OTD Phenomenom

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  • #605739

    reallynow
    Member

    There are a lot of people that are questioning yiddishkeit, going off the derech completely, or living a double life–they pretend they are frum in public but are really not frum. There are programs for at-risk teens, which is great, but shouldnt we have preventive measures in place for children before they become “at-risk” teenagers? Is there anything that the community can do do so that the programs that cater to this demographic should no longer be required?

    Parents of OTD children: if you are willing to be open about it-why did you son/daughter off the derech? what do you think can be done to prevent this phenomenon from continuing?

    OTDer’s: if you are willing to be open about it-why did you go off the derech? And what do you think could be done to prevent others from doing so?

    This thread is meant to be used as a support system for parents who have been inflicted with this terrible nisayon. I am hoping that if we open a dialogue between parents of otder’s and otder’s themselves, we may be able to come up with ideas to incorporate preventive measures to the OTD phenomenon.

  • #907192

    The little I know
    Participant

    Nice questions and ideas. But that process has been going on for many years now, almost 20 years in my calculation. There’s a problem with pursuing this. If you ask anyone who is in chinuch or connected to it, the answer is “Blame the dysfunctional families.” If you ask those parents who are not connected to chinuch, they blame the yeshivos and schools. While both are correct, both are also wrong. Each situation is different, and there are many factors that combine in each case. It is rare that there are not family issues in each case, and the yeshivos are dishonest when they claim total innocence. I have had many, many encounters with OTD kids and their families, and the notion of the innocent yeshiva is complete fiction. But they are not always the main issue.

    If this thread gets many comments, I will read them with interest for possible chiddushim. Otherwise, I expect the same debates that have appeared in other threads on this subject. Ho hum.

  • #907193

    reallynow-I find it interesting that one of the posters who was accusatory and critical of a parent of an OTD child, would be so quick to start their own thread on the same subject.

    Posters, beware

  • #907194

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    There is no NEW OTD phenomenom, People have been going OTD for centuries, Conversions , The Haskallah, The Reform movement Chassidism (Dont forget the Vilna Gaon excommunicated Chassidim) emigration to america etc.

    The only differnce now is one you are not intersted as are most of figuring out what to do, The only goal today of such discusssions is to “prove” whatever you thought was the reason “IS” the reason Like “See it was the Internet” , “See it was movies”.

    The reality is today religion in general is on the decline. 30% of Americans do not belong to an organized religion. Its not just judaism, Its christianity as well. You think you know alot of OTD’ers. Look at the Catholic church. Most Catholics today are “OTD”. And this is in America. In Europe its even higher, even in catholic countries like Ireland and Italy.

  • #907195

    hunny
    Member

    The little I know–There’s a problem with pursuing this. If you ask anyone who is in chinuch or connected to it, the answer is “Blame the dysfunctional families.” If you ask those parents who are not connected to chinuch, they blame the yeshivos and schools.

    Why dont we ask the people who are off the derech and see what they say?

  • #907196

    hunny
    Member

    Zahavasdad–The reality is today religion in general is on the decline. 30% of Americans do not belong to an organized religion. Its not just judaism, Its christianity as well. You think you know alot of OTD’ers. Look at the Catholic church. Most Catholics today are “OTD”. And this is in America. In Europe its even higher, even in catholic countries like Ireland and Italy.

    So if it normal that people leave religions and/or are not religious, then why are the jewish otder’s referred to as sick, mentally ill, crazy etc. Some communities will even ostracize these individuals and fire them from their jobs, or make them give up custody and/or visitation rights of their children… If the otder’s are doing nothing wrong by not being religious (since its the norm in america and in other countries) and they are not mentally ill then why are they treated this way?

  • #907197

    I agree that there is not necessarily a phenomenon, because people have been going off the derech as long as there has been that option. It’s not a coincidence that with expanding freedoms came mass “shmad”, e.g. with German emancipation, immigration to America, the rise of communism, etc.

    The advantage of seeing it as a phenomenon is when it calls attention to certain problems that cause individuals to go off the derech, such as abuse, poor representations of frumkeit, bad parenting, and other such things.

    But it’s a disadvantage when people think that the litmus test in determining whether things are proper is whether they will send people off the derech. It’s wrong to hit people, whether it makes them go OTD or not. It’s wrong to espouse certain extreme views of Yiddishkeit, whether it makes people go OTD or not. Those things are wrong to the people who stay frum and the people who don’t, equally.

  • #907198

    lebidik yankel
    Participant

    My thoughts: I don’t know kids going off. I do however see observence levels slipping and hemlines rising. And I have a hunch why: we live in second/third generation Judaism. Religion is becoming more institutionalized and set from day to day. I know many “nisht of Shabbos geredt” yidden. Their commitment is skin-deep and unauthentic. And their kids pick it up. They know that you need to talk a good talk, but in practice you can cut corners, cheat and tune out. And nothing can affect them, because they say to themselves “Sure, sounds nice, but its all just talk, right?”

    They need to see mesirus nefesh, that is the only thing that will get through to them, I think.

