Aaron Zimmer
Cohost of "Physics to God" podcast

A Framework for Critiquing the Ideal of Ultra-Orthodoxy

After discussing the good parts of orthodoxy last time, the natural next step is to consider the bad parts of ultra-orthodoxy. Before doing that, I want to develop the conceptual framework for critiquing the ideal of ultra-orthodoxy.

The key concept is that I’m limiting my discussion to the bad parts of the ideal of ultra-orthodoxy in relationship to the formulation of the ideal of modern orthodoxy. Meaning, that I’m not criticizing actual ultra-orthodox Jews, and the critique is only with regards to those aspects of the ideal that are inappropriate for the ideal of modern orthodoxy.

The secular age that began a few hundred years ago with the Enlightenment, Jewish emancipation, and the rise of secularity has presented significant challenges to the Jewish people. It has forced a self-preserving splitting of the Jewish world into multiple camps – two of which are modern and ultra-orthodoxy. These two camps are fundamentally different from one another. While neither is the sole answer to the problems of modernity, both camps are necessary for the survival of the Torah and the Jewish people in the modern world.

Given this framework, the question I want to address in more detail next time is what aspects of the ideal of ultra-orthodoxy are inappropriate, or bad, for the ideal of modern orthodoxy.

About the Author
After earning a physics degree and receiving rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Yisroel Chait, Aaron Zimmer utilized his personal resources to trade commodity futures. His approach was deeply rooted in the conceptual frameworks of physics and the Brisker Method for Talmudic analysis. After an eleven-year career marked by success in commodity trading, Aaron now cohosts a podcast, "Physics to God", with Rabbi Dr. Elie Feder. He resides in Lawrence, New York, along with his wife and their five children.
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