MODERN orthodox or as Frumster likes to call them modern orthodox Liberal. Some folks call them the real MO, or some like to say they hijacked modern orthodoxy and created this religion solely based on not being shomer negia and not adhering to the laws of tzius and of women covering their hair. This post is bound to offend, so don’t take me so seriously ok.
The Upper West Side is home to a bulk of the real Modern Orthodox movement. Primarily made up of lazy ex-yeshiva guys and girls, folks who don’t want t hear about wearing skirts except for on shabbos- or Shabbat a they like to call it, talking in shull over the 30 inch high mechitza which can only be seen when all the men and women are seated. Eating milchigs out, because what can be wrong with a tuna sandwich or some grilled tuna? A sea of different colored yarmulkes and suede with no black velvet to be seen. The MO Libs like to dress nicely, they buy pimpin outfits and care about their looks, they tend to have good jobs and boring lives. You know financial analysts, attorneys, doctors, every mothers dream.
Every small town has a large group of these MO Libs, they usually have their own shull, and it usually tends to be the snobbier wealthy one, and the folks in the frummer one always like to bash their mechitza and the kids of the frummies will always talk about the women with those white doilies on their heads. The shulls tend to have movie theater style seats, and siddurs right in front of them, they dislike the whole bench thing for some reason- besides for the NYC area- those MO Libs don’t do pews.
They love to drag out kedusha of mussaf on shabbos for some reason, they just sing and sing, even though half the shull is probably talking to each other. After shull, the men and women kiss each other on the cheeks even if they aren’t married. Shomer negia and tznius for the ladies is always talked about in this “spit with disgust” sort of way. Just like the frum people love bashing the modern people, the modern people always bash the frum people, its like a circle of life.
In small towns is where the debate comes up the most. The MO Libs will tend to send their kids to the half assed day school, but at thirteen pull them out and throw em in public school, the frummies will scowl at this practice. But the MO Libs will scream when the frummies don’t eat at their perfectly kosher bakery or something purely based on the height of the KOSHER mechitza at their shull. Instead of working together, both sides will be guilty of creating rifts and the children reap the benefit.
In terms of food, especially hashgacha, many of the MO Libs tend to use any sort of symbol that is found on the product. Now that Hebrew National has a triangle-K, it is widely used in many households, as well as things with the classic non-copyrightable K. Those MO Libs love spinach and tomato salad as well as bok-choy. Do they check their spinach for bugs? Not based on my experience, but you cant even see those bugs. They also love deli roll and serving colorful foods. Frummies love brown foods while the MO Lib crowd loves color, maybe it’s a rainbow thing.
With regards to mixed dancing at weddings it’s a tossup, many of their children are quickly joining the ranks of the more strict MO machmirs and the MO Libs are quickly losing their grip on their children. The MO Libs usually come from more religious upbringings and speak Yiddish, while their kids are doing an opposite rebellion. If the kid comes home from their “year” in Israel wearing a black hat the parents are terrified, as well as if the kid spends an extra year in Israel. The MO Lib strongholds are places like Ramaz, Frisch, and Hafter. Even some MO Lib schools that claim to be yeshiva’s will have a prom- yes hypocritical depending on your interpretation of the Torah.
Many MO Libs will not see any issues with davening in a conservative shull or attending an event in a church. They tend to be politically liberal besides for things concerning Israel when they change to Michael Savage style right wingisms. They read the Jewish week, NY times and listen to NPR. The ones who live outside of NY tend to be more interesting then their frummy counterparts, while the ones who move to NY or lived there their whole lives tend to be boring and drab. Especially the singles that feel their duty as being 27 successful and single is to move to the UWS singles scene- even if they hate the scene- they can’t miss those tefilin dates and Friday nights at OZ.
The MO Lib crowd also takes the elevator on shabbos when someone else presses it and they may even go out to say Barnes and Nobles or some other “kosher” hangout. On shabbos afternoons they tend to bust out of their suits and put on some shorts and t-shirts- this is both men and women- since the tznius time for women is shabbos, although on shabbos they may not even be rockin the tznius. The laws of yichud are not even heard of, let alone followed- they me chumras- I don’t even know if they are law.
MO Libs love going to baseball games, skiing, watching the Israeli day parade, talking about who’s dating who, eating sushi, going to the now ASSUR Miami for Pesach- that is their main vacation destination. They love kosher club med and go t places like Cancun or the Bahamas. I am sure I am missing something. Oh if they cover their hair its with a lampshade hat that covers half their hair on shabbos only.