  • #907199

    uneeq
    Member

    If there is any OTD phenomenon, the only major one I noticed is that the OTD girls in Lakewood (and maybe other places) are A LOT worse than the OTD ones from not so long ago. The last time I was around OTD’ers was around 7 years ago and the OTD’ers were way better off. I am shocked to see DOZENS of girls, many of them I couldn’t believe were Jewish until my wife said so. When did breaking Shabbos and other massive sins become so common to anyone with the slightest twitch of rebelliousness inside of them?

    Anyone care to explain?

  • #907200

    farrocks
    Member

    Most people here are assuming one of two things (or a combination thereof):

    1) The parents are to blame for the child going off the derech

    or

    2) The school is responsible for the child going off the derech

    Obviously, there are many variables and it differs from person to person. Nevertheless, between those two possibilities, I would venture to say that the parents tend to bear more responsibility for the problem than the school. The parents are responsible for their child 24/7. The parents are in charge and with their child more hours per year than the school.

    That being said, what everyone seems to be missing is who is truly the most responsible for the person going off the derech. And that, of course, is the person himself who went OTD. Yes, he is most responsible for his bad actions. Yes, he is the one who will face the direst consequences for his terrible decisions. He will face consequences down here; and, most importantly, he will face the music upstairs.

  • #907201

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    @hunny

    I will try to explain the Charedi position on that.

    Charedim cannot fathom that people would want to leave, They cannot understand why boys dont like Gemorah or women dont like Tzniut or Tahrat Mishpacha. They cannot understand why someone would rather text their friends on Shabbos than sing Zimrot.

    Since everyone loves these things, and if you dont their only reason you are mentally ill. The reason they exile the OTDer is because they cannot handle the situation. They know no other way and if someone goes a differnet way “YOu must be mentally ill”.

    Its very unfortunate the OTDers are cast that way. It doesnt help the situation and really makes it worse.

  • #907202

    ready now
    Participant

    “Veltz Meshugener” – please agree that the following type of attitude, a lack of respect of Yiddiskeit, is the predominent cause of OTD-“going off the derech”:

    “Probably the biggest benefit to reading is expanding your horizons and encountering new ways to think of things” -your words from another thread in the coffee room.

    Jewish horizons are “state of the art” there is none better.

    The goyim have some chochma, mostly technology and similar, but the seven pillars of wisdom are still Torah which INCLUDES all wisdom including that of the goyim.

    The misguided attitude of investing customs and behaviours from the goyim with importance leads to a perception in the OTD person that he or she is climbing a ladder, when in fact they are descending the ladder and at a very rapid rate, has v shalom.

    Why then glorify that which is not glorious? The Torah says what is forbidden, and reading “most secular literature” is one of the things that are forbidden. “Forbidden” is just another word to say something is on par with a toxic substance, which can affect the body AND the mind. Give it up.

  • #907203

    The little I know
    Participant

    Hunny:

    No one will rely on asking the OTD kid. Several reasons.

    1. Who says the answers are reliable?

    2. The OTD kid is at least partly rebellious. That anger will likely cloud the judgment, and the real answer may be impossible to reach.

    3. The real issues are multiple even for a single case.

    While this issue remains one of hot discussion, the notion that there is a single factor that is the “answer” is fantasy.

    lebedik yankel:

    You raise a powerful point, and this has been echoed by many in the fields of rabbonus, mental health. It is also addressed in many of the recent publications and magazines. One label is “adults at risk”. There is a superficial pattern to today’s Yiddishkeit that is truly alarming. It may not be the talking in shul, but the lack of respect felt for tefila. That is unquestionably epidemic and well deserves major intervention. To whom will we listen when we are told that our avodas Hashem is a masquerade?

  • #907204

    “Veltz Meshugener” – please agree that the following type of attitude, a lack of respect of Yiddiskeit, is the predominent cause of OTD-“going off the derech”:

    “Probably the biggest benefit to reading is expanding your horizons and encountering new ways to think of things” -your words from another thread in the coffee room.

    No. First of all, the statement said nothing about how I feel about expanding horizons, it simply said that that is the purpose of literature. If you think that expanding horizons in antithetical to yiddishkeit, then it follows that you shouldn’t read literature, not that you should find literature that doesn’t expand your horizons. As it happens, I do think that expanding horizons is important, and I don’t think expanding horizons is antithetical to yiddishkeit. But the statement leaves open the possibility that expanding horizons is antithetical to yiddishkeit and should be avoided.

    Jewish horizons are “state of the art” there is none better.

    The goyim have some chochma, mostly technology and similar, but the seven pillars of wisdom are still Torah which INCLUDES all wisdom including that of the goyim. I don’t know what you mean by “state of the art”. Do you know of viewpoints outside of your own through Torah? Are you implying that your viewpoints encompass Torah and Torah encompasses your viewpoints, and that nothing outside of either is worthwhile? Then don’t bother with outside literature. I don’t believe that I know everything, and i don’t believe that I personally will be able to gain all of my potential knowledge from Torah, so for me, outside literature is important. And if I chose to avoid outside information, then of what significance is my adherence to Torah? It would be ignorance, not knowledge, that defined my adherence.

