Today there are two choices basically, Haredi and MO. I can't expect a BT to become purist TIDE when there's no pure TIDE community to go with it. I do TIDE in my house, as best I can concoct it on my own. It's lonely but I can go a long way with books. Most people want more than that. I have to offer them what's out there. All groups are flawed today. But that's what we have. To me they are equally flawed, no one group more than any other. Each magnifies the flaws of the others and minimizes its own of course. That's part of the flaw. The Litvacks are gone. TIDE is gone. Straight up Sephardic is gone. I'm talking about the communities. The philosophies are still there of course along with a handful of purist practitioners. But the philosophies have morphed into new flawed ones as far as communities go. Litvish into Haredi, TIDE into Modern. Old Chabad into new Chabad. Sephardic into all of the above. Actually it's a bit more complicated since Washington Heights went Haredi - or so I'm told - but TIDE influenced the yeshiva education program. Whatever the exact history of it, there's no pure TIDE community that I know of. People need community, particularly in this era where they are told sadly that conformity is a religious duty. If I got into that polemical condemnation game that many rabbis are so fond of, if I expected flawlessness from any group before presenting it as an option for newcomers, I'd have nothing to offer people.
We could use a TIDE updated for the 21st century. But who is going to do that? That's what I try to offer my family. I do it like Avraham. Alone. That's why I think we need a virtual TIDE community. A place to discuss and apply the derech. And kids can say, I'm TIDE and there'd be some kind of identity and community, with occasional get-togethers, and maybe even a Rav, to go with it.
As RAEK stated in admiration of Dr. Nathan Birnbaum, he - and, by association, many of the individuals currently inaccurately labeled "Ba'alei Teshuva" - are in reality Avraham Avinus. They perforce have come as thinking, courageous individuals to a recognition of the truth of authentic Judaism. And, like Dr. Birnbaum, they are inevitably dismayed to find that Orthodox Jewry does not reflect the pure and lofty truth and aunthenticity of Orthodox Judaism.
The response to them - and to the like-minded seekers in the FFB camp - should not be to admit defeat and urge them to do so as well, to shunt them and to urge them to allow themselves to be shunted to philosophies and systems we believe flawed - not to mention unsatisfying - but to present the alternative of authenticity, as difficult and impractical as it may be - because, ultimately, Am Yisroel's entire essence is the preservation and manifestation of authenticity, as difficuly and impractical as it may be.
RSRH and his successors were far more concerned with truth than with popularity or practucality.
We who have been born in the latter part of the 20th century and beyond have been cursed to have been born into un-even anti-heroic times. It is hard to be a hero in a world that is, at best, dismissive of heroes and heroism. A world in which even idealists and idealism are rare commodities, indeed. But all the more reason that we should cultivate whatever sense of mission and quest we do possess, and represent and present TIDE without compromises that undermine its truth and its authenticity. Accordingly, to uncritically suggest resources that lack - or, worse - work against TIDE is expedient, short-term practicality, but in the long term a devastating dimunition.