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Dilemmas of modern orthodoxy: sociological and philosophical.

IN AN ARTICLE WRITTEN IN COMMEMORAtion of the one hundredth anniversary of the death of the late Samson Raphael Hirsch, founding rabbi of the organized Orthodox Jewish community in Frankfurt, Germany, the contemporary chief rabbi of that transplanted community in Washington Heights, New York City, Shimon Schwab, bemoaned the status which Hirsch had attained within the contemporary Orthodox community. Schwab declared that,

what is happening today makes me weep, literally. Of late, Hirsch has become the property of the left-of-center "Modern Orthodox" movement, consisting of those who are Mizrachi-oriented. They have changed the image of Hirsch from that of a vigorous fighter for Torat emet into that of a docile, dove-like apologizer for a watered-down version of convenient Judaism.(1)

In order to evaluate Schwab's assertion, it is important to understand precisely whom he had in mind in his characterization of "Modern Orthodox." There are at least two distinct types of Modern Orthodox, depending largely on the criteria used for defining the group. One is philosophically or ideologically modern, while the other is more appropriately characterized as behaviorally modern. In the category of philosophically Modern Orthodox(2) would be those who are meticulously observant of Halakhah but are, nevertheless, philosophically modern. Within this context, being modern means, at minimum, having a positive perspective on general education and knowledge; viewing oneself, from a religious perspective, as being part of, and having responsibility for, both the larger Jewish community as well as society in general; and being positively disposed to Israel and religious Zionism.

The behaviorally Modern Orthodox, on the other hand, are not deeply concerned with philosophical ideas about either modernity or religious Zionism. By and large, they define themselves as Modern Orthodox in the sense that they are not meticulously observant. In many ways, their definition of themselves as Modern Orthodox has the same basis as did those whom Marshall Sklare found to define themselves as Conservative. That is, when asked, "What do you mean when you say you are Conservative?" the responses were, typically: "Now -- I'd guess you'd call it middle of the road, as far as (not) being as strict as the Orthodox, yet not quite as Reformed as the Reformed," or "... I don't like the old-fashioned type, or the Reform. I'm between the two of them."(3) Similarly, most of those who define themselves as Modern Orthodox do so in reference to right-wing or "Sectarian" Orthodoxy, and they define themselves as modern in the sense that they are not as observant. As Heilman and Cohen put it:

Others, the so-called "Modern Orthodox," have tried to find a way of remaining linked to the contemporary non-Jewish world in which they find themselves and to the traditions and practices of Judaism to which they remain loyal. For some, this has meant little more than a nominal attachment to Orthodoxy while for others it has meant little more than a partial attachment to the demands of the tradition.(4)

This group is appropriately described as "modern" in the sense that those who see themselves as part of it are committed to the tradition, in general, but feel free to pick and choose in their observance of rituals. In contrast to the more traditional Orthodox, they do not observe all of the rituals as deemed obligatory by the traditional community. Their sense of "freedom of choice," although never articulated theoretically, is as evident as it is among many other contemporary Americans who view themselves as religiously traditional but, nevertheless, are selective in their religiosity.(5)

If this is the group to which Schwab was referring, then he is clearly correct in his complete rejection of the notion that Hirsch may be viewed as its founding father. Indeed, as Mordechai Breuer points out, selective-observance such as this was prevalent in German Orthodoxy even before Hirsch. Nor did Hirsch or any other recognized Orthodox rabbinic authority ever overtly condone many of the practices which were widely prevalent among a significant segment of the Orthodox community there.(6) Indeed, as previously suggested, many of those within this type of Modern Orthodoxy behave the way they do precisely because they are modern; thus, they feel that there are certain decisions which they are competent of making on their own and that they are not going to behave in ways which they see as inappropriate to modern society. The fact that they "identify" with Hirsch has as much validity as does the identification of many pro-Israel religious traditionalists with the late Chief Rabbi of the Holy Land, Abraham I. Kook. Most of them have never studied his works, and they attribute to him ideas and positions which he would have rejected outright.