    Why then glorify that which is not glorious? The Torah says what is forbidden, and reading “most secular literature” is one of the things that are forbidden. “Forbidden” is just another word to say something is on par with a toxic substance, which can affect the body AND the mind. Give it up.

    I don’t know where you see the Torah say that most secular literature is forbidden. The only way I can possibly understand what you’re saying is if you include the statements of certain gedolim against general outside literature as Torah, and exclude the statements of other gedolim permitting it from your definition of Torah. But that’s a conclusory statement – it defines Torah based on what you want the Torah to be.

    While it may be compelling to blame people going OTD on secular influence, that is like saying that you know the cause for the plane crash – gravity. Yes, when people go off the derech, by definition they are more caught up in secular influences. But why did that plane succumb to the forces of gravity under those circumstances? Why do particular people born into frumkeit succumb to the lure of total secularity more than other similarly situated people? For that, the answer needs to come from some cause external to the effect. And many people suggest that it is factors such as abuse, chillul Hashem, and so on.

  • #907206

    ana mia
    Participant

    Write or Wrong–“reallynow-I find it interesting that one of the posters who was accusatory and critical of a parent of an OTD child, would be so quick to start their own thread on the same subject”

    I find it interesting that a mother who is so desperately looking for a zechus/refuah/yeshuah for her otd son, would be so willing to speak loshon hara on another poster…

  • #907208

    ana mia-it was l’toeles

  • #907209

    dolphina
    Member

    “No one will rely on asking the OTD kid. Several reasons.

    1. Who says the answers are reliable?

    2. The OTD kid is at least partly rebellious. That anger will likely cloud the judgment, and the real answer may be impossible to reach.

    3. The real issues are multiple even for a single case.”

    Who else would you ask?

    It’s like the joke about the little kid who never spoke (despite experts and therapist, etc). One day, at the dinner table, he said ‘the soup is too hot’. When asked why he had never spoken before, he said ‘the soup was never too hot before’.

    I will explain the obvious point. Only someone who is doing something knows why he/she is doing it.

    You can analyze the person’s answers, and, in context of the person, his/her environment, and what he/she says, you have a chance of figuring something out.

    However, if you’re not going to engage and discuss, but rather sit in an ivory tower and attempt to judge from up high, you may as well pack your bags in terms of any practical implications.

    eye-roll, sigh.

  • #907211

    PuhLease
    Member

    I am OTD. I would be happy to respond to questions as to why, as an adult (and yes, I am an adult, and did not go OTD until I was well into adulthood) I chose to become not frum (yes, it was a choice).

    But, the only way I would do so, is if I was not attacked here. And since I doubt that this would happen, since I often see the moderators allowing many posts that allow these attacks to take place, I am not sure that my input would matter.

  • #907212

    Imaofthree
    Member

    my kid would have no problem explaining. I think many OTD kids have much to say on the matter.

  • #907213

    ready now
    Participant

    “PuhLease”- please come back on the derech! We need you. You know Yiddishkeit is THE BEST. Wishing you strenght for this very onerous test, to overcome it.

  • #907214

    Herr Himmel
    Member

    Even though PuhLease says she is OTD, I don’t think it is right to allow her to publicly violate Shabbos right here in the coffee room by posting her comments made on Shabbos. (Per the timestamp, it was Shabbos at the time of the post in America, Europe and Israel. And she previously indicated she lives in the US.)

    Sorry, I didn’t pay attention to the time.

  • #907215

    The little I know
    Participant

    dolphina:

    I have these discussions with OTD kids all the time. I am not against asking them. I’m just saying that to assess to overall phenomenon, which is the aim of this thread, it is not a likely souce to get the information you really need. The input of each OTD kid is valuable, but it is not necessarily definitive. If the kid will vent his anger about the issue of the day for him/her, you will miss the other contributing factors.

  • #907216

    rebdoniel
    Member

    Being mechallel shabbos is the least of these kids’ problems. Mmany of them are hedonists and truly damaged and aching neshamos, drowning themselves in the evils of alcoholism, drug abuse, and rampant promiscuity. Just ask R’ Herbst or any other rabbonim who work with these kids. It is heartbreaking, but the truth is that one can be non-observant but moral. These kids are simply immoral, as they engage in illegal and self-injurious behaviors which make a huge chillul hashem and are a shanda fun der goyim. The community on the whole needs to stop coddling and lauding thieves, crooks, swindlers, menuvals, and pedophiles, whose heinous acts are largely to blame for the OTD phenomenon in the first place.

  • #907217

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Most OTD’ers are probably “chased away” Ive seen their stories and they have been chased away (although via differnt ways) and I find it ironic that after they have been chased away people beg for them to come back.

    You dont chase someone away and expect them to come back too easily

  • #907218

    The little I know
    Participant

    Rebdoniel:

    You are correct in viewing your list of criminals and victimizers as major contributors to the OTD problem. If it busts anybody’s bubble, tough, but one major location of these victimizers is our yeshivos and schools.

