit your definitions of traditional observance, unwavering beliefs, etc., and there were modern Orthodox Jews at the conference, how do you know there wasn’t any overlap?


    BZ · July 11th, 2007 at 2:25 pm
  44. “I’m actually reading about the Slifkin ban now. I was under the — apparently, erroneous — impression that the issue was macro-evolution.” No, that was really the issue. Everyone knows it’s true, but you have to pretend you don’t insist on that publicly. Still, it’s embarrassing to say that you are insisting on contradicting scientific method, so you blame it on something else. Not the fact that you want to teach creationist literalism to your youth.


    DK · July 11th, 2007 at 2:30 pm
  45. Y-Love, answer BZ’s question. Accept defeat, Y-Love.


    DK · July 11th, 2007 at 2:37 pm
  46. DK, please. We’re having idea exchange, keep the kvetching to yourself.

    And according to Rav Aharon Feldman, the issue was the age of the universe. Dei’ah ve-Dibur omits any reasoning for the ban.

    And BZ, there are differences in MO and traditional Orthodox (“yeshiva Orthodox”?) observance. I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I don’t think that charda”li people (the people I originally referenced) or other people of that ilk are being represented either.

    Ultimately, as I was not invited to the conference, I’m not going to know 100% if there was any overlap or not. But if there is, I have a feeling that the “modern Orthodox people who fit my definition” were invited b’davka because they were “modern Orthodox” and they were invited despite their “fitting my definition”. (In addition, I would probably not call such a person “modern Orthodox” if I knew that they were scrupulously keeping the poskim‘s piskei din, I’d probably call them “modern Charedi”)

    And, scrolling back, I think that when I viewed this article and when I think of “the Jewish Nation’s make-up” I look at things on a grid of Torah observance, ranging from scrupulous observance to non-Observance (obviously this can only be but so linear). The “scrupulously observant traditional” (SOT?) Jews were being excluded.


    Y-Love · July 11th, 2007 at 3:45 pm
  47. Additional issues about Slifkin were that he contradicted Chaza”l and said that Chaza”l could be wrong — but if THE issue is macroevolution then it was just omitted from the piece from R’ Aharon for some reason.


    Y-Love · July 11th, 2007 at 3:47 pm
  48. “modern Charedi” — nice. Wouldn’t want to start a rumor that you accept that Modern Orthodox people can be frum enough, would you?

    “And according to Rav Aharon Feldman, the issue was the age of the universe.”

    It’s the same thing — and it’s dismissal of scientific method. Saying the world is only 6,000 years old is meshugeh. As for omitting any reason for the ban, do you people usually omit a reason when you ban a person’s work? So not normal or okay. Such behavior should not be respected.

    “The “scrupulously observant traditional” (SOT?) Jews were being excluded.”

    Inaccurate term. Not all charedim/ultra-Orthodox are so scrupulous on every mitzvah. And don’t tell me then they aren’t really ultra-Orthodox. They are, and are accepted as such. Watch any conflict between a haredi and the secular state/society.


    DK · July 11th, 2007 at 3:57 pm
  49. Hence why I’m trying to critically analyze the use of the term and advocating its redefinition. What you see is quite often going on she’lo k’da’as Torah and going against the poskim.


    Y-Love · July 11th, 2007 at 4:00 pm
  50. Y-Love, you can’t demand that we accept your personal redefinition of terms (or nullification of the terms) haredi or ultra-Orthodox when the whole world has common accepted definition of those same terms. Stop it.

    Even Jewish lore allows for 36 righteous people at any given time, and they are usually hidden. Not a movement, not a community, nothing like that.


    DK · July 11th, 2007 at 4:06 pm
  51. And, DK, is calling Chaza”l patently wrong (ch”v) “modern Orthodoxy”? (Ultimately, the entire term “Orthodox” is a relatively modern invention but let’s not even BEGIN to go there)


    Y-Love · July 11th, 2007 at 4:09 pm
  52. Y-Love, I’m an apikorus, not a strict MO adherent. I like LWMO, and have ties to them, and respect them, but I personally absolutely insist that the Mesorah is flawed and is unreliable in many, many ways.


