Off The Derech shayala: I’m scared to make a kiddush Hashem

kiddush hashemSince you had yourself thrown out of the group (the Off The Derech group), here’s a shaylah for the OTD dayan.

Advice needed. I sometimes ride the subway, and when an older person comes into my subway car, I want to give up my seat if there aren’t any available, the problem is that I still look frum, and I know that if I get up, I will be making a kiddush hashem, and I’ll end up making religious Jews look better. Advice?

First of all, I’m not sure I could be called an OTD dayan, the closest I’ve ever come to actually being off the derech was during a road trip out west when for 2 weeks of vacation I didn’t keep shabbos, kosher, and went swimming during the 9 days, of course many poskim hold that if you’re on vacation you can lax your regular observances and based on my OTD friends I was never off the derech. I guess I should just say that I feel great pangs of gaiva and am struggling to be kovesh my yetzer at the thought that one of the OTD chazal has called me a dayan.

I know this may sound odd, but I know exactly how you feel, it sends the wrong signals when someone makes frum Jews look good, because in reality they are one of the few groups we can make blanket statements about (other groups include Asian women drivers, gay interior designers, and formerly frum Jews) and be right most of the time. In New York it’s doubly hard, because you have to look frum or else some of your OTD buddies might see you and accuse you of infiltrating the club and not ever being frum enough to have gone off the derech (my fellow dayanim have already written several tshuvos wondering whether or not BT’s or converts can be classified as OTD)

I find that OTD’s also feel the need to dress frum so they can make an extra chillul Hashem when the time is right. How else would we be able to stereotype chassidim at the strip clubs, without seeing actual chassidim at strip clubs? It’s as if, you have to look frum in order to really go OTD because it’s too easy to eat bacon cheeseburgers while waxing poetic about Hitchens if you look like any other Joe.

Obviously you know where this is going, you can’t possibly abandon your levush. You also must give up your seat, because in order to become OTD one of the first steps is to become a raging liberal and raging liberals tend to do things to show how much they care, like giving up seats for old people. So here are some ideas that may help you avoid making a kiddush hashem.

As one responder on Facebook stated, you can punch someone else as you get up. Making a scene is always a good way to show that you’re kind hearted, yet you’re still one of those Hymies that Jesse Jackson likes to call us.

You can also mumble something racist under your breath as you get up.

Get up and start complaining about the stupid rule of getting up.

Take off your yarmulke before you get up.

Get up and knock someone who isn’t old over and take their place at one of the poles.

Don’t get up and explain your reason, I’m sure all those New York Post readers will understand.

Maybe you could get some sort of OTD heter from the other chazal to get out of looking so frum all the time.

Remember, anyone can send me questions, shayala’s, requests for chizuk, and mussar. I am more than happy to share Torah, words of wisdom, and my vast halachic knowledge with you all. Send all requests to

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