Thursday, August 30, 2007

Modern Orthodoxy and Bnei Akiva today

For a good while on this blog, most of my posts have been either political, religious or sports oriented. Now I want to discuss my background and why I am as passionate about the Modern Orthodox/Bnei Akiva viewpoint as I am.

I grew up in Seattle, Washington and attended a community day school that was Orthodox, but a good number of the kids in the school weren't Orthodox (meaning didn't observe the Sabbath or kept kosher in the home). Not unusual for a non-East coast day school.

One of the best teachers I ever had was someone who shares family with me. His sister is my aunt on my mother's side. In any event, he was a YU graduate and Musmach (received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshiva University). He and his wife were in Seattle for approximately ten years. Unfortunately, the school made a bad decision after its principal left to go to Silver Spring, Maryland by bringing in someone who only lasted two years and left under somewhat cloudy circumstances.

From the time I was 14 until I was 17 I participated in the summer in Bnei Akiva's camp called Camp Moshava in Wild Rose, Wisconsin and also in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. The campers learned a lot about the land of Israel and the Torah Va'Avodah philosophy. After High School, I went to Yeshivat Mevaseret Tzion, a Religious Zionist yeshiva and the following year I went to Kerem B'Yavneh, also Religious Zionist, but closer philosophically to the Black Hat Yeshivot such as Mercaz HaTorah and Bais Yisroel. This is how I grew up. I didn't go to a school like Skokie Yeshiva or WITS.

In any event, when I date again, I want Camp Moshava or Morasha on the resume, or at least an openness to that philosophy/Hashkafa. I am sick and tired of these girls like Sharon, who grow up irreligious, get religious in Israel, College, Aish Hatorah, etc. and then become good little bais yaakov girls. The problem today is that Sharon and her ilk comprise the majority of the available Orthodox women available to date. All of the girls who attended Bnei Akiva are married by now and have their own families. Very few of these girls who are still single (or unfortunately divorced) are in the Chicago area, I assume that these gals are in NYC (probably the Upper West Side) or Israel.

What are we "Modern Orthodox" singles supposed to do? All move to New York or Israel? Is there a guarantee that if we do, we'll get married?

I am also disheartened by a segment of Orthodoxy that is very progressive, particularly socially. In a few years they will become in essence Conservadox.


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