Aaron Zimmer
Cohost of "Physics to God" podcast

The Good and Bad of Modernity and Orthodoxy

Let me try to lay out a basic approach for constructing the ideal of modern orthodoxy. As discussed last time, the idea is to take the good from modernity and orthodoxy and to leave the bad of each extreme.

Two caveats. First, will be a simple sketch and overview, with only some parts to be developed further. Second, there’s a difference between describing an ideal and implementing it in practice. But, I think we can all agree that you can’t implement an ideal without knowing it first.

So let’s try to describe the good and bad of each, albeit in an oversimplified way. The good elements of modernity are genuine wisdom and knowledge as exemplified through science and math. The bad aspects of secular modernity are predominantly in its values and culture. The good elements of orthodoxy are the Torah and the fear of God. The base aspects of ultra-orthodoxy are the seclusion from modern knowledge and the maintenance of superstitions.

Obviously, there is much more to discuss about all these dimensions, as well as the challenge of implementing and integrating them when they conflict. Let’s go one step at a time.

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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