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Are you shocked by all the scandal in the frum community?

charedi boys looking at girlsI’ve come to realize that most of the shocking commentary that I read about goings on in the frum community doesn’t really effect most people on a day to day basis. Unfortunately or not this includes me as well, I just worked 70 hours in 5 days and in that time I obviously didn’t have much time to be shocked about the latest frum guy to molest some kid or not give a get to his wife. I didn’t “hear” or think about any scandals, IDF draft/civil wars with the charedim, or about how some Rabbi said some racist thing that we all need to act shocked about. In fact, I didn’t even have the time to formulate a contrarian opinion that would stir the pot and piss people off and make them laugh. In the end, I came to realize that I’m only really “shocked” by what’s going on far away from my little shtetl when I log on the internet and read about it on Facebook or in the Blogging world.

Whenever people who know me from my internet work meet me they always ask why I’m still frum if I’m constantly surrounded by scandal and hypocrisy. They also ask about people in general who remain tied to the frum community, even though it’s in shambles. I always tell them that if they ventured off the internet for a few days they probably wouldn’t know about it’s supposed shambles. Inevitably, this is how I came to realize that the frum media, bloggers, social media folks, and forums are all about people seeking shock value. Much of the time it’s this defcon 5, ultra high alert mode that people take when they are pissed off about something they read. I’m guilty, I do the same darned thing, but I’m quick to realize that there are still people who have no idea that there’s a movement for Orthodox girls to put on tefillin or become Rabbis. There are plenty of people who have no idea what the initials OTD stand for, and there are plenty of folks, even YU guys who had no idea about the recent Semicha scandal.

In reality, much of the shocking news stories and scandals that come out in the Jewish media, never make it beyond the little shtetl of Jews sharing the hell out of it on Facebook and Twitter. Here and there, the stories wind up in the NY Post and if they’re really special, like my dear comrade who tried to sell his olam habah for a lot more than a pot of beans, but it’s rare that many people beyond the hyperbolic town criers find out about this stuff.

I tried to explain to someone recently, that on a day to day basis (unless you live in Israel or some other horrid place like the New York Metro area) much of what you hear is not going to affect you. In fact, I’m not sure that sharing an article with a cute opinion meant to evoke how cool you are for supposedly reading that article is much more than slacktivism. Hence, the reason I get such nachas from folks who actually get off their asses and go to protests, rallies, and participate in campaigns to actually get something done. As a blogger who lives far away from folks who wouldn’t let me wear shorts and sandals to shul, it’s hard for me to show up an anti-abuse rally or a protest against a guy who won’t give a get.

All I’m trying to say is that I feel like everyone wants to throw in the towel because the frum community is going to shit, but if you step off the hyperbolic, shock driven social media for just a second you may realize that much of what’s being said shouldn’t prevent you from trying to be better than the rest. You can share articles all you want, but in the end the individuals make up the whole. Shit that sounds super sappy. Share this damned article and write something clever to make people think you’re cooler than you really are.

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{ 71 comments… add one }
  • mosh March 24, 2014, 1:05 PM

    “on a day to day basis (unless you live in Israel ….) much of what you hear is not going to affect you.”
    I live in israel and none the less, much of ‘what i hear’ does not affect me, nor would it affect the many people who dont have fb or internet.

  • Pass the Lie On-Seder March 24, 2014, 2:29 PM

    “All Im trying to say is that I feel like everyone wants to throw in the towel because the frum community is going to shit” and because people are finally becoming educated and realize the absurdity of believe in a divine favoritism which leads to a chosen people which leads to antisemitism, young earth theory, talking donkeys, divinely commanded genocide, slavery laws, tzadikim picking up prostitutes and the list could be as long as the list of tribes, offerings and other bs in the Toyrah.

    • Ari March 24, 2014, 2:45 PM

      I like how you say whatever you say about our beliefs with obvious hatred (? maybe thats a strong word?) yet you use the word Toyrah
      its just a funny thing i noticed, no hate

      • Pass the Lie On-Seder March 24, 2014, 3:42 PM

        Hey I’m Jewish so I can say whatever I want and its PC 🙂 Not hate, disgust 😉

  • A. Nuran March 24, 2014, 5:00 PM

    How do you know you have a community? (Any community)
    By the scandals.
    And the only thing faster than the speed of light is the speed of gossip

  • The Other Mike March 24, 2014, 5:30 PM

    Should boring out-of-town types like me start a scandal so we can have a “real” community? The gossip around here is not at all riveting and thus I am concerned for the ongoing health of our community. By my esteemed colleague A. Nuran’s standards, we have no community!

    What kind of scandal would you recommend? The local Jews don’t live on the internet so they really haven’t been shocked in ages.

