Tuesday: non-haredim discuss haredim


Would you like to be a fly on the wall while a battery of secular and modern Orthodox academic experts are discussing the dynamics of change in the haredi world?
If so, then today Tuesday 3 bKislev you can view and listen to the conference (live in Hebrew) taking place at this link for the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem at their website

Here are some highlights for Tuesday, Israel-time. 9-11 am Changes in the public sphere; Consumerism as a political strategy;Limits to consumerism:the case of wigs; The eruv in a multi-cultural society;Chareidim from the ghetto to the Israeli suburbs
11:30am to 1:30pm Volunterrism and medical help (Zaka, genetic testing, philanthropy)
2:30 to 4 pm Education and communication; “An orphaned generation seeks a mother: The mesoret of Sarah Schenirer as a means of post-Holocaust rehabilitation”;
Children’s heroes; Forbidden and permitted media among haredi women/
Final session 4:30 to 6:30pm Halacha, Theology and Education; lectures on Rav Eliashiv shlita, R Shlomo Volbe ztzl; haredi girls’ educaiton between opennessa nd conservation;
theological discussion in popular literature.
Even if you don’t get to view the conference, just reading the list of topics (there is another list for Monday’s sessions) gives you an idea of just how dynamic and varied are the chareidi sectors (plural, there is no one sector) .

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Chaim Wolfson
7 years 9 months ago

“the view of Prof. Jacob Katz and his students that Haredism and Orthodoxy in general is primarily a response to modernity underplays the movements traditonal roots in pre-modern traditonal Judaism.” (Comment by LAWRENCE KAPLAN — November 16, 2007 @ 2:46 pm).

I’m confused: If Orthodoxy exists only as a response to modernity, then what exactly WAS traditional Judaism?

7 years 9 months ago

Nobody would argue that the Haredi communit hasn’t changed over the last 150 years. The false argument is that the Haredi community is just another response to modernity. The truth is that the Haredi approach has a historic continuity with the everything that went before in Rabbinic Judaism: the Achronim, the Rishonim, The Geonim, the Amoraim, and the Tannaim. It represents what the leadership of the Jewish world always stood for.

Toby Katz
7 years 9 months ago

I don’t believe people who say, “No I wouldn’t like to be a fly on the wall at a meeting full of people talking about ME.” Of course charedim are fascinated by what other people say about charedim — good or bad, accurate or off the wall. Everybody is fascinated by what other people think of him, it’s human nature.

7 years 9 months ago

From a strictly scholarly point of veiw, Dr. Benny Brown, the author of a wonderful thesis on the Hazon Ish and probably the leading scholar of Haredi ideology active today, has argued that the view of Prof. Jacob Katz and his students that Haredism and Orthodoxy in general is primarily a response to modernity underplays the movements traditonal roots in pre-modern traditonal Judaism. The jury is still out.

dr. william gewirtz
7 years 9 months ago

YM you helped hit the nail on the head! Academics say that charedism is a response to modernity, and you say that “Haredism is the mesorah of what we always aspired to.” What you assert is a part of the charedi belief system – all the way back to Moshe Rabbeinu, or perhaps earlier, practice did not change. Academics discuss the changes that they claim have occurred particularly/even in the last 150 years. Often that is subject to fact based analysis. Academics often purport to demonstrate that history supports their conclusions; charedim tend to place less of a premium on historical accuracy. Academics whether or not they are so in reality, claim to be bound by historical accuracy; charedim have on occasion demonstrated/declared a higher regard for a different standard. In that context there may be little basis for useful conversation.