web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Uncategorized
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.



Home » Uncategorized

‘Things Once Taken For Granted Are Now Considered Unacceptable’


Marc B. Shapiro, a Judaic Studies professor at the University of Scranton, is a mine of information and a lightning rod for controversy.

A summa cum laude graduate from Brandeis University and the last person to receive a Ph.D. from the late Harvard Judaic Studies Professor Isadore Twersky (son-in-law of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik), Shapiro has authored and edited five books and more than 80 articles and book reviews.

His Between the Yeshiva World and Modern Orthodoxy: The Life and Works of Rabbi Jehiel Jacob Weinberg, 1884-1966 and The Limits of Orthodox Theology: Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles Reappraised were both National Jewish Book Award finalists.

The Jewish Press recently spoke with Shapiro about his writings and his views on the Orthodox community.

The Jewish Press: In your opinion, what would Rabbi Weinberg, author of the Seridei Eish and the subject of your first book, think of the Orthodox Jewish community today?

Shapiro: He’d think what a lot of gedolim would think from that generation. They would be very surprised that things they took for granted are now considered unacceptable – that the yeshiva world today in Israel, for example, sees something wrong with earning a living.

I think the frumkeit would surprise them. For example, the turn to glatt kosher as a standard, as well as the number of chumrot. This would surprise them only because part of traditional Judaism is reliance on the gedolim of the past and it’s very unusual for a tradition that regards itself as following the past to reject what previous standards were.

You write that Rabbi Weinberg didn’t support the Agudah. Why was that? First of all, there are two types of Agudah. There used to be such a thing as a German Agudah, Torah im Derech Eretz. That has been totally demolished. But fundamentally, if you think about the post-World War II Agudah, Rabbi Weinberg was a Zionist and they weren’t.

Also, he believed in autonomy. He couldn’t tolerate the use of the cherem and the lack of ability to think for yourself.

Rabbi Weinberg wrote, “For the members of Agudah, every unimportant rabbi who joins them is considered a great gaon.” Can you elaborate? Rabbi Weinberg wrote in his private letters that politics in Agudah circles is what makes you a gadol; it’s not how much Torah you have. They determine that Rav Soloveitchik is not a gadol because he’s not in their circle. Rav Elyashiv was never considered a gadol when he was with the [Israeli government] rabbanut.

You have written that at one point you wanted to write a biography of Rabbi Chaim Hirschenson (a posek and rav in Hoboken, N.J., in the early half of the 20th century). Why do you find him such an interesting character? Rabbi Hirschenson believed there has to be – they didn’t have this term then but it certainly is adequate – a Modern Orthodox approach to halacha. He believed in updating halacha, all within the halachic system.

For example, now it seems almost quaint, but in his day pretty much all the gedolim believed that women couldn’t vote and they all – basically all – believed that women couldn’t be elected. He argued against this.

He showed how the Torah is not opposed to democracy. He spoke about issues of biblical criticism, how to deal with that. His sefer, Malki Bakodesh, deals with all the issues of how to run a country in modern times according to Jewish law. He was the first one to put this on the table. He said we’re going to have a state one day and we’re going to need to run it according to Torah law. Can Torah law work in a modern state and what do we have to do to make it work?

print

About the Author: Marc Gottlieb is the webmaster for JewishPress.com. Marc has been crafting end-to-end online solutions for all sizes and types of businesses since 1995. You can see more samples of his work at http://www.marcgottlieb.com.   He made aliyah in 2006 with his wife and four children. They live in Gush Etzion with two cats and a hamster.   Marc's political comments are entirely his own and do not reflect the opinions of JewishPress.com.  


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 “‘Things Once Taken For Granted Are Now Considered Unacceptable’”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hezbollah  terror group shows off its arsenal.
Report: US Sending Indirect Military Aid to Hezbollah
Latest Uncategorized Stories
Israeli-flag

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Rabbi Yehuda Glick

Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a licensed tour guide and head of Haliba mvt for Jewish rights, has ‘sparked unrest’ by praying.

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Henry Morgenthau Sr. pictured in Turkish-ruled Palestine.

With generous support from the Egyptian Jewish community, the exiled family built a new life for itself in the Mafruza and Gabbari refugee camps near Alexandria.

IDF soldiers enter the Gaza Strip, 18 July 2014.

Channel 2 report: IDF could re-conquer Gaza, but cost would be hundreds of IDF deaths, violence from Judea and Samaria, Israeli Arabs

Latest updates on Color Red incoming rocket alerts from The Jewish Press.com .

Not always two sides to a story: Some try to kill babies, some try to protect them

An IDF official said Sunday evening that there is no news to report about the ongoing manhunt for Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel. According to a report on the Hebrew-language 0404.co.il website, a the official said, “We are continuing to work according to plan. This means scouring the area, arresting suspects and other […]

Israeli armor, swords and Star of David flags on display as national team wins Austria Cup

Support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement? That might fly well on American and European university campuses, but don’t try floating the idea in the Arab world. According to Caspar Veldkamp, Dutch ambassador to Israel, Arab and Muslim countries around the world maintain rich economic ties with Israel, often facilitated by Holland. Many of the countries […]

Dutch ambassador to Israel, Caspar Veldkamp, said Tuesday that Arab and Muslim countries, many of whom do not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, maintain rich economic ties with Israel, facilitated by Holland. Israel Radio reported in Arabic that Muslim-majority countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia, in addition to several Persian Gulf nations, all trade quietly […]

Nemmouche became a radical jihadist while serving a sentence in France in 2009 for armed robbery, TF1 reported.

PLO Chairman Abu Mazen appointed a long-time political ally, Rami Hamdallah, to build the Palestinian national unity government with Hamas. Palestinian reports said Fatah and Hamas officials agreed on the list of names that will form the government. According to NRG, the sides still have yet to agree on the future of Riad Almaliki, the […]

The sale of Tnuva to China’s Bright Food may have broken the law.

Yizhar Hess, director general of the Masorti (Conservative) movement in Israel, apparently believes that graffiti attacks against Arab targets are at least as serious as physical violence against Jews. Writing in the Hebrew-language Yedioth Aharonoth, Hess said that per capita there were more racist attacks in Israel than anti-Semitic attacks in France during the year […]

More Articles from Marc Gottlieb

It is up to our government to ensure that their sacrifices were not made for short-term gains.

Ceasefire

Deja Vu. We will start this ceasefire by ignoring the rockets that continue to fall around us, until once again, we can’t ignore them any longer.

If you look like someone they wouldn’t invite into their home, they won’t invite you into their car.

In the online world of split-second decision making, having the right theme for your website may mean the difference between engaging a customer or losing the sale.

Make your website festive for the holidays with some simple graphic enhancements.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/uncategorized/things-once-taken-for-granted-are-now-considered-unacceptable/2007/04/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: