I’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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