Latest update: January 8th, 2013
This does not of course mean that MO will disappear. Of course they won’t. Not as long as there is a Yeshiva University. And as well because of MO Gedolim like Rav Aharon Lichtenstein and rising stars like Rabbi Michael Broyde.
But though they will not disappear I firmly believe that they will be joining the ranks Moderate Charedim as a socially cohesive group. Those joining those ranks from among MO will be those I classify as Right Wing Modern Orthodox (RWMO). That’s’ because the values of this group are similar to those of moderate Charedim as is their choice of lifestyle. The only real difference between them will be a Hashkafic one which on a day to day basis means very little. Where it may matter is where their children might go. The RWMO will generally choose a YU whereas the moderate Charedi might choose a Touro.
MO lites whose knowledge of and commitment to Judaism is not as strong as is their other interests – will not be major contributors to this new demographic. Their children run a higher risk of assimilating for reasons I stated earlier.
Left Wing Modern Orthodox Jews (LWMO) – though sincere and committed to their beliefs – are too far out of the mainstream now in my view for them to be a serious contender for the mainstream Judaism of the future. They may be around but as they continue to interact to the point of near integration with heterodox movements …and push the envelope of Halacha as far left as it can go… I just don’t see that catching on with the majority of Jews and will not be the wave of the future.
This is why I talk so much about Charedim even though I am not Charedi. What happens to them… and what they do… affects all of us.
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About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
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