Thursday, October 15, 2009

Who Are The People In Your (Modern Orthodox) Neighborhood?

In an e-mail exchange a week or two ago, a friend in a cynical mood described two types of Modern Orthodox Jews he sees (and of whom he disapproves):

1) De Facto Modern -- People who have no particular disdain for Torah or its teachers but are simply ignorant and therefore open to and/or involved in wrong and/or forbidden things,

2) Dogmatically Modern -- People who are angry at Torah, its teachers, or even God Himself.

In a defensive mood, I responded by describing other types of Modern Orthodox Jews whom I have seen and who represent positive aspects of the community:

Click here for more3) Geographically Modern -- Regular frum people who happened to have grown up in the Modern Orthodox community,

4) Ideologically Modern -- People who embrace Torah and are often teachers themselves but accept certain beliefs that are defining of Modern Orthodoxy (e.g. Torah U-Mada),

5) Returnees -- Ba'alei Teshuva who were embraced by and have embraced the Modern Orthodox community,

6) Disenchanted Yeshivish/Chassidish -- Basically, a large percentage of the people I see leaving Brooklyn and integrating into Modern Orthodox communities elsewhere.

I self-identify as Modern Orthodox for probably a bit of all these last four reasons.

(See also this post: You Might Be Modern Orthodox If...)

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