Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Problem with Modern Orthodoxy

XGH quotes Rabbi Horowitz:
I am getting a new wave of parents begging me to speak to their children. The profile is chillingly similar: 13-14 years old boys and girls. High achieving in school. No emotional problems; great, respectful kids from great homes. Well adjusted. They just don’t want to be frum. Period. They are eating on Yom Kippur, not keeping Shabbos, not keeping kosher; et al.

No anger, no drugs, no promiscuous activity. They are just not buying what we are selling. Some have decided to ‘go public’, while others are still ‘in the closet’. In some of the cases, their educators have no idea of what is really going on.

...

My friends, I have no other way to say this other than “we are running out of time.” The kids are finding each other via cell phones, chat groups, Facebook and My Space. They are “making their own minyan.” Many minyanim in fact.

This phenomenon is also playing itself out in a similar manner among frum adults. Just look at the response on my website to Rabbi Becher’s excellent column, Adults at Risk.

May Hashem give us the wisdom and courage to make the changes that are necessary to reverse these frightening trends.

Finally, an Orthodox rabbi admits the truth:
High achieving in school. No emotional problems; great, respectful kids from great homes. Well adjusted. They just don’t want to be frum. Period... No anger, no drugs, no promiscuous activity. They are just not buying what we are selling.

By any reasonable criteria, these kids are stunning successes. By the standards of Modern Orthodox Judaism? They represent trends that are "chilling" and "frightening." If a teen (or adult!) decides that being frum is not for them, it's a tragedy.

I've never seen my opposition to Orthodox Judaism summed up better.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

the link to rabbi horowitz's page is broken

Jewish Atheist said...

Are you sure? It works for me.

Fischmusik said...

I don't think the same can be said for the orthodox, non MO, youngsters. Those are typically in trouble. Just goes to show that moder orthodoxy is much healthier than your typical litvish judaism.

Ezzie said...

a) Why are you saying MO? He's presumably referring to any Orthodox kids.

b) Every parent in the world does not like when their child chooses a path contradictory to their own. You're kidding yourself to think that this has anything to do with an inherent problem with OJ.

Jewish Atheist said...

a) Why are you saying MO? He's presumably referring to any Orthodox kids.

My instinct was like Fischmusik, above, that Chareidi kids who don't believe in frumkeit would probably be more screwed up. Maybe that's wrong.

b) Every parent in the world does not like when their child chooses a path contradictory to their own. You're kidding yourself to think that this has anything to do with an inherent problem with OJ.

There's a difference between "does not like" and breathlessly discussing the "chilling" and "frightening" trends.

Ezzie said...

Read any parenting magazine. That's how any article words anything.

Come on, every freaking NYT editorial discusses the "frightening" and "disturbing" policies of this government. There's no such thing as just saying anything, anymore - if it's not "shocking" it must not be worth reading.

jewish philosopher said...

Of course Orthodox Jews are a bit more intolerant than most people. So what? Why is that necessarily bad?

Jack's Shack said...

It is a new world.

seraphya said...

It’s the trend that is frightening. You would be frightened too if something you believed in faced a (possibly) existential threat

Sheila said...

The more inner Torah, or Chassidut, that is taught, the greater the urge to be frum. It did not work for me personally until I learned inner Torah. Chassidic groups that reach out to non-frum Jews are growing. In today's world of exponentially increased knowing and deep study, we need depth in Torah as well. Or it just seems like a to-do list.