Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lets put a Jew in a box

Ok, true believers, here's the game. I'll describe somebody from my shul, and you tell me his sect.

(1) Shlomo is an absolute whiz at tanach, who also knows grammar and gemarah better than almost anyone I know.  He's got an encyclopedia knowledge of midrash, too, but at times I've caught him being disrespectful towards it. There's a rumor around the shul that his adult daughters are a little modern - WTGs, I'm afraid - but no one has any proof, and we're all too shy to ask him.  Is Shlomo:
(a) Yeshivish
(b) Modern Orthodox
(c) Conservadox

(2) Moshe is a doctor, with big-time political connections. He's also studied philosophy at a high level and knows quite a bit about other religions. I've never heard him say much about tanach, but he's been through shas several times. However, oddly enough, I've heard him say that gemarah isn't really relevant to people nowadays. He prefers the law codes, and thinks they should be emphasized instead. He agrees with me that midrashim usually aren't to be taken literally. I've also caught him rolling his eyes when the Rabbi says "There are no coincidences". Is Moshe:
(a) Yeshivish
(b) Modern Orthodox
(c) Conservadox

(3) Moshe Chaim is often asked by our Rabbi to deliver musar-style sermons on fast days or during the 10 Days of Repentance. He's certainly qualified to be a full-time Rav, but prefers to work in diamonds. Other then that, about the only thing unusual about him is that he doesn't wear a beard. Is Moshe Chaim:
(a) Yeshivish
(b) Modern Orthodox
(c) Conservadox

(4) Yonasan is charismatic, charming, and beloved by everyone. He's a serious learner, who knows Talmud and halacha as well as almost anyone, but he has a real soft spot for kabbalistic magic. He dabbles in amulets, and the like, sometimes at the expense of more concrete learning. Some of us think this is why his son, and grandson both went off the derech. (His son, its rumored, became one of those street-corner messiah types who tell fortunes) Yonason has a full beard, and dresses extremely piously. Is Yonason:
(a) Yeshivish
(b) Modern Orthodox
(c) Conservadox

|(5) Shimon used to work in a circus, and some people say he was also some kind of thief. All of that was before his marriage, which was arranged by one of the local Torah scholars after a chance, slightly embaressing meeting (the less said about that the better) . Since the wedding,  he's been learning pretty much 24/7 and Shimon is far and away the most diligent learner I know. He says his formidable grasp of Torah devolves from the glimpse he once caught of the godol hador, and believe me: he means it. Is Shimon:
(a) Yeshivish
(b) Modern Orthodox
(c) Conservadox

Additional points after the jump
Answers:
Shlomo is Rashi
Moshe is Rambam
Moshe Chaim is Ramchal
Yonnason is Yonason Eybeschutz
Shimon is Shimon ben Lakish, known as Resh Lakish
All details are true to their biographies.

My point: Yeshivish, Modern Orthodox and the rest are all modern sects, and people from the past can't be comfortably fit into them


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