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5 Responses

  1. Yitzy Blaustein says:

    Two comments:

    1. The term “traditionally Orthodox”, which the author equates with Charedi is meaningless. Orthodoxy is a nineteenth century invention. Rav Hirsch is often considered a founder of Orthodoxy in Germany. Was he “traditionally Orthodox”? Certain his views on the fallibility of Chazal in science and on the value of working and secular knowledge (c.f. his Schiller address) put him at odds with mainstream “traditional Orthodoxy,” in Israel and in many parts of America.

    2. “The average charedi woman in our community holds a college diploma, while her Jewish education vastly exceeds that of her peers in the non-Orthodox rabbinate.”

    At JTS Rabbis have to learn a certain amount of Gemara. Does the average Charedi women have any familiarity with Gemara? How can a Charedi woman be considered to have “vastly exceeded her peers in the non-Orthodox rabbinate” when she has zero knowledge of the *most* important Jewish text?

  2. Pini Schmeltzer says:

    Are we contemporary Charedim who advocate universal kollel “traditionally orthodox”? Surely, the idea of universal kollel is a chiddush that flies in the face of Orthodox mesorah.

  3. Ethan Cohen says:

    Could you provide a source regarding the relative likelihood of men and women to become baalei tshuva or go off the derech? I do not doubt your facts, but I have looked for research on the topic before and come up with nothing but speculation, and it would be nice to have specifics.

  4. Yaakov Menken says:

    Yitzy, the rich and varied tapestry of Orthodoxy simply puts the lie to the assertion that we are some sort of monolith. Rav Hirsch was the first to point out that “Orthodoxy” was never a word we chose for ourselves, but a label applied by the Reformers.

    I think anyone would dispute your assertion that the Talmud is *the* most important Jewish text. But even so, I would be frankly astonished if you could find a JTS graduate of recent decades capable of parsing a page of Talmud on his or her own, and any Orthodox woman, with her level of understanding of Hebrew, could do at least as well. She certainly knows far more, vastly more, about both its laws and its Medrash.

    Ethan, I don’t think there are any statistics for either of the above. But when you ask in which direction the sun comes up and everyone points east, you don’t need a statistical analysis to remove it from “speculation.” Ask anyone involved in Kiruv and anyone involved in teens at risk, and you will get the same answer. At that point, it’s safe to say it’s not mere speculation.

  5. Steve Brizel says:

    Halevai that the editor of the NYJW would send out such a letter.

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