Welcome to the Beis Midrash, where TIDE is alive and well! I recommend you start with the blog's Inaugural Post by scrolling to the bottom.

Please differentiate between the great classic Torah Im Derech Eretz (TIDE) writings, and the blog's own writings, which are those of a novice student of TIDE.

Please consult your rabbi about anything you read here that you find controversial.

“There is a popular notion that, unlike Hasidism and Musar, which attempted to deepen the religious experience of the Jew, the Hirschian system aimed at merely preserving Judaism against the onslaught of Western culture. It is our conviction that this notion is erroneous. Study of R. Hirsch's writings and commentaries has been for many a most effective source of Musar, deepening our spiritual grasp of Judaism.”---Rabbi Shelomoh Danziger, last paragraph of http://www.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/rsrh/Clarification%20of%20RSRH_danziger.pdf

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Who Do We Look To?

This is my reply to a commenter on Rationalist Judaism who challenged "Post-Chareidim" with naming three people who can be looked to as ideals and leaders, matching three Gedolim that he named:

Tachlis--

I've given the issues you bring up much thought. I prefer "Hirschian", or "TIDEian" to "Post Chareidi"; but I face the same questions.

Granted a private audience, with unlimited time to explain our situation, and with no chance of the advice given ever being broadcast to the public, the Gedolim you named would probably provide excellent guidance. But what we hear and read from the Chareidi media in their names appears to be either distortions, or meant for the insulated Chareidi community, not for those of us who choose to/ have to lead Torah-directed modern-oriented lives.

We therefore rely on very learned local Talmidei Chachamim with excellent character who intimately understand our situation. Are they as famous or as learned or as chashuv as these Gedolim? No. Maybe not even close. But that misses the point. They are OUR lifeline.

Could I give you three names of such wonderful Talmidei Chachamim? I could give you hundreds. But they wouldn't mean anything to you. Rest assured, though, that they mean EVERYTHING to us.