I was having an argument with someone about Modern Orthodoxy, me being pro him being against, he said that even The Rav said in his foundational essay on Modern Orthodoxy that the reason for Modern Orthodoxy is because nowadays we need madah to survive as a nation in the Modern World, making it a bidyeved movement according to The Rav.

Does anyone know what he might be talking about? I've been searching for this essay and I can't find anything.

  • Welcome to MiYodeya Sruly and thanks for this first question. Great to have you learn with us! – mbloch Dec 9 '18 at 13:16
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    In any event I wouldn't put much trust in this guy's claims. RJBS is selectively misquoted even by right wing modrn Orthodox Jews. His writing is too deep & broad for most people looking for cheap shots to really grasp. Chabad especially in my experience loves to quote the few times he referenced the Tanya but can't tell you anything else about him or what those quotes mean in context. And Yeshivish people love quoting his Tav LeMeitav speech without ever having read Family Redeemed where he makes the opposite point. – Double AA Dec 9 '18 at 14:05
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  • @msh210 can a chat room be created with DoubleAA in it please? I don't have privileges to make a chat room. – sruly Dec 10 '18 at 9:15
  • @DoubleAA see above – msh210 Dec 10 '18 at 12:25

Perhaps your interlocutor was referring to "Joseph and his Brothers", printed in The Rav Speaks, where R. Soloveitchik says (my emphasis):

The Biblical Joseph relates: "and behold the sun and the moon and the eleven stars bow down to me" (Gen. 37:9) — there is secular culture, great and powerful technology creating wonders and changing the foundations of our life. Even if it is true that in Canaan we can get along without it — this secular culture entails destructive elements, many negative and perverse aspects; it may be a blessing and a curse simultaneously, and thus as long as one can live without it, so much the better for the spirit — finally we will have to relate to it. The confrontation will not take place in Canaan, however, where life flows serenely, but in a new and alien land where the tempo of life is greatly accelerated and fundamental changes occur daily.

I don't know that this would be termed R. Soloveitchik's "foundational essay on Modern Orthodoxy", though.

  • I don't think this is what he was referring to, but this is also a good mekor, thank you. – sruly Dec 10 '18 at 9:15

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