    DK · July 11th, 2007 at 4:16 pm
  53. Do you understand where I’m coming from though, how much of a chaval it is that “ultra-Orthodox” has come to be defined by clothing and potentially assur actions?


    Y-Love · July 11th, 2007 at 4:21 pm
  54. Look, the discussion here really needs to be disencumbered by semantics. You all know who you’re talking about, no need to argue about definitions. “Haredi” appears be a catch phrase used to describe those whose brand of observance is characterized by a type of clothing and behavior. I think it would be disingenuous to disagree about that. To insist that the term apply only to those who fear G-d purely- 100%- would probably rule out most of the people you and I know.

    Likewise, to posit that all who call themselves modern orthodox are actually modern and/or orthodox is also silly. (Young Israel? Also arguably neither). They’re just terms to differentiate ourselves from what we think we’re not, I think.


    judi · July 11th, 2007 at 4:27 pm
  55. I couldn’t bear to read through all of that; it only gave me headaches. I’ll just say this much:

    “Fundamentalism” is not the same as “extremism.” Fundamentalism is a move toward returning to the fundamentals of a philosophy, usually in a belief that “we went wrong somewhere along the way, so let’s go back to the beginning, to a purer Judaism/Christianity/Islam/Whateverism untainted by our ancestors’ errors–the way it was meant to be.”

    The Jewish world today are confusing means with ends, missing the forest for the trees, and sticking their collective head in the sand (and a few other metaphors, as well), so I consider myself a Fundamentalist Jew. There’s a Tora, and I keep it. We have laws, and I live by them. That’s it. Anything else is extraneous. If it makes you happy and/or helps you in your divine service and your connection to God, then go for it; but don’t you come cramming your personal methods down my throat. THAT is what fundamentalism means to me.


    Rabbi Dude · July 11th, 2007 at 4:27 pm
  56. “Do you understand where I’m coming from though, how much of a chaval it is that “ultra-Orthodox” has come to be defined by clothing and potentially assur actions?”

    Oh, I feel your pain. Seriously. But once you are honest that this was defined not by the secular Jews but (especially the clothes) defined by the haredi communities themselves, it should bother you less. Accept that this isn’t about maligning a community, but about communal self-definition. The secular Jews aren’t screwing over the frummies in that regard. If you have an issue with these definitions, take it up with haredi leders.

    But don’t do that either. You will get nowhere. This isn’t your problem; this isn’t your responsibility. Worry about things you can affect and change.


    DK · July 11th, 2007 at 4:30 pm
  57. Still the point remains: non-modern Orthodox people were apparently excluded from this conference.


    Y-Love · July 11th, 2007 at 5:02 pm
  58. Okay.


    DK · July 11th, 2007 at 5:23 pm
  59. Back to the original subject of the JPPPI, it’s also worth noting that they’ve also marginalized other groups. For example, last year’s JPPPI included a mere 3 women out of 20+ hand-selected participants. In a recent article in the Jerusalem Report, JPPPI organizers pledged to try harder to include “other” groups this year, including women. How and why exactly are women “other”? Grrrr.


    Rooftopper Rav · July 12th, 2007 at 5:05 am
  60. “Excluded”? Why, Y-love, do you keep harping on this point? You don’t know whether a hand was reached out to ultra-O leaders or not. Remember, just because no one showed up doesn’t mean the invitation wasn’t sent. By your logic, no one was invited to the unpopular nerd’s completely empty party.


    B.BarNavi · July 13th, 2007 at 10:16 am

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"I may attack a certain point of view which I consider false, but I will never attack a person who preaches it. I have always a high regard for the individual who is honest and moral, even when I am not in agreement with him. Such a relation is in accord with the concept of kavod habriyot, for beloved is man for he is created in the image of God." —Rav Joseph Soloveitchik