Friday, April 07, 2006


My definition of Modern Orthodox is simple: If you are committed to halacha, but willing to follow the evidence wherever it takes you on matters of hashkafa you are Modern Orthodox. In other words, you have committed an act of heresy against the high church of modern orthodoxy if (a) you ignore the facts of science while keeping halacha; or (b) make yourself a slave to science while rejecting halacha.

Because it's Friday afternoon, and my next post about the Borough Park riot is still in development, I thought it would be a hoot to list heresies for some of the other Jewish denominations. (Note: In the list that follows I use the term "heresy" to describe opinions and actions that would exclude you from the group)

RW Hasidic Heresies
  • Denying that the grand Rabbi is a god-king with profound sway over the spiritual and temporal realms
  • Relying on non-haymish hechshayrim like the OU and the Star-K
  • dina d'malchusa dina
  • Green shirts

  • RW Yeshivish Heresies
  • Rejecting the literal understanding of of most midrashim
  • Missing zman krias shma
  • Attending YU
  • Green shirts

  • LW Yeshivish/Hasidic Heresies
  • Silence during davening
  • Anything but cholent and kishka for Shabbos lunch
  • Demonstrating respect for women or minorities
  • Not having an "angle"
  • Bookishness
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