    Zahavasdad:

    The people who “chased away” the OTD kids are NOT the ones looking to bring them back. The ones seeking their return are the families, and the select few askanim who realize the turmoil into which these precious neshamos have been thrust. Our mainstream leaders are full of denial and completely blind to the neshamos of these children. They have turned a deaf ear to their cries. They will immorally defend the yeshivos for the persistent rejections imposed on these kids, and there is no yeshiva or community leader that will stand up to insist that the rejection and abusiveness (emotional and physical) must stop.

    Our community periodically gets leaflets and posters bearing the messages that anyone with “secular” or professional background must be prevented from contributing expertise to assist in modifying chinuch to cope with the current times. These same pashkivilim also place an issur against sending a frum child for therapy to professionals, even those who are frum and yirai shomayim. There are many signatures on these pashkivilim, and I find them personally nauseating and destructive. But many among our leaders are still living in the fantasy world in which our chinuch does nothing wrong and has no responsibility for the holocaust of our young.

  • #907219

    MDG
    Participant

    PuhLease,

    PuhLease tell us your story. I have no contempt, nor will I have any.

  • #907220

    ready now
    Participant

    Repeating an important message – “PuhLease”- please come back on the derech! We need you. You know Yiddishkeit is THE BEST. Wishing you strength for this very onerous test, to overcome it.

    Begging you.

  • #907221

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    ready now: Obviously, PuhLease does NOT think that “Yiddishkeit is THE BEST.”

    I’m just wondering, did you honestly think, “You know, here’s this person who, as an adult, made an informed decision not to be frum. I’m just going to write “Yiddishkeit is THE BEST.” and that will make them want to be frum again”?

  • #907222

    shlishi
    Member

    DaMoshe: How, then, is advertising so succesful? The vast majority of ads are simply “we are THE BEST”. And it works. Companies spend multi-trillion dollars a year in advertising. And people buy it.

  • #907223

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    shlishi: It’s about brand recognition. When you’re in a store and you don’t know which brand to buy, your brain remembers the names you’ve heard before, and you lean towards buying those brands.

    Let’s say you tried a brand of ketchup. Let’s call it ABC Ketchup. You used it, and found that it tasted horrible. You decide not to buy it again, because you find it disgusting. If you hear a radio ad saying “ABC Ketchup is the best!”, will that make you want to try it again? Probably not. Now, if you heard an ad saying, “Heinz Ketchup is the best!”, you might try it, because you’re looking for a new brand to try.

    In PuhLease’s case, she (he?) already tried Judaism, and for some reason found it lacking. Telling her “It’s the best!” is not going to change her opinion.

    In my ketchup example, how would ABC Ketchup get the customer back? Maybe by giving a small free sample to the customer, saying, “Your bottle must have been bad. Here, try this sample, and you’ll see that our Ketchup really is delicious!”

    We need to show OTD people that Judaism is delicious. Not just through words, but through actions, so they can actually “taste” it for themselves, to see that their first impression was wrong.

    Unfortunately, much of the content here in the CR will only deliver the message that their initial thoughts were correct.

  • #907224

    @puhlease

    I would love to hear the story.

    It would help dispel the notion that being OTD is only for losers/pleasure seekers.

  • #907225

    groisnaches
    Member

    The little I know:

    “Our mainstream leaders are full of denial and completely blind to the neshamos of these children. They have turned a deaf ear to their cries. They will immorally defend the yeshivos for the persistent rejections imposed on these kids, and there is no yeshiva or community leader that will stand up to insist that the rejection and abusiveness (emotional and physical) must stop”.

    How right you are!

    I know of one principal of a girls High School in BP, who when he expels a girl, tells her that she is the lowest scum of the earth and that no one can be lower than her, and even public schools wouldnt want her and she should be on medication.

    All this from someone who should be a role model. He’s the ideal recipe for kindling interest in Frumkeit. Many people, Rabbonim and Askonim included, are aware of this principal’s behavior and do nothing. No one has been forceful enough to see that this principal begs Mechila from the students he has done this to.

    I wonder if boys schools have similar “role models”.

    Theres one advantage to this sitch. Said principal is in his seventies and hopefully will retire soon, one way or another.

    Theres one disadvantage to this sitch. Unless we take seriously the despicable behavior of principals and the effects, we will have many other young principals who savor the power to rebuke in this style and cause more damage than benefit to these Neshamas.

    What do you think should be done with principals like those?

    So you say to yourselves, who knows what prompted this principal’s reaction, the principal is human and therefore capable of making mistakes.

    This mistake is too far-reaching and long lasting to allow it to recur.

  • #907226

    longarekel
    Member

    most young people who go off the derech were never on the derech to begin with. they just dropped the externalities and stopped pretending.

  • #907227

    The little I know
    Participant

    groisnaches:

    Thanks for the kudos.

