I used to joke that every beis din should have insurance, kind of like errors & omissions, for cases in which they convert someone whose observance level goes south as soon as they come out of the mikveh. Because a halachic conversion is so emotionally grueling and takes so long, it’s hard to find insincere converts, but they’re definitely out there and probably greater in number than I’d like to admit. I get why rabbis are suspicious of engaged couples, expectant mothers, and the just plain crazy.
Ba’al teshuvahs don’t have a beis din for us to blame when they fry out. Though we could spend all day taking pot-shots at Chabad and Aish for what they drag in, the biggest risk of all is taken on by the BT himself. Think of all the things BT Insurance could cover…
· Dudes/Chicks you stopped hugging – they stopped hanging out with you after you, in not so many words, called them out on their constant hope of getting a grope on you. No more opportunities to cop a feel, they stop hanging out. Maybe the insurance could cover you taking them out for a drink to show you’re sorry for abandoning them when you went shomer.
· Job you lost when you started keeping shabbos – what do you mean you can’t work the Friday night shift at Red Lobster anymore? You’ve become unmarketable, basically, and need some insurance money to go through some job retraining. BTs don’t have the benefit of coming out of yeshiva and right into their uncle’s diamond business, they actually have to learn a trade at some point.
· Family you cut off – boy do you have a lot of Xmas presents to catch up on. That’s gonna cost you.
· Great clothes you got rid of – I remember spending hundreds of dollars on jeans just in the two years before going tznius. I’ll never get that back, nor will my eBay sales ever recoup the money lost on slutty high-heeled sandals. If I burned out, how would I ever replace my wardrobe and look cool again? I need backup.
· Yeshiva/Seminary tuition debt – you worked in the kitchen while you were there to carve a little bit off the tuition, but now you’ve still got that $50-a-month fly in your ear, paying for a religious education in which you no longer believe. Pull the ripcord and file a claim.
· Movies and music you missed – I have no idea how many Fast & the Furious movies they’re up to now, and my CDs seem to cut off around 2004 (which I can’t even entirely blame on frumkeit). It’s going to take everything I’ve got to pay off my next iTunes bill. Insurance claim.
· Antibiotics, and lots of ‘em – if you don’t have Legionnaires ’ disease from breathing in muck while living in a Brooklyn basement, then you’re an amateur. We can’t all get meds from Canada.
· Therapy – you’re definitely not going to get any of that tzedakah money back. So tell us, how does that make you feel?
Find Baal Teshuva insurance on 4torah.com