Sunday, February 18, 2007

Religious Zionism vs Modern Orthodoxy

What is the difference between the way the way the Religious-Zionists(RZ) look at the secular and the way the Modern Orthodox(MO) look at the secular?

Torah U’Madda, Torah V’Avodah, what’s the difference?

Let’s make it very clear that neither is Torah U’parnasa, the ideology that masquerades as part of the MO world. It’s so clear that people need to make a living, and in the past people made a living. Haredim also work. Not being in denial about the fact that you need to provide for yourself and your family is not some new idea, and it’s not much of an ideology either.

The followers of Ha’Rav (Kook) talk about bringing the secular and the holy together to reach a combination that is elevated above either one.

The followers of The Rav (Soloveitchik) talk about the secular that has a real truth which can bring one closer to knowledge of G-d, in a similar way as Torah does.

Don’t read too much into that, its just what I hear from people who claim to be the students of The Rav or Ha’Rav.

I was writing this up after hearing a shiur about Purim in which Rav Kook was used as a source many ties in discussing how Purim was a special holiday that represents the eventual eschatological era when the greatest connection to G-d will be attained through physical and spiritual means with no conflict between the two. After the shiur I was reading some Kol Dodi Dofek. This question of MO vs RZ has been on my mind for ages. It was emphasized at a Tish by Rabbi Yosef Blau of Yeshiva University (The model of Torah U’Madda) on divisions in the Jewish world; he mentioned that RZ in America and in Israel made dialogue between the two theoretically equivalent groups difficult, even without a language barrier.


As I was writing this in the front of the beit midrash, Rav Cherlow was giving a shiur on Orot Ha’Rav Kook. I wasn’t in the shiur because the shiur I was just in ended long after Rav Cherlow’s began. However suddenly I hear him talking about Rav Soloveitchik, and the difference between him and Rav Kook. Apperntly someone asked a question about it. I only caught the end of Rav Cherlow’s response, which would be interesting because people say he represents Israel’s version of the closest thing to Modern Orthodoxy. If I heard him correctly, he mentioned something about how The Rav viewed literature as inherently holy, while Rav Kook viewed it as something intresting and part of this world. I am not really sure what that really means, but make what you want of it.


Well that was a short little look into the matter, with no sources or anything passing for a real analysis. Just a sort of an intro to the subject to the hang of blogging.


Another subject I am thinking about a lot is State of Israel vs Land of Israel. Small issue? Nope, just about the biggest thing dividing the religious community, both Zionist and non-Zionist.

1 comment:

Chen said...

your blog is so interesting that i am reading old posts. tell ari that you used the word eschatological in a sentence, she will find it funny.