Hasidim, Sex and Bad Religion

Posted: July 11, 2010 in Religion, Sex
Tags: , , ,

Reposted with permission from Tova’s blog, The Righteous Rasha entitled “Fear and Loathing: Bad Religion and Its Followers.”

Those who refuse to understand will make up reasons to hate and fear the unknown.
“Oh, it’s just a terrible situation,” Leah Schottenstein says over a cup of coffee to her friend, Sara Liebowitz. “My Yosef…He’s off the derech! He smokes cigarettes and reads Faulkner novels and dates shiksas.”

“Yes,” Mrs. Liebowitz nods with sadness. “But you need to understand something, Leah. This has nothing to do with HaKadosh Baruch Hu, nothing to do with Yiddishkeit. It has to do with you and your family.”

“That’s true,” agrees Mrs. Schottenstein. “But how do I reverse the negative experiences Yosef has had? How do I show him that Avraham and I will always be there for him so that one day he’ll be frum again?”
And so it goes. Never is Orthodoxy itself ever the culprit; it’s always ‘bad experiences’ or ‘abuse’ or ‘evil influences’. Because to the chareidi world, those who ‘go off’ can be nothing but irrational, emotional children.Why?

In many situations, fear/loathing brings humanity together. It serves as a bond, a commonality where suspicion of or disgust for the ‘other’ gives people something to worry about – together. It’s like schoolchildren who become friends over the fact that they hate the same foods: “Oh, you don’t like spinach, either? Neither do I!”

Unlike some forms of human distrust, though, the chareidi world’s suspicion of OTDers does not allow for ‘the opposition’ to have any rational thought. No moderator at FrumTeens or Hashkafa, no rabbi I’ve ever spoken to, no Bais Yaakov teacher, no kiruv ‘worker’ will do anything but insist that the formerly frum act out of reasons completely disconnected with Judaism itself. The reasons these people give for leaving Orthodoxy fall into a few categories:

1. Physical, emotional or sexual abuse at the hands of frum Jews;

2. ‘Broken’ Divorced families;

3. The desire to rebel and have a fun life, even if it’s morally lacking;

4. Emotional problems.

…How about TaNaCh itself, though, which promotes racism, sexism, slavery, genocide and rape? Does that not factor into a young man or woman’s decision to stop being frum? How about the fact that so many of today’s rabbis, when faced with difficult philosophical questions, brush off the questioner like an annoying insect?

These aren’t considered to be legitimate reasons; I truly think that there are people who would rather be ostriches than humans. They’d much prefer avoiding the reality that for OTDers, Judaism itself doesn’t work. As a result, they spend their time fretting over ‘kids at-risk’ and ‘fringe youth’ without actually understanding what the underlying causes are. They hold conferences, consult rabbanim, write letters into Jewish publications, bar their children from ‘bad’ influences.

And yet no one is asking the fundamental question: What about Orthodox Judaism is turning off today’s young adults? What about the religion is objectionable, irrational, hateful or unprovable?

But the blame is always placed on the kid himself or his family. It’s always a bad home environment, or molestation, or emotional problems. Regarding this, I have to ask: What sort of a faith can this be if all who leave it are treated like pariahs and not given a chance to speak for themselves? What sort of a faith can this be if those who stay within it insist that anyone who rebels cannot possibly be a rational thinker? What sort of a faith can this be if it can’t stand up to some criticism, some challenging?

Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Can’t the same be said of religion? And shouldn’t those who live a restrictive, sometimes oppressive life based on as-yet unprovable stories and miracles be the ones to defend their ’emotional reasons’ for doing what they do? It astounds me.

If chareidim can’t function in a debate, if they will insist that those who have left Yiddishkeit are all irrational without actually discussing the issue…then it is a bad religion.

Alternatively, one could use the term ‘cult’.

I’ve been trying to put that into words myself, but she kinda nailed it on the head. Too many of the people I speak to refuse to agree to disagree. They all think I’m completely irrational and even go so far as to assume I agree I’m being irrational yet just don’t admit it. And that’s just wrong. Perhaps its they who are being irrational and are following something which isn’t as perfect as they think.
This video is disturbing. Not in a graphic way, but in a…just watch it goddammit!

…..like I said, something is seriously wrong here!

Also check this out…


This story made for some interesting news.

yea I know this has really nothing to do with the topic…oh well.

  1. […] Hasidim, Sex and Bad Religion […]

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