Friday, May 18, 2007

Voice from the Middle

The following is a link to a discussion that I participated in earlier, comparing and contrasting the strengths and weaknesses of the Right and the Center of Orthodoxy. This comment caught my eye, and as noted on that blog, the commenter appears to be a thoughtful person for his age-group. I wish him hatzlacha in resolving Jewish Life's great issues, and hope that he gets a solid foundation in the principles of limmud haTorah and Yiddishkeit, no matter which of the paths, or combination thereof, he ends up choosing.

I actually had a discussion about this topic this past Shabbos with one of my older Rebbeim who I am close with. He was a Talmid of Rav Moshe, and identifies with the Yeshivishe Olam (but does realize the importance of being "normal").

As opposed to speaking about the differences between YU and Hesder, it was more about differences between YU and the Chareidim.The way he put it was that, Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch came up with his concept of "Torah Im Derech Eretz" and created a set path, before doing anything.

YU on the other hand, kind of just morphed and formed, and was much more reactionary. (And when Rav Soloveitchik entered the scene, the concept of Torah U'mada was something that they latched on to). While I do believe that there is a concept of Torah U'Mada, like you said, it is not necessarily being conveyed or articulated to the hundreds of students in the MYP program.

For anyone who has been following recent YU activities, it seems they are really trying to make a push to have a "derech" and spread it around North America... [The goal of] the "Center for Jewish Future" at YU, is to basically do exactly what you said YU has not done.

I am still currently in Highschool, and i often think about what I am going to do with myself later in life. And while I value the love and importance of Limud Torah that the Charedi world gives, I do not feel I could be apart of that Olam. On the other hand, I know that being in the MO world, the challenge will be much greater. (Especially because who knows where NCSY kollel etc. will be 10-20 years from now). Often I find myself interested in ultimately residing in one of these Religous Zionist Communities, that have that love for Torah, and the teachings of Rav Kook etc., and the Love for Israel, and is acutally reflected in the actions of adults and children alike.

I don't mean to bore you with all of my personal thoughts, but because everything has become institutionalized and labeled, it is much harder to live with the unique identity that you create for yourself, and instill that identity in your children.

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