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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Torah im Derech Eretz vs Yeshivish

As much as I have my issues with Judaism one good thing to say about it was the approach of Rav Hirsch to influence the idea that Orthodox Jews can involve themselves like normal people in the secular world. You come across a lot of Orthodox Jews in many top universities who work in science or mathematics or medicine.

I live in an Orthodox Jewish community. So many of these Jews have achieved great things in their lives. Many of them are enterpreneurs, capitalists, work in business, or make a lot of money, and just in general know how to navigate around in the world. I personally know several millionaires some of whom I am friends with. I have respect for these people, as they achieved something in their lives. But every single one of these Juden fit into the description of being im Derech Eretz.

In my graduating class there were some yeshivish boys. Who did not go to college, who did not get a job, but instead are still learning in Israel or where ever it is where they are learning. It has been years already and they achieved absolutely nothing in their lives. When they get married they will not need a way to support themselves. Their rich parents, who have achieved success, will simply support them. I have no respect for these kinds of Jews. They have wasted their lives entirely. They consume and do not produce anything of value. They are a waste of a species and any human talent.

Maybe I am wrong on this but it seems as if the idea of Torah im Derech Eretz is losing popularity in Judaism. As the current generation can live off their parents and then move to Lakewood (Israel). This was not something that was possible 50 years ago and hence the popularity of being yeshivish is growing in the Orthodox world. Yeshivishness is a disease that will retard the Orthodox Jewish world back to the bronze-age (at least Hirsch was open-minded enough to consider the theory of evolution as a possibly true theory and he was alive right at the time of Charles Darwin).

However, there are good news. Orthodox kids are leaving Orthodox Judaism at the faster rate than ever before. So maybe the fact that Orthodox Jews are moving back to yeshivish is not a big deal as it is much more likely they will simply leave Orthodoxy.


  1. Ironically, the profound conglomeration of scientific thought called the “theory of everything” (TOE) sounds very much like the “future age of redemption” (AOR) foretold in the Torah, during which all physical phenomena will be revealed and understood under the leadership of the Meshiach. Moreover, if any of the scientists want to find out “how the primary creative force and the ongoing creative process relate to the universe and its contents”, they need only to open The Tanya, the previously mentioned work of Kabbalah compiled by Rabbi Schneur Zalman (of blessed memory) and published more than two hundred years ago in 1799. There they will find “The Theory of Everything” explained in clear, concise and lucid detail. More at

  2. I am lost, my faith years back im 19 now and just can't leave I have no other options I feel trapped and alone my orthodox community anyone have advice ???? It drives me crazy everyday Im wearing a costume wearing a yamuka .

  3. This is an interesting post. My one question is: are orthodox kids leaving Yiddishkeit at a faster rate than ever before? How many leave? How does it vary by community? If you have any real data here, it would be interesting. I hear from some rabbis that there is incredible growth, that baal t’chuvahs are coming by the truck load. From others I hear fear that many are leaving. But does anyone really know what is going on? If you could point me in the direction of data, that would be great too.


  4. I'm an optimist. In a healthy balance, the two world can complete each other. The Torah-Im-Derech-Eretz world will need a Yeshivish world to rely on (in Torah knowledge). Much similar to a Yissachar-Zevulun partnership, but maybe even better.

  5. OT: I like watching Manny Pacquiao again and again. I like especially Manny Pacquiao's amazing hand speed on the Double End Bag. It's so awesome!!