Guess What’s Become Fashionable?

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7 Responses

  1. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    As Hans Frank, yemach shemo, the Nazi governor of occupied Poland, wrote,the rabbis and teachers of Talmud are the most dangerous because if a few of them escape to America, they will be capable of starting up this whole thing again.
    But the scary thing is our fractiousness. It seems that the more vital and full of Jewish content any Jewish endeavor may be, the more creative some other equally committed Jew is in trashing it. My experiences with various issues have shown me this time and time again. It seems to be connected to the “zeh le’umat zeh” phenomenon. The brilliant ray of Jewish light must be partially obscured or else it would overpower the free will of those who wish to go the other way. But it is hard and it hurts.

  2. Bob Miller says:

    When we finally get our act together, the results will be awesome. Think of the power of coherent laser light;

  3. ja says:

    “One now finds non-Orthodox kollelim, day schools, Beit Midrash programs, havruta study, hevra kadisha groups, a new stress on “rituals” and mitzvot, even renewed interest in the long-derided concept of mikve.
    And major American federations, which once opposed day schools and yeshivot as being separatist and antiquated, have become supportive. The unfashionable Orthodox have become quite modish.
    This should come as no surprise. It is another bit of evidence that the demographics, fertility and Jewish education of Orthodox Jews are propelling them toward an influential position within the Jewish community ”

    The specifics you point to are also due to the influence of multiculturalism.

  4. Baruch Horowitz says:

    Rabbi Michael Broyde published a letter a while back on the cover of the Jewish Press outlining aspects of his Hashkafa. I agreed very much with his preface:

    ” Before discussing those things that divide Orthodox Judaism, one must remember that — notwithstanding the differences in the Orthodox communities throughout the United States in terms of hashkafa and halacha — much unites us. We share a commitment to detailed shemirat hamitzvot, daily Torah learning, gemilut chasadim (acts of kindness), as well as many other central Torah values. Those issues which divide us — serious as they are-are not as great as that which unites us…”

  5. Jonah Halper says:

    “Others in Aguda agree with the need for the Orthodox to broaden their ambitions. The organization’s executive vice president for government and public affairs, David Zwiebel, notes that, “With our growing numbers and the maturing of the community and the greater self-confidence that comes with that maturity and those numbers, there’s no question that we need to at least recognize that there may be certain responsibilities that now have to shift to our shoulders.”

    This came from Daniel Pipe’s article ( about Orthodox responsibility to venture into areas of social service if the shift of responsibilty moves from the Reform and Conservative communities as their numbers dwindle.

  6. chaim klein says:

    Part of the vision of the future will depend on how the tuition crisis will be handled by Jewish schools. As the price of education goes up it is possible that birth rates will decline, even among the Orthodox. As Also, as Rabbi Chaim Dov Rabinowitz pointed out in his History of the Jewish People,poverty was a significant factor in the defection of countless Jews in eastern Europe. It should not be axiomatic that the Jewish poor, who have much more opportunities to contrast their material situation with many of their wealthier counterparts will be permanently prepared to consign themselves or their children to a life of endless deprivation.

    Shabbat Shalom to all, Chaim Klein

  7. Alan Hoffman says:

    The article made some good points. Rabbi Nathan T. Lopes Cardozo wrote a book, Judaism On Trial, that deals with some of the socio-cultural problems Orthodoxy is not fully dealing with as yet. If we have the maturity in our leadership as indicated by the Aguda quotes, we must deal with several issues first:

    – Pragmatic: cost of Jewish education in general, greater selectivity in who remains in yeshiva past some point where learning vs. earning can be normalized, growing shidduch problem. Its time to publish publically known standards for yeshiva education, find stable funding choices commersurate with those standards, extol earning more at an appropriate point, and centralize or regionalize shidduch referrals with computer based technologies staffed by trained shidduchim professionals, counselors, organizations staff – instead of the patch work of informal, self-trained individuals.

    – Kiruv: reduce the fratricidal inefficiency among kiruv organizations (redundant costs of management, etc.), improve kiruv styles, methods and means, study what has worked vs. what has not worked.

    – Hashkafa: improve mass Orthodox attitudes towards less observant Jews by being more welcoming without sacrificing our own standards, conduct out reach not just to the masses, but to the non-orthodox leadership as well (if the Pope can do it, so can we). Public relations is needed to support greater unity. Personal diplomacy is in high demand. If Evangelical Christians have been able to convert over 100,000 born Jews, Orthodox Jews should be able to invite non-observant Jews to shul, for Shabbos meals, etc.

    – Politics: make joint Orthodox efforts with non-Orthodox groups better known in some key areas (support for Israel or at least Israeli’s in need), support for the poor here, Jewish education, disaster relief, etc.), use mass media more via internet blogs (where the non-observant spend more time), various non-Orthodox papers and magazines, etc..

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