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Abandoning Paradise

Agudah's new HQ

Agudah’s new HQ

Last week Agudas Yisroel took a cue from none other than the prestigious Partido Comunista de Cuba. Five years ago in the vaunted halls of Edificio del Comité Central, the Cuban leadership called a monumental assembly to discuss the troubling trend of Cubans deserting the Paradise of Communism abandoning their heritage to wallow in the lowly Earthly temptations of South Miami.  Communist critics at the time (who lived outside Cuba, of course) ridiculed the event: how could they ever tackle the issue of desertion of the bliss of communism without actually soliciting the opinions of those who left?! After all, they can teach us something about South Florida and why people are flocking there. But the Partido Comunista wanted nothing to do with it. Absurd! They cried. How much sense could those people have if they willfully abandoned the greatest paradise on Earth?! And for what?! To compromise their integrity and convictions for the materialistic civilization of the Western World?! [click to continue…]

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Saul Spitzer, he's not a criminalLike all frum communities, New Square assures the world that it takes crime seriously – if only there was any crime inside it’s borders, but there isn’t any, as is proven by the latest release of it’s latest prisoner.

Normally when a kid is molested and the surrounding community did all it can to keep the victim quiet and protect the molester one can accuse that community of not caring about its children, or only caring about its image (chilul hashem, anyone?) But when a community, like Skver (or Satmar with its latest campaign to have its most famous molester, Nechemya Weberman, released,) truly believes that by being a member in good standing you are ipso facto incapable of committing a crime then what does it do to make sense of this? Simple! It fights with all its might to condemn the victim and exonerate the perpetrator.

Saul Spitzer may indeed, as New Square’s in-house attorney, Kenneth Gribetz, argued, be remorseful for what he did, and he may indeed have been “youthful” at 18 when he committed the crime (although if he had gotten married instead of going to jail no one would have thought that a rash, youthful act, but whatever) but what about his victim Aron Rottenberg? While New Square threw money at the rebbe’s former haus bucher, what has it done to apologize to Rottenberg? Once again, if you’re convinced there’s no crime, there cannot be a victim. In the Skver state of mind Rottenberg burned himself on 50% of his body, he should apologize to himself. Or maybe it was an act of God, the rebbe has powers that way.


The following is a response to Rabbi Avi Shafran’s Op-Ed piece about why B’allei Teshuvah in the Chareidi Community have not published their own counterpoint stories to the now multitude of ‘off-the-derech’ memoirs. His article, “Where’s The Orthodox Counterpoint To All These OTD Books” was published online last week on Forward.com

I very distinctly recall one of the rare instances when my B’al Teshuvah father openly criticized and took a shot at his traditional, Long Island Jewish parents. It was something along the lines of them not being accommodating enough to his very rigid religious lifestyle, which he began exploring quite suddenly at the age of eighteen.

This very rare occurrence took place several months ago, in a very emotionally- jarring disagreement which I had with my dad about the fact that I was seeing a non-Jewish girl at the time whom I met in a cultural anthropology class at community college. He had kicked me to the curb because of her, and I very tearfully challenged him over the phone about why he was so unlike his parents, who for the most part, made every compromise and adjustment in the book to always graciously accommodate the various special needs and restrictions of their son and daughter-in-law’s ultra-orthodox lifestyle. [click to continue…]


Why Aren’t There Any OTD Memoirs?

baal teshuvaIt’s chol hamoed and the Agudah offices are closed, so Ignorant Avi has too much time on his hands. When Ignorant Avi has too much time on his hands does he read books? No. Does he do research? No. He engages in ignorant polemics against non-Orthodox Jews. See, Agudah doesn’t really give him any vacation days, he has to work even when the office is closed.

So Ignorant Avi wrote a piece called “Where’s the Orthodox Counterpoint to All Those OTD Books?” Where he argues that the fact that OTDers are writing books while BTs aren’t means that OTDers write books to settle scores and express pointless negativity, while BTs are precluded from doing so because Judaism isn’t keen on settling scores or expressing pain – Ignorant Avi frames it this way: BTs have no need to revisit their childhood pain, Orthodoxy solves all their problems. (“they’re just happy to be home”)

We could, of course, point out the many flaws and factual inaccuracies in Ignorant Avi’s latest Forward piece.

We could point to the fact that there are plenty of BT memoirs.

  1. From Central Park to Sinai
  2. Anatomy of a Search
  3. The Road Back: A Discovery Of Judaism
  4. Waking Up Jewish

We could point to the fact that BTs do everything they can to hide their past – not because “they’re just happy to be home” but because the ultimate tool of frum control – the shidduch market – doesn’t favor BTs, so minimizing your past and focusing on integrating is a full-time occupation for BTs in the loving embrace of the frum community.

But facts don’t matter, conjecture doesn’t matter, opinions don’t matter. Ignorance is the key to being a good bully pundit like Ignorant Avi. So let’s do it his way.


Ok. Put your two thumbs inside your ears, let you index and middle fingers cover your eyes, put pressure on your two nostrils with your pinkies, make sure nothing from the real world seeps through and let’s go: [click to continue…]



You’ve  accidentally laughed out loud at a Dvar Torah someone was saying.

You know what “The Patriarchy” is.

Your once keen interest in national geographic magazine has all but disappeared.
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Ann Coulter is a Self-Hating Jew

Ann Coulter self hating jewWho is Ann Coulter? I never heard of her before, but she looks to me like the epitome of the self-hating liberal Jew West 68th Street. From her dyed blonde hair and fake shiksa nose down to her self-deprecating outburst on twitter during the Republican debate last night:


Shoyn, so all the frum Jews are up in arms over an angry white liberal wannabe shiksa saying angry white liberal wannabe shiksa things; what else is new? Bernie Sanders, who is a real Jew will win the election, I’m sure she’ll be happy then.


Dr. Dreyzach is back with a good video


To see more of the biggest frum talent, search for lev Aryeh videos on YouTube.