ORTHODOXY

The term "Orthodoxy" first appeared in respect to Judaism in 1795, and became widely used from the beginning of the 19th century in contradistinction to the reform movement in judaism . In later times other terms, such as "Torah-true," became popular. Yet, in general, Orthodox came to designate those who accept as divinely inspired the totality of the historical religion of the Jewish people as it is recorded in the Written and Oral Laws and codified in the Shulḥan Arukh and its commentaries until recent times, and as it is observed in practice according to the teachings and unchanging principles of the halakhah. Orthodoxy as a well-defined and separate phenomenon within Jewry crystallized in response to the challenge of the changes which occurred in Jewish society in Western and Central Europe in the first half of the 19th century: Reform, the haskalah , and trends toward secularization. Those who opposed change and innovation felt it necessary to emphasize their stand as guardians of the Torah and its commandments under altered conditions and to find ways to safeguard their particular way of life. (Nathaniel Katzburg) Orthodox Judaism considers itself the authentic bearer of the religious Jewish tradition which, until emancipation , held sway over almost the entire Jewish community. The term Orthodoxy is actually a misnomer for a religious orientation which stresses not so much the profession of a strictly defined set of dogmas, as submission to the authority of halakhah. Orthodoxy's need for self-definition arose only when the mold into which Jewish life had been cast during the period of self-sufficient existence of Jewish society had been completely shattered. Orthodoxy looks upon attempts to adjust Judaism to the "spirit of the time" as utterly incompatible with the entire thrust of normative Judaism which holds that the revealed will of God rather than the values of any given age are the ultimate standard. At the very dawn of Emancipation, many Orthodox leaders foresaw the perils which the breakdown of the ghetto walls incurred for Jewish survival. Some of them were so apprehensive about the newly available political, social, and economic opportunities, which they felt would make it almost impossible for the Jew to maintain his distinctive national and spiritual identity, that they went so far as to urge the Jewish communities to reject the privileges offered by Emancipation. Others, while willing to accept the benefits of political emancipation, were adamant in their insistence that there be no change in the policy of complete segregation from the social and cultural life of the non-Jewish environment. R. Ezekiel landau was so fearful that exposure to the culture of the modern world might ultimately result in total assimilation of the Jew that he proclaimed a ban on the reading of Moses Mendelssohn's translation of the Pentateuch, even though Mendelssohn had advocated strict observance of the halakhah. Fear of assimilation was intensified by a number of developments, seen as alarming, ranging from numerous instances of outright conversion to Christianity to the efforts on the part of the Reform movement to transform radically the character of Judaism in order to facilitate the total integration of the Jew within modern society. The Orthodox leadership believed that the aesthetic innovations which characterized the first phase of the Reform movement were motivated by the desire to model the synagogue on the pattern of the Protestant Church – a move that was regarded by its advocates as indispensable for gaining for the Jew full acceptance by his Christian neighbors. The claim that the introduction of organ music or the substitution of prayers in the vernacular for those in Hebrew did not violate talmudic law was refuted by 18 leading rabbinic authorities who joined in writing the book Elleh Divrei ha-Berit (Altona, 1819). The Orthodox community, intuitively realizing that liturgical reforms were only the beginning of a long-range process designed to change the tenets and practices of Judaism so as to remove all barriers against full immersion in the majority culture, reacted with an all-out effort to preserve the status quo. The slightest tampering with tradition was condemned. Orthodoxy in this sense first developed in Germany and in Hungary (see samson raphael hirsch ; neo-orthodoxy ). As its religious and political ideology crystallized, it emphasized both its opposition to those who advocated religious reform and the essential differences in its outlook and way of life from that of the reformers. At the same time, it refused to countenance any possibility of cooperation with those advocating different viewpoints. Herein lay Orthodoxy's main impetus toward organizational separation, a trend epitomized in Germany after 1876 when separation from the established community became legal, thus permitting the formation of the "separatist Orthodoxy" (Trennungsorthodoxie). This trend was opposed by R. isaac dov bamberger , one of the outstanding German Orthodox rabbis of his day. Underlying the opposition to secession was the reluctance to jeopardize the unity of the Jewish people. Historically, membership in the Jewish community was never regarded merely as a matter of voluntary identification with a religious denomination. One's status as a Jew was not acquired through the profession of a particular   creed. With the exception of converts, the privileges and responsibilities devolving upon a member of the people of the Covenant derive from the fact that he was born a Jew. To this day Orthodoxy has not been able to resolve the dilemma that a considerable section of Jewry today no longer obeys the halakhah. There are those who lean toward a policy of withdrawal, lest they be responsible for the implicit "recognition" of the legitimacy of non-Orthodox ideologies. Others, concerned with preserving the unity of the Jewish people, advocate involvement of Orthodoxy in the non-Orthodox Jewish community even at the risk that their policies might be misconstrued as a willingness to condone non-Orthodox approaches. It was, ironically, the issue of separation that precipitated most of the internal conflict that has plagued Orthodoxy. In its early history, agudat israel was torn asunder by the controversy over whether Orthodox Jews should be permitted to take a leading part in the organization if they, at the same time, also belonged to groups in which non-Orthodox Jews were allowed to play a prominent role. The influence of the Hungarian element finally swayed Agudat Israel to adopt a resolution barring its members from participation in non-Orthodox movements. isaac breuer , a grandson of Samson Raphael Hirsch and one of the leading Agudat Israel ideologists, formulated in his Der neue Kuzari a philosophy of Judaism in which refusal to espouse the cause of separation was interpreted as being equivalent to the rejection of the absolute sovereignty of God. mizrachi , on the other hand, espoused a policy of cooperation with non-Orthodox and secular elements. It is also noteworthy that in eastern Europe most Agudat Israel circles frowned upon secular learning, while Mizrachi, as a general rule, adopted a far more sympathetic attitude toward worldly culture. In central and western Europe, however, Agudat Israel circles were guided not only by Hirsch's separationist policy toward the non-Orthodox community, but also subscribed to his philosophy of Torah im derekh ereẓ (Torah with secular education), and espoused the synthesis of Torah with modern culture. In Israel, the split between the two approaches is especially noticeable. Mizrachi and Ha-Po'el ha-Mizrachi have favored full participation in the political life of the yishuv and subsequently in the sovereign State of Israel. Agudat Israel circles, however, refrained from joining the Keneset Yisrael (the recognized community of the Jews in Palestine) and refused to recognize the official rabbinate appointed by that body. After the establishment of the State of Israel, Agudat Israel participated in elections to the Knesset and for some time even participated in a coalition government. A far more extreme position was adopted by neturei karta . They have categorically refused to recognize the authority of a secular Jewish state which, in their opinion, came into being only through the betrayal of the religious values of Jewish tradition. Although the followers of the Torah im derekh ereẓ approach advocated openness to modern culture and discouraged the insulation of the Jew from the intellectual currents of his time, they nonetheless unequivocally rejected any doctrine which in the slightest manner would jeopardize the binding character and validity of the halakhah. They were unbending in their insistence that the traditional belief in Torah min ha-Shamayim entailed: that the Masoretic text represents an authentic record of divine communication of content; and that the Oral Torah represents in essence the application and extension of teachings and methods that are ultimately grounded in direct divine revelation (see oral law ). This view not only clashed with Abraham Geiger's radical doctrine of "progressive revelation," according to which even the Bible was the product of the religious genius of the Jewish people, but also with the more moderate theory of "continuous revelation" as formulated by the positivist historical school. According to zacharias frankel (considered by some to be the spiritual father of Conservative Judaism), the original Sinaitic revelation was supplemented by another kind of revelation – the ongoing revelation manifesting itself throughout history in the spirit of the Jewish people. Orthodoxy balked at Frankel's thesis that the entire structure of rabbinic Judaism was the creation of the scribes, and subsequently of the tannaim and the amoraim, who allegedly sought to adapt biblical Judaism to a new era by inventing the notion of an Oral Torah. From the Orthodox point of view, rabbinic Judaism represents not a radical break with the past, but rather the ingenious application and development of teachings which ultimately derive their sanction from the Sinaitic revelation. Whereas for the positivist historical school the religious consciousness of the Jewish people provided the supreme religious authority, the Orthodox position rested upon the belief in the supernatural origin of the Law which was addressed to a "chosen people ." (Walter S. Wurzburger) German Orthodoxy exerted a significant influence upon Jews in Western lands, especially Holland (to which Reform had not yet spread) and Switzerland. Hungary became the center of a specific type of Orthodox development. The spread of Haskalah there and the reforms in education and synagogue worship led to tension within the communities, especially from the 1840s on (see aaron chorin ). Orthodoxy became very much aware of its distinctive character, especially under the influence of R. moses sofer and his school. Later the call for independent organization became more pronounced. Preparations for a nationwide congress of Hungarian Jews at the end of the 1860s gave this trend an organizational and political expression in the formation of the Shomrei Hadass Society (Glaubenswaechter, "Guardians of the Faith"), founded in 1867 to protect and further the interest of Orthodoxy, thus becoming the first modern Orthodox political party. In a congress held from December 1868 to February 1869, the Orthodox and Reform camps split; afterward the Orthodox withdrew, announcing that the decisions of the congress were not binding on them. Independent Orthodox communities were set up in those areas where the established communal leadership had passed to the Reform camp, and a countrywide   organization of these separate communities was set up. Orthodox autonomy was confirmed by the government in 1871. Approximately half of Hungarian Jewry joined the Orthodox communities. Within Hungarian Orthodoxy, two strands can be discerned: (1) traditional Orthodoxy, encompassing the ḥasidic masses in the northeastern districts; and (2) non-ḥasidic Orthodoxy, which contained a segment that bore the marks of modern Orthodoxy – a measure of adaptation to its environment, general education (without the ideology of Torah im derekh ereẓ), and use of the language of the country. Non-ḥasidic Orthodoxy was shaped by the school of R. Moses Sofer. In eastern Europe until World War I, Orthodoxy preserved without a break its traditional ways of life and the time-honored educational framework. In general, the mainstream of Jewish life was identified with Orthodoxy while Haskalah and secularization were regarded as deviations. Hence there was no ground wherein a Western type of Orthodoxy could take root. Modern political Orthodox activity first appeared in eastern Europe at the beginning of the 20th century with Agudat Israel. Orthodoxy's political activity was especially noticeable in Poland. During the period of German conquest at the time of World War I, an Orthodox political party was organized (with the aid of some German rabbis), the Shelomei Emunei Israel. In the communal and political life of the Jews in the Polish republic, Orthodoxy was most influential in the townlets, and was supported by the ḥasidic masses. The central political aim of Orthodoxy was to guarantee its autonomy in all religious matters. After World War I, a definite shift may be detected in Orthodoxy in Poland toward basic general education to a limited degree. Agudat Israel established an educational network, with Horeb schools for boys and Beth Jacob schools for girls. European Orthodoxy, in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, was significantly influenced by the move from small settlements to urban centers (within the same country), as well as by emigration. Within the small German communities there was a kind of popular Orthodoxy, deeply attached to tradition and to local customs, and when it moved to the large cities this element brought with it a vitality and rootedness to Jewish tradition. From the end of the 19th century, countries in western Europe absorbed newcomers from the East, who either constituted an important addition to the existing Orthodox congregations or set up new communities. After World War I, scholars from eastern Europe (among them the rabbis Abraham Elijah Kaplan and jehiel jacob weinberg ) went to Germany and other western countries. They exerted a perceptible influence on western Orthodoxy, providing it with a direction in scholarship and drawing it closer to the world of talmudic learning. In the interwar period, young Orthodox students from the West went to the yeshivot of Poland and Lithuania, and yeshivot of the traditional type were later established in western Orthodox centers. In the United States, Orthodoxy constituted one of the mainstreams of life and thought within Jewry. Different varieties of Orthodoxy coexisted. In 1898 the union of orthodox jewish congregations of America was founded. Its declared aims were to accept "the authoritative interpretation of our rabbis as contained in the Talmud and codes." Among the leaders and teachers prominent in American Orthodoxy were the rabbis bernard revel , joseph d. soloveichik , and joseph h. lookstein . One of the influential Orthodox centers in the United States, yeshiva university , inspired the establishment of many other schools offering instruction in both Jewish and secular subjects on the elementary and high school levels. This trend of U.S. Orthodoxy published the periodicals Jewish Life, Jewish Forum, Tradition, and Intercom (publication of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Societies). The differences within American Orthodoxy were evidenced by the establishment of different rabbinic bodies there. Rabbis from eastern Europe, representing traditional Orthodoxy, make up the union of orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada (founded in 1902), while rabbis educated in America united to form the rabbinical council of America (in 1923; reorg. 1935). Ḥasidic groups, who became influential chiefly after World War II, constitute a separate division within American Orthodoxy. Especially well known are those associated with menahem mendel schneersohn of Lubavitch and Joel teitelbaum of Satmar. Rabbis, scholars, and the heads of yeshivot who came after World War II and built yeshivot according to the Lithuanian tradition added their special quality to American Orthodoxy. Most prominent among them was Rabbi aaron kotler . The senior central organization of the Jews of England, the united synagogue , is an Orthodox body in its constitution and rabbinic leadership. However, the lay leaders and congregants are not necessarily all observant in the light of the accepted Orthodox standard. Those who were dissatisfied with the degree of observance and religious spirit prevailing in the United Synagogue founded separate congregational organizations. The Federation of Synagogues, which in composition was more suited to the spirit