    I did not intend for my comment to begin a bash party against chinuch, though I might consider joining one if it would happen. There is a far greater importance to seeking the voices that will defend and protect our children against the stupid ideas that our schools have developed of “discipline”. The preoccupation of insuring compliance with standards, many of which are arbitrary, has overtaken the minds and energies of our best mosdos. This leaves true Torah chinuch far in the background. Our children are expected to mold as pliable robots to mechanically produce tests that have the spit-back information from classes. The role models from whom we can learn midos tovos, mesiras nefesh, and the emotional experiences of avodas Hashem and yir’as Hashem are nowhere to be found. There are such people, but the yeshivos expect us to emulate the very individuals who engage in so much rejection and push our precious youth to the street.

    Again, I don’t seek to denounce. I hope that some of the commenters here in CR can share ideas on how to fix the system. We have big leaks, losing too many children. How can we plug the leaks?

  • #907228

    iced
    Member

    Start your own yeshivos and mosdos.

  • #907229

    MDG
    Participant

    PuhLease said:

    “But, the only way I would do so, is if I was not attacked here. And since I doubt that this would happen, …”

    If anyone has not noticed, she has been judged several times already and she has not even told us a thing about her life. Pay close attention to what has been said to her and about her.

  • #907230

    groisnaches
    Member

    The little I know:

    “We have big leaks, losing too many children. How can we plug the leaks?”

    Plug the leaks for sure, a crucial part of which would be to eliminate those in Chinuch, who clearly crush whatever is left of some kids’ self esteem, even if these Chinuch “professionals” do good for others at the same time.

    How would you, and most, react to being told by a person in a position of power, in very loud tones, for all nearby to hear, that you’re the lowest scum of the earth and that no one can be lower than you, and even public schools wouldnt want you and you should be on medication (all for NOT the most serious offenses by anyone’s standards)?

    I believe it would stay deeply embedded in your heart for life and seriously eliminate any chance EVER for love of Yiddishkeit.

    If we allow this to continue, we truly deserve what we get.

  • #907231

    akuperma
    Participant

    Are there any statistics on percent of “off the derech”, and how do you define “off the derech”?

    If I wear a fedora or a homburg, and my son wears a knit yarmulke, is he off the derech? If someone isn’t going to work on Shabbos, eating pork, and marrying a non-Jew, are they really off the derech? A frum juvenile delinquent is still frum. In the past, most orthodox synagogues in America had trouble finding a minyan of Shomer Shabbos, and parents routinely were asking how to act when eating in their children’s home (as in “is it okay to drink water in a glass cup?”) – and you don’t see that any more.

  • #907232

    interjection
    Member

    “most young people who go off the derech were never on the derech to begin with. they just dropped the externalities and stopped pretending.”

    Wasn’t my case. I tried it, really gave it my all, and I loved it. It was the people (not chas veshalom the religion) who made me feel disgusting keeping the same religion as them

  • #907233

    MurphysLaw
    Member

    OTD Off the Derech

    Can also stand for…

    OTD Of the Day

    OTD Out The Door

    OTD Office of Technology Development

    OTD On the Door

    OTD Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    OTD On Time Delivery

    OTD Overseas Trained Doctor

    OTD Observed Time Difference

    OTD Optical Transient Detector

    OTD Order-To-Delivery

    OTD Occupational Therapy Doctorate

    OTD Open Technology Development

    OTD Open the Door (social networking website)

    OTD Office of The Director

    OTD Office of Tourism Development (Maryland)

    OTD Older Than Dirt

    OTD On the Double

    OTD Orthogonal Transmit Diversity

    OTD Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency

    OTD Operational Test Director

    OTD Object Type Definition (Java)

    OTD Old Telephone Directories (pulp and paper industry)

    OTD Open Technical Dictionary (Electronic Commerce Code Management Association)

    OTD Oakland Touchdown (bridge building project; California)

    OTD Off Topic Discussion (forums/newsgroups)

    OTD On the Dot

    OTD Ottawa Therapy Dogs (Canada)

    OTD Obsessive Twilight Disorder

    OTD Oculotrichodysplasia

    OTD Old Tablers Deutschland (Germany)

    OTD One Touch Down (automotive power window function)

    OTD Obsessive Twitter Disorder

    OTD Organ Tolerance Dose

    OTD Official Test Day

    OTD Oh, The Drama

    OTD Operations & Training Division

    OTD Operator Trunk Dialing (telecommunications)

    OTD One Time Developed

    OTD On-Time Departure (airlines)

    OTD Operations Training Directorate

    OTD Organizational Theory and Dynamics

    OTD Offer to Dedicate (California)

  • #907234

    The little I know
    Participant

    groisnaches:

    I do believe that we, as parents, understand that any form of abuse is destructive. We do not need to get into the discussion about molestation. That’s for other threads and even other sites. But the physical abuse inflicted by smacking, denying lunches or trips to the bathrooms, and the emotional abuse of name calling, punishing without having verified guilt, the public embarrassment, are all equally as devastating. All are tantamount to murder, and this is supported by Chazal. If you explore the histories of the OTD kids, you will discover these forms of abuse in virtually all of them, though those that did it will claim they were justified in perpetrating the abuse.

