Friday, August 12, 2005

Trying a Better Format for the Table

Issue

Misnagdim

Mussar Differences

Chassidim

Torah im Derech Eretz

Ahavah

Downplayed and underdeveloped theme; too elusive to define and too dangerous to use as a focus.

Similar to other Misnagdim

Central theme (although not much time is spent developing it); essential for Dveykus.

The highest level of accomplishment, but internal, not external.

Achilah U'Shesiyah

A physical activity only moderately elevated by Torah and Zemiros.

Similar to other Misnagdim

An essential catalyst for Ahavah; for Ha'olas Nitzotzos. Meals with Toiroh and Niggunim are core experiences.

To be enjoyed, so long as performed according to the Torah's parameters.

Emes Va”Sheker

Unrelenting focus on reality, to the detriment of possible ecstasy – is it for real?

If anything, even more so – but reality lies more in the character and personality than in the Blatt Gemara.

A little blurry at the edges: If the experience is uplifting, does it matter if it's “really real?”

Unrelenting application to interpersonal activities "Better glatt yosher than glatt kosher."

Bushah V'Azus

Harbors doubt, sometimes lacks confidence.

Paradoxical trends toward doubt and boldness co-exist.

Bold and confident in the service of core values.

Steadfast against Reform, willing to attack.

Bitachon

Hashem has his plans.

Could go either way.

Everything is Good!

You must make a Hishtadlus!

Ga'avah V'Anavah

Takes pride in personal accomplishments, built on drive. Tool for aliyah.

Paradoxical trends toward ambition to achieve and negation of kavod (see below).

Bittul – negation of self; role in system more important than personal satisfaction.

Pride in meticulous observance, decorum and conduct.

Dveykus Ba'Hashem

Nice, but not essential

Similar to other Misnagdim.

It's Everything!

What does it mean?

Dibbur U'Shesikah

Intellectual conversation most important.

Mussar b'Hispa'alus and shmuessen in Yirah and Middos also important,

Chassidic stories most important.

Humor and irony., but somewhat high falutin'

Derech Eretz, Nikayon, Seder

Essential to Mussar-refinement.

Critical, but even the non-Mussar school holds that these elementary characteristics enhance accomplishment.

Not inspirational, not particularly important.

This is where it's at! Avodah is expressed primarily in these characteristics. A greatly expanded definition of Derech Eretz.

Hakoras Tovah

A logic

A middah.

An emotion

Obvious.

Zerizus V'Atzlus

Is of greater value than more profound kavanah.

Similar to other Misnagdim.

Is of lesser value than profound kavanah.

Similar to Misnagdim.

Chaver, Shachen, Nosei B'Ol

About the same.

Much more important than either of the other derachim

About the same.

About the same.

Chesed V'Rachamim

Only when not learning.

Only when not learning, but then a focus.

A legitimate option instead of learning.

For most people, the preferred primary focus.

Yirah

Central theme. Mostly onesh, some romemus.

Similar to other Misnagdim.

Secondary theme. All romemus, little onesh.

Not as heavy as the others, basically cognition of Hashem.

Kavod

Can be used as a shelo lishmah, major emphasis on Kavod HaTorah.

Eradicating Kavod is one of the most central of Mussar's themes

Preferable to eradicate, with the exception, obviously, of Rebbes.

In the form of decorum and dignity, very positive and important.

Kavanah when performing Mitzvos

Nice, but tafel – not worth bending the rules.

Similar to other Misnagdim.

Important, an ikkar – worth bending the rules.

Similar to Misnagdim.

Ka'as, Refraining from

Very Important.

Very, Very important

Very Important.

Very Important.

Lev Tov

Very Important, but not as much as Torah.

If one does not accomplish a Lev Tov, then one has not accomplished anything.

Very important, but not as much as Dveykus.

Very important, and for most people more important than Torah.

Limud Torah

Everything.

Similar to Chassidim.

Important – for some, very important, but not Everything.

Nice, but for most people on a relatively low level – much more reliance on Rabbonim.

Tzenius

Very Important.

Same.

Very Important.

Important, but defined very much differently than others define it – more openess to participation of women.

Kiruv

Positive attitude, at least in theory.

Similar to other Misnagdim, but more l'ma'aseh.

Except for Chabad and Breslov, neutral or negative attitude

Positive attitude, but separation from Reform institutions is more important.

Shalom U'Machlokes

We pay lip service to shalom, but in reality...

More of an attempt to put principle into practice.

We pay lip service to shalom, but in reality...