On the other hand, Schwab may have had the ideologically Modern Orthodox in mind,(7) and, especially, the institution from which he is spiritually very distant, Yeshiva University.(8) Given his antipathy to that institution, he was probably upset with its establishment of a "Samson R. Hirsch Chair of Torah im Derekh Eretz." His personal views aside, it is, in fact, highly questionable whether Hirsch should legitimately be viewed as the founding father of the Modern Orthodoxy represented by Yeshiva University. Indeed, neither the approach of Hirsch nor that of the founding president of Yeshiva, Bernard Revel, to Torah im derekh eretz, were so clearly formulated that what those individuals actually intended is beyond dispute.

As for Hirsch, many of his interpreters argue that part of the novelty in his approach was in the fact that his efforts to combine Torah and general knowledge were not merely pragmatic tactics necessitated by the sad realities of modernity, but were ends in and of themselves. As Pinchas Rosenblitt put it, "He was very far from viewing the combination of these two areas as a tactic and concession."(9) Similarly, Mordechai Eliav asserts that Hirsch "made every effort to achieve a complete blending and an organic integration between Torah learning and general studies."(10)

Mordechai Breuer elaborates on the notion of integration. He states that

the concept Torah-im-derekh-eretz for Hirsch was defined as a synthesis. This definition is correct only in the Hegelian sense: two forces, which are in opposition to each other and struggle with each other, are resolved and renewed on a higher plain. In the language of the natural sciences it could be defined: Torah-im-derekh-eretz is not a physical integration but a chemical blending. Torah and life, Judaism and culture, do not complement one another, but achieve complete identity . ... Therefore, in the doctrine of Torah-im-derekh-eretz according to R.S.R. Hirsch, there is nothing of a concession of principle to the spirit of the times or any pragmatic consideration of practical necessities in the generation of the Emancipation.(11)

All of these, and others, interpret Hirsch as an advocate of true synthesis, and many draw the contrast between him and another prominent German rabbi, his colleague, Esriel Hildesheimer. Ironically, although Hildesheimer was the founder, against Hirsch's wishes, of the first Orthodox rabbinical seminary in Germany to incorporate modern Jewish studies in its curriculum, his approach to general knowledge was very different from that of Hirsch. Hildesheimer was the pragmatist rather than the philosopher, and advocated secular studies alongside, but clearly not synthesized with, Torah, and only as a concession to the needs of the day.(12)

However, not all students of Hirsch agree on the status which he attributed to general knowledge. For example, from Isaac Breuer, Hirsch's grandson,(13) it would seem that he was not a staunch believer in synthesis. He avers that

Rabbi Hirsch's fight was not for balance and not for reconcilement, nor for synthesis and certainly not for parallel power, but for domination -- for the true and absolute domination of the divine precept over the new tendencies....

Rabbi Hirsch's epigones quoted the principle "Torah im Derekh Eretz" more frequently than the master himself. As for him, he drew on it mainly for the obvious confirmation of the fact ... that the aim and end of the Torah should not be confined to the house of learning, but that it should be brought into contact with and applied to the prevailing conditions of life.(14)

Likewise, Zvi Kurzweil agrees that Hirsch saw the arts and sciences as subsidiary to Torah and may be studied as the basis for making a livelihood, to enhance the understanding of Torah, and in order to be able to defend the tenets of Judaism.(15) And Schwab is perhaps most forceful when he asserts that Hirsch's Torah im derekh eretz "was a time-bound halachic compromise."(16)

It is not only with respect to Hirsch and his views on the relationship between Torah and general learning that there is disagreement. There also appears to be something of a question as to the perspectives of Bernard Revel, founding president of Yeshiva College (later, University), on the nature of the relationship between Torah and secular learning. Aaron Rothkoff asserts that Revel did not share Hirsch's positive attitude toward secular study. Rather, he saw it as an inescapable concession to the realities of American society at that time. As Rothkoff puts it,

