April 15, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Response to Rav Yossi Goldin

I appreciate the thoughtful comments shared by Rav Yossi Goldin (“Continuing the Conversation: Restoring Vision to Modern Orthodoxy,” November 7, 2019). I certainly agree that there is far more to our community than our ability to connect to other Jews. The purpose of the article was not to provide a comprehensive philosophy for Modern Orthodoxy, but rather to highlight one of our greatest strengths that is too often overlooked.

Though I am also inspired by the beautiful and complex vision of Modern Orthodoxy expressed by the rav and Rav Aharon, I think it’s fair to say that the majority of our community is not fluent in or drawn to the writings of either of our great luminaries. The reality, on the ground, is that most “regular” people have difficulty relating to the highly sophisticated philosophy of Modern Orthodoxy, which appeals primarily to the intellectual elite of our community.

That being said, I believe the model I presented in no way contradicts the teachings of our great thinkers, but instead offers a realistic and accessible way to view our unique role in Klal Yisrael.

Rabbi Elie Mischel
Livingston, NJ
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