Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Modern Orthodoxy: Are we witnessing its death throes?

by anonymous

Some facts (in no particular order of importance) ‐
  1. Modern Orthodoxy is losing some of its youth to secularism (some kids doing half‐shabbos, some leaving orthodoxy altogether, and other examples), this is perhaps partially self‐inflicted by not providing a proper religious education and not providing sufficient inspiration to our youth.
  2.  It is also losing some of its youth (and some of its young couples) to Ultra‐Orthodoxy, also partially self‐inflicted by exposing our youth at their most impressionable time to Ultra‐Orthodox hashkafa and learning.
  3.  The preeminent Modern Orthodox institution, the only one of its size and scope, is in desperate straits. And it appears that there is little effective action taking place to save it.
  4.  Its greatest halachic leaders have begun to claim a kind of Da’as Torah.
  5.  A large percentage of typical middle‐class families are nearly bankrupt due to very high tuition expenses at yeshiva day schools.
  6.  The left wing of Modern Orthodoxy is beginning to adopt certain practices that the right wing thinks are abhorrent. Some members of the left wing have even coined a new name for themselves.

So the question is, are we witnessing the death throes of Modern Orthodoxy? Is it something that will disappear over the next few generations, to have its left wing adherents either swallowed up by other sects or to become some new sect, to have its right wing adherents become Ultra‐Orthodox, and to require the few that remain in the middle to have to choose one of the other
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