Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Modern Yeshivishness

A guest post by Avromie
A Yeshivish relative of mine recently commented that the Maccabeats' Chanukah song and subsequent interview on CBS was a big Kiddush Hashem. This typical, wrong P.R. definition of Kiddush Hashem is interesting because of the symbiotic relationship it highlights between Modern and Yeshivish Orthodoxy.

Modern Orthodoxy depends on the Yeshivish world for to fill the ranks of low-paying Jewish jobs such as Rebbeim and Mashgichim. At the same time, the cloistered Yeshivish world depends on graduates of Modern Orthodox institutions for a good public face and necessary frum professionals, such as doctors and scientists.

The latter profession is especially interesting, as it's usefulness lies in it's combating the negative, atheistic views of the scientific community. The fact that the Yeshivish derech, with few exceptions, promotes avoidance of the outside environment, makes it so that the Modern Orthodox are the ones putting their souls on the line for the good of the tzibbur.

This arrangement could be considered a nice modern version of the Yissochor-Zevulun relationship, if not for the fact that Modern Orthodoxy has been deligitimized in Yeshivish circles. (Even suggesting that such a relationship exists places one beyond the pale.) Sin'as Chinam, it would seem, is a small price to pay in protecting our youth from evil.

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