Revel did not conceive of the proposed college in terms of Hirsch's ideals ... Revel was only concerned with his attempts to guide the Yeshiva successfully through the labyrinths of American life. He felt that, for this, the proposed college was a necessity if the Yeshiva was to retain its brightest high school graduates.(17)

Jacob J. Schacter, on the other hand, argues that all evidence indicates that Revel maintained that the combination of Torah and secular learning is not merely a compromise but, rather, that within the Jewish perspective there is an intrinsic relationship between them.(18)

Be that as it may, the leaders of Modern Orthodoxy are much more the products of Yeshiva University under the leadership of Revel's successor, Samuel Belkin, than under Revel. In his inaugural address, in 1943, Belkin declared his conception of the "synthesis" which, although different from both Hirsch and Revel, however each of them is interpreted, indicates his belief in the inherent value of secular knowledge. He stated that

it is not our intention to make science the handmaiden of religion nor religion the handmaiden of science. We do not believe in a scientific religion nor in a pseudo-science. We prefer to look upon science and religion as separate domains which need not be in serious conflict and, therefore, need no reconciliation. If we seek the blending of science and religion and the integration of secular knowledge with sacred wisdom, then it is not in the subject matter of these fields but rather within the personality of the individual that we hope to achieve the synthesis.(19)

Norman Lamm, Belkin's successor and current president of Yeshiva University, has written at length on the subject of "Torah Umadda" -- "religious learning and worldly knowledge," the logo of Yeshiva University -- and he develops it analytically in much greater length and with much more intellectual sophistication. From his perspective,

advocates of Torah Umadda do not accept that Torah is fundamentally at odds with the world, that Jewishness and Jewish faith on the one side, and the universal concerns and preoccupations of humanity, on the other, are fundamentally inapposite, and that Torah and Madda therefore require substantive "reconciliation." Rather, whereas it may be true that effectively Torah and culture have become estranged from each other ... in essence they are part of one continuum. Hence, the motivating mission of Torah Umadda must be to reunite and restore an original harmony.(20)

However, neither Yeshiva University nor Modern Orthodoxy is limited to the perspectives of Belkin and Lamm on the relationship between Torah learning and worldly knowledge. Also, even if the views of Hirsch were the same as those of Yeshiva University and Modern Orthodoxy, Schwab would still be correct in rejecting the notion that Hirsch was the father of Modern Orthodoxy. And, ironically, although Hildesheimer was not an advocate of a synthesis between religious learning and worldly knowledge, if one looks at the broad range of his thought and activities, he emerges as a much more accurate model than Hirsch of what Yeshiva University and Modern Orthodoxy do actually represent.

In contrast to Hirsch, who separated himself and his community from the larger Jewish community and who was, at best, unsympathetic to Zionist efforts, Hildesheimer undertook a variety of actions which render him a Modern Orthodox activist and institution-builder. Four of the more basic of his achievements can be cited as conclusive:

1. Hildesheimer established Jewish education for males and females which included both religious and secular studies.

2. He established a seminary which incorporated not only secular studies but academic scholarship.

3. Not being a sectarian as was Hirsch, Hildesheimer worked with communal leaders, even non-Orthodox ones, on issues that affected the community, such as anti-Semitism and ritual slaughtering.