    • A. Nuran March 24, 2014, 5:57 PM

      Go back to school and learn the difference between “necessary” and “sufficient”.
      If there is a community there will be scandals.
      If there are scandals it doesn’t necessarily follow there is a community.

  • Absolutely March 24, 2014, 6:10 PM

    Thanks to the internet, orthodox Jewish scandals can no longer be hidden, or not for long! This being so, the once-upon-a-time perceived attractiveness of leading an ‘authentic’ orthodox Jewish life, especially to a potential baal teshuvah, has rapidly diminished.

    • Heshy Fried March 25, 2014, 10:34 AM

      Yet somehow they keep coming in, probably replenishing more than are leaving. I have no idea why, maybe it’s the money.

  • A. Nuran March 24, 2014, 11:22 PM

    Hey, Heshy! Get in touch with me by email or phone. I have a couple ingredients you might find interesting.

  • Amrilusaguy March 25, 2014, 3:17 AM


    I think I understand what you are saying and I am not sure that I agree. There are those who are foisted upon us, up high on a pedestal. We are told that THIS is the person we must emulate – how great everything would be if only everyone was like so and so. And we see time and time again that this just isnt true. Many times those that are foisted upon us, and many of those who foist themselves upon us are no better than anyone else, and perhaps a great deal worse.

    That I think is what the askanim are really afraid of when it comes to the internet. People are no longer able to perform their misdeeds in the dark, everything, eventually, comes out in the open. Does anyone really care about the guy sitting in his basement watching whatever it is? categorically no! They are afraid of people getting together and sharing stories and experiences – this is the real fear. That so much of what was until now hidden will come to light and expose the dark, very dark side of the religion.

    It isnt the scandal, it is how it is dealt with or not dealt with.

    • Heshy Fried March 25, 2014, 10:36 AM

      The problem is not the scandal, the problem is that people actually hold that gedolim are rabbonom aren’t like regular people who have extensive research in talmudic studies.

      The keeping up with the jonses attitudes of major orthodox communities is the big problem as well.

      Every community’s religious leaders have scandals.

  • Garnel Ironheart March 25, 2014, 6:04 AM

    Remember that all news is biased. The frum guy who gets up, davens quietly, does his job honesetly, comes home and spends a quiet evening with his family, he never makes the news.

  • A D March 25, 2014, 7:07 AM

    So many religion haters on your posts lately… even on a post that explains how a lot of the scandal is blown out of proportion.

    • A. Nuran March 25, 2014, 7:12 AM

      Nice defense mechanism you have there. Any serious criticism is by “haters”, so you can dismiss whatever they say. And if they’re “haters” the problem is “blown out of proportion”. Heshy’s very busy real life doesn’t detract from the fact that the ultra-religious community has very serious problems which it is increasingly strident about refusing to address. It was easier to do this in an age before mass communication. Now it’s much harder to keep the lid on.

      • A D March 28, 2014, 5:11 AM

        I don’t disagree that there’s serious problems, I criticize them a lot in other venues. There’s a difference between criticism of the ultras and outright denigration of the entire religion, no matter what the level of observance of the person, based on what the ultras do. That’s just hate.

  • Talia bat Pessi March 25, 2014, 7:59 AM

    Even most people in the New York Metro Area have never heard of most of the issues that the Jewish blogosphere goes crazy about. I had thought that everyone heard of the Open Hillel movement because there were articles about it in the Times, but when I mentioned it in shul last week to a group of highly educated, affiliated, engaged Modern Orthodox people, none of them had even a passing familiarity with it. The Interwebz has a rarefied community of frum shock seekers.

    • Should be working March 25, 2014, 8:48 PM

      I’m not even frum, but I love the frum-shocking stories.

  • Seriously? March 25, 2014, 8:30 AM

    I am not impressed with everyone who gets righteously indignant about how everyone else is doing it wrong, is a bad person, etc.

    Everyone has their own path. The most we can ask is that everyone tries to keep growing and challenging themselves in their relationships with G-d and with each other. Stop making it about other people: make it about yourself.

    • Suck my Striemel March 25, 2014, 8:42 AM

      The frequent contradiction btw the words spoken and the actions taken by many frum people is too fun to let go. Calling people out helps keep their spiritual ego in place. Its mitvah

  • Chaim Danzinger March 25, 2014, 10:25 AM

    I dont get all this hatred for frum people and frumkeit. Its like you people were molested by a rabbi or something.

  • Chaim Danzinger March 25, 2014, 10:28 AM

    @Pass the lie:The Exodus from Egypt is a historical fact.

    • Anonymous March 25, 2014, 11:29 AM

      lol good one. Just like Purim and the Garden of Eden and Noah.