of those who came from eastern Europe, was founded in 1887, and its numbers multiplied with the extensive Jewish emigration to England. In 1891 the society known as Machzike Hadath ("The Upholders of the Faith"), was formed, and immigrants from western Europe founded the congregations known as Adath Yisroel in the spirit of German Orthodoxy. In 1926 R. Victor Schonfeld established the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations which attempted to unite the various branches of western traditional Orthodoxy. (Nathaniel Katzburg) -Trends within Modern Orthodoxy In spite of the new impetus given to Orthodoxy by the success of the day school and improved methods of organization and communication, evidence of grave dangers cannot be ignored. The rapid polarization within the Orthodox camp seriously threatens to split the movement completely.   While much of the controversy seems to revolve around the question of membership in religious bodies containing non-Orthodox representation, the real issue goes far deeper. The so-called "modern Orthodox" element is under severe attack for allegedly condoning deviations from halakhic standards in order to attract non-observant Jews. On the other hand, there constantly come to the fore mounting restlessness and impatience on the part of significant elements that are dismayed over the slowness with which Orthodoxy has responded to the upheavals of Emancipation, the Enlightenment, and the establishment of the State of Israel. The charge has been made that, instead of coming to grips with these events which have confronted the Jew with entirely new historic realities, Orthodoxy has been satisfied with voicing its disapproval of those who have reacted to them. Some of the more "radical" thinkers regard the Hirsch type of synthesis between Torah and culture as an invaluable first step, but it must be developed much further if it is to meet contemporary needs. They look askance at the feature of "timelessness" which in Hirsch's system constitutes a hallmark of Torah and which, in their opinion, ignores the dynamic character inherent in the processes of the Oral Torah. They contend that, as long as the domain of Torah remains completely insulated from the culture of a given age, the authorities or the halakhah cannot creatively apply teachings of Torah to ever-changing historic realities. What, therefore, is needed is not merely the coexistence but the mutual interaction of the two domains. This view, of course, runs counter to the basic tenets of "right-wing" Orthodoxy, which frowns upon the intrusion of elements derived from secular culture as a distortion of the authentic teachings of the Torah. The exponents of the more radical positions of "modern Orthodoxy" are frequently charged with cloaking under the mantle of Orthodoxy what essentially amounts to a Conservative position. This argument, however, is countered by the claim that no modifications of the halakhah are condoned unless they are sanctioned by the methods governing the process of halakhic development. There is no thought of "updating" the halakhah in order to adjust it to the spirit of the time. What is advocated is only that its meaning be explicated in the light of ever-changing historic conditions. The contention is that, as long as halakhic opinion is evolved in conformity with the proper procedures of halakhic reasoning, its legitimacy as a halakhic datum is assured. To bolster their case, the proponents of this "left wing" frequently claim to derive the basic elements of their position from the teachings of Rabbi kook , as well as from the philosophy of the most influential contemporary Orthodox thinker, R. Joseph B. Soloveichik. Neither of these two seminal thinkers has in any way identified himself with the views advanced by the more "progressive" wing. But Kook's readiness to attribute religious value to modern secular movements, as well as his positive stance toward cultural and scientific developments, provide a key element to a philosophy that seeks to integrate the positive contributions of the world within the fabric of Judaism. Similarly, Soloveichik's characterization of the man of faith in terms of the dialectical tension between a commitment to an eternal "covenantal community" and the responsibilities to fulfill socio-ethical tasks in a world of change is widely hailed as an endorsement of the thesis that the Jewish religious ideal does not call for withdrawal from the world but for the confrontation between human culture and the norms and values of the Torah. Obviously, such a conception of the nature of the commitment of the Jewish faith completely disposes of the charge of "moral isolationism" that time and again has been hurled at Orthodoxy because its alleged preoccupation with the minutiae of the Law renders it insensitive to areas which do not come within the purview of formal halakhic regulation. Actually, the covenantal relationship between man and God embraces all aspects of life and cannot be confined to a mere adherence to a set of legal rules. The observance of the halakhah, far from exhausting the religious task of the Jew, is designed to make him more sensitive and "open" to social and moral concerns. THE DILEMMA OF ORTHODOXY IN THE MODERN WORLD Although many segments of Orthodoxy have veered away from the course of "splendid isolation" which has been espoused by the "right wing," they have not as yet been able to formulate a systematic theology capable of integrating the findings of modern science and historic scholarship. For that matter, there has not yet been developed a theory of revelation which would satisfy the demands of modern categories of thought. There