4. He maintained traditional Jewish attachments to Erez Yisrael and worked with the non-Orthodox on its behalf.(21)

It should be noted, however, that Hildesheimer would probably have preferred the term "Modern Orthodoxy," and rejected the appellation "Centrist," which, in certain circles, has come to replace it. About those who called themselves "Centrists" in his time, he said: "On the two sides of the street, the right and the left, people go. Only horses go in the middle."(22)

Be that as it may, a recent study of male and female undergraduates at Yeshiva University indicates the rather high correlation between Hildesheimer's perspectives and those of contemporary Modern Orthodox American Jews.(23) As per the previous discussion, Yeshiva University (YU) is perhaps most distinguished from the sectarian yeshivas in its commitment to, as its seal reads, Torah Umadda, all knowledge as an ideal. On those questions which most explicitly manifest beliefs and attitudes about secular education, the respondents also scored rather highly on a scale designed to rank beliefs, values, and patterns of behavior in terms of traditionalism (low) and modernism (high). Thus, 82.3 percent disagreed that "|i~deally, a Jew should study Torah only, without any secular study."(24)

In contrast to the stereotype of traditional Orthodox Jews as removed from the affairs of the country and the world except as they directly pertain to Jews, the majority of the respondents viewed such involvement as an imperative. Thus, more than two-thirds (67.3%) agreed with the statement, "Jews have an obligation to become involved in the affairs of the country and the world and, therefore, should be involved in all political issues." That percentage appears to be considerably higher than that typical of the American population as a whole, at least as indicated by voting rates in both national and local elections. On the other hand, of course, there is a difference between agreeing about the importance of becoming involved and actually voting. Perhaps the percentage of those in the American population who would agree with the statement is no smaller than the percentage among YU undergraduates. It would be revealing, therefore, to determine the percentage of registered voters among YU undergraduates and to compare that with the percentage among undergraduates in the general American population. It would also be revealing to undertake a study of traditional Orthodox Jews and ascertain the degree to which the aforementioned stereotype has any empirical validity.

The whole topic of the State of Israel received the highest score on the traditionalism-modernism scale and, indeed, it turns out that, in this instance, YU undergraduates are considerably more modern than was Hildesheimer. For example, a specific area in which the respondents manifested a rather high level of modernism was in the manner in which they relate to the State of Israel. On this issue, traditionalists were defined as those for whom Israel has religious significance solely as Erez Yisrael, the Holy Land. The State of Israel, qua state, is a modern, essentially secular, political entity, and its only significance to the traditionalist as conceived herein lies in the fact that so many Jews live there. The modernist, on the other hand, ascribes religious significance to the State specifically as a political entity, and the modernist perceives the State of Israel as an inherent part of Messianic redemption. The vast majority of students reject -- 72.8 percent strongly and 15 percent mildly -- the traditionalist notion that the State of Israel has significance only because so many Jews live there. They view the State of Israel as having religious significance, and most (86.3%) agree either strongly or mildly that it is "part of Messianic redemption." By contrast, although Hildesheimer had a love of Zion which "sprang from deep religious roots, ... his commitments to Erez Yisrael should be regarded primarily as religious-philanthropic, not secular-nationalistic."(25) The Zionism of YU undergraduates, apparently, is not quite either of those. It is a moderate version of religious-nationalistic.

With respect to religious education for women, almost 80 percent believe that women may study Talmud, and 70.1 percent believe that "|w~omen should have the same opportunity to learn as men, both qualitatively and quantitatively." It should be noted that there was no significant difference in the responses of female and male students to this question.

Finally, it should be mentioned, although this subject was not part of the survey, that Yeshiva University is closer to Hildesheimer than to Hirsch in that it has a school of higher Jewish studies, and many students in the theological seminary take courses in that school, as well.

Despite all this, there are a number of reasons why Hirsch, rather than Hildesheimer, should be portrayed as the model for Modern Orthodoxy. Of primary significance, of course, was Hirsch's overtly favorable approach to modern culture. In addition, although Hildesheimer did establish a modern rabbinical seminary which included a number of outstanding faculty members, such as David Zvi Hoffmann, he did not establish a community or a following as did Hirsch. His contributions, therefore, were more amorphous. One cannot point to a specific, organized community or even institution that views itself as the direct transmitter of Hildesheimer's teachings, in the way that one can point to specific Hirschian communities.