Similar to the Misnagdim and the Chassidim.

Simchah V'Atzvus

Not much attention paid to these concepts. Some Misnagdim are pretty depressed.

Similar to other Misnagdim.

A lot of attention. In theory, and often in practice, Chassidim are happy, avoid sadness, and are more happy-go-lucky.

Not much attention – but, its attainment is not limited to Jewish means – it, and other emotions, can be cultivated from general culture.

Tochachah, Kana'us, Chanufah

Not much attention.

Same.

Not much attention.

For principles – significant kana'us.

Teshuvah

Very Important.

Same.

Very Important.

Similar to the Misnagdim and the Chassidim.

Avodas HaShem

Intellectual.

A combination.

Emotional.

Holistic and systemic.

This is too short and sharp to be accurate, so take it as a springboard. The middos used here for comparison purposes are taken from the Table of Contents of Otzaros HaMussar by R' Moshe Tzuriel shlita.

Note: Readers noted three other important differences that must be noted:

1. Mikveh. Chassidim stress the need for extra taharah as facilitation of dveykus; Misnagdim find no greater source of taharah than Torah – and, anyway, are not big on dveykus. Yekkes never even heard of men going to the mikveh.

2. Levush. Chassidim stress the religious significance of dress to a greater extent than Misnagdim. The stress is evidently an externalization of the quest for dveykus. For Misnagdim, dress is more a matter of social identity and cohesion. For Yekkes dress should not differ from surrounding standards of dignified attire.

3. Connection to Tzaddikim. For Chassidim this is a part of the quest for dveykus – the tzaddik is the devek. For Misnagdim, the leader is more of a teacher and counselor. For Yekkes, he is the arbiter of religious life.

4. Yiddish. For most Chassidim, the use of Yiddish is a core value – "shelo shinu es leshonam." And if English "chotsh a tzubrokhener English, tzu zein anderish vi di Goyim. For Misnagdim it really doesn't matter that much, as long as satisfactory communication takes place. For Yekkes, Yiddish is an anathema – the pure and eloquent use of the local language is an ideal.

19 comments:

  1. "Better glatt yosher than glatt kosher."
    I wasn't there (at least physically) when Rav Breuer z'l' spoke on the matter -- that said, did he really phrase it that way, as opposed to, say, "Not only glatt Kosher but also glatt Yosher"? (In this context, also see Rabbi P. Frankel's discussion on the word "kehilla.")

    ReplyDelete
  2. does the rov view TIDE as having equal validity to the other hashkofos.i have a friend who is a big chossid of reb moishe shternbuch, and while discussing the book 'daas torah' with him, reb moishe remarked that he thought the book was great except for the fact that it brought from RSRH, who is not a man de'omar (im not sure if that's related to reb moishe's hashkafic collision with RSRH on science/torah matters, or whether reb moishe being a nin veneched of the gro is rather adduk to his mesorah. also, it is evident that the litvish hashkofo was a hemshech of the gedolei ashkenaz with the gro and reb chaim volozhiner being some of its foremost proponents.im not sure if we can put RSRH on the same dargo. also as is evident from nefesh hachaim the litvish hashkofo has a strong basis in kol; hatorah kula esp. kabbollo. can rav hirsh, who personally admitted to not being aquainted with kabbollo have a hashkofo to contend with nefesh hachaim (its likey that RSRH was speaking from annivus). i was also slightly uncomfortable with rav hirsh's criticism of the derech hallimud of the mainstream gedolim, which he describes as 'man's natural curiosity having lead him astray' (or something to that effect-its in the 19 letters somewhere),especially when according to many rishonim (eg rosh) the whole point of torah lishma is to get to the omek of the sugya, and also it is impossible to be mevarer the halocho without going leomek (how can u pasken in choshen mishpot without the ketzos). i am aware that there where many gedolim who criticised the derech halimmud but im not sure they meant what rav hirsh meant. also how is rav hirsh mistader with the many maamarei chazal that the nefesh hachaim brings expressing the ultimate chashivus of talmud torah? also in light of the pesak of the remo,which assers chochmos acheiros except bederech akroi, how is TIDE and TuM mistader. on the other hand, what would the nefesh hachaim say about talmidim who honestly arent cut out for full time learning-are they never meant to lead a fulfilling life seeing as anything ppl do apart from learning is beetzem bittul torah? and also according to the nefesh hachaim are we meant to rely on goyim for all advances in technology, society etc?(i personally am a semi TIDE-nik learning in an israeli litvish yeshiva) anyone interested in discussing this subject can email me on josephfaith@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I believe the exact quote was:

    "Besser glatt yosher als glatt kosher."

