[Avodah] Coeducational

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Mon Jul 19 12:52:43 PDT 2021

On Sun, Jul 18, 2021 at 01:52:53PM +0000, Joseph Kaplan wrote:
> Obviously, I read the Rav's letters to R. Rosenfeld very differently
> than you...

Sorry, but I am not sure you do. Let me make sure I was clear enough
that you are disagreeing with what I actually tried to say.

We both agree that RYBS held that co-education was the correct and
lekhatchilah approach to the reality we're in. In fact, I think we would
entirely agree on how we understand his positions on teaching theoretical
Oral Torah to women (eg his gemara shiur in Stern) and on co-education.

In terms of his position on the optimal response to the world we're in.

Where I disagreed was less about education for girls and Torah study
for women than about RYBS's attitude toward modernity and the condition

What I am adding is that I don't think RYBS thought this reality is ideal,
or even as close to the ideal as the world R' Chaim lived in. I believe
RYBS felt our reality was not as condusive for living according to the
Torah than the world our ancestors lived in before Europe started that
final collapse from around us

So, I don't think he was Modern Orthodox as most people would think of
it as much as someone who had similar strategy for living as an Orthodox
Jew in the modern world. I don't think he considered Modernity as part
of the ideal or even something that makes living the ideal easier. But,
it's the reality, and we need to find the best response to it.

Given that assessment of his general worldview, I'll tie it back to our
topic. I was trying to blame people confusing RYBS's bedi'eved assessment
of the situation we were living in with his assessment of the best
way to live in that situation. He could say that co-education and more
similar curricula are the ideal for our population while still feeling
that it would be better if we had the opportunity to be a different kind
of population.

Tir'u baTov!

PS: Thanks for the correction on the biographical points. I lived near YCQ;
the world of HILI seemed a million miles away. Maybe had I gone to different
summer camps...

Micha Berger                 The first step towards getting somewhere is
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   to decide that you are not going
Author: Widen Your Tent      to stay where you are.
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF                 - JP Morgan

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