There are, undoubtedly, several factors, both individual and sociological, which account for this critical difference between the two. On the individual level, Hirsch had a strong presence; he was a master in the professional presentation of self. As Mordechai Breuer suggests, "Hirsch was the ideologue of Modern Orthodoxy -- he was a great speaker and a sharp writer."(26) He was also a thinker, a philosopher, in contrast to Hildesheimer, who was a posek, a decisor of halakhah, and a pragmatic man of action.(27)

Hirsch's thought and demeanor led him to separate himself and his community from the larger Jewish community. Whatever else might be said about that action, it had the advantage of setting firm and clear boundaries between the "Gemeinde," the Hirschian Orthodox community, and the rest of German Jewry. All religious orthodoxies, as James Hunter points out, have a special interest in establishing and maintaining symbolic boundaries. As he indicates,

Orthodoxies are unique because of the special significance bestowed upon the symbolic boundaries which constitute the tradition. Those boundaries are regarded as timeless ... The claim of the orthodox, then, is that they alone are the keepers of the tradition; they alone are the protectors of the true faith. Their stake in keeping the tradition sound and unqualified is high because their very identity and purpose as religious people (both collectively and individually) are bound to that mission ... For the orthodox, the symbolic boundaries mean everything.(28)

The Hirschian community, through its overt separation from the larger Jewish community, achieved an even higher level of self-consciousness as a distinct community. Thus, it developed a highly-honed sense of itself as the true bearer of a very special tradition.

The irony of that, however, is that, in the final analysis, it serves to underscore the argument made by Schwab. For when all is said and done, it is traditional, Sectarian Orthodoxy which has been successful in maintaining and even strengthening itself as a community. By contrast, although there may be many individuals who define themselves as Modern Orthodox, Modern Orthodoxy has not established itself as a real movement in the way that Sectarian Orthodoxy has, nor is it likely to. There are a number of basic sociological reasons for this.

One of the characteristics of traditional Orthodoxy, indeed, of all religious orthodoxies, is the submission to the authority of the tradition. Authority and tradition are a prerequisite for religious orthodoxy. Within an orthodoxy, the individual is expected so to internalize tradition as to perceive himself as not having any choice but to conform to all of its dictates. The notion that the individual has the ability to choose is "heretical," as Peter Berger elucidates. As he points out, "The English word 'heresy' comes from the Greek verb hairein, which means to choose. A hairesis originally meant, quite simply, the taking of choice."(29) From the perspective of religious orthodoxy, one has no choice,(30) and, from the perspective of traditional Jewish Orthodoxy, the absence of choice includes the inevitable submission to the ultimate authority of the rabbinic-scholarly elite.

The majority of those who consider themselves Modern Orthodox are so behaviorally rather than philosophically. As indicated previously, it is their very selectivity in observance that manifests their modernity. However, for them, that selectivity is almost solely a matter of personal choice. They usually do not seek to legitimize their behavior ideologically -- halakhically -- nor do they feel a need to. Thus, although they feel free to choose, they do not challenge the authority of the sectarian scholarly elite, and, since they are not a challenge to that authority, they are tolerated by that elite and can still feel themselves part of the community.(31) As a result, the sectarians have a virtual monopoly on authority. Indeed, it may be argued that the deviance of Reform and Conservative Judaism, as defined by Orthodoxy, is not so much that they do not behaviorally conform to the norms as prescribed by Orthodoxy -- although they do not -- but that they reject the authority of the Orthodox. Orthodoxy can tolerate deviance when it is so recognized by the actor; what it cannot tolerate is the legitimation of what it considers to be deviance through the rejection of the authority of its rabbis.(32)

For the philosophical Modern Orthodox, however, matters are much more complex. First of all, even if they do not challenge the halakhic authority of the sectarian elite -- and they do so at times -- there are those specific areas in which they overtly challenge them philosophically. The Modern Orthodox are, therefore, vilified and shunned by the sectarian community.