    (or so recalled my father sheyichyeh)

    ReplyDelete
  4. does the rov view TIDE as having equal validity to the other hashkofos.

    Yes.

    i have a friend who is a big chossid of reb moishe shternbuch, and while discussing the book 'daas torah' with him, reb moishe remarked that he thought the book was great except for the fact that it brought from RSRH, who is not a man de'omar (im not sure if that's related to reb moishe's hashkafic collision with RSRH on science/torah matters, or whether reb moishe being a nin veneched of the gro is rather adduk to his mesorah.

    I cannot speak to Rabbi Sternbuch's logic. I know that he has a tendency to strenuously negate approaches and personalities with which he does not accept.

    Rabbi Sternbuch himself has taken himself beyond the mesorah of Litivishe Gedolim, by joining the Edah Charedis. Although my great-great uncle, Rabbi Bengis zt"l, also served the Edah, I do not think that is sufficient precedent [v'yesh makom l'chalek, vekm"l]. The Litvishe yeshiva world rejected the Edah's derech and continues to do so. So what kind of ba'alus does Rabbi Sternbuch have to decree who is a "man d'omar" and who is not?

    RSRH is a "man d'omar" because:

    1. Anyone who reads his works perceives the towering intellect, keen insight, tremendous leadership and yiras shomayim he possessed.

    2. A large tzibbur of Am Yisroel accepted his approach and were successful in being oved Hashem l'shem u'l'siferes accordingly - puk chazi mai ama dvar.

    also, it is evident that the litvish hashkofo was a hemshech of the gedolei ashkenaz with the gro and reb chaim volozhiner being some of its foremost proponents.im not sure if we can put RSRH on the same dargo.

    I do not think that is the case. I think that RSRH was more a mamshich of the GRA than many Gedolei Lita.

    also as is evident from nefesh hachaim the litvish hashkofo has a strong basis in kol; hatorah kula esp. kabbollo. can rav hirsh, who personally admitted to not being aquainted with kabbollo have a hashkofo to contend with nefesh hachaim (its likey that RSRH was speaking from annivus).

    Grounding in Kabbalah is not an essential for legitimacy; Mussar, for example, is intentionally not based on Kabbalah. Certainly, Gedolei Lita like Reb Chaim Brisker had little concern as to the correlation of their derachim with Kabbalah. Indeed, we have discussed earlier here on the blog the mysterious 80-100 year gap in Litvishe circles in Kabbalistic references between the NhC and R' Yosef Leib Bloch.

    i was also slightly uncomfortable with rav hirsh's criticism of the derech hallimud of the mainstream gedolim, which he describes as 'man's natural curiosity having lead him astray' (or something to that effect-its in the 19 letters somewhere),especially when according to many rishonim (eg rosh) the whole point of torah lishma is to get to the omek of the sugya, and also it is impossible to be mevarer the halocho without going leomek (how can u pasken in choshen mishpot without the ketzos). i am aware that there where many gedolim who criticised the derech halimmud but im not sure they meant what rav hirsh meant.

    The Chovos HaLevavos critiques the derech halimud, the Maharal critiques the derech halimud, Rav Shach critiques the derech halimud - kol chad l'fum ta'anah didei. I am not familiar with RSRH's critique, but I suspect it was not much different than the critiques of these other Gedolei Torah through the ages.

    also how is rav hirsh mistader with the many maamarei chazal that the nefesh hachaim brings expressing the ultimate chashivus of talmud torah?

    The same way that did the Gra...

    From Judaism's Encounter with Other Cultures, Rejection or Integration?
    "Rabbinic Openness to General Culture in the Early Modern Period" by Rabbi
    Dr. Shnayer Z. Leiman, pages 148 - 149

    R. Israel of Shklov (d. 1839):

    I cannot refrain from repeating a true and astonishing story that I heard
    from the Gaon's disciple R. Menachem Mendel. . . .[10] It took place when
    the Gaon of Vilna celebrated the completion of his commentary on Song of
    Songs. . . He raised his eyes toward heaven and with great devotion began
    blessing and thanking God for endowing him with the ability to comprehend
    the light of the entire Torah. This included its inner and outer
    manifestations. He explained: All secular wisdom is essential for our holy
    Torah and is included in it. He indicated that he had mastered all the
    branches of secular wisdom, including algebra, trigonometry, geometry, and
    music. He especially praised music, explaining that most of the Torah
    accents, the secrets of the Levitical songs, and the secrets of the
    Tikkunei Zohar could not be comprehended without mastering it. . . . He
    explained the significance of the various secular disciplines, and noted
    that he had mastered them all. Regarding the discipline of medicine, he
    stated that he had mastered anatomy, but not pharmacology. Indeed, he had
    wanted to study pharmacology with practicing physicians, but his father
    prevented him from undertaking its study, fearing that upon mastering it he
    would be forced to curtail his Torah study whenever it would become
    necessary for him to save a life. . . . He also stated that he
    had mastered all of philosophy, but that he had derived only two matters
    of significance from his study of it. . . . The rest of it, he said, should
    be discarded."[11]


    [10] R. Menachem Mendel of Shklov (d. I 827) was instrumental in the
    renewal of the Ashkenazic community of Jerusalem during the first quarter
    of the nineteenth century.

    [11] Pe'at ha-Shulchan, ed. Abraham M. Luncz (Jerusalem, 1911), 5a.



    also in light of the pesak of the remo,which assers chochmos acheiros except bederech akroi, how is TIDE and TuM mistader.

    For the Rema, derech akroi was sufficient; for later generations, adjustments sometimes had to be made... To explain a bit more: Certain Gedolei Torah are able to master whatever is necessary from other areas of human knowledge and experience in a very rapid manner; those who are less brilliant need more time to do so.

    on the other hand, what would the nefesh hachaim say about talmidim who honestly arent cut out for full time learning-are they never meant to lead a fulfilling life seeing as anything ppl do apart from learning is beetzem bittul torah?

    The NhC would want them to learn as much as possible, but he himself, although he has this mind-boggling chiddush that the ikkar halachah is like Rashby, certainly holds that rabbim v'sheleimim can be oved Hashem lefi darko shel R' Yishmael.

    and also according to the nefesh hachaim are we meant to rely on goyim for all advances in technology, society etc?(i personally am a semi TIDE-nik learning in an israeli litvish yeshiva) anyone interested in discussing this subject can email me on josephfaith@hotmail.com

    I do not think so - see the GRA above - the reality is, in any event, that the great advances took place much later, and so the NhC did not have to deal with that issue.

    ReplyDelete
  5. In the event that someone has the time and inclination to provide a glossary, I would very much appreciate definitions for the following terms:

    Man de'omar
    nin venechad
    adduk
    hemshech/mamshich
    dargo
    omek
    mevarer
    ketzos
    mistader
    (bederech) akroi

    and

    vekm"l
    puk chazi mai ama dvar
    kol chad l'fum ta'anah didei

    Thanks very much--
    kol tuv

    P.S. I think the criticism Anonymous notes is to be found in the 18th letter (p. 267 in Rabbi Elias' edition) -- "the intellect, in its desire for activity, inevitably went astray and occupied itself with dialectic subtleties."
    Rav Hirsch mentions kabbalah also in the same letter (also p. 267).

    ReplyDelete
  6. correct.i still have a bit of a hard time applying something about the gra learning chochma during certain specific times, to justifying a community where limmud hatorah is only nice but on a generally low level-i think there´s a big jump between that and what the gro envisioned.josephfaith@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sara:

    Man de'omar = 'one who says', meaning an acceptable alternate opinion
    nin venechad = descendent
    adduk = (not sure) 'connected'?
    hemshech/mamshich = continuation, continue
    dargo = level
    omek = depth
    mevarer = explain
    ketzos = edges
    mistader = deals with
    (bederech) akroi = informal, every so often
    vekm"l = now isn't the time to go into depth about it
    puk chazi mai ama dvar = (?)
    kol chad l'fum ta'anah didei = every one according to their own view/claim

    ReplyDelete
  8. R' Bechhofer, i have a question about the Levush issue when it comes to TIDE (pun... possibly intended?).

    You said:
    For Yekkes dress should not differ from surrounding standards of dignified attire.

    Why (and what's) "dignified"? Are we discussing dressing for shul (a topic i hope to blog about soon)? Or are talking about everyday modes of dress? If it's the second, I fail to see a reason for a Yekke car mechanic to dress like a Yekke lawyer. Is there something in TIDE ideology that pre-values (on an intrinsic level) 'dignified' clothing over 'casual' clothing, as it seems to value 'high' culture over 'popular' culture?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Not for shul, but for business (BTW, it is brought down that R' Yisroel Salanter generally dressed as a respectable businessman, not as a rav).

