Part II: Perspectives of a Modern Orthodox Observer

Posted: January 28, 2011 in Brainwashing, Religion, Sex
Tags: , , , , , , ,
This is the perspective of a modern orthodox friend of mine on the issue.
“The Frummy Who Finagled.”
I have firmly held the belief throughout my life that Judaism allows men and women to be able to be in contact with each other. The Torah, though it is male-dominated due to its writing in a time when the world was male-dominated, still has encounters in which unmarried, single man has spoken to and been attracted to unmarried woman, and, though at times it has had negative connotations, (like Dina- she may have flirted a little much with a prince. Bad idea Dina. You never flirt with an entitled teenager) the fact is that male and female conversation is quite common in the Bible, and in no instances does the Bible ban such encounter.
This disclaimer brings me to a CalmKallahs topic in which a Beis Yaakov girl, a girl who has never been friends with a guy outside of a date, meets a guy she says she can’t marry “for a lot of reasons”(guy she met in class? Non-observant? Not Jewish? Modern Orthodox?!), and hooks up with him. She’s been hooking up with him for so long that she recently had sex with him.
That, in using textual analysis of how women talk, brings me to several conclusions: a) she is not the angel that she is making herself out to be, and is trying to make herself into the victim. b) she says shes still a Beis-Yaakov girl “at heart”. She may be at heart, but maybe the T-shirt and jeans were hiding in her closet, c) she likes the guy, a lot. Heck she admitted it and d) she’s in denial, because she contradicted herself in saying that she can’t tell her parents… but no one would believe it.
Now, as a modern orthodox person, who has the benefit of understanding both the Jewish and the secular mind, as well as paying attention to the actions of the people and the society around me, the reality is that these kinds of things happen way more often than people think, and, if this letter shows any evidence, even more in regard to the people who don’t discuss their sexual encounters. That in the first place is wrong, because it gives an air of deception and silence. It is also wrong because I’m sure it eats away at those BY girls who fucked some random guy back in the day, but kept it silent because they don’t want their husbands to hate them. I don’t know about you, but I like my girlfriends to tell me about their pasts, because it gives me an idea of who they are and what their perspectives are. Heck, honesty is attractive in a lot of ways. I feel that these BY girls and guys should be much more open about who they are. Maybe that will cure the “shidduch crisis” in America.
But, what I feel the most disturbing thing about this topic that this girl (she was clearly around 19 at the time… maybe I know her?!) brought up is the responses given to her. The lack of support about a girl who had sex is astonishing. The holier-than-thou attitude of some people, saying that she should keep it silent speaks volumes of that community as a whole. Heck, of COURSE she won’t tell her parents (what teenager, or PERSON, tells their parents about the full extent of their sex lives), but to ask a Rav for help?! The idea of that is ridiculous. For one, I’m sure many rebbeim have no CONCEPT of what she did. If anything, if she is going to go to a rabbi, she should go to an open-minded one; one that absorbs all that he sees, and isn’t in denial about the amount of pre-marital sex that goes on in his community. But, if anything, she should talk to her friends about it, because maybe her friends have also taken some kind of oath of silence in regard to their sex lives.
Then, there’s the entire idea of “healing her neshoma” which is absolutely preposterous. If anything, she should go out into the open, and be friends with more men so she isn’t such an animal out of a cage the second a guy flirts with her.
Overall, the entire ordeal says a lot about the issues in the Beis Yaakov community, and the closemindedness and denial that go along with it. Hopefully, one day it’ll open up, but, if there’s any indication, it is more likely that the community will fall further and further away from reality, and have a harder time helping a girl who went with her human instincts and had sex just because she felt something.
  1. Boxed Whine says:

    Hmm…I like your point. Isn’t Calm Kallahs long since dead? The real action is at…They screen, but it is pretty easy to answer the questions.

  2. ModernOrthodoxObserver says:

    Its been dead for about 6 months. But I feel the idea dn point is still relevant.

  3. rick says:

    you are getting into an age-old dilemma – sheltering vs. being prepared for the world. It affects BY girls as much as the modern orthodox. As much as being too sheltered seems to negatively affect many BY’rs, being too open has definitely resulted in many modern orthodox not really keeping basic halachic judaism, which the “orthodox” in the name seems to indicate they should. i don’t know who is right – it’s an issue that is very difficult to deal with, and i personally wouldn’t be so cocky as to say that i have the answer as to how the community should adapt; then again, maybe you’re smarter than me.

    • ModernOrthodoxObserver says:

      You bring up a lot of points, and I’d like to bring them up as I go along.