Above and beyond the specific issues on which they challenge the sectarians, the Modern Orthodox, being modern, are at least suspicious of the very notion of human beings with virtually complete authority. In addition, their study of halakhah reinforces the Orthodox Jewish rationalist priority of truth over authority.(33) This further inhibits Modern Orthodoxy from becoming a real movement, because a movement would entail organization and authority to a degree which goes against the very grain of philosophical moderns. Perhaps there is a suspicion that becoming a movement would entail a version of Robert Michels' "iron law of oligarchy," that is, that a real movement would entail organization, and "he who says organization says oligarchy."(34) But Modern Orthodoxy, being philosophically modern, emphasizes a measure of personal autonomy as well as rationalist truth. The Modern Orthodox reject oligarchy just as they are skeptical of all human authority, which may be one reason why they have no "Council of Torah Sages,"(35) as the sectarians do.

On the other hand, some Modern Orthodox rabbis experience a need for acceptance by the "world of the Yeshiva,"(36) which is the core of the traditional sectarian community. Since stringency, punctiliousness, and zealousness in ritual observance are the prescribed norm in that world,(37) those Modern Orthodox rabbis who seek the approval of the yeshiva world may likewise adopt stringent stances and, in the process, lose the support of precisely that Modern Orthodox group which they sought to lead.

Finally, although the analysis has by no means been exhausted, the ability of Modern Orthodoxy to attract a large following and become a movement is inherently inhibited by the fact that it is highly rational and intellectual. This, alone, would limit its attraction, since it has built-in tensions and frequently requires conscious living with inconsistency. As Sol Roth writes with respect to synthesis, "The task of realizing synthesis in personality is a very difficult affair, primarily because it requires the development of an attitude that enables an individual to adopt different perspectives."(38)

Also, the very fact that Modern Orthodoxy is much more open, severely limits its attractiveness for most people. For better or worse, most people prefer, if not demand, very specific, black-or-white concepts which can easily be differentiated from others. If an analogy may be permitted, they prefer either meat or dairy to parve, neutral or grey areas. As Mary Douglas suggests, "The yearning for rigidity is in us all. It is part of our human condition to long for hard lines and clear concepts."(39) Modern Orthodoxy, in both its content and its structure, does not have the "hard lines and clear concepts" as does sectarian Orthodoxy.

Moreover, being predominantly cerebral, it has limited potential for attracting the masses. Social movements, in general, and religious movements probably even more so, are built on emotional, passionate commitment, and an ability to radiate a strong sense of family-like, communal warmth. The somewhat-distant intellectual coolness of the philosophical Modern Orthodox is much less amenable to being translated into a movement which generates warmth and devotion. For the same reasons, it is difficult to establish primary and secondary schools capable of socializing children to this type of Modern Orthodoxy.

In light of all of the above, it may be concluded that Schwab is actually correct in his assertion that Hirsch should not be viewed as the father of Modern Orthodoxy. At the same time, in order to enhance Hirsch's status within the sectarian community -- as the Rabbi of the community which defines itself as the contemporary Hirschian community -- Schwab had to engage in a degree of revisionism with respect to Hirsch's positive approach to modernity. As to the accuracy of his portrayal of Hirsch and, ultimately, Schwab's assessment of Modern Orthodoxy, they can probably be judged in light of his own notions of true history. From his perspective,

What ethical purpose is served by preserving a realistic historic picture? We should tell ourselves and our children the good memories of the good people, their unshakeable faith, their staunch defense of tradition, their life of truth, their impeccable honesty, their boundless charity and their great reverence for Torah and Torah sages. What is gained by pointing out their inadequacies and their contradictions? We want to be inspired by their example and learn from their experience ... Rather than write the history of our forebears, every generation has to put a veil over the human failings of its elders and glorify all the rest which is great and beautiful. That means we have to do without a real history book. We can do without. We do not need realism, we need inspiration from our forefathers in order to pass it on to posterity.(40)

CHAIM I. WAXMAN is Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University.