    Yekkes were generally not car mechanics, but I am sure you have noted that some car mechanics are slovenly and slobs and some are reasonably nicely dressed, within the limitations of the work - TIDE would doubtless advocate the latter.

    Moreover, although I suspect that neither Rav Breuer or Rav Schwab were ever caught in a polo shirt, I imagine that TIDE would begrudgingly allow casual dress - in a backyard or basement, but not in "public."

    As to Shul Dress, here's the material from a handout I prepared for one of my Kushner shiurim last year:

    http://mochassid.blogspot.com/

    Casual Shabbos

    I saw an interesting article, "The Perpetual Adolescent" by Joseph Epstein in the on-line Weekly Standard lamenting the institutionalization of the informality of today's dress. He compares the way men dressed (in suits and fedoras) to go to ballgames in the days of Joe Dimaggio with the way they dress today (jeans, tee shirts and baseball caps).

    He points out that few restaurants could hope to stay in business if they required men to wear a jacket and tie. (I think of my parents, zzg. Growing up my father would never have thought of going to a restaurant without at least a sports jacket and tie if not a suit). Epstein attributes this to a lack of seriousness, what he calls the triumph of the youth culture.

    Sadly, this phenomenon has seeped into the Shabbos dress code of much of the Modern Orthodox world. On Shabbos afternoons in many neighborhoods it is common to see grown men walking around wearing "Gap Casual"; khakis and tee shirts. You even see men walking around in shorts and sandles. The women tend to be dressed in comfortable skirts and blouses, not anything they would wear to shul. I also know that many men come home from shul and immediately change into casual clothes before sitting down for Shabbos seudah.

    The dress-down effect has effected children in an even more profound way. It is not uncommon to see MO kids walking around in shorts, sneakers and tank top basketball jerseys. (I'm not talking about kids playing ball; that's a different topic).

    I think this has come about because of a combination of a lack of seriousness about Shabbos, and ignorance about the kedushah (sanctity) of Shabbos, exacerbated by the general trend described by Joseph Epstein. You can hardly blame the kehilah. Since most MO rabbis would rather sermonize about the evil of Yassir Arafat than describe the kedushah of Shabbos (and are loath to give mussar to their congregants), and since many MO yeshivas do a weak job of giving over the beauty and majesty of Shabbos, what do you expect? People think of Shabbos as a yom Menucha; a day of rest, without understanding what yom menucha really means.

    I don't have a solution. I fear this trend will get worse as the general trend in society gets more informal (could anyone working in Manhattan 20 years ago even have imagined that secretaries would come to work in the summers looking as if they were going to the beach?) and as a whole generation of kids sees their parents treating Shabbos like any other day of the week.

    I guess we just have to give over to our own children what Kedushas Shabbos really means and set an example by dressing appropriately.


    Casual Shabbos II

    Menachem Butler recently asked:

    ...is it such a travesty that people are walking around the Five Towns dressed down on Shabbos afternoon? (I am fully aware of where Mr. Novetsky quotes Perush HaRamban al HaTorah, Vayikra 23:24, no need to tell me about it.) When did Orthodox Judaism become a religion where it is more important on how you dress on the outside, than on how you act on the inside? In the words of a great rabbi: "The only box that I want to fit into is one after I die." How come there is such a need to articulate a person's religious barometer against that of the general public? Am I any less of a religious person because I don't wear a black hat, and because I wear a green/back kippa sruga? (The kippa matches the color of my green eyes.) Let me guess: If I dress a certain way, perhaps my interior will benefit also from the change? Perhaps if people stop meddling about the stupid details of how a person dresses, than there will be a little less animosity and bitterness between all Jews, then perhaps all Jews would feel comfortable with each other, and there would be no need for stupid stereotypes. And it's a shame that we have to live with the notion that, as my brother told me, "boxes are life: live with it."

    I addressed the issue of casual dress on Shabbos in one of my first posts, here, but let me specifically address Mr. Butler's point.

    Mr. Butler mixes up two issues. I agree with him that he is not more or less of a person because he wears a kippah seruga rather than a black hat. But that is not the issue of dressing down on Shabbos. If he chooses to walk around on Shabbos with a nice white shirt and sports jacket with a kippah seruga, kol hakavod. That is "Shabbosdik" in the 'kippah serugah world' and consistent with the sancity of the day. If he walks around with shorts and a tee shirt or Gap khakis and sandals it is a very different thing that has nothing to do with the difference between a black hat and a kippah serugah (except to the extent that someone who usually walks around in a black hat is less likely to dress down on Shabbos).

