Thursday, February 22, 2007

Not Taking A Stand

A specific Left Wing Modern Orthodox yeshiva was recently maligned in a newspaper, as is being discussed on other blogs. I find many of the critiques unfair and this whole episode distressing. However, because there are significant areas with which I disagree with the yeshiva's policy, I choose not to defend it because of the risk of seeming to be one of its supporters. Instead, let me quote the following from R. Binyamin Yehoshua Silber's approbation to R. Moshe Tzuriel's Otzar Gedolei Yisrael (as translated by R. Daniel Eidensohn in Da'as Torah, p. 38):

[I]t is not surprising that there is in this era--immediately preceding the Messianic Era--an increased problem of internal splits and divisions between religious Jews supposedly for the sake of Heaven. Even if we are only lacking in this ability to communicate [without heated disputes] that itself is indicative of divisions and factionalism. Therefore, [to aid in achieving this full communication] it is important to be aware of the variety of legitimate approaches and therefore it is good to gather them together.... [Therefore] in this generation--standing at the very end ofexile--there is a greatly increased desire to create divisions. Consequently, we must strive to minimize the barriers to communications to fulfill the words of the prophet [Malachi (3:16), Then the religious people will speak to each other.]
(If it seems from this post that I am easier on Left Wing Modern Orthodox than Right Wing Charedi, then it is a misimpression. The opposite is the case.)

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