So many people have asked me what I think of the Chaya Article that I decided to put in my two cents. I think just about every Jewish person on the internet has seen it, commented on it and shared it by now. Just in case you’re living underneath a rock or actually listened to the Asifa ranters, it’s an article written by a baalas teshuva about all the negative attention that frum women get in the media and how she’s sick of it.
The reason why the article is receiving so much flack from within the frum community is because it’s pretty much a lie. Yes the article is written for non-Jews, to show them how open minded Chassidic women are but it’s coming from a baalas teshuva who is chabad, of course she’s happy and excited with her position, but in no way does it represent most other Chassidish women who are forced into marriages with men they aren’t attracted to and cannot leave their communities if they wanted to.
I think the only people who really understand why the article is a farse have got to have some experience in multiple communities. Yes, it’s written for non-Jews and what do non-Jews know from the subtle and not so subtle differences and sects within the ultra-orthodox community. On the surface it’s great, frum woman writes article, no one except for the small community of frummies online knows the truth – everyone wins. Dig a bit deeper though and it’s only telling the side of a woman who has the skills to leave the community should she choose to. She mentions that she could leave anytime, but when you don’t speak English, have no secular education and no support system it’s not that easy. Add to that the fact that your family will most likely disown you and you may even receive threats – it becomes not so simple for chassidish women to leave their communities.
Two very good blog posts pertaining to the Chaya Article worth checking out:
Eliyahu Finks post which takes her to task
And the rebuttle of Fink from Pop Chossid
Basically the point of the article is to raise awareness about ultra orthodox women in a positive light, but that’s hard to do when you yourself are not ultra orthodox, I’m sorry but chabad is too open minded, down to earth and embracing the internet to ever be considered ultra orthodox by anyone in the know. So does that mean the article is good? One can say that since non-frummies don’t know the subtleties it’s fine, but isn’t that lying then?
Find out more about Baal Teshuvas on 4torah.com