    This topic is actually old discussion, and efforts to negotiate the subject with mechanchim or menahalim have either of two outcomes. Either they categorically deny it ever happens in their mosdos, or they insist that there is no other way to deal with the situation (blaming the victim). I have heard both versions. But to hear one single menahel accept responsibility for these crimes, followed by interventions to remedy the situation – that I have yet to experience. I have heard yeshivos refuse to allow a professional to train the faculty on anger management, discipline skills, etc. I have watched them deflect accusations with the above two forms of denial. So the struggle just goes on. I am not the advocate of police or media, but until a case ends up there, I am not sure the awareness and recognition of the problem will be enough to save our children.

  • #907235

    groisnaches
    Member

    The little I know:

    ” …but until a case ends up there, I am not sure the awareness and recognition of the problem will be enough to save our children”.

    Unfortunately the devastation caused by “being told by a person in a position of power, in very loud tones, for all nearby to hear, that you’re the lowest scum of the earth and that no one can be lower than you, and even public schools wouldnt want you and you should be on medication (all for NOT the most serious offenses by anyone’s standards)” is still not worthy of police intervention.

    Thats part of the problem.

    UNLESS AND UNTIL Askonim, powerful supporters of individual schools, do what they should do and pull the right strings.

  • #907236

    ready now
    Participant

    DaMoshe- It is NEVER an “informed” positon to go “OFF THE DERECH” OTD, it is an emotional response that is the cause of it. Begging someone to COME BACK is good, becaue it is BOTH an emotional and intellectual respons to OTD , but in keeping with halacha( Jewish Law).

    Don’t be embarrassed to come back.

  • #907238

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    ready now: You can claim that, but it’s simply not true. PuhLease is an adult, and knows the facts. I don’t know why she left, but I’m sure she thought it through beforehand.

    I never said there’s anything wrong with begging, I just don’t think it will accomplish anything. It’s definitely not an intellectual response to OTD.

    You said before “Yiddishkeit is THE BEST”, when in the opinion PuhLease, that’s obviously not true. You need to show WHY it’s the best instead of just repeating that line.

  • #907239

    interjection
    Member

    “It is NEVER an “informed” positon to go “OFF THE DERECH” OTD, it is an emotional response that is the cause of it.”

    On what basis are you making this claim?

  • #907241

    farrocks
    Member

    Is suicide an “informed position” by those that “chose” it?

    OTD is the same.

  • #907242

    more_2
    Member

    There are books on this can anyone list afew good authors and titles on the topic I know some pple who will benefit from reading

  • #907243

    dolphina
    Member

    <“Is suicide an “informed position” by those that “chose” it?

    OTD is the same. “

    As would argue Mullah Omar of the Taliban. But his answer would be ‘yes’, as long as you bring Infidels along.

    Not a very compelling statement.

    And to “It is NEVER an “informed” positon to go “OFF THE DERECH” OTD, it is an emotional response that is the cause of it.”

    I respond with: <i>’Uh Uh'</i>. There, argue with that bit of spectacular reasoning.

    (for those who need it: No, I am not comparing religions, I am comparing arguments.)

  • #907244

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    farrocks: In some cases, yes, it might be. Remove religious beliefs for a minute, because not everyone believes the same as we do.

    Imagine someone who is suffering from a debilitating disease which is always fatal. It has a long, drawn out, extremely painful period of time before the victim dies. It is extremely hard on the patient, as well as his family.

    In some such cases, a victim might prefer to die, rather than living in such excruciating pain. If they don’t believe in the same things we do, would you fault them for it?

  • #907246

    ready now
    Participant

    moment it is opportune to appeal to any OTD person.

    Suicide is a big mistake also an emotional response gone haywire. One must not do that – please call for help.

  • #907247

    Jakbre
    Member

    @ready now, I really don’t understand how begging is intellectual. I am an adult who went otd a while back. No amount of begging, crying or pleading will make me change my mind. Note I wrote mind and not emotions.

    And to clear up some other misconceptions: I was never abused and was raised in a loving home. I couldn’t have asked for better parents. The people who leave Judaism for emotional reasons tend to be those who were abused.

    In addition, some of you seem to be of the opinion that people go off the derech to party.

    Regarding rebdoniel’s comment: individuals who go otd are not immoral. You said they get lost in alcoholism and yet I’d venture to say that I drink less alcohol than you do. And I’ve never tried drugs. And neither am I promiscuous. Maybe those who were abused feel the need to bury their pain with so called pleasures, but to make blanket statements like that is childish and naive.

  • #907248

    uneeq
    Member

    Readynow: If simply hearing the words “yiddishkeit is THE BEST” would stop Jews from going OTD, there wouldn’t be any OTD’ers in the first place. I believe the problem is the OPPOSITE. Intellectual Jewish children are being propagandized from birth by uneducated teachers about how great Judiasm is, without explaining to them the whys and hows. These children, as they progress into adulthood feel like their religion has all the same qualities of all the religions they’re supposed to denounce.

    Wild and hyper active kids go off for different reasons, most probably because no one in the education system has the time and patience for them. At least where I came from, the motto was always, “If you don’t like it, LEAVE!”. There’s not enough competition, as the religious population keeps on expanding, there aren’t enough schools around to give the big ones competition. There’s nothing keeping such schools in line.

