Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Modern Orthodox Yeshiva

Is there such a thing? In America, especially?
(In Israel you get into the whole complicated mess of defining and delineating the differences between Dati Le’umi and Modern Orthodox, and I don't know squat about the rest of the world)

I'm not talking about Yeshiva University. As far as I can tell (correct me if I'm wrong), unless you're in semikha, you can only go to The Yeshiva–University concurrently.

Yeshivat Chovevei Torah is 'just' a rabbinical school.

What about Hebrew Theological College in Chicago? They look like a Midwestern parallel to YU. Maybe Rabbi Maryles knows.

Anyway, assuming that such a thing does not yet exist, we definitely need one. We need a place where people can go to do nothing but learn, intensively and seriously. Just because we hold that it's not a transgression for the average person to not spend 100% of their time Learning, doesn't mean that we don't need some place where people who are interested in that kind of environment can find what they're looking for. Even a kollel for those who honestly believe that that's their best way of contributing to the Jewish people and the world. It could have a Kiruv program too, so that worldly Jews who discover Yahadut in college or later in life don't have to end up going to Chabad, Ohr Somayach or Aish Hatorah to learn and become Hhareidified.

19 Comments:

Blogger Neil Harris said...

The main issue would be that we, the frum world, would need an accurate working definition of "modern orthodox"...the label has too many parameters.

9/12/2006 10:42 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

I think one part of a basic definition, which would distinguish an MO Yeshiva from one like Ohr Somayach, for instance, is a positive attitude towards general/secular studies and college.

For example, i know an UO rabbi whose articulated goal is to "get Jewish kids out of college and into yeshiva". An MO yeshiva, on the other hand, wouldn't send out people to convince students to leave college and go to yeshiva instead; it would encourage people to go to yeshiva in addition to college.

9/12/2006 11:22 AM  
Blogger Knitter of shiny things said...

Could we have it represent the spectrum from LWMO to RWMO? That would be awesome. And a parallel women's program with equally good learning (including gemara).

People becoming Hhareidified is a scary idea...I bet that's something that factors into the whole problem of the disproportionate ratio of women:men in Modern Orthodoxy (if all those BT guys become black hat...) Actually, I have a post about that issue from a few weeks ago here.

(And yay for you actually updating!)

9/12/2006 2:28 PM  
Blogger Kylopod said...

"Just because we hold that it's not a transgression for the average person to not spend 100% of their time Learning, doesn't mean that we don't need some place where people who are interested in that kind of environment can find what they're looking for."

How many negatives is that in one sentence? Let's see: 1... 2.... 3.... 4. Call Guinness right away!

9/12/2006 4:04 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Knitter:

Spectra are good, and so are both men and women learning. Notice how my post was gender-neutral :-) .

Kylopod:

no negatives! none at all... don't you see?

9/12/2006 10:46 PM  
Blogger Lipman said...

I'm not sure I understand: You don't count RIETS because you have to go YU, too? Is it the limitation to one college you mean?

By kollel, do you mean a full-time kollel? If so, that might be inherently chareidi, as opposed to traditional full-time learning for either a shorter time or in order to receive the major orders.

Wouldn't it be good not to have just one or two MO yeshives, but the old-time idea that where there's a khille of a reasonable size (50 families? 100 families?), they afford a rav who doesn't only pasken kashres and darshens twice a year, but entertains a yeshive as well?

I know there are hardly any khilles in the US, apart from chasidists and KAJ, and I know modern pulpit rabbis have many representative and "congregational" duties, but it could work for shuls as well.

So, for a reasonable mix of tradition and responding to changes, skip some of the joke-cracking inspirational speeches, which are modern chareidi often enough and don't talk to an intelligent mind anyway, and give more shiurem. And the women who gives shiurem don't necessarily have to be the rabbis' wives.

9/13/2006 2:50 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

What about Kollel Torah M'Tzion?

9/13/2006 9:13 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Lipman:

It's the limitation of college in general. Let's say that i wanted to take off a year or few from my job to Learn. If i wanted to go to RIETS, i would have to either apply for semikha, or apply to YU as a whole.
I mean a full-time kollel, full-time in the job sense. Not a forever kollel till death do they part. Just a few years, maybe a lifetime if they earn it by being a really outstanding learner *and teacher of the community*.

Dave:

I've heard of it, but never experienced it.
Is it full time enough that someone could just go and learn with the kollel people all the time?

9/13/2006 10:20 PM  
Blogger BZ said...

Does Drisha count?

9/14/2006 8:43 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Thank you BZ!

Yes, i think Drisha does count!

Of course, it's only(?) for women, so it sort of turns Knitter's sex/gender assumption on its head...

9/14/2006 8:49 PM  
Blogger Ezer K'negdo said...

"Haradified" - is that a new verb? My "haradified" brother refers to himself as RFO "Really Freaking Orthodox" ;-)

9/14/2006 9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there's a kollel opening up in WH (that's West Hempstead, folks, not Washington Heights)

9/14/2006 9:21 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

An MO Kollel in West Hempstead, Long Island?

woohoo!

9/14/2006 9:34 PM  
Blogger Natan said...

I think the problem that you're finding Steg is that the type of Modern Orthodoxy you're looking for only exists in Israel. Well at least in any sizable number that could support a Yeshiva.

In America our MO community is lax on shmirat hamitzvot which is not the case in Israel and those that are truly shomer go to Israel to learn.

So while Drish does count, in my book it is only a transplant of the Israeli community for Americans hoping to achieve some semblance of what they have there.

9/15/2006 12:05 AM  
Anonymous Will said...

Would a Pardes-like institution fit under your label/desire?

9/17/2006 9:32 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Will:

Maybe. But Pardes has its own problems, trying to walk the thin line of halakhic-traditional-noncoercive-nondenominationalism.

9/17/2006 10:09 PM  
Blogger Jen Taylor Friedman said...

Drisha doesn't bloody count. When the highest level gemara class has people in it who've never learned Tosafot, you cannot call it a yeshiva.

Post being non-gendered: I was going to ask if you truly meant "people" or if you were in line with the rest of the MO world and using "people" to mean "men."

9/19/2006 8:26 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Blackherring:

Ohwell.
I try as much as possible to use terms that conform to reality.

9/19/2006 11:40 AM  
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