For those of us on the fence about these issues, Gordimer’s dialectic is untenable, a failure of Modern Orthodoxy. Gordimer’s approach would ultimately consign Modern Orthodoxy to the ash heaps of Jewish history for its irrelevance. It’s also anti-historic. Whether it was Hirschian Neo-Orthodoxy, Hungarian ultra-Orthodoxy, American Modern Orthodoxy or the American Kollel phenomenon, Jews serious about preserving Halacha and maintaining its central role in Jewish life and destiny always developed new and innovative ways to render Halacha and Jewish belief resonant, meaningful and satisfying to the Halachikly observant. And each of those developments was accompanied by articulated statements of principles, philosophies of Jewish life, that both explained the new structure and packed it with religious meaning. Sometimes, as was the case with Modern and Neo-Orthodoxy, some level of compromise with western values and culture was needed. In other times and places and for other Jews, a more uncompromising self- segregating approach was the solution. Both models have their basis in classic Jewish sources. But it was the successful innovations in Judaism of those various schools of thought that enabled Halachik praxis to weather the storms of Enlightenment, Emancipation and the pull to assimilate. Ignoring the questions of the day never worked. And each of those Orthodox responses to the challenges of their times came about as the result of intense soul searching, research, and, most crucially, debate.
Daniel B. Schwartz, “Modern Orthodoxy’s Right: In Search of a Message”, Times of Israel (10 January 2016) [http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/modern-orthodoxys-right-in-search-of-a-message/]