are some isolated voices clamoring for less "fundamentalist" or "mechanical" approaches to revelation which would utilize some of martin buber 's notions and assign a large role to man's subjective response to the encounter with the Divine. But it remains to be seen whether such a solution is feasible within the framework of Orthodoxy. At any rate, some of the widely recognized Orthodox authorities unequivocally reject any approach which compromises in the slightest with the doctrine that divine revelation represents direct supernatural communication of content from God to man. Even more serious is the problem of the increasing resistance to the Orthodox emphasis on the authoritative nature of the halakhah. This runs counter to the prevailing cultural emphasis upon pluralism and the individual's free subjective commitment, a freedom which challenges acceptance of objective religious values or norms imposed upon the individual from without. What renders the problem even more acute is the paradox that the Orthodox community, which places so much emphasis upon the authority of the rabbis to interpret the revealed word of God, is the one that has been plagued most by conflicting claims of competing authorities. Characteristically, all efforts to establish some central authority have failed dismally. The proposal to revive the Sanhedrin, far from promoting cohesiveness, has actually precipitated considerable disharmony within the Orthodox camp. The latter, so far, has   not even succeeded in evolving a loose organizational structure which would be representative of the various ideological shadings within the movement. (Walter S. Wurzburger) -Developments in Modern Orthodoxy Orthodox Judaism is by no means monolithic; the diversity in faith and practice is legion; it has no ultimate authority or hierarchy of authorities; and it has never been able to mobilize even one national or international organization in which all of its groups would speak as one. The diversity in halakhic rulings is typical of most legal systems. It stems principally from reliance on different sources, all of which are deemed authoritative, or from methods of reasoning, applied to the sources, which are also deemed normative by all halakhists. Philosophy or teleology plays little part in the decision-making process, except for a few among the Modern Orthodox. The Modern Orthodox constitute neither sect nor movement. They convene no seminars and no colloquiums. They have no organized group and no publication of their own. There is no list of rabbis or laymen who call themselves "Modern Orthodox." They are at best represented by a group of rabbis who see each other from time to time and share the same commitment, namely that the Torah does not have to be afraid of modernity since there is no challenge that the Torah cannot cope with. Some prefer the word "centrist" because the word "modern" is too often associated with permissiveness. Others reject the term "centrist" because it suggests being in the center on all issues. But the Modern Orthodox are extremists on the positive side of many issues, such as the centrality of ethics in religious behavior and the need for improving the status of women in halakhah. The diversity among all Orthodox Jews that evokes the most acrimony revolves around three issues: the nature and scope of Revelation; attitudes toward secular education and modern culture; and the propriety of cooperation with non-Orthodox rabbis. To systematic theology very little attention is given. The writings of the medieval Jewish philosophers are studied and expounded, but they appear to stimulate no new approaches. Orthodox Jews are still rationalists or mystics; naturalists or neo-Hegelians; and, even existentialists, most notably joseph d. soloveitchik . Starting with the premise that all the Torah is God's revealed will, he holds that logically all of it must have theological significance. Therefore, he sees the totality of Torah as the realm of ideas in the Platonic sense, given by God for application to the realm of the real. Just as the mathematician creates an internally logical and coherent fabric of formulas with which he interprets and integrates the appearances of the visible world, so the Jew, the "Man of Halakhah," has the Torah as the divine idea that invests all of human life with direction and sanctity. "The halakhah is a multidimensional, ever-expanding continuum that cuts through all levels of human existence from the most primitive and intimate to the most complex relationships." And though the halakhah refers to the ideal, its creativity must be affected by the real. "Man's response to the great halakhic challenge asserts itself not only in blind acceptance of the divine imperative, but also in assimilating a transcendental content disclosed to him through an apocalyptic revelation and in fashioning it to his peculiar needs. It is rather the experiencing of life's irreconcilable antitheses – the simultaneous affirmation and abnegation of the self, the simultaneous awareness of the temporal and the eternal, the simultaneous clash of freedom and necessity, the simultaneous love and fear of God, and His simultaneous transcendence and immanence." As for conceptions of the hereafter and resurrection of the dead, Soloveitchik holds with earlier authorities that no man can fathom or visualize precisely what they signify in fact, but the beliefs themselves can be deduced logically from the proposition that God is just and merciful. God's attribute of absolute justice and mercy require that he provide rewards and punishments and that He redeem Himself by being merciful to those most in need of mercy – the