  • #907249

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    ready now: How many OTD people have you seen come back just because someone told them “Yiddishkeit is THE BEST!”?

  • #907250

    farrocks
    Member

    How many people didn’t commit suicide because someone pleaded – yes simply pleaded – with them not to.

    Many I’d bet.

    Pleading works.

    However much suicide is an “informed decision” that suicidal people “choose”, going OTD too is a so-called informed decision that is chosen.

  • #907251

    PuhLease
    Member

    Good afternoon all,

    Several responses to all of you. First of all, I have never “done drugs”, I have never “partied” nor have I drank heavily, or lived a lifestyle such as that. I did not choose to become frei in order to live an immoral lifestyle. I never did, nor do I act in an immoral fashion, I don’t run around, nor act in a promiscuous fashion. I was raised in a neglectful home, and essentially was treated differently than my siblings, but that is not why I went frei. I still have respect for my family, and respect their choices, though they have little to none for mine, and that is their prerogative. I do not hate nor resent them, and before my father died, I forgave him, though I am sure he passed hating me, I will never know, and frankly, it’s sad, but I made my peace with his indifference towards me long ago.

    I am the only successful member of my family. I have an education (Ph.d) and a successful career, both of which I acheived on my own, and live quite well, in spite of the many hateful emails I am still receiving from the members of the “god fearing, religious, frum” members of the former community in which I used to live, telling me that I should just kill myself and make everyone happy (that’s one of the nicer ones), and in spite of the fact that it has been close to 3 years since I made my choice. I do not dress like a streetwalker, I do not look like a prostitute, nor do I dress like one. I make a point to dress with modesty, not because of religion, but because I prefer not to “show my wares” to everyone.

    I will not give out my entire story, because again, had I wished to be continuously attacked, I would have stayed within the community that I had originally lived. Second of all, I did make the choice to become not frum. It was a choice, pure and simple, and one that I made with complete and total clarity after weighing all my options (not that I felt I had too many after years of abuse and neglect).

    I would like I state with clarity however, that to compare someone becoming not frum and someone committing suicide are two completely different things. The American Psychological Society (of which I am a member) does not condone suicide because they feel that suicide, while debated amongst psychological professionals as ethical or otherwise, should be one’s choice only if it is a full informed decision. Since one is unable to make that determination because one is never aware of what actually occurs after death, one is physically or emotionally able to make a fully comprehensive informed decision about the finality of the decision of suicide.

    Now, as to the remained of your questions: I read one comment about a menahelet making certain inappropriate comments to students that she removed from her school about them being scum and so on, well, I had that in my school, to students who were still in the school, primarily to students that were not amongst the wealthy and priviledged (or deemed intelligent enough). But that’s not the reason I chose to make the decision I did.

    I will answer specific questions. BUT, because of how I was treated in other threads, and by other members in other threads, I will not tell my story, and I will not respond to one single member whom I feel is disrespectful or dismissive. I will not lower myself to their standards. And, by the way, to the one member who made the comment about going off the derech being an emotional decision rather than an informed one, I have to state, with clarity, that this is completely erronous. The decision I made was both INFORMED and EMOTIONAL. But, please don’t think for one second, that I did not think it through thoroughly. I was very well aware of what I was giving up. And I was well informed, both before and after, by everyone involved, through nasty telephone calls, hate mail, hate email, things thrown at my home, and other “messages”.

    My view of yiddishkeit, is not that it is “the best”. Quite the opposite.

  • #907252

    vochindik
    Member

    I was raised in a neglectful home

    This played a part in your becoming a mechallel shabbos, even if you won’t admit as much.

    I have an education (Ph.d)

    This, too, played a big role in your disobeying Jewish law.

    live quite well

    Didn’t you write a long time ago (while still married) that you couldn’t afford basic necessities?

    Second of all, I did make the choice to become not frum. It was a choice, pure and simple, and one that I made with complete and total clarity after weighing all my options

    Did you weigh the fact that you will burn for it?

    I would like I state with clarity however, that to compare someone becoming not frum and someone committing suicide are two completely different things. The American Psychological Society (of which I am a member) does not condone suicide because they feel that suicide, while debated amongst psychological professionals as ethical or otherwise, should be one’s choice only if it is a full informed decision. Since one is unable to make that determination because one is never aware of what actually occurs after death, one is physically or emotionally able to make a fully comprehensive informed decision about the finality of the decision of suicide.

    And one is able to determine what hell is like in the afterlife?

  • #907253

    PuhLease
    Member

    Oh. And all, please ignore “vochindik”, who takes a perverse pleasure in following me from forum to forum harassing me. He is one of many reasons I will never return to Yiddishkeit. If I will burn in hell, I will at least have neighbors that I know well. Vochindik, your lease is signed, sealed and delivered.

    Whoops, I guess I lowered myself. That won’t happen again.

  • #907254

    uneeq
    Member

    vochindik: I don’t agree with your tone, especially directed at someone who is willing to be open to all of us.