1. Rav Shimon Schwab, "Rav S.R. Hirsch -- The Leader and Fighter," in The Living Hirschian Legacy: Essays on "Torah im Derekh Eretz" and the Contemporary Hirschian Kehilla (New York, 1988), p. 73.

2. The upper case is used for this group because it is ideologically modern.

3. Marshall Sklare, Conservative Judaism: An American Religious Movement, Augmented Ed. (New York, 1972), p. 208.

4. Samuel C. Heilman and Steven M. Cohen, Cosmopolitans and Parochials: Modern Orthodox Jews in America (Chicago, 1989), p. 39.

5. Wade Clark Roofe and William McKinney, American Mainline Religion (New Brunswick, 1988).

6. Mordechai Breuer, Edah Udyuknah: Ortodoksiah Yehudit BaReich HaGermani, 1871-1918: Historiah Hevratit Shel Mi'ut Dati (Jerusalem, 1990), pp. 20-61.

7. The fact that Schwab uses the upper case. "Modern Orthodox," may be an indication of his including the ideological as well as the behavioral.

8. For example, in one of his articles in the Bulletin of K'hal Adath Jeshurun, under the rubric of "brotherly love," he caustically condemns a number of Talmud scholars -- he refers to them both as "modern orthodox" and "centrist," so that the intent is obvious -- because of their Religious Zionism. He singles out one "Talmud Chochom she-ain bo de-ah" (a Talmud scholar who has no intelligence), who "notwithstanding his erudition and scholarly achievements ... is a child of our dark age and a victim of garbled teachings by his highly controversial role models" (Rav Simon Schwab, "He Who Loves Does Not Hate," Mitteilungen XLIX, April/May 1989: p. 2).

9. Pinchas Rosenblitt, "Hirsch's Understanding of the Torah im Derekh Eretz Approach: A New Evaluation," Proceedings of the Sixth World Congress for Jewish Studies (Jerusalem, 1977), Vol. 3, p. 470 (in Hebrew).

10. Mordechai Eliav, "Various Approaches to Torah im Derekh Eretz: Ideal and Reality," in Mordechai Breuer, ed., Torah im Derekh Eretz (Ramat Gan, 1987), p. 48 (in Hebrew).

11. Mordechai Breuer, "The Doctrine of Torah-im-derekh-eretz in the Philosophy of R. Samson Raphael Hirsch," Hama'ayan 9 (No. 1, Tishrei) 5729 (1968): p 15 (in Hebrew).

12. For a biographical study of Hildesheimer, see David Ellenson, Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer and the Creation of a Modern Jewish Orthodoxy (Tuscaloosa, 1990). See, also, Azriel Hildesheimer, "Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer and his Perspective on Torah im Derekh Eretz," in Mordechai Breuer, ed., Torah im Derekh Eretz Movement, pp. 75-82 (in Hebrew).

13. He was also the father of Mordechai Breuer, cited above.

14. Isaac Breuer, "Samson Raphael Hirsch," in Leo Jung, ed., Jewish Leaders (1750-1940) (New York, 1953), pp. 168-69.

15. Zvi Kurzweil, The Modern Impulse of Traditional Judaism (Hoboken, NJ, 1985), pp. 16-30.

16. Rav Shimon Schwab, Selected Speeches (New York, 1991), p. 239.

17. Aaron Rothkoff, Bernard Revel: Builder of American Jewish Orthodoxy (Philadelphia, 1972), p. 72.

18. Jacob J. Schacter, "Torah U-Madda Revisited: The Editor's Introduction," Torah U-Madda Journal, Vol. 1, 1989: 18, n. 14. For Rothkoff's response, see Torah U-Madda Journal, Vol. 2, 1990: 134.

19. Samuel Belkin, Essays in Traditional Jewish Thought (New York, 1956), pp. 16-17.

20. Normal Lamm, Torah Umadda: The Encounter of Religious Learning and Worldly Knowledge in the Jewish Tradition (Northvale, NJ, 1990), pp. 142-43.

