A variety of Shabbat conversations and statements.
Person #1 to me- We were discussing at lunch your opinion that Orthodoxy is about to change rapidly. Some of the people did not see it.
Me- Here we are at an event where an egalitarian rabbi is invited to teach in an Orthodox Teaneck institution and the people in this room are encouraging their kids to go to Hadar.
Person #1 – Oh, I see.
Person #2 (educator in Beit Shemesh) You cant believe how Haredi Beit Shemesh has become. And it is amazing that the American Olim are going along with it.
Me- Is that what everyone expected when they moved there 20 years?
Person #2 – I don’t know, actually no they did not. They came as YU orthodoxy and now they are all Haredi, send their kids to Haredi schools and even the “modern” ones steer toward haredi. It seems they really just drifted and did not know what was going on.
Person #2 It seems they did not realize how much they were new immigrants in a foreign country. They did not know the ideologies, they were out of the loop, and they lived in their expectation of presenting Yu of the 1980’s not israeli reality. Now their kids are either dat’lash or Haredi. They did not realize how much their kids would see them as immigrant foreigners who have little to teach. The system corrected the kids despite the deviance of the parents.
If you are keeping mizvot only as an act of submission then they don’t trust the values of the Talmud and it is no different than someone who rejects the halakhah. If someone says the Talmud is against modern values and rejects the halakhah they are saying the halakhah rubs against human moral sense. But if you have an orthodoxy that emphasizes “teleological suspension of the ethical” or submission even if the halakhah feels intuitively wrong they are also showing that the Halakhah violates their natural feelings and their natural ethical sensibility. Both sides are the same, only that one side choices ethics over halakhah while the other side choices halakhah over ethics. We need a reading of Hazal that makes sense to us and the world. “For this is your wisdom, and understanding in the sight of nations.” The approach of submission shows that orthodoxy is alienated from the values of the halakhah, they can only be cynical, skeptical, estranged. (AB- ironic also)
Rabbi Tucker recounted that he was at Gush for five weeks and while there he hear a story praising the role of submission in the case of a couple where they discover one is a kohen and the other is a convert. The magid shiur emphasized repeatedly the need for submission to the halakhah. Then I knew this place is not for me. … Instead it could have been presented as the importance of preserving zera kohen as a sign of true lineage of Israel; it could have been a discussion of what is a kohen today to let me know Hazal’s values. Instead the story assumed that the listener is alienated from Hazal and can only submit despite his better sense.
For more on Rabbi Tucker- see this prior post.
Found at Mincha
When I went to get my stashed copy of the new Sifri Zuta, I found a full printout of the orthopraxrabbiblog. This group usually buys books hardcover and does not have web printouts lying around. They also dont keep up on the Orthodox blogs.