Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Great Orthodox Schism of the 21st Century

Seconday, 9th of Teiveit, 5766 / Monday, January 9th, 2006:


Evolution and Orthodoxy
In the current Ha'aretz Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, head of the OU, expresses an idea that most of the RW UO world would call kefirah:
Let me explain my position. I am convinced that there is a strong scientific case to be made for Darwin's theory of evolution as it is currently understood... I have studied and I find convincing the view of contemporary brain science that much of our mental and emotional function is the product of an evolutionary process. The theory of evolution, for me, is not inconsistent with the traditional Jewish view of the origin of the Universe or of the development of humanity.
Rabbi Weinreb concludes saying that he is on "solid ground." And he's right. Examples:

* Talmud Chaggiga 13b states that there were 974 generations before God created Adam.
* Midrash Bereshit Rabba 14 states that humans were created with tails.
* Midrash Tanchuma Genesis 6 states that people born before the time of Noah had webbed fingers.
* Midrash Bereshit Rabbah 23 states that in the days of Enosh the faces of men became ape like.
And more

Hattip Bloghead

In response to this post of DovBear's, Alan Scott commented:
And this is where the Great Orthodox Schism of the 21st century began...

It does make a lot of sense, after all. If parts of the Hhareidi Orthodox world are declaring beliefs held not only by some of their own people, but by the vast majority of the Modern Orthodox community, to be heresy, how are we supposed to stay united as "Orthodoxy"? What's holding us together? Fidelity to halakha? Not when new taqanot are being enacted every day against things like cellphones and women attending the end of davening! Not being Conservative or Reform? That certainly won't hold us together if we're considered the new enemy of "Torah-True Judaism" and our "gedolim" like R' Shimshon [ben] Refael Hirsch and the Rambam are being written out of 'The' mesora!
Godol Hador received an email which he included here, near the end of the post, that said:

This past shabbos I heard Rabbi X speak at a shalasheudes. He asked why do we say "veAl haMilchamos" in the al hanissim. shouldn't we remember the victory but not the milchama? Says Rabbi X, quoting, IIRC the Nesivas Shalom (ironically) that the reason is because the "milchama" is not yet over. We continue to fight the misyavnim.
And don't think, said Rabbi X, that the misyavnim of today are the Reform or Conservative. No, they're the Modern Orthodox rabbis (verbatim quote) who want to chepper with bris milah (metzitza bapeh) and shabbos! (eruvin?)

Some of my [Far?] Left Wing Modern Orthodox friends have been waiting for a schism like this for years, so that the rest of us will finally realize that the Modern and Ultra worlds have nothing in common and we should stop looking 'rightwards' for guidance in halakha or hashqafa...

But who could have guessed that the
Great Orthodox Schism of the 21st Century
would be VIOLENT?

Thirday, 17th of Teiveit, 5766 / Tuesday, January 17th, 2006:

the Jerusalem Post.

'Irreligious' Beit Shemesh haredi family told to move
A family living in Ramat Beit Shemesh has been targeted by a group of haredi extremists in the community who deemed that members of the family were not "religious enough" for its taste, police and the family said Monday.

The family, which is haredi and has lived in the predominantly haredi community for the last six years, has been subject to four nights of protests outside their home.

The target of the demonstrators has been the family's two eldest sons, 22 and 20, who no longer wear haredi garb and are modern Orthodox, the mother of the family said.

Her two sons were beaten up on the way home Friday night by extremists, who have held a demonstration outside their home every night since then, calling on the family to move out, she said.

"These people are not normal," she said. "It's like we are living in the Wild West."

After police arrested two haredi protesters who took part in the Sunday night demonstration, hundreds of haredim rioted Monday afternoon on a main road leading into the neighborhood in Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet, setting trash bins on fire and pelting police with stones, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said.

Five demonstrators were arrested.

The mother said she had "no idea" why her family was suddenly being targeted, adding that the whole story was "very strange and troublesome," but that it had happened once before to a different family in the area.

She added that local rabbis on Monday intervened in an attempt to stop the harassment.


Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

Don't you think that all the Jewish "movements" (O, C, R, R, R, R, etc.) are going to undergo a re-alignment?

I mean, who knows, but....

1/17/2006 12:23 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

R, R, R, R?


1/17/2006 1:16 PM  
Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

I forget what my fourth "R" was supposed to stand for.

Rabbinic? naaa...
Rowdy? naa...
Ropsyczer Chaseedim?

1/17/2006 1:51 PM  
Blogger Lab Rab said...

I found Dov Bear's comment to be most perplexing, actually. How can you "prove" evolution with statements from Chazal? Evolution is a scientific theory, and it gains no more or less credence whether chazal have analogous statements. Meanwhile, there's far more in the strict literal meaning of the Torah that militates against evolution than for evolution.

We (MO) operate under the premises that it is indeed halacha that binds us together to UO. Whether or not that is true, I'm not sure.

1/17/2006 2:04 PM  
Anonymous sister miriyam said...

woohoo violent fundamentalism!! everyone's doing it!

don't be the last one on your block without a notch on your belt from smacking around someone who does their religion a little differently than you do!! don't waste a moment before acquiring the worldview that comes with the most bonus self-righteousness features of any religion on the market today!! it's even energy-efficient, saving brainpower for when you need it most: never!!

always be right!
teach your children the versatile power of hate!
learn the always-useful value of denying the humanity/godliness of your opponents!


try it today!
(offer valid everywhere)

1/17/2006 3:10 PM  
Blogger Zeh Sefer Toldot Adam said...

I was going to say.. why does it have to lead to schism? then I read the rest of the post... coz violence does prevent people from living together...

that is crazy... that story. it drives me nuts that religion leads to this sort of behaviour. it is such a tragedy.

Is there some way for MO Jews to do non-violent protests against UO violent protests?

And I mean, in the real world, not just by blogging. Thanks for this very moving post.

1/17/2006 4:58 PM  
Anonymous Jacob Farkas said...

WRT the quote that today's Mithyavnim are the Modern Orthodox, it seems to be attributed to R' Shimshon Sherer:

I heard R' Hayyim Epstein say the same in a speech about 10-11 years ago.

1/17/2006 5:11 PM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

Isn't committing mayhem on shabbes considered melacha?

Wow! Maybe I should become ultra-Hareidi, so that I can indulge my Irish tendencies on Friday night.

This opens up entirely new prospects for assimilation, oh boy.

What's the bracha for a rumble?

1/17/2006 5:58 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Lab Rab:

i thought his point was either that evolution is compatible with judaism, or that if you're going to try to prove something scientific with jewish sources, you can 'prove' evolution just as well as (or better than?) creationism.


where can i sign up? oh wait...

Zeh Sefer:

there are some people claiming that the two guys described as 'modern orthodox' in the article are actually totally non-observant criminals. whether that's slander, or the article is misinformed, is unfortunately questionable.

Jacob Farkas:

thanks for the reference!

Back ƒ ð Hill:

supposedly, people who throw stones justify it by specificly designating the stones for that purpose before Shabbos. of course, i haven't heard this direct from any actual shabbos stone-thrower, so it could just be a guess.
the blessing on a brawl?
אוזר ישראל בגבורה
המוציא לחם* מן הארץ
(as in להלחם)

1/17/2006 7:36 PM  
Blogger Mis-nagid said...

Called it!

1/19/2006 7:37 PM  
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