So your Rabbi was arrested for stealing millions of dollars, selling kidneys on Ebay or molesting his talmidim, shul may never be the same without his fiery mussar filled sermons, but that doesn’t mean he wont still be religious – for prison may actually be frummer than the free world and here’s why.
Why is prison so frum?
No women: it seems that the goal of ultra orthodox Jews has been to remove women from the scene for some time, slowly making crazy decrees from banning denim, red and arm swinging to preventing women from leaving the home, pursuing post baby making education and learning torah, seems like prison without the yetzer harahs temptation of women is all fine and dandy.
Food: Like some strange fantasy come true, your taiva for treife food will be relinquished as your cell mates all try to convert to Judaism in order to get on the kosher meal plan (prison food must suck that much if people beg for the kosher food)
Shabbos Goyim: imagine a world in which the lights were turned off, the food was made and the doors were opened on shabbos by goyim without a peep from you. Now imagine that your whole world was reshus hayachid and you could carry all you wanted on shabbos. Prison is like having your very own shabbos goy, except you may have to do one of those baking loophole eruv things that they do in big buildings.
Shabbos Riots: Its perfectly normal for a prison riot to break out so if you feel that your fellow irreligious Jew down the block (literally) is going to be forced to play sports and carry on shabbos, starting a riot seems like the thing to do anyway – frummies who riot will feel right at home in prison.
No internet: I can only imagine that prisons now have internet, but fear not my frummy friends, it is in a public place and they block all the good sites you so truly love to search in Arab owned internet cafes and can never really be in yechidus with your internet.
Television: you mean I can watch TV and I don’t have to hide it behind the mirror in my bedroom. I wonder if a kid would get kicked out of a school if they knew the father was watching TV in Prison?
Smoking: frummies and especially hocker types (the guys who wind up in prison) love to smoke.
Why prison may not be so frum?
Metal toilet seats may need to be koshered
Soap on a rope and everything that implies – in the mikvah they don’t have soap
Can you imagine an inmate demanding a challah knife?
Use of the word Shvigger in conversation may be a sakanah
Are you allowed to daven in the same room as a toilet bowl?
Can you do regular havdalah without a candle?