The Haredization of American Orthodoxy IV

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R. Shlomo Riskin adds his voice to the discussion. However, his only real point on the Haredization of Orthodoxy is that he considers the move to stronger halakhic observance to be not a Haredization but a renewal and re-invigoration of Modern Orthodoxy. (He also throws in a shtukh to Haredi women who wear wigs.)

He then goes on to define Modern Orthodoxy: Torah ve- (or Torah u-). In other words, accepting something in addition to Torah, whether it be science, military service, work of the land, etc.

But the three essays failed to mention the real essence of modern Orthodoxy as well as its most significant challenge in our generation and in every other: its mission to embrace and sanctify – rather than automatically reject – those aspects of contemporary society which can not only be made compatible with Judaism but which can enhance it.

That is actually a pretty good definition. Although what would he do with Hassidus? Do not they accept Torah ve-Hassidus? Or do they simply expand Torah to include it? But then don’t the Modern Orthodox expand their definition of Torah? And what about Mussar adherents?

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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