Dear Heshy: I was perturbed by your Far Rockaway articles

So I got a complaint via email today and I wish I received more of these. Most of the critics just make simple comments or write hateful things on my facebook wall, I am inclined to agree with most of this letter, but still being the rabble rouser I am – I have to argue with the author. It also hits a soft point because she makes some arguements I don’t agree with.

I just have a question, I mean, its more of a complaint. But not really, because complaining is grating and gets very little done. So, today I was procrastinating and stumbling all over your site- you are often quite funny. But I somehow landed on your Far Rockaway (most recent article on FR) articles…and I was a bit perturbed, to be honest. Its not so offensive when you single out a TRAIT or a foolishness that applies to Jews or a particular Jewish sect, but I think that the idea of slamming a select Jewish community is unfair.

For one, you are making very general statements about a fairly large and diverse community. And even if many of your commenters agree- of course they agree! The type that wouldn’t either don’t read FS or definitely don’t comment. [I myself try not to comment, ever.]

My commenters do not always agree and I wish there were more in disagreement, considering the fact that I agree with about 40% of what I write. Far Rockaway is one of most homogeneous communities I’ve ever been to, even Monsey is more diverse.

And seriously, you had a hard time at Sulitz? Oh, thats like walking into a Shi’ite mosque and complaining because they don’t accept you for who you are. They’re a specific sect, they don’t NEED to accept you as one of their own. So maybe that wasn’t the wisest decision. And besides, there are sociopaths in every situation.

Needing acceptance and giving someone respect are two very different things, I didn’t claim to need acceptance, I didn’t even harp on them for not saying good shabbos to me or inviting me to a meal – I harped on them for publicly embarrassing me because I wasn’t wearing a suit jacket.

Case in point, I am acquainted with quite a few people in the Baltimore area who claim to know to varying degrees of intimacy. And let me tell you something, honey- a more judging group you aint never found. Ohhhh, they just dont judge about RELIGION!

So who’s harping on an entire community now, Baltimore is one of the most diverse communities I’ve ever been too, Far Rockaway is non-diverse. I have been going to Baltimore for close to 10 years and haven’t experienced what you have – if you want to write a post about how awesome Far Rockaway is – you’re welcome to.

But Republicans need not apply. Or anyone not overly concerned with the plight of orphaned Somelian sheep. So don’t make it like yeshivish judgment is any worse than any other type of social striation. The fact is, almost every social group must be somewhat abrasive to those holding opposing views if only to maintain uniformity among their ranks. Because thats what choosing a social group is, you are choosing to identify yourself with a specific mode of life.
Anyways, I know this became a bit freewheeling, but I hope my point got across.  Religious Jews aren’t the only ones who act with judgment, and presenting them as such does everyone a disservice.

Good thing I haven’t actually chosen a social group, I’m Jewish, but I flow with many different communities and sects and don’t have one set hashkafa. You are correct, all groups judge and in turn I judge all groups, at least Jewish ones, the original point of this site was to take all the judging inherent in the orthodox (now I focus on the entire community) and blow it up and throw it back in their faces and I seemed to have done a good job.Thank you for your email and hopefully it will lead to something good – although we may disagree as to what that may be.