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Stop trying to make Off The Derech people frum again

kiruvI’m not a big fan of kiruv, as many of you know, I believe that the FFB master race has become diluted with Baalei Teshuva and converts who inflict us with their secular culture. I also believe that those who become frum are never sincere and are merely convinced to become frum through promises of community, beautiful shabbos dinners, and a renewed spiritual connection. I don’t think that anyone who becomes frum realizes exactly what they’re doing by giving up bacon, Friday nights, and period sex. Lately, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend, frum lay people have decided that those who left the derech (aka off the derech) are a great new group to target for their kiruv tactics.

It would be one thing if those trying to proselytize to our off the derech brethren were professionally trained kiruv salesmen, graduates of Aish, Chabad, or Gateways indoctrination programs, but most of them are regular frummies who feel the need to argue with people who know more than them about frumkeit and narashkeit. Baalei Teshuva are one thing, a very serious problem, but welcoming back those who grew up frum and experienced goyishkeit is a whole new danger. First off, we all know that those who went off the derech are damaged goods, they are never normal, they are always the types who were touched by their rebbe’s, emotionally abused by their parents, and have dealt with the guilt of sneaking off to the library to read Hitchens. Do we really want these people back into the fold? I say good riddance, but apparently there is a growing group of “concerned” baal habatim that feel the need to show them how beautiful their former religious lives really are.

It’s one thing to get baalei teshuva from local colleges to go to yeshiva in Israel, at least they can speak proper English and will have a good job someday. These OTD folks are still working on figuring out how to read and write, how will they ever afford the tuition costs. It seems that I’m not alone in this thinking, because you don’t see the supposedly open orthodox or open minded modern orthodox rushing to the OTD rescue. When will YCT start a footsteps program or even make a donation to support those with alternative views to the Daas Torah Dictatorship. It seems that the frum community doesn’t want to acknowledge that their offerings aren’t good enough for an ever growing off the derech population or that they don’t want these people back. I think both, it’s convenient to shove this “issue” of frummy liberation as I will call it, under the rug instead of acknowledging that orthodoxy is going to have to evolve like the rest of Judaism.

I do find it interesting that in it’s daily tirade against YCT, Matzav had an article today that told of the growing numbers of modern orthodox youth leaving the fold, though I’m willing to guess that it’s much higher in the Charedi community. Heck, I grew up modern orthodox and we still watched TV on shabbos and ate pizza hut when we went on vacation. When I write my hilchos OTD, one of the halachos will be that one cannot be considered OTD if they grew up in a community that was considered Frei by a majority of the frum community anyway.

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{ 17 comments… add one }
  • A. Nuran August 5, 2013, 12:39 PM

    Once they’ve been Off the Derech can you ever trust them again?
    They’ve read unauthorized books.
    They’ve had unauthorized thoughts.
    They know goyim aren’t all soulless Jew-haters who envy the frum lifestyle.
    They’ve seen (or bared) collarbones and ankles and discovered it doesn’t lead to rutting in the streets.

    And the BTs are even worse. They might be sleeper agents waiting to tempt innocent boys and girls with Bill Nye and books with pictures of treif animals.

    The Conservative and Reform and Modern Orthodox aren’t really Jews. They might act that way, but they’ve had a lifetime of being kufirim.

    You can’t trust the Yeshivish if your Chassidishe or the Chassids if you’re Yeshivish. They just aren’t right.

    For the sake of your neshama don’t do kiruv. Don’t even talk to anyone outside your Community.

    Stay alert. Trust no one. Keep your laser handy. The (non-Internet) Computer is your friend.

  • Shragi August 5, 2013, 12:45 PM

    This post is all satire, no frum in it.
    Do teshuvah Heshy….before it’s too late.

  • A D August 5, 2013, 12:59 PM

    You blur the line between satire, sarcasm and truth so much here I cna’t tell what you actually believe.

    That aside, that article you linked to in Matzav makes me want to want to throw my hands up and scream at the screen. These people have never heard of glass houses.

    “We read that 50% of the graduates of Modern Orthodox high schools abandon Shabbos and kashrus observance within two years of graduation, and that a quarter of Modern Orthodox high school graduates who attend non-Jewish universities completely drop all observance while in college. ”

    … Where the hell do they get this crap? Aside from an *unpublished* study Pruzansky mentioned almost a year ago that we have absolutely no proof of. If we’re going to share anecdotal evidence, I went to a coed day school (those havens of sex and debauchery, or so they’d have you believe) being one of maybe 2 or 3 fully shomer shabbat and kashrut people. 15 years later, that number is much, much higher.

    • A. Nuran August 5, 2013, 3:30 PM

      I’ve got one sentence for Matzav (No, not that one. That would be rude and unprofessional and only use seven letters.): “Peer review or it didn’t happen.”

      • Dan August 6, 2013, 6:12 AM

        Who is Matzav’s peer that would make you feel better?

        • A. Nuran August 6, 2013, 11:03 AM

          I was thinking of the “study”. Unless it’s gone through the rigorous professional vetting process it can be ignored

  • Anonymous August 5, 2013, 1:20 PM

    Great stuff

  • bec August 5, 2013, 1:24 PM

    Are there extra points in it for Big Kiruv if they bring back folks who are off the derech? (Hmm, I should write a blog post on that.)

    • Heshy Fried August 5, 2013, 2:23 PM

      Well, it’s probably easier for them to milk the gansa mishpacha for donations

  • wnt2botd August 15, 2013, 12:04 PM

    I am writing because I need support from fellow “otd”ers I feel so trapped in this lifestyle. I feel like what once was a positive life choice (to become frum) has turned into me feeling judged stuck and not sure how to rebuild my life again. So I am reaching out could someone please email me and tell me how they did it. How did they make the transition? Where they got the courage from?

    • Shragi August 15, 2013, 12:15 PM

      Um, sure, just call 1-800-OTD-WANNAB

      • wnt2botd August 15, 2013, 12:27 PM

        Shragi was there something about my post that seemed ungenuine to you?

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