Why I hate Baal Teshuvas

baal teshuva survival guideSometimes people take my satire seriously, in fact, the following email is a rant from a BT who mistook my satirical piece about why BT’s are a danger to the frum community as a serious post and decided that she should write a rant about her own misgivings. The funny part about the whole thing is that she is a BT and for obvious reasons she wants the post to be anonymous. I know many of you may think I wrote it, but any fool can see that it’s written too well to be from my hand, no FFB writes this well without some serious editing. 

by a BT

I get it, your life sucked before and being that nobody ever asked you out for Friday night anyway, you went for the only place you knew they’d have to put up with you.  Or maybe you liked to drink but you weren’t of legal age yet. Whatever the reason, now you’ve set yourself up at the campus Chabad or the local Aish or with whomever else assured you acceptance, a hot meal, and not having to spend the holidays alone again.

I’d be willing to bet that the great majority of baalei teshuvah are directionless and for whatever reason aren’t able to build friendships organically, so they go to a place where a pre-made family is assigned to them (aka The Tribe). They desperately want attention from their parents but nothing that includes self-harm. It’s like the goth kids in high school:  they put on a uniform, and suddenly they’re somebody else.

Then they move to New York without ever having been briefed on the realities of a real Jewish community. They see righteous people living in abject poverty while the rich are still patronizing the gemachs and falsifying information for state assistance. They see the rampant racism, marital infidelity, and soon come to realize that even the whole shomer negiah thing is a front, that it’s an antiquated concept that real frummies gave up on an entire generation ago.  Soon you’ve got droves of pissed off, disillusioned college drop-outs that want their money back, but the guilt has been so expertly ground into their material makeup by the kiruv machines that they can’t go back home.  Either that or they’re afraid Mom and Dad will call them out on having gone through yet another trendy phase in their lives, just like the time they’d declared themselves diehard vegans in their sophomore year only to wuss out on a salami sandwich six weeks later.

So now, especially in Pop Chassid’s backyard of Crown Heights, you’ve got a huge group of young adults that think they’ve been lied to. Why didn’t anyone tell me this wasn’t the Holy Land, they ask. I gave up everything, they cry. With dreams of home and their old lives, this same disillusioned pack starts to bring forth their “talents” from their former lives; the foremost of these talents being telling an old religious community that they’re the ones that have been doing it wrong all these years and that this new group of brats are the ones that should be trusted to fix it.

Talents, or secular baggage dragged in with the tide? We don’t have to agree, but there’s a good reason why a lot of what you did in your former lives was known as “not Jewish”, and maybe you should remember that. All I know is that if my kid comes home to tell me he wants those stupid hipster tzitzis or some other embarrassingly goyishe thing, I’m looking right at you to blame. You can try all you want to change an old system from the inside out, but keep in mind that nobody asked you for your opinion.

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