21. Ellenson, Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer, pp. 73-165.

22. Quoted in Breuer, Edah Udyuknah, p. 30.

23. Although the university is open to students of all races and religions, the overwhelming majority of students at the male college, Yeshiva College (YC), and the female college, Stern College for Women (SCW), are Orthodox Jews. A major objective of the study was to determine the extent to which the students experience conflicts between their religious beliefs and living in modern, Western society. Following from meetings with focus groups from both YC and SCW, a number of specific issues seemed most likely to be potentially problematic for these students at this time. The major issues were: secular education; social contact with non-Jews; relations with non-Orthodox Jews; the roles of Jewish women; the Holocaust; Israel; and cheating in school and in business. The detailed findings are in Chaim I. Waxman, "Orthodoxy and Modernity: Contradictory or Compatible?" paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Salt Lake City, October 19-21, 1989; and Waxman, "Orthodox Judaism and Modern Society: A Study of Undergraduates at Yeshiva University" (paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Israel Sociological Society, Bar Illan University, Feb. 7-8, 1990).

24. Females scored somewhat higher on the scale than did males. At YC, students in the theological seminary were somewhat less modernist than were students in the other Jewish studies programs, but at SCW no such differences were detected, probably because it has a single program of Jewish studies. In both schools, commitment to the intrinsic value of secular education is highest among those aged 20-21 and among those majoring in the social sciences. Perhaps not surprisingly, such commitment is lowest, although still high, among those majoring in the physical sciences, pre-med., mathematics, and computers.

25. Ellenson, Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer, p. 109.

26. Mordechai Breuer, Edah Udyuknah, p. 56.

27. Ellenson, Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer, pp. xi-xii.

28. James Davison Hunter, Evangelicalism: The Coming Generation (Chicago, 1987), p. 159.

29. Peter L. Berger, The Heretical Imperative: Contemporary Possibilities of Religious Affirmation (Garden City, NY, 1979), p. 27.

30. This is one interpretation of the verse, "Lo tukhal lehit'alem" ("You will not be able to avoid it"), (Deuteronomy 22:3).

31. See Breuer, Edah Udyuknah, for evidence of a similar situation in nineteenth century Germany.

32. Cf., David Ellenson, Tradition in Transition (Lanham, MD, 1989).

33. Cf., Norman Lamm, Torah Umadda, pp. 100-102.

34. Robert Michels, Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy (New York, 1962).

35. Cf., Jonathan Sacks' observations as to why Modern Orthodoxy rejects the manner in which the slogan, "daas Torah" ("Torah opinion) is used by the sectarian community:

... daas Torah in its modern sense tends to be opposed by many within Orthodoxy who see halakhah as a rational discipline operating in the empirical world, open to argument and counter-argument and the development of consensus. They also see the new charisma with which the yeshivah head has been invested, as subverting the traditional authority of the mara d'atra, the local rabbi.

(Jonathan Sacks, Traditional Alternatives: Orthodoxy and the Future of the Jewish People |London, 1989~, p. 136).

36. William B. Helmreich, The World of the Yeshiva: An Intimate Portrait of Orthodox Jewry (New York, 1982).

37. For an analysis of the development of that whole process, see Chaim I. Waxman, "Toward a Sociology of Psak," Tradition 25 (no. 3, Spring 1991): 12-25.

38. Sol Roth, The Jewish Idea of Community (New York, 1977), p. 145.

39. Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (London, 1984), p. 162.

40. Rav Shimon Schwab, Selected Writings (Lakewood, NJ, 1988), pp. 233-234. This quotation was first brought to my attention by Jacob J. Schacter, in his article, "Haskalah, Secular Studies and the Close of the Yeshiva in Volozhin in 1892," Torah U-Madda Journal, Vol. 2, 1990: 111.
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Author:Waxman, Chaim I.
Publication:Judaism: A Quarterly Journal of Jewish Life and Thought
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Words:5732
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