web analytics
October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Letters To The Editor

Letters-logo

Whither Honesty And Ethics?

Reader Avner Bloch (Letters, Oct. 25) rightly condemns the widespread apathy among frum Jews to the seemingly never-ending series of scandals that has engulfed our community in recent years.

More problematic than the apathy, of course, is the proliferation of frum Jews who have no compunction about cheating, stealing, lying, and what have you, usually to make money in an illicit fashion but also to cover up the misdeeds of friends and neighbors.

While many Modern Orthodox Jews used to characterize such behavior as a phenomenon found almost exclusively in the haredi sector, such a characterization is no longer true (if it ever was). The fact is, whereas as recently as the mid-1970s it was possible to survey the Orthodox landscape and take pride in the dynamic intellectualism and dedication to derech eretz that suffused large parts of Modern Orthodoxy, the situation today could not be more different.

The stress on ethics and dealing honestly with our neighbors, a hallmark of Modern Orthodoxy thirty and forty years ago, seems to have been replaced by an emphasis on ritualistic minutiae that was once exclusively the domain of right-wing Orthodoxy.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that had an Orthodox Jew been placed in a state of suspended animation in, say, 1975, he would not recognize the Orthodox world if he were to regain consciousness today. What we now call Modern Orthodoxy – it was viewed as mainstream Torah Judaism when I was growing up in the 1950s and ‘60s – has been on the defensive for years.

The general Orthodox public has bought into the notion that stricter necessarily means better, that isolation breeds spirituality, and that our sages in centuries past all wore black hats and spent their days searching out every chumra the human mind could conceive.

As for Modern Orthodoxy, it has atrophied over the past couple of decades to the point where a Modern Orthodox group like Edah, whose leadership was comprised of distinguished rabbis and scholars, was viewed by nearly every frum Jew I came into contact with as being unrepresentative of Torah Judaism – a fringe phenomenon to be shunned or ignored – and indeed the organization disappeared after only a few years of existence.

The reality of Torah teachers who made their living in “secular” occupations, of scholars who counseled leniency within the parameters of halacha, of rabbis whose interpretation of Torah stressed understanding and conciliation between Jew and Jew and Jew and non-Jew – that reality, which was once the norm in the Torah world, is unknown to Orthodox young people today in all but a handful of yeshivas.

Moshe Bleiberg
(Via E-Mail)

Cell Phones In Shuls

Some years ago in a letter to The Jewish Press, a reader complained about Shabbos services in Orthodox shuls being disrupted by cell phones going off. At the time I thought it was much ado about nothing – after all, how frequent of an occurrence could it be?

Recently, however, at least two members of my shul have been getting calls during Shabbos davening. Neither of them has the bad taste to actually answer those calls in the shul; one of them rushes outside while the other either fumbles around in his pocket tying to shut the ringer off or just lets it ring.

I’ve heard from friends who attend other shuls in the area that they too have had their Shabbos davening interrupted by the sound of cell phones going off.

The person who wrote that letter years back about cell phones suggested that shuls install a jammer device to block cell phone frequencies. I’m not sure if that would be legal everywhere, but in locales where it is legal, this may well be a workable solution.

Herman Silverstein
(Via E-Mail)

Approving Mixed Marriages

We’ve recently been reading, in The Jewish Press and other periodicals, about the unacceptably high percentage of Jews who marry non-Jews (rachmana l’tzlan).

The problem is that not only do many rabbis of the Reform movement officiate at interfaith weddings, they often have non-Jewish clergymen present to “co-officiate.”

If the Reform movement gives its seal of approval to such marriages, and most affiliated American Jews consider themselves Reform, I’m afraid we have a long, uphill battle to fight.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Letters To The Editor”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Chaye Zisel Braun
Funeral for Chaye Zisel Braun Underway [photos]
Latest Indepth Stories
Keeping-Jerusalem

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty


n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory

Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.

Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”

Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?

Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/letters-to-the-editor/letters-to-the-editor-275/2013/10/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: