Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Historical Consequences of Austritt

In Germany, in Frankfurt, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch made a momentous decision in 1876 to secede from a Reform-dominated “Main Community” (Grossgemeinde). It was a culmination of his 25 year rabbinical career in Frankfurt, where he had created a separatist Orthodox congregation. Myth has it that when he came to Frankfurt, there were only ten Orthodox Jews left and, under his leadership, the congregation grew to five hundred families. I believe, in fact, the number of Orthodox Jews in Frankfort at the time was far greater than ten, but that’s neither here nor there. The secession (Austritt) he advocated involved creating a parallel community to the Grossgemeinde. Wikipedia correctly says, “His contemporary Joseph Dov Bamberger, Rabbi of Würzburg, argued that as long as the Grossgemeinde made appropriate arrangements for the Orthodox element, secession was unnecessary. The schism caused a terrible rift and many hurt feelings, and its aftershocks could be felt until the ultimate destruction of the Frankfurt community by the Nazis.”

I’m not a particular fan of Austritt. I think it was a mistake then and, had I been alive, I would have sided with either the southern charedi Orthodox or the more academic Hildesheimer Berliners. I think the Agudists who have copied the idea and spirit of secession gained short-term benefits for Orthodoxy at the expense of long-term losses for the Jewish people as a whole. I have already argued (7/31, 8/01) that when Orthodoxy develops in isolation, everybody loses. Conservatives begin to float towards Reform. Orthodoxy itself becomes excessively “black” (charedi).

Since this whole topic is becoming complex very quickly, I’ll start again. Austritt for the Yekkeshily-Challenged…In the Middle Ages, and up to the late 19th century in Germany and elsewhere, everyone had to belong to some particular religious congregation or other. Everyone was either Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish. There was a communal organization, a gemeinde that represented the entire Jewish community. Along came reform and, in a short period of time, dominated these communal organizations all over Germany. They were generous, however, and were fully prepared to create a separate Orthodox section within the gemeinde. Rabbi Hirsch said, “No way. We need a totally separate official communal organization.” Hence, Austritt. It’s a bit like the AFL-CIO splitting into two separate labor organizations because the head of the CIO decides to walk. A Reform Jew might see analogies to the Civil War.

Here are my reasons why I think Austritt was a failure then…

Frankfurt, itself, would have been a lot better off had it remained in continuous contact with both 18th century charedi Judaism to the south and academic Orthodoxy in Berlin. The sixty year polemical disagreements did no one any good. It drove Berlin closer to Conservatives. The southern Germans, admirable as they were, remained attached to a simple faith that did not benefit from the modernization of Frankfurt. Frankfurt style synthesis of Orthodoxy and modernism (Torah im Derech Eretz) developed, in my opinion, in an eccentric way leaving a legacy of major disagreements as to what it was all about.

Secession was never a hundred percent. Ost-Juden (East-European Jews living in Germany) were not members of the Samson Raphael Hirsch/Breuer gemeinde. When they died, they were buried in the Orthodox section of the main Reform community. Being chassidish, they weren’t exactly chalishing to wear top hats and spats. They preferred davening in their own shteiblech. They had their own rabbis, the last being the Hundtsdorfer (sp?) Rav, and Rabbi Noble, I believe, before him. But they did not like the idea of being buried in the communal cemetery, and they didn’t much care for the yekkes’ snobbism and condescension either. Why the chassidic Jews were not invited to join the Orthodox yekkes is anyone’s guess. In this regard, it is interesting to note that because of the way Orthodoxy was reestablished there was a serious disconnect with the glorious history of the Frankfort rabbinate. I am being a bit mean here, but I believe it is fair to say that a typical Orthodox German yekke had a far greater knowledge and appreciation of Goethe and Heine than he had of the Hafla’ah or the Pene Yehoshua and Rav Nasan Adler. Torah im Derech Eretz produced few, if any, great lomdim, mekubalim or poskim. I believe Austritt was responsible.

Austritt, itself, would not have been idealized to the extent that it was if the only people who copied it were the Hungarians like Satmar. It became a model for American Orthodoxy because a member of the Austritt congregation, Morenu Reb Yaakov Rosenheim, was the major player in founding the Agudah. He was the organizational genius who figured out how to form an alliance between Polish chassidus, Lithuanian yeshivas, and Frankfurt yekkes. All of a sudden, Frankfurt is in, Berlin is out, and southern German Orthodoxy languish in limbo.

Austritt was born and maintained out of a sense of desperation on the part of the Orthodox that unless they separated and developed their own community, without any contact with the Reformers, they would over time be overwhelmed and disappear. The attitudes of suspicion, depreciation, and withdrawal from the rest of American Jewish life are admittedly first rate tools to strengthen a community when it is small and lacking in confidence. Today, the situation is very different. Orthodoxy is not about to be overwhelmed by anybody. It is sufficiently strong and interesting to be of great benefit to all of Jewish life. A confident Orthodoxy would see itself, as do most observers, as the most cohesive and together of all the denominations.

The problem is that the complex of attitudes involved in a secessionist philosophy have been reinforced in so many different ways within the charedi community it has become an almost natural reflex, not just with respect to secular and Reform, but also Conservatives and ultimately, difficult as it is to believe toward Religious Zionists and Modern Orthodoxy. More on this last point in future posts.

32 Comments:

At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

Austritt grew out of specific Frankfurt am Main circumstances in which the Reform leadership of the overall Jewish community had tried forcefully for years, quite successfully, to obliterate Orthodox institutions. [This is what you omit, EJ. Why?] Only later did they offer some form of accommodation, but their credibility among many Orthodox was already shot, and for good reason. However, these Orthodox could not legally secede without legislation at the state level.

The Wuerzberger Rav ZT"L, as you noted, did not oppose all secession in principle; however, he judged the Frankfurt situation differently than Rav Hirsch ZT"L. [This is where you, EJ, and the Wuertzberger Rav part company, because you can't envision any situation at all that would have warranted secession.]

In modern America, there has never been a legally constituted overall community endowed with the power to levy taxes/dues, control all institutions, etc. Every institution here is basically private and depends on voluntary affiliation and support.

 
At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

Note---My last paragraph above refers specifically to the American Jewish community.

 
At 10:27 AM, Blogger Jak Black said...

It is easy to look back and criticize the decision of RSRH. But can you really know how things would have played out otherwise?

The problem is that the complex of attitudes involved in a secessionist philosophy have been reinforced in so many different ways within the charedi community it has become an almost natural reflex, not just with respect to secular and Reform, but also Conservatives and ultimately, difficult as it is to believe toward Religious Zionists and Modern Orthodoxy.

Even the most fervent supporters of Modern Orthodoxy - Gil, Steve, Harry and others - admit that in many respects, the overwhelming majority of MO is lax in both practice and principle. Don't you consider it legitimate for Chareidim to attempt to separate themselves from ties to this community, even if you don't totally agree with the need of such a separation?

 
At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

By the way, you're right on spelling (Würzburger), so I wasn't.

Back to the main topic---
While we like to generalize from one time and place to another, and this can help our understanding, this often doesn't work. America's unique "tradition" of religious anarchy has had its effect on us as Jews. A proper understanding of this "tradition" is more relevant to today than a well-stretched analogy from the very ordered European society of the 1800's.

 
At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Henry Frisch said...

But wrong on spelling secession-not succession.

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger Harry Maryles said...

Great post. I started writing a comment on here but it ended up being way too long to be just a comment. So I turned it into a post on my own blog.

 
At 12:16 PM, Anonymous lolich said...

"Being chassidish, they weren’t exactly chalishing to wear top hats and spats. They preferred davening in their own shteiblech. They had their own rabbis, the last being the Hundtsdorfer (sp?) Rav"

This is inaccurate. The Unsdorfer Rav-r yosef yonah zvi halevi horowitz- was actually Rav of the gemeinde.It is an episode that the KAJ community has mostly successfully managed to bury. The Breuer family was relatively unpopular in Frankfurt thus after the petira of r. S.Z. Breuer elections were held in Frankfurt for the rabbinate of the austritt Gemeinde which the Breuer candidate (either Rav Refoel Breuer or Rav Yoseph Breuer i forget which)lost and the aforementioned R.Y.Y.Z. Horowitz was elected. So bitter was the campaign and election that in my childhood in brooklyn 30-35 years ago I knew families -brothers and sisters- in their 70's and eighties who were still not on speaking terms over the election. I believe the antipathy to the late Rav S Schwab Z"l manifested by a segment of the washington heights community was rooted in the schwab family's support of the unsdorfer rav's candidacy. The unsdorfer's brief reign which was cut short by the holocaust was by all accounts a debacle .(his german was execrable,he didn't relate to the community well,he didn't know the minhogim properly etc etc) When the frankfurt kehillo was reconstituted in washington heights the horowitz interregnum was conveniently suppressed.

 
At 12:52 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

bob miller...I am going to run with this analogy for another two posts, so you’ll have more than enough chance to question its midrashic qualities. I fail to see why the ideologies of Litvish Yeshivas are relevant to the American context, and not German secessionism. Everyone acts as if Slabodka was yesterday and has no hesitation to apply the outlook of those institutions to contemporary life despite the different context. It is my understanding when RSRH applied to the government for legal status, there was a legitimate offer on the table to accommodate the Orthodox needs. I agree with you that if they couldn’t have gotten a fair deal, they would’ve had justification in seceding.

jak black...I’m the wrong guy to talk to about this. I try to refrain from beating up on charedim and am more than sympathetic to their positions. On the other hand, I’m a big tent guy and the MO/UO fight, for me, is only a small part of a much larger ideal of how to bring everyone, including Liberal Jews, together for the difficult days ahead. I’ve partially elaborated on this theme in my post of 10/9/06, “Chizuk v. Kiruv.” My basic principle is that one can have close fraternal relations with Jews who are both more religious and less religious. I hope you would not refrain from befriending a Satmar guy just because he may feel you are lax in some practice or other, and I believe you would feel there is something wrong with him if he refused to befriend you. In south Germany, the traditional Jews who carried on the ways of their fathers lived in close warm relationships with their reform Jewish townsmen.

henry frisch...You are so right. My secretary screwed up and I’m going to force her to move to Washington Heights for three years as penance. I will correct the mistakes.

lolich...Your post is so very interesting. I very much appreciate your remarks and stand corrected. Scratch the Unsdorfer. I believe my point remains correct about Rabbi Noble. I am working from memory, but I believe there was a long article on the latter in the Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook in the 90’s. I am familiar with your other comments about the Unsdorfer (thank you for the spelling). I believe, however, Ost-Juden thought Rav Horowitz was the cat’s meow (“Finally, a heimisher yid.”).

I have been working on a way of saying that Austritt had its effects within the Frankfurt community itself. I will reference your remarks in my future posts. I personally can confirm that in discussions with descendents of prominent leaders of the Frankfurt community I constantly heard the remark, “We have no contact with them. We don’t talk to them” in reference to descendents of other prominent families.

 
At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Wikipedia correctly says, “His contemporary Joseph Dov Bamberger, Rabbi of Würzburg"

Wrong. R. Yitzchok Dov (Seligman Ber). Not Yosef Dov, he wasn't a Brisker. ;-)

"Ost-juden (East-European Jews living in Germany) were not members of the Samson Raphael Hirsch/Breuer gemeinde. When they died, they were buried in the Orthodox section of the main Reform community. Being chassidish, they weren’t exactly chalishing to wear top hats and spats. They preferred davening in their own shteiblech."

Not all of the ostjuden were Hassidic. R. Soloveitchik, Rav Hutner, Rav Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg, Rav Avrohom Eliyohu Kaplan z"l, for a few prominent examples, were not, and they were not the only ones.

" I am being a bit mean here, but I believe it is fair to say that a typical Orthodox German yekke had a far greater knowledge and appreciation of Goethe and Heine than he had of the Hafla’ah or the Pene Yehoshua and Rav Nasan Adler. Torah im Derech Eretz produced few if any great lomdim, mekubalim or poskim. I believe Austritt was responsible."

Here, despite admirably making it clear earlier that frumkeit in Germany was not limited to the Hirsch kehillah or to the big metropolis, you unfortunately conflate the two. The examples you give look like they were all from Frankfurt (by the way, R. Nosson Adler was excommunicated by the Frankfurt kehillah), by the way, even if pre-Hirschian. Most frum Yekkes were not part of the Hirsch kehillah I believe.

While there was a significant decline in German orthodoxy, there were some Yeshivas and talmidei chachomim. Interestingly there is now a movement lihachazir atoro liyoshno, to bring back the glory of German-Yekke Jewry, in Eretz Yisroel and elsewhere. It focuses on the often overlooked and lesser known spiritual legacy of Ashkenaz beyond TIDE, such as ancient minhogim, which are at times the original forms of minhag Ashkenaz, which were lost, distorted or forgotten in some other places, which were victims of neglect. The series of seforim 'Shorshei Minhag Ashkenaz' by Rav Binyomin Hamburger shlit"a and other works of Machon Moreshes Ashkenaz have put those aspects of Yekke Yiddishkeit firmly on the contemporary Torah map. In my view that is a very welcome development.

 
At 1:14 PM, Anonymous lolich said...

"I believe, however, Ost-Juden thought Rav Horowitz was the cat’s meow (“Finally, a heimisher yid.”). "

I surmise this is only partly true as the overwhelming majority of the ostjuden in germany were poilisher yidden who found an oberlander hungarian heimish mostly by comparison with a westernized yekke mit a geschnitze bord. I am however under the impression that even in non austritt kehillos in germany the ostjuden were often disenfranchised by the native yekkes for fear they would come to dominate the kehilla with their eastern benighted ideas.

 
At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

"I am going to run with this analogy for another two posts, so you’ll have more than enough chance to question its midrashic qualities."

Been there, done that.

All analogies from the past or present are not created equal. Some are closer to the reality.

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger Jak Black said...

My basic principle is that one can have close fraternal relations with Jews who are both more religious and less religious.

I assume that nobody would have a problem with this. The real question is whether there can be a mishmash on the communal and institutional level.

 
At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Berthold in Arizona said...

Mainz, the largest Jewish community in the Rheinland, did not experience the radical 'Austritt' split. They built a synagogue and founded a school, and made Rabbi Marcus Lehman their Rabbi.
(He wrote a whole series of novels on Jewish themes which are still popular
today). Separatist communities were also founded in Wiesbaden and Berlin in 1906, also in Cologne, with Rabbi Emanuel Carlebach as Rabbi. By the way--the Chasam Sofer was born in Frankfurt!! And finally--What do you get if you cross a Lubavitcher with a Yekke?

Moshiach who shows up on time. . .


Auf Wiedersehn!

 
At 4:08 PM, Anonymous henry frisch said...

I was fascinated when I visited my grandfather's kever in Berlin that he was noted as Hachaver, a term I do not believe to have been employed in Galicia where he had been born. My grandmother, my only grandparent that I actually knew, would not speak Yiddish at all but only HochDeutsch and died a member of the Breuer Kehila. Somewhere between Galicia and Germany my family switched from waiting six hours to three. My understanding of the historical situation in Berlin is that it did not contain many Jews prior to World War I and that the community there between the wars was from the east to a large extent.

 
At 4:53 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

anonymous 1:10…You are quite right. There were non-chassidic ost-juden although the examples you cite seem to be all Berlin people. I’m not so sure about Rav Hutner being a good example.He was more than half chasidish ;he seemed to have spent maybe 2 years in Berlin. I would describe Rav Soloveitchik as going away to Berlin for the university. I might be wrong, but I don’t think he ever wanted to settle in Berlin...we do get picky don’t we. I am not clear on what you were saying in the paragraph before last since my topic was Frankfurt. Are you suggesting that most frum yekkes in Frankfurt or in Germany were not part of the Hirsch kehillah? BTW, do you have an opinion on who was in the right when Frankfurt excommunicated R. Nosson Adler?

lolich...Most certainly yes to your first point, which shows something about the logic of heimish. It is also true that heimish or not, chasidim get along just fine with oberlanders. As to your second point, I wonder if it is true. My intuitions are, and I am no expert here, that ost-juden got a better deal in Hamburg, Berlin, and Vienna. I would be interested in learning more about this.

 
At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Steve Brizel said...

Excellent article-There is no doubt that the Charedi world borrows Austritt and jettisoned the remainder of the TIDE hashkafa. In fact, even the Yekke community in NY buried TIDE intellectually and religiously a long time ago. It is now a Charedi community with Yekke minhagim.

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger Harry Maryles said...

In fact, even the Yekke community in NY buried TIDE intellectually and religiously a long time ago. It is now a Charedi community with Yekke minhagim.

How utterly sad... how utterly true!

The power of the Yeshiva sytem that has developed in this century in America and which is controlled almost entirely by very RW Mechanchim has (in just one or two generations) been able to change an entire community into just another version of themselves. And that community hardly even realizes it.

 
At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are talking about Austritt, you ought to discuss its implementation in Hungary. It was very successful there -- whole communities were save by seceeding from the larger, Neolog controlled community. Furthermore, over time, the Status Quo communities became a dead letter.

Regarding American Jews -- It is said to say, but, except for a few people involved on an organizational level, non-Orthodox American Jews are basically irrelevant to the discussion. Within ten years, when we'll talk of the Jewish community we'll refer to: Heimishe Jews, non-Heimish chareidi, modern Orthodox, YU, Camp Ramah Conservative Jews, Sefardim, Russians, and the Yordim.

 
At 8:23 AM, Blogger Ben Bayit said...

The ostjuden had strong communities which helped them withstand assimilation. Someone once pointed out to me a book ( i forget the titkle) written by a member of the Frankfurt community who describes the Austritt community in the 1930's. All Austritt meant by that point in time was not letting Ostjuden become members of the community. Most of the Austritt members by that time were no longer Orthodox.

That being said, I believe that the model of Austritt has its uses and that it would be an approporiate response at the current point in time for the National Religious community in Israel. It's either Austritt, hard-core haredism or assimilation into "israeliness". That's the choice that stands before National Religious Jews. In a sense Austritt is the only way to preserve a legitimate modern orthodoxy and religious zionism

 
At 2:32 PM, Blogger eema2four said...

Torah im Derech Eretz produced few, if any, great lomdim, mekubalim or poskim. I believe Austritt was responsible.

That may be so, but one thing is for certain, the Breuer's community has produced yosher businessmen--which unfortunately today is a rarity!

 
At 5:14 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

harry maryles...I remember a story to the effect that the Frankfort kehila sent Issac Breuer, the philosopher-lawyer, before the war to Jerusalem to establish a school where the boys and girls shared a common building and play area but with separate classes. The edah objected and the community backed down. I somehow think they never developed an immune system to deal with charedim.

anonymous 1:48...I tend to agree that austritt in Hungary was more sucessful but many, many Hungarians were lost to Jewish life. Are you suggesting austritt was the only choice?
Your second comment troubles me deeply. You may be right, but I don't want to face it.If you don't mind I will quote your comment in a future post.

 
At 9:03 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

ben bayit…I was pleased to see your comment ‘’ All Austritt meant by that point in time was not letting Ostjuden become members of the community.’ Over at Rabbi Mayreles’ blog where my post was quoted in part the feeling was that the refusal to allow ostjuden as members had an explanation and was understandable since the German Jews were on a much higher social class. I didn’t have the strength to debate the point, but your comment suggests an alternative…only by excluding ostjuden did they know they were on a higher class. The same thing went on here in Chicago for many years where membership in the German-Jewish in- town club was prohibited to East European Jews.

Your second point is puzzling. Why can’t the National Religious community stay as is…the charedim seem to be the ones fenced in separatist cities.

emma2four…I very much agree.

 
At 2:49 AM, Anonymous A Yid said...

I think the Agudists who have copied the idea and spirit of secession gained short-term benefits for Orthodoxy at the expense of long-term losses for the Jewish people as a whole./quote How exactly do you define the "jewish people"?
In orthodoxys view Judaism is a religion, the Jewish people are it's practitioners, and therefore anything that's good for orthodoxy is by definition good for the "jewish people". How do you define too far to the right and who says it's a bad thing? Do you think R' Ahron Kotler would say orthodoxy today is "too far" to the right?

 
At 5:17 AM, Blogger Ben Bayit said...

The bulk of "strong" National Religious Jews lives in homogenous enclaves - either in the settlements, the negev, galillee, or in urban enclaves that have restrictive covenants on the housing. The rest form what someone recently (and controversily) called the "closed on weekday shuls of the MO between Hadera and Gedera". In a certain sense the National Religious have ALREADY adopted the Chazon Ish' model of cultural-religious separatism while not adopting political seperatism. I think this trend needs to be strengthened - but many voices in the NR community still operate under illusions of cooperation with the secularists and still believe that we somehow have to "integrate"

 
At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Dov Kay said...

My wife's late grandfather, Rabbi Dr Ephraim Yehudah Wiesenberg of London, was hausbocher to and received semicha from Rav YY Horowitz. Rabbi Wiesenberg was an oberlander whose rebbi, Rav Ungar in Hungary, would not give him semicha despite his learning because he had attended university.

I think your confusion in relation to Rav Horowitz might have been caused by the fact that the grossgemeinde also had a rabbi called Rabbi Horowitz (I forget his first name), a musmach of Rav Hildesheimer. This was not Rav YY Horowitz of the austrittsgemeinde.

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

a yid said..Your syllogism is invalid even for Orthodox people and certainly for the entire Jewish people, unless you add an additional premise. The combo of unlimited kollelim and children are good for Orthodoxy, i.e. the religion, but bad for the Orthodox and the Jewish people because it will bankrupt everyone. Add a premiss that Hashem will prevent poverty (false, as evidenced by the poverty in the shtetl) or will amply reward every Yissachar and Zevulun including non-Orthodox contributors in the world to come, and your syllogism looks more robust. Some things are good for the religion and bad for the practitioners at least here on earth.
‘Israel and Torah are one’, on my view cannot be translated as ‘Orthodox Jews= Israel and Orthodoxy =Torah are one. I think of the Jewish people as empirical entities, all the Jews who are alive today plus in an extended way all those Jews who lived and died and all those that will be born in the future.

I do not believe there is such a thing as ‘too far to the right.’ My point is never ever to make charedim less frum/right/black. My view is that secession/separation is bad for liberal Jews and even charedi life would benefit with personal contact and warm relations with Jews across the spectrum. I do not know what R’ Aaron Kotler would do today when faced with the following syllogism: Either pitch in and strengthen liberal Judaism or they will disappear. If they disappear the chances of Israel’s survival will be much less than if they stay connected and continue working for Israel. If Israel goes all Jews are in danger. Your choice.

12:25 PM

 
At 2:20 PM, Anonymous lolich said...

"As to your second point, I wonder if it is true. My intuitions are, and I am no expert here, that ost-juden got a better deal in Hamburg, Berlin, and Vienna. I would be interested in learning more about this."

Vienna can't be compared to Germany as it was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and the ostjuden there were largely from Galicia,an austro-hungarian province thus their legal status was more secure than ostjuden in Germany. As regards the situation in Germany iirc Jack Wertheimer discusses it extensively in his "Unwelcome Strangers; East European Jews in Imperial Germany"

"the grossgemeinde also had a rabbi called Rabbi Horowitz (I forget his first name)"

His name was R. Marcus ( Mordechai) Horovitz,author of Matteh Levi.

 
At 9:14 PM, Anonymous A Yid said...

I seem to be missing something over here.
You said "I think the Agudists who have copied the idea and spirit of secession gained short-term benefits for Orthodoxy at the expense of long-term losses for the Jewish people as a whole. I have already argued (7/31, 8/01) that when Orthodoxy develops in isolation, everybody loses. Conservatives begin to float towards Reform. Orthodoxy itself becomes excessively “black” (charedi)."
I answered "How exactly do you define the "jewish people"?
In orthodoxys view Judaism is a religion, the Jewish people are it's practitioners, and therefore anything that's good for orthodoxy is by definition good for the "jewish people". How do you define too far to the right and who says it's a bad thing?"
And now you answer "a yid said..Your syllogism is invalid even for Orthodox people and certainly for the entire Jewish people, unless you add an additional premise. The combo of unlimited kollelim and children are good for Orthodoxy, i.e. the religion, but bad for the Orthodox and the Jewish people because it will bankrupt everyone."
Unless I was reading you wrong you are granting that austritt had certain spiritual and/or religious benefits for orthodoxy but you think that those benefits were short term and that there were "long term losses to the jewish people as a whole". the loss presumably being the influence a non seperatist orthodoxy would have had on conservative, reform and non religious jews. To which I answered that Orthodoxy has absolutely no interest in keeping conservative jews conservative instead of reform or whatever.Judaism is a religion, the only valid form of that religion is orthodoxy, all jews are obligated by God to be religious i.e. Orthodox. Keeping Orthodoxy at as high a standard as possible is not only a short term benefit for those who are NOW Orthodox but a long term benefit for all jews, at whatever point in time they'll decide to come back to the fold. Whereas watering down orthodoxy to help preserve other, illegitemate forms of worship is both a shortsighted view and meaningless. From a Tora point of view there is absolutely no difference between conservative, reform or irreligious.
You're bringing up kollelim and the monetary aspect is a total non sequitor and not related to your original post at all. Unless you're conceding that austritt does make sense from a religious point of view and you think it doesn't make sense from a business point of view. Your argument is illogical because there's no connection between austritt and kollelim, kollelim and orthodox people working or kollelim and irreligious people donating.
Try to excplain to a dumb guy like me how this sentence in your original post "everybody loses. Conservatives begin to float towards Reform. Orthodoxy itself becomes excessively “black” (charedi)." fits in with your answer to me "I do not believe there is such a thing as ‘too far to the right.’ My point is never ever to make charedim less frum/right/black. My view is that secession/separation is bad for liberal Jews and even charedi life would benefit with personal contact and warm relations with Jews across the spectrum". I just don't get it.


Israel and Torah are one’, on my view cannot be translated as ‘Orthodox Jews= Israel and Orthodoxy =Torah are one. I think of the Jewish people as empirical entities, all the Jews who are alive today plus in an extended way all those Jews who lived and died and all those that will be born in the future.
Orthodoxy believes the only common denominator of Jews is their religion and their God. What is your view based on? Do you mean a sort of white supremacist racial jew? Or outdated 19th century nationalism? Or just a fuzzy wuzzy feeling of jewishness with no definition at all.

I do not know what R’ Aaron Kotler would do today when faced with the following syllogism: Either pitch in and strengthen liberal Judaism or they will disappear. If they disappear the chances of Israel’s survival will be much less than if they stay connected and continue working for Israel. If Israel goes all Jews are in danger.
This is not a syllogism it's a tautology. And I don't accept the last premise. Isreal is the most dangerous plays for a jew to be today and has been since its existence. Jews have survived without it for 2000 years and can survive perfectly well without it for another 2000. Jews in America for instance, would be in as much danger without the state of israel as african americans would be without the states of Zimbabwe or Rwanda.

 
At 1:08 AM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

I benefited from your latest comment and I hope I can at least give an adequate response. A yeyasher koach for being so open and penetrating.

Jack Benny when a robber said ’Your money or your life ‘ responded after a while ’I am thinking! I am thinking!’. Me too. I will be back with a detailed comment or post by next week, probably sooner.

 
At 7:06 AM, Anonymous another yid said...

EvanstonJew:

I appreciate your candid responses and your willingness to rethink your positions when so challenged. Kudos to 'a yid' for his frank critique.

 
At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Steve Brizel said...

FWIW, Mishacha had a glwoing article about the Yekke community in Washington Heights. However, anyone who is familiar with the inner dynamics of how TIDE no longer really exists within that community will not be fooled by the tone and presentation in the article. The article has zero details about how the communal leadership under R Scwalb ZTL, imtellectually buried TIDE except for Austritt.

 
At 10:22 PM, Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

In fact, even the Yekke community in NY buried TIDE intellectually and religiously a long time ago. It is now a Charedi community with Yekke minhagim.

How utterly sad... how utterly true!


I can testify that while true, it is not utterly true. I feel lucky to have made the acquaintance of a number of Yekkes in "Frankfurt-on-Hudson" who do continue to believe in TiDE. Unfortunately, most of them are older, and many of their children aren't so interested.

Just saying, don't put up the gravestone yet.

 

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