dead. Soloveitchik holds with many earlier philosophers that the immortality of the soul after death is to be distinguished from a this-worldly resurrection of the dead in a post-Messianic period; the Messianic period itself will produce only international peace and order. Essentially the doctrines represent fulfillment of Judaism's commitment to an optimistic philosophy of human existence. In Soloveitchik's intellectual development there was a period when there was a clash, a confrontation between two ways of life and modes of thought: that of Brisk (Brest-Litovsk), where he became the great Talmudist, and that of Berlin, where he later became the great philosopher. For many of his disciples who call themselves Modern Orthodox there was no such clash. They grew up in both cultures simultaneously, and the synthesis they sought and attained was a gradual achievement over a long period, virtually from elementary school days through graduate study. What little they achieved was not born altogether from anguish but more by the slow natural process of intellectual and emotional maturation. That is why they often part with the master in whose thought existentialism plays the major role, and they are more likely to embrace a more naturalist theology. Theology and eschatology generally receive very little attention from Orthodox Jewish thinkers. The case is not so with Revelation, on which the range in views is enormous. There are those who hold literally that God dictated the Torah to Moses, who wrote each word as dictated, and there are those who maintain that how God communicated with Moses, the Jewish people, the Patriarchs and the Prophets will continue to be a matter of conjecture and interpretation, but the crucial point is that He did it in history. As creation is a fact for believers, though they cannot describe how, so Revelation is a fact, though its precise manner is not clear. This less fundamentalist approach would not deny a role to man's subjective response to the encounter with the divine, but all Orthodox Jews would agree that the doctrine of divine Revelation represents direct supernatural communication of content from God to man.   There are those who hold that every event reported in the Torah must be understood literally; some are less rigid in this connection and even regard the Torah as the ultimate source for a Jewish philosophy of history rather than Jewish history itself. This accounts for the fact that presently some authorities insist that Orthodox Jews must hold the age of the earth to be some five thousand years plus, while others have no difficulty in accepting astronomical figures. The head of the Lubavitch movement, Rabbi menachem schneersohn , insisted that the age of the earth was what the tradition holds it to be. The Modern Orthodox are more likely to hold with Rabbi Menaḥem Mendel Kasher that it is not imperative that one so hold, and he thus advised scientists who sought his definitive opinion on the issue. He made no dogma of the traditional view. There are many Orthodox scientists, researchers, and academicians, who bifurcate their position. They hold to the traditional view as believers and to the scientific views in their professional pursuits – and this schizoid position does not disturb them. With regard to the legal portions of the Torah, many Orthodox Jews still insist that they are eternal and immutable. Others maintain that the Oral Torah itself affords conclusive proof that there are laws that are neither eternal nor immutable. In the Oral Torah one also finds that some commandments were deemed by one authority or another never to have been mandatory but, rather, optional. Such were the commandments with regard to the blood-avenger and the appointment of a king. However, exponents of Orthodox Judaism generally affirm eternity and immutability, even though they engage in halakhic development without regard to the fiction they verbalize. The Modern Orthodox are more likely not to articulate the fiction as they explore ways to make the eternal law cope with the needs of the period. With regard to parts of the Bible other than the Pentateuch, some hold that all of them were written because of the Holy Spirit; others are more critical and do not dogmatize with regard to their authorship, accuracy of texts, dates of composition, or literal interpretation. Some extend the doctrine of the inviolability of the Torah to all the sacred writings, including the Talmud and the Midrashim, and do not permit rejection even of any of the most contradictory legends or maxims. Others are "reductionists" and restrict the notion of inviolability to the Five Books of Moses. Many of these views were expressed before the modern period. They are found in the writings of Jewish philosophers of the Middle Ages, and some are clearly expressed in the Talmud and Midrashim. The so-called Modern Orthodox are more likely to be found among those who hold the more liberal views with regard to these issues. Similarly, on the basis of tradition, the Modern Orthodox differ with their colleagues with regard to secular education and modern culture and the cooperation of Orthodox Jews with non-Orthodox Jews. There were Orthodox rabbis who bemoaned the collapse of the ghetto walls because they fathomed what this would mean to the solidarity of the Jewish community and especially the future of its legal autonomy. Halakhah, which had always been applicable to the personal, social, economic, and political existence of Jews, would thereafter be relevant to very limited areas in the life of the Jew. These rabbis opposed any form of acculturation with their non-Jewish neighbors. Others advocated acculturation in social