Friday, October 19, 2007



OK Khevreh, those of you who’ve been waiting with baited breath. Here is my meme.
Yesterday, DovBear called for reconciliation among the various sub-sects of Orthodox Judaism. After another 5 meals, a bath and some reflexology therapy, I'm ready with my recommendations for each group.

Modern Orthodox: [Teaneck, Brooklyn Young Israel, and Much of YU]
Stop: Kowtowing to the radical Religo-feminists in your midst and creating Shul environments that make others intensely uncomfortable.
Start: Learning more in general in your discretionary time (being more affluent than Charedi you have more disposable income AND time). In particular learn Hashkafa s’farim authored by G’dolim other than Rav Kook and Rav YBS
Continue: Maintaining that the approaches of these two giants are valid and to be respected

Liberal Orthodox [UWS, Anywhere there’s egalitarian Orthodox, the rest of YU]
Stop: Mocking and attacking the sincerely held beliefs of people whom you’ve dismissed without ever bothering to analyze in depth. Also Kowtowing to the radical Religo-feminists in your midst as you are headed for the next official schism within Judaism. Keep it up and you will be official anathemas to the balance of Torah Jewry even sooner than the Elokist-Chabadniks
Start: Making it emphatically clear that you respect Talmidei Khakhomim as much as anyone else. Do not fancy yourself cleverer than they ESPECIALLY in THEIR areas of expertise.
Continue: So sorry, not convinced that there is anything legitimate here worth continuing. [I felt the same way about the two types of Hasidim, but in the interest of reconciliation I searched until I found something -- DB]

RW Yeshivish Orthodox [Lakewood, Bensonhurst, South Fallsburg]
Stop: Tolerating youth that smokes, never exercises and is as skeptical and dismissive of all but a few of their “anointed” TKs (e.g. AJ Soloveithcik and Rav Ela Ber) as the most egregious of old time Maskilim were of ALL TKs without exception.
Start: Preparing your children to date for middos Tovos, and even beauty and not exclusively for money in the bank.
Continue: Emphasizing the primary, non-negotiable CENTRALITY of limud torah.

LW Yeshivish Orthodox [Flatbush, Monsey, Cedarhurst]
Stop: Running to copy and embrace thinly veiled knockoffs of Goyishe values and esthetics in your Music, decorating and recreation, especially on Khol HaMoed. Either embrace or completely reject the genuine (Goyishe) articles but maintain your havdala sensitivity instead of the mixed-message mish-mash that you’re bequeathing your children.
Also stop sabotaging your less academically inclined children’s future with the incessant message that if they pursue degrees and/or don’t learn for 15+ tears after the Chasunah that they are abject failures.
Start: learning and teaching Aish Kodesh, Sifrei Rav Tzadok , Nesivos Shalom et al to reinvigorate your Chumros de jour with a little warmth and light. Also doing chesed to those different from you. It’s not for women and Chasidim only.
Continue: Learning the Daf, influencing co-workers and donating time and human resources to Partners-in Torah et al.

Hard-Core Hasidic [KJ, Willy, Boro Park]
Stop: Treating EACH OTHER (Satmar vs. Belz & Ger, everyone vs. Breslov and Lubavitch, Eruv Carriers vs. Eruv non- Carriers) and by extension their customs, teachings and the rest of their traditions, as chazer treif .It is a modest first step but a necessary one before we can ever begin to hope for recognition and reconciliation between you guys and the rest of us.
Start: Decentralizing. Instead of having constant inheritance fights let some of the brothers move out of town and start new urban and suburban Kehillas elsewhere. You should have the institutional confidence to do this by now.
Continue: Learning Tur and Bes Yosef and providing the rest of us with the lions share of our local-look-it-up-in-the-sources Poskim, Shokhtim, Sofrim Mohalim and Bikur Kholim volunteers.

Soft-Core Hasidic [Anywhere there's a rebbelah with a shteible]
Stop: Just stop. You disgust me!
Start: By scrapping everything Heimish and beginning from square one with any of the other groups. You have no legitimate right to exist.
Continue: Deluding yourselves NOOOOOOT!

Kehillarized BTs [Passaic, Baltimore Ramat Bet Shemesh]
Stop: Ostentatious Yuharo external displays of piety. Some of you are the embarrassing spiritual equivalent of the Nouveau riche.( Also don’t take the omud before you’re ready. Sadly for some of you this will mean never taking the omud.
Start: By going slower in your ascent up the frumkeit ladders. It is a healthier and longer –lasting way to grow. Learning more before penning your first parenting book and/or going on a lecture tour.
Continue: Reinvigorating the rest of with probing questions, contagious enthusiasm and sublimating (re; raising the sparks) of the educations, skills, sensibilities and hobbies that you acquired in your pre-T’shuva states.

Amnon Yitzchaki-Harav Yagen-niks (KGH, Hancock Park BP Lakewood)
Stop: wearing 2 pairs of T’filin simultaneously shaving your heads and growing long simanim after being mehalelei Shabbat 2 weeks ago. Also stop scaring the rest of us by dressing and thinking like Wahabists who venerate Moshe instead of Mohammed
Start: co-opting the chilled-out calmness and high esthetics of the Syrians and Iraqis.
Continue: Returning to observance in droves. Waht do Amnon Yitzcahk and Harav Yagen know that Chabad and Aish don't?

Yekkes (Washington Heights, Paramus Monsey)
Stop: incessantly correcting the manners and pronunciation of others
Start: Finding a new locale for the Kehillo and a Charismatic new leader. You are losing your youth and minhagim to intra-Jewish assimilation
Continue: Maintaining perfect fidelity to minhagim of the most impeccable provenance.


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