    I am not suggesting that people who walk around in casual clothes on Shabbos are any less holy than those who don't. They are just misguided or misinformed or ignorant of the kedusha of Shabbos and what that means. And, if they have kids, they are sending them very confusing signals.

    Casual Shabbos III

    My recent post on Casual Shabbos attracted far more comments than I have ever gotten on any other post. I was frustrated by my apparent inability to properly articulate the 'nekudah', the essence, of what I was trying to say (as reflected by many of the comments).

    Then I remembered a couple of lines from Moshe Koppel's remarkable essay, "Yiddishkeit Without Ideology - A Letter to My Son". Describing his adolescent journey (during the early 1970s) from a Yeshivish environment (where he was not happy) to an MO environment, he wrote the following:

    You asked somebody there (an MO Yeshiva high school) if it was ok to daven in your gatkes, they start pulling books off the shelf. Lacking a sense of the heimish and hankering above all for middle-class American respectability they tended to undervalue the little hard-to-pin-down gestures and manners that give substance to Jewish distinctiveness.

    I think this is at the heart of the disconnect I am having with many of the commentators. If you ask what are the Halachos of dressing for Shabbos, I will refer you to Simcha. If you ask me why is it ok for Israelis to wear white shirts, slacks and sandals on Shabbos, I will tell you I don't know. But if you ask me whether it is Shabbosdik for someone to come home from shul and make a conscious decision to take off his Shabbos clothes and sit at the Shabbos table in casual clothes, or to put on shorts or khakis and a polo shirt to go the the park, I will ask you whether davening in your gatkes is ok.


    http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/

    Shabbos Attire

    (For my comrade-in-blog Mochassid)

    The prophet Yishayahu tells us (58:13): "ve-khibadto - and you shall honor [Shabbos]." The Gemara (Shabbos 113a) applies this oblgiation to the clothes one wears: "Your clothing for Shabbos should not be like your clothing for weekdays." Note that the Gemara does not say that you should change your clothes for Shabbos but that your clothes for Shabbos should be different from those for weekdays. The Ben Yehoyada (ad loc.) explains that one might have thought that it is sufficient to have different clothes for Shabbos. Therefore, the Gemara teaches us that this is not enough but rather one must wear clothes that are sufficiently special that onlookers will recognize that the garments are for Shabbos.

    This halakhah is recorded in Shulhan Arukh (Orah Hayim 262:2-3). The Magen Avraham (2) writes in the name of the Arizal that it is best not to wear any weekday garments on Shabbos, and this is brought down in the Mishnah Berurah (5) and the Arukh Ha-Shulhan (3). The question arises regarding a mourner during shivah: Should he wear Shabbos clothes or not? The Rema writes in Yoreh De'ah (399:3) not to but the Magen Avraham (loc. cit.) quotes the Arizal as saying to wear them. The Mahatzis Ha-Shekel explains the Arizal's intent being that one should wear only on Shabbos garment and the rest weekday clothing. However, the Vilna Gaon (Ma'aseh Rav, no. 193) holds that a mourner must wear his regular Shabbos garments (as did the Radbaz in his responsa, vol. 2 no. 693). The Birkei Yosef (YD 400) rules similarly.

    This same dispute applies to Shabbos Hazon. According to the Rema (Orah Hayim 554:1), one should wear weekday clothes on that Shabbos like a mourner. However, the Vilna Gaon opposes this custom and it has largely fallen out of practice (cf. Arukh Ha-Shulhan, ad loc. 11; Piskei Teshuvos, ad loc. 4; Mo'adim U-Zemanim 5:343, 7:256).

    The P'ri Megadim (Eshel Avraham 262:2) has a surprising leniency regarding this oblgiation. He writes: "In one's home one may [dress] as he pleases but not in public." In other words, you can change into weekday clothes at home but when you leave your house you shuold make sure to wear Shabbos clothes. I quote this not because it is normative - I have not seen it cited by any subsequent authority - but to show that even the most lenient posek would disapprove of the practice of many contempary Orthodox Jews. However, the Hayei Adam* writes that even when all alone in a room one should wear Shabbos clothes. The later posekim seem to be unanimous that one should remain in Shabbos clothes until after havdalah (Mishnah Berurah 262:5; Arukh Ha-Shulhan, Orah Hayim 262:3), with the exception of the Kaf Ha-Hayim (262:28) who maintains that one should nto change clothing until after melaveh malkah (and so, surprisingly, rules the Shemiras Shabbos Ke-Hilkhasah, vol. 2 42:51).