and economic matters but retained commitment to a Judaism totally unrelated to, and unaffected by, the ideas and values that dominated the non-Jewish scene. Others advocated the fullest symbiosis, outstanding among them, Rabbis Abraham Isaac Hacohen kook and joseph d. soloveitchik . Rabbi Kook maintained a very positive attitude to all modern cultural and scientific developments; Rabbi Soloveitchik described the believing Jew as one who is forever in dialectical tension between his being a member of the covenanted community and his obligation to fulfill his socio-ethical responsibilities with and for all humanity in a rapidly changing world. Disciples of theirs even find that their secular education and exposure to modern culture deepen their understanding and appreciation of their own heritage, even as it helps them to evaluate modernity with greater insight and a measure of transcendence. Because of differences of opinion, one finds contemporary Orthodox Jews holding many different views with respect to their own mode of living, their careers, and the education of their children. Those who want no part of modernity prefer to live in isolation and earn a livelihood by pursuing "safe" careers in business. They want the same for their offspring. Others seek to bifurcate their existence. They are modern in dress, enjoy the culture which surrounds them, but avoid intellectual challenges, and build a protective wall around their religious commitment, forbidding the environment to encroach upon their faith and ancestral practice. Usually they too want for their children what they enjoy, and they also encourage their young to pursue "safe" careers at college-courses in business, law, medicine, accounting, but rarely the social sciences or the humanities. Then there are those who are determined to cope with all the challenges that modernity can offer. Some, like samuel belkin , held to this view but spoke of the "synthesis" between modernity and traditional Judaism as a merging of the two cultures in the personality and outlook of the Orthodox Jew. His predecessor, bernard revel , the first president of Yeshiva University, had a more exciting goal – a genuine synthesis of the best in both worlds. He craved the sanctification of the secular as did Rabbi Kook; the integration of the best that humanity has achieved with the eternal truths of Judaism; the greater appreciation of Judaism because of its differences from other religions and cultures; and the reformulation of the cherished concepts and practices of Judaism and their rationalization in modern terms. This goal has been achieved by only a few, but most of the intelligentsia among the Modern Orthodox share Revel's dream rather than the less difficult goal of Belkin. The attitudes of Orthodox Jews to their non-Orthodox co-religionists also range from one end of the spectrum to   the other – from hate, presumably based on revered texts, to toleration, total acceptance, and even love, similarly based on revered texts. Those indulging in hate are responsible for the physical violence occasionally practiced against any who deviate from the tradition. Theirs is a policy of non-cooperation in any form whatever with any who disagree with them, and they not only pray for the destruction of the State of Israel but even take measures to achieve that end. Others simply desire total separation from those who deviate from their customs and practices, even in the matter of dress. A further group is reconciled to the fact of pluralism in Jewish life but has no affinity whatever for the non-Orthodox. A fourth group loves all Jews irrespective of how they behave, but does not accord even a modicum of tolerance to organizations that represent non-Orthodox rabbis and congregations. It is more tolerant of secular groups – no matter how anti-religious. A fifth group is even willing to cooperate with non-Orthodox groups in all matters pertaining to relationships between Jews and non-Jews, at least in the United States. They are even less open-minded with regard to the situation in Israel. Only a very small group goes all the way with the inescapable implications of the thought of Kook and Soloveitchik and welcomes the challenge of non-Orthodoxy, even as it views secular education and modern culture as positive factors in appreciation of the tradition. It is also in this last group, Modern Orthodox, that one is likely to find those who will project halakhic decisions that are based on the sources but not necessarily the weight of the authorities. Especially with respect to the inviolability of the persons of all human beings, including Jewish dissenters, they are zealots. Thus they encourage dialogue with all Jews, solutions to the painful problems in Jewish family law, more prohibitions with community sanctions against the unethical behavior of Jews in business, in the exaction of usury, in the evasion of taxes, and in the exploitation of the disadvantaged. They propose the use of more theology and teleology in the process of halakhic decision. Their principal difference with so-called right-wing Conservative rabbis is that they do not wish to "update" the halakhah to adjust it to the spirit of the time but rather within the frame and normative procedures of the halakhah – its sources and its method of reasoning – to express the implications of the halakhah for the modern Jew and his existential situation. The Modern Orthodox are especially attentive to historical, psychological, sociological, and teleological considerations. A few illustrations may be of interest. They oppose any form of religious coercion by Jews against Jews and not by resort to the legal fiction that every