Thursday, May 19, 2022

Modern Orthodox ,moderate in passion

Yeshiva University President Rabbi Norman Lamm has often said that modern Orthodoxy”s central problem today is that its adherents tend to be moderate about their passions, rather than passionate about their moderation.


  1. Dcades ago I heard a speech by a Conservative speaker who moaned about how jealous he was of chasidim. They had passion! They really cared! Everything Jewish they did was with such vital energy! And JTS students? Well not so much.
    YU is like JTS. You can't have fanatic levels of energy when the whole point is to be moderate. There are no extreme moderates.

  2. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 19, 2022 at 4:50 PM

    The sefer Kuzari has a discussion with the King, and when they get to the karaites, the King points out that the karaites have a lot of passion, but the rabbinical/Talmudists lack the passion. The Kuzari agrees to this, as well as his later agreement that the same Orthodox have little enthusiasm for eretz Israel. So in his day, the Kuzari was saying what Norman Lamm said above. Should we all be karaites because they are passionate about rejecting the oral Law and only observing the D'Oraita law?

  3. The Chafetz Chaim was accustomed to recounting the story that happened to him, with R’ Yehuda, the bath attendant of Radin.

    The mikvah was usually heated by R’ Yehuda, by pouring hot water it, from a boiling hot tank.

    One day, the Chafetz Chaim asked R’ Yehuda, if he had heated the mikvah that day.

    “Sure”, answered R’ Yehuda.

    Hearing this, the Chafetz Chaim disrobed, and went down into the mikvah, but the mikvah was terribly cold!

    The Chafetz Chaim asked the attendant, “How could this be?”

    The attendant replied, saying that he had poured more than half of the tank into the mikvah.

    The Chafetz Chaim approached the boiler, put his hand into the tank, and found that the water was only lukewarm.

    The Chafetz Chaim then said to R’ Yehuda, "You should know; that if the water in the tank is boiling, then the waters of the mikvah will at least be lukewarm. But if the water in the boiler is only lukewarm, then the mikvah water will be completely cold”.

    The parable should be self-explanatory.

    Source: “Chafetz Chaim al HaTorah” (Bnei Brak 5717, Vayera, p. 62)

  4. Did the CC say that
    "The parable should be self-explanatory",and where does he point out to the nimshal?

  5. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 20, 2022 at 1:41 AM

    Cherry picking.
    Go to meah shearim , many people look depressed, and have no enthusiasm for life. Go to tel Aviv and see chilonim, and gay pride, how enthusiastic they are.
    Why are gay's increasing despite them not having children? Must be miracle!

  6. The book "Chafetz Chaim al HaTorah” was not written by the CC.

    The author records the story about the CC, and is mentioned by him, in the context of children's education, that bad friends can cause a child to be "cooled off", just like when we pour hot water into cold water, the hot water gets cooled off.

    I understand this to mean that if people are "cold" to Judaism, then there is a danger, that being associated with them, will more likely to cause the person himself to be "cooled off", rather than the possibility that somehow his own "hot" enthusiasm will rub off on the "cold" person.

  7. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 20, 2022 at 4:16 PM

    Rav Chaim of Volozhin took the view that one should not derive any worldly benefits from the Torah, and hence he forbade to himself to even derive pleasure from chiddush from learning Torah. Does that mean that peopel should be cold towards torah learning? Actually, it seems that this shitah was also followed by Rav Soloveitchik and his father rav Moshe. Which explains something about YU.

    In any case, this post was a retort to the previous one about consequences of actions of rabbanim. I made the point that sometimes extreme behaviour, violence is a result of such attitudes. The Blog owner somehow thinks that to be enthuiastic about religion means you have to accept that this will sometimes lead to violence.

  8. Yeah, pretty much the story in my community. Our Rav is desperate to get the non-religious involved so everything is diluted down. The non-religious don't care but the frum-for-fun(tm) figure out that there's no advantage to keeping things strictly so they stop.

  9. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 20, 2022 at 7:59 PM

    "The non-religious don't care but the frum-for-fun(tm) figure out that there's no advantage to keeping things strictly so they stop"

    Can you kindly elaborate?

  10. Are these people "Conservadox"?


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