    * I could not find it in that book but I found it in a smaller work of his titled Zikhru Toras Moshe 1:3.

    ReplyDelete
  10. At Monday, August 22, 2005 9:24:55 AM, Anonymous said…

    correct.i still have a bit of a hard time applying something about the gra learning chochma during certain specific times, to justifying a community where limmud hatorah is only nice but on a generally low level-i think there´s a big jump between that and what the gro envisioned.josephfaith@hotmail.com


    You are assuming the Gra would not take into account the distinctions between himself, lesser scholars and laymen respectively?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yekkes were generally not car mechanics, but I am sure you have noted that some car mechanics are slovenly and slobs and some are reasonably nicely dressed, within the limitations of the work - TIDE would doubtless advocate the latter.
    Moreover, although I suspect that neither Rav Breuer or Rav Schwab were ever caught in a polo shirt, I imagine that TIDE would begrudgingly allow casual dress - in a backyard or basement, but not in "public."


    This gets to the heart of my question — in the first [quoted] paragraph, you contrast 'slobs' with 'reasonably nicely dressed, within the limitations of the work'; in the second, you "imagine that TIDE would begrudgingly allow casual dress... but not in 'public'."

    The issue is whether or not 'casual dress' is the same thing as 'slovenliness'. In my experience/view, a clean t-shirt, jeans and sandals, while undeniably casual, are not slobby; obviously, on the other side, a stained and very wrinkled suit, while [attempting to be] formal, is slobby.

    So i guess my question is, is 'dignified attire' idealized such that dressing like a lawyer/businessman becomes the 'default mode', with exceptions made due to the "limitations of work" for mechanics, fishermen, construction workers etc. — meaning that if you don't have an 'excuse', you should be dressing as formally as possible? That's what it looks to me like you're saying. If i'm understanding correctly, and that is the TIDE ideal, i'd like to know what the philosophical basis is in TIDE ideology that requires that.

    I also fail to see the connection between Shabbos clothing and Joseph Epstein's article bemoaning the casualization of American society. While it may be clear that general casualization can lead to a less rigorous standard for Shabbat dress, I don't understand what he (and TIDE ideology, assumedly) sees as so intrinsicly negative in informality. The article's points read like a rehashing of the eternal litany of "things were better back in the day" (to use a 'youth culture' expression) that every generation complains about the generations that come after it.

    Thanks for all the sources about standards of Shabbos clothing! When i mentioned "dressing for shul" in my original comment, though, i meant dressing for davening in general, and not necessarily on Shabbos, Yontef etc.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This gets to the heart of my question — in the first [quoted] paragraph, you contrast 'slobs' with 'reasonably nicely dressed, within the limitations of the work'; in the second, you "imagine that TIDE would begrudgingly allow casual dress... but not in 'public'."

    The issue is whether or not 'casual dress' is the same thing as 'slovenliness'. In my experience/view, a clean t-shirt, jeans and sandals, while undeniably casual, are not slobby; obviously, on the other side, a stained and very wrinkled suit, while [attempting to be] formal, is slobby.


    Alot has to do with the surrounding environment; however, I think a true-blue Yekke would rule out jeans and sandals-sans-socks anywhere and everywhere.

    So i guess my question is, is 'dignified attire' idealized such that dressing like a lawyer/businessman becomes the 'default mode', with exceptions made due to the "limitations of work" for mechanics, fishermen, construction workers etc. — meaning that if you don't have an 'excuse', you should be dressing as formally as possible? That's what it looks to me like you're saying. If i'm understanding correctly, and that is the TIDE ideal, i'd like to know what the philosophical basis is in TIDE ideology that requires that.

    Not formally - but with dignity. As R' Yochanan said in yesterday's (or was it two days ago?) daf: "Manei mechabdusei" - bichlal, Shabbos 114 has very important discussions of proper attire.

    I also fail to see the connection between Shabbos clothing and Joseph Epstein's article bemoaning the casualization of American society. While it may be clear that general casualization can lead to a less rigorous standard for Shabbat dress, I don't understand what he (and TIDE ideology, assumedly) sees as so intrinsicly negative in informality. The article's points read like a rehashing of the eternal litany of "things were better back in the day" (to use a 'youth culture' expression) that every generation complains about the generations that come after it.

    Perhaps, I was merely citing.