Jew is now to be considered the equal of one who was taken captive in his early childhood and never raised as a Jew. The tradition exempts such a person from religious coercion. The Modern Orthodox prefer the approach which says that religious coercion was only permitted when it might truly change the attitude and inner feeling of its victim. However, coercion now only angers the victim more and makes him or her more hostile to Judaism. Therefore, it defeats rather than advances its original purpose. Similarly, Jewish family law developed to give dignity and sanctity to the status of every member of the family, with every individual enjoying the right freely to serve God and fulfill his or her responsibilities as a member of the family. When Jewish law, however, no longer serves this purpose and becomes an instrument for exploitations of one by another and the literal enslavement of spouses or offspring, then there must be legislation and the sooner the better. Therefore, the Modern Orthodox especially favor antenuptial agreements anticipating certain unfortunate events and the reactivation of the annulment of marriages – all of which has ample sources in the halakhic literature. Last but not least, the Modern Orthodox are more likely than others to lend a sympathetic ear to halakhic changes in the face of developments in modern medicine – especially the right to volunteer one's organs for transplanting. This is a field in which very little creative work has been accomplished by rabbis, except to assemble ancient sources with little or no philosophical analysis. Because of the enormous diversity among Orthodox Jews in both creed and practice, there is a tendency at present to speak of the ultra-Orthodox, the Orthodox, and the Modern Orthodox. Yet in each of these groups there is substantial diversity, and the outlook in a free world and open society is for more, rather than less, of it. (Emanuel Rackman) (For the political and ideological expression of right-wing Orthodoxy in Israel, see gush emunim .) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. Schwarzschild, Die Gruendung der israelitischen Religionsgesellschaft zu Frankfurt am Main (1896); J. Wohlgemuth, in: Festschrift… David Hoffmann (1914), 435–53; S. Japhet, in: HJ, 10 (1948), 99–122; I. Heinemann, ibid., 123–34; J. Rosenheim, ibid., 135–46; H. Schwab, History of Orthodox Jewry in Germany (1950); B. Homa, A Fortress in Anglo-Jewry; the Story of the Machzike Hadath (1953); E. Rackman, in: Judaism, 3 (1954), 302–9; 18 (1969), 143–58; Y. Wolfsberg, in: YLBI, 1 (1956), 237–54; S. Federbush (ed.), Ḥokhmat Yisrael be-Ma'arav Eiropah, 3 vols. (1958–65); S.K. Mirsky (ed.), Ishim u-Demuyyot be-Ḥokhmat Yisrael be-Eiropah ha-Mizraḥit Lifnei Sheki'atah (1959); I. Grunfeld, Three Generations: The Influence of Samson Raphael Hirsch on Jewish Life and Thought (1959); S. Poll, The Ḥasidic Community of Williamsburg (1962); C.S. Liebman, in: AJYB, 66 (1965), 21–97; D. Rudavsky, Emancipation and Adjustment (1967); N. Lamm, Faith and Doubt: Studies in Traditional Jewish Thought (19862); idem, in: Jewish Life (May–June, 1969), 5–6; N. Katzburg, in: R. Braham (ed.), Hungarian Jewish Studies, 2 (1969); S. Belkin, Essays in Traditional Jewish Thought (1956); M. Davis, in: L. Finkelstein (ed.), The Jews, their History, Culture and Religion, 1 (19603), 488–587; I. Epstein, The Faith of Judaism (1954); I. Grunfeld, Judaism Eternal (1956); S.R. Hirsch, The Nineteen Letters on Judaism (1960, 1969); N. Lamm and W.S. Wurzburger (eds.), A Treasury of Tradition (1967). ADDITIONAL BIBLIOGRAPHY: L. Bernstein, Challenge and Mission: the Emergence of the English Speaking Orthodox Rabbinate (1982); S. Bernstein, The Renaissance of the Torah Jew (1985); M. Breuer, Modernity Within Tradition: the Social History of Orthodox Jewry in Imperial Germany, tr. E. Petuchowsky (1992); R.P. Bulka (ed.), Dimensions of Orthodox Judaism (1983); M.H. Danziger, Returning to Tradition: the Contemporary Revival of Orthodox Judaism (1989); D.H. Ellenson, Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer and the Creation   of a Modern Jewish Orthodoxy (1990); T. Frankiel, The Voice of Sarah: Feminine Spirituality and Traditional Judaism (1990); J.S. Gurock, The Men and Women of Yeshiva: Higher Education, Orthodoxy, and American Judaism (1988); S.C. Heilman, Defenders of the Faith: Inside Ultra-Orthodox Jewry (1992); S.C. Heilman and S.M. Cohen, Cosmopolitans and Parochials: Modern Orthodox Jews in America (1989); W.B. Helmreich, The World of the Yeshiva: an Intimate Portrait of Orthodox Jewry (1982); H.C. Schimmel & A. Carmell (eds.), Encounter: Essays on Torah and Modern Life (1989); Z. Kurzweil, The Modern Impulse of Traditional Judaism (1985); L.J. Kaplan & D. Shatz (eds.), Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and Jewish Spirituality (1994); B. Kraut, German Jewish Orthodoxy in an Immigrant Synagogue: Cincinnati's New Hope Congregation and the Ambiguities of Ethnic Religion (1988); A. Rakeffet-Rothkoff, The Silver Era in American Jewish Orthodoxy: Rabbi Eliezer Silver and his Generation (1981); N.H. Rosenbloom, Tradition in an Age of Reform: the Religious Philosophy of Samson Raphael Hirsch (1976); J. Sacks, Arguments for the Sake of Heaven: Emerging Trends in Traditional Judaism (1991); N. Solomon, The Analytic Movement: Ḥayyim Soloveitchik and his Circle (1993); J.D. Soloveitchik, The Halakhic Mind (1986); idem, Reflections of the Rav: Lessons in Jewish Thought (1979); W.S. Wurzburger, Ethics of Responsibility: Pluralistic Approaches to Covenantal Ethics (1994).

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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