      Firstly, in some sense I feel modern orthodoxy is a very vague term that is use for many forms of Judaism. If anything, modern orthodoxy should be called “moderate Judaism”, only because much of the “modern orthodox” world strives for a middle ground in regard to religiosity/observance and secularism.

      In that ideal, the truth of the matter is that being too much of something is too much. I don’t think its really an issue of being sheltered as it is being suppressed and naive, meaning that there are a lot of things out there that BY girls would like to discover, but can’t. In many ways, a BY girl doesn’t have a lot of free choice. This may be a bad example, but I’d compare it to Post-Soviet Russia; just as the people of the former Soviet Union, after Boris Yeltsin took over, became a group of lawless citizens in a world of chaotic freedom, so to goes for the exposed BY girl. In a way, that is much more dangerous than the over-exposed moderate Jewish child, who has an idea of what the world works, though the over-exposed Jewish child may be endangered in an observance perspective.

      I’m not speaking in regard to Halacha here, but I’m speaking in regard to having the ability to make decent humanistic choices with a clear understanding of the world at large. Having at least some exposure to that will help a person in terms of understanding people’s motivations and ideals is probably the most ideal situation. Having none, like this BY girl did, only asks for trouble.

      • rick says:

        i think we are in agreement then, that both no exposure, as may be the case with this BY girl, as well as overexposure can be harmful. My point is just that the exact balance is something that still eludes many, and it’s hard to know what will work for different people and if what happened to her can be solely attributed to her non-exposure.
        Also, you seem to care about people being informed and making decent humanistic choices more than following Halacha and the Torah, which is a legitimate stance that you are definitely entitled to. But, can’t you just as well appreciate that people who are more religious might have a different perspective on what to emphasize, and may attach more importance to separation from the secular world, even if comes with risks? To assert that you know better may be how YOU want to live and how YOU want to raise your kids, but who are you to say how people who may have different beliefs should act?

  4. I actually don’t see you guys agreeing at all- I think ModernOrthodoxObserver is saying over exposure from an early age isn’t nearly as bad as the girl who is sheltered, or naive as MOObserver puts it, and then becomes exposed.

    Also, the people that care more about the torah and halacha than making decent humanistic decisions have it all wrong. If you follow halacha and the torah it should be understood that that is the best possible lifestyle. “diracheha darchai noam”. I dont think its “noam” at all, but if youre following halacha you should subscribe to the whole thing- its philosophy included, which says it IS the nicest lifestyle.

    • rick says:

      the belief is that following the torah and halacha is the best possible lifestyle, and thereby will allow within its framework for decent, humanistic choices to be made. MOObserver seems to feel that he may be smarter than the torah, and will be able to make what he thinks are decent, humanistic choices DESPITE the torah. Again, he is perfectly entitled to that stance, but he should be aware that there are many who feel that first and foremost one must follow the torah, and because of the belief in its perfection, the choices made within that framework will BE decent humanistic ones.

      • ModernOrthodoxObserver says:

        I don’t think it is despite the Torah. I do think the Torah is an excellent guideline. But, no where in the Torah does it say that you have to be closed from the outside world. Being closed isn’t Torah; its a lifestyle choice, and a very dangerous one at that.

  5. Daas Torah says:

    You are a real piece of shit slut. I hope and pray that you get AIDS & die for saying all the anti-Torah apikorsis that you post. You are the reason that 6 million Jews died. You and scoffers like you. This is Daas Torah, and you are the yetzer hara.

  6. a guy says:

    Maybe this is just something I think I’m seeing, niy what strikes me about the reaction you mentioned is that for all their tznius and frumkeit, more than a few frum girls give off a vibe that suggests that they keep copies of Cosmo hidden somewhere in their rooms, and if they thought no one would find out, they’d be up for a good time, as long as it wasn’t with a yeshiva bochur.

  7. Daas Torah says:

    If you’re not tznius it means you’re a whore, al pi haTorah haKadosh.

  8. It actually is getting tough to tell if you’re serious or not.

  9. Howard J says:

    This is being written by a 65 year old man who grew up in the sixties. During the summers of my coming of age there were a few “frum hotels” in the Catskills. They were the Pioneer, Pineview and even the Empire Hotel in Fernadale. These were “shomer shabbat” hotels. Seperate swimming was not invented yet and Grossingers and The Concord were not on the “frum radar” yet. When you walked into the lobby on a Friday night after the “oneg” the place smelled of sex. Everybody had a great time …even the ugly girls

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