      • Chaim Danzinger March 25, 2014, 12:30 PM

        whatever, on my death bed Im going to reflect on how you’re wrong while having my grandkids read threads from frumteens before the malach hamavet takes my soul lulz.

        • Anon March 25, 2014, 12:42 PM

          So you are right, others are wrong.

        • Anonymous March 26, 2014, 8:13 AM

          lol good luck with that

  • Chaim Danzinger March 25, 2014, 3:28 PM

    The thirteen principles of the Jewish faith as enumerated by the Rambam are the absolute truth, buddy.

    That includes the story about Adam and Eve, Noah’s ark, and Yona being swallowed by a giant fish (and all of the Torah’s laws being binding). If thats too silly for you, then Judaism is NOT the religion for you.

    • Anonymous March 25, 2014, 4:41 PM

      The story about Lot and his daughters is what kept my interest in religion.

      • A. Nuran March 26, 2014, 8:17 PM

        I guess they figured it beat waiting around for Social Security

    • Ari March 25, 2014, 6:06 PM

      People live their lives bound by what they accept as correct and true. That’s how they define “Reality.” But what does it mean to be “correct” or “true”? Merely vague concepts… their “reality” may all be a mirage. Can we consider them to simply be living in their own world, shaped by their beliefs?

    • Anonymous March 26, 2014, 8:14 AM

      Rambam put those in the list because he knew everyone with common sense would know they are fairy tale bull shit.

  • Chaim Danzinger March 25, 2014, 3:29 PM

    and you can’t accept those things, Im sorry but you are not qualified to speak on Judaism much less EVER be a gadol b’Yisroel.

    • Coookoooo March 26, 2014, 8:15 AM

      So if you don’t believe in a religion which you are very well versed in you cannot speak about it? Spooky

  • Anonymous March 25, 2014, 9:39 PM

    With all your babble… I can’t tell are you frum or not,
    Personally all my non religious and non-Jewish friends
    Love my life and are a little jealous of it!

    And there is shit everywhere especially in regular society.
    I am immersed in it!!

    • Anonymous March 26, 2014, 8:16 AM

      Keep thinking others are jealous of your suppressed life. Denial is a wonderful thing

      • Chaim Danzinger March 26, 2014, 10:04 AM

        Youre just jealous that frum Jews (including charadim) have the Truth.

        that includes knowing that G-d split the sea of reeds, evolution is myth, and the universe is a little less than 6000 years old.

        • Anonymous March 26, 2014, 12:04 PM

          lol finally your troll nature is revealed. Good one. This is an easy website to troll…I’m tempted myself…

          • Chaim Danzinger March 26, 2014, 12:05 PM

            >Post true Torah
            >get called a troll

            • Anonymous March 26, 2014, 12:11 PM

              G-d should tell you the truth in a dream, then you would realize everything was a lie.

              • Chaim Danzinger March 26, 2014, 12:12 PM

                You’re the one following lies.

                • Anonymous March 26, 2014, 3:49 PM

                  Alright you win. So be easy.

        • A. Nuran March 26, 2014, 8:18 PM

          Better get back under your bridge. I hear there are … billygoats.

  • Anonymous March 25, 2014, 10:13 PM

    Who is this addressed to?

  • atq March 26, 2014, 4:50 AM

    Some people sincerely believe Judaism is the complete and whole truth, and conduct their lives to observance accordingly. Others believe most of it, including some who want it to be true, but have their doubts, but do not wish to disrupt their family life, etc – anything for a quiet life, so to speak – and no doubt the observance of religious culture gives a lot of joy and comfort. But there are yet others who try their best but, in all sincerity, cannot believe either in a personal Deity and/or Torah min hashamayim, etc. They may require evidence, answers to pertinent questions etc. or it defies their logical minds. So why put down or condemn anyone who does not choose or act observant, because it goes against their atheistic/agnostic ‘beliefs’.

    • Anonymous March 26, 2014, 8:18 AM

      Well said. And you cannot blame them when the Torah sure as hell reads like a cave man wrote it.

      • Dissenter March 26, 2014, 11:31 AM

        thats because Judaism is a Talmudic religion and the written Torah is in codes and riddles that can only be deciphered with the oral tradition.

        • Anonymous March 26, 2014, 12:06 PM

          True. Although instead of “codes and riddles” I’d say a mishmash of laws, borrowed origin myths and religious ideas from neighboring, more powerful cultures.

          • Chaim Danzinger March 26, 2014, 3:24 PM

            lol youre just another heretic. Enjoy being wrong for eternity.

  • Chaim Danzinger March 26, 2014, 10:14 AM

    Actually HaKadosh Boruch Hee wrote it

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