    Thanks for all the sources about standards of Shabbos clothing! When i mentioned "dressing for shul" in my original comment, though, i meant dressing for davening in general, and not necessarily on Shabbos, Yontef etc.

    You are welcome!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Regarding "glatt yosher"-- R' Mordechai Breuer writes in "Samson Raphael Hirsch and Modern Orthodoxy" (published in Niv HaMidrashia in 1993) that "the slogan 'rather glatt yosher than glatt kosher' was not first pronounced in Washington Heights but in Frankfurt by Hirsch" (34).



    A few questions regarding the chart:

    1.) Are all the varieties of Chassidim discussed in the "Forks" article included in the "Chassidim" category here?

    2.) Where does the study of philosophy fit in?

    3.) Regarding the TiDE understanding of D'veykus Ba'Hashem -- though I'm not sure that this is a real question-- what does 'what does it mean?' mean?

    4.) Regardng the TiDE attitude toward Dibbur U'Shesikah-- how do humor and irony fit into Avodas Hashem?

    ReplyDelete
  14. 1. Yes, but only loosely - and it leans towards representing non-Chabad Chssidus.

    2. Anyone but the Chassidim could incorporate philosophy, or not, depending on personal preference (not as integral to the derech - Maimonideans are not represented in the chart...).

    3. Yekkes would not focus on intangibles like dveykus - it is elusive, not concrete, smacks of mysticism, and unnecessary in any event.

    4. Humor and irony are potent tools for a speaker or polemicist; they are also useful in general conversation. As TIDE is less exhortative and more instructive, tools of the trade of the instructor are helpful - perhaps essential.

    ReplyDelete
  15. From an email:

    Dear Rav Bechhofer,

    This morning I went to the famous Breuer's shul in Washington Heights for minyan, and found it very interesting for a number of reasons (Yekke pronunciation, for instance), but especially in relation to the discussion we had on your blog about TIDE norms of dress. While in my experience in "MO" shuls, Sunday [when a Yontef doesn't fall out that day] is generally the time that people come to shul dressed the most informally (since it's not Shabbos and most people aren't going to work), at Breuer's everyone looked like they were dressed for Shabbos. Now, I was at a different shul on Shabbos, so I wouldn't be able to compare what people were wearing at Breuer's for Shabbos vs. not-Shabbos, but what I saw today was almost every single man in the shul wearing a suit and tie (most of them a hat as well). So I found it very interesting, when I wasn't busy davening or feeling uncomfortable by not completely fitting in to the community norms. I was thinking that maybe it was because of Rosh Hhodesh, but in order to compare a Sunday that is Rosh Hhodesh to one that isn't, I'd have to wait until next week.
    Anyway, I was pretty much wondering if you have any additional comments on the topic, in relation to what I saw at Breuer's.

    thanks,
    gut hhodesh,

    ReplyDelete
  16. From Avodah:


    Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer wrote:

    > Rabbi Mayer Schiller has written a very important essay on TIDE. For the
    > most part, we are in agreement, except for two points. The essay can be
    > found in PDF at: http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/faxes/TIDE.pdf



    From: Micha Berger

    > 2- I never before considered the implications of emracing both Austritt
    > and RSRH's humanism. There's a border here that needs more exploring.


    > This is also a potential difference between TIDE and TuM. TuM's more
    > academicly oriented "mada" leads one to ivory towers, not grass roots
    > humanism.



    Agreed. TuM {at lleat YU's model} never built Kehillos AFAIK, while
    TIDE has been linked to a very strong Kehillah model..

    Ksiva Vachasima Tova
    Regards,
    RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I just noticed that you added that column. I've been out of the loop for a long time. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  18. For Limud HaTorah, under TIDE you wrote:

    "Nice, but for most people on a relatively low level – much more reliance on Rabbonim."

    I do not believe that that is t R' Hirsch's understanding of the place of Limud HaTorah.

    See CW VII, pp 156-157

    "...today we must add that lo am ha'aretz Yisrael!" For without the ability to investigate on one's own the original source of our national literature, that is The Law of God..."

    "Therefore, learn and learn again!"

    "Study Torah, Neviim u'Kesuvim, Shas V'Poskim not just if, or because, you want to become a rabbi. It is better, perhaps, that you should study if, or precisely because, you do NOT want to become one."

    ReplyDelete
  19. There is learning and there is learning...

    Rabbi Schwab told me one of the reasons he would not give me a haskomo on my Eruv book is because he holds Ba'alei Battim should not be given access to Torah in-depth.

    ReplyDelete