    Though, what you mention last “And one is able to determine what hell is like in the afterlife?” reminds me of Pascal’s famous Wager. His wager provides a logical reason for anyone to pursue a religion, whatever religion they believe to hold the most truth.

  • #907255

    OneOfMany
    Member

    PuhLease: Still have the warm fuzzies for Joseph?

  • #907256

    vochindik
    Member

    “I will never return to Yiddishkeit” doesn’t constitute “willing to be open”.

  • #907257

    PizzaPizza
    Member

    PuhLease:

    I am sorry you don’t believe that yiddishkeit is the best. My guess is that when you weighed the pros and cons, your experience and logic led you to the conclusion that you would rather exercise other options. You probably do not believe in organized religion. You would probably answer that the thing that chased you away from frumkeit is the behavior and attitude of frum Jews. And you probably did not regularly have enjoyable shabbos seudos at home-maybe good food but probably not a lot of singing, understandable divrei torah and comraderie. How close am I?

    Please note, while being frum is of utmost importance, it is heartwarming to hear that you still conduct yourself with the moidesty of a bas melech. I think we can all agree that people are imperfect. But the RBSO is perfect and he continues to love you. Stay connected.

  • #907258

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Pulease

    May I ask if you were brought up in a more charedi community perhaps Chassidic and if you were, do you think you might have a different view. Not all communities are against college for example. Not all communities are as restrictive as others.

    Do you have any connection to organized religion, Do you ever attend services?

  • #907259

    groisnaches
    Member

    I am addressing the OTD people posting here, who feel their parents loved them:

    Please tell me what is so enriching in your present life (if youre living moral lives and the “donts” of a frum life were not too much for you to bare, because youre living similarly now), that you knowingly are shortening your loving grieving parents’ lives?

    And, BE HONEST, what do you miss about your Frum past? There has to be something, whether youre conscious of it and willing to admit it or not. BE HONEST.

  • #907260

    ready now
    Participant

    After that, to eat kosher and say brochos the rest of the week and a person is not OTD anymore. It is EASY, and THE BEST.

    After studying such a course one could claim compensation for the abuse inflicted on the neshama by the licensing body!

  • #907261

    PuhLease
    Member

    1. I have the “warm fuzzies” for anyone who is harassed in any of these forums, solely because they believe differently than the vast majority.

    2. Willing to be open towards answering questions, does not mean willing to be open towards entertaining the idea of returning to frum judaism and dealing with the likes of closeminded *&^% like some of the people here.

    3. Pizza Pizza, I am so sorry, but no, you’re so far off the mark. I was raised with delicious food, lots of d’vrei torah, lots of singing and so on.

    4. I do not believe in organized religion and I do not attend any Jewish services at all at this time. The time may come when I might change my mind on that, but right now, that is not going to happen.

    5. I was raised in a very “Yeshivish” but not chasidish community. It was not anti college, and not pro college. It just was. My reasons for making the decision to go where I went has more to do with the people involved in the religion (see above) than the religion itself.

    6 @groisanachas:

    I cannot respond fairly to your question, because I do not feel that my parents ever love/loved me.

    I was a status symbol. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • #907262

    PuhLease
    Member
  • #907263

    gemgirl
    Member

    Dear Puhlease- When I was in seminary, one of my rabbis gave me a piece of information i will NEVER forget. Don’t judge Judaism based off Jews. Jews can sometimes be “less than perfect” to say the least, but that shouldn’t reflect on the religion itself. There is a story of a survivor in a concentration camp who went OTD because he couldn’t believe that a man made people give him their meager potions of bread for one time use of his siddur. How could a Jew be so greedy? The survivor was reprimanded- do not look at the man who took the bread; look at all those who were willing to give up their bread to pray with a siddur. I would love to be in touch with you more if you’re open to it!

  • #907264

    shnitzy
    Member

    hey everybody I’ve been following this combo and I’d like to add my two cents….

    students come to school and get told believe believe believe…you ask why…the first time you get raised eyebrows…the next you get called apikores… and it gets waaaay worse from there…you’re dictating to me an entire lifestyle and yet you won’t even explain why im doing it…to me it seems as if you dont even know half of the answers yourselves! and how is it that just because ur classified as a role model youre allowed to say absolutely whatever you want to anyone “lower” than you?!

    don’t midoss count anymore or now it’s just reputation reputation?! what r we supposed to think??

  • #907265

    OneOfMany
    Member

    In this community, Joseph is the majority (all by himself).

  • #907266

    groisnaches
    Member

    PuhLease,

    “I cannot respond fairly to your question, because I do not feel that my parents ever love/loved me….I was a status symbol. Nothing more, nothing less”.

    I feel for you.

    Sometime parents innocently, or not so innocently, make terrible mistakes with child rearing.

    Please, for the benefit of those of us raising children, tell us what you’ve seen that parents dont grasp are important to do and not to do, if they want to communicate to their children that they love them. Perhaps you can give us a list of must do-s, and a list of must not do-s.

    If, as a result, you lead to even one child feeling more loved, that would be really beautiful and a great contribution to society.

  • #907267

    ready now
    Participant

    I personally do not think women should go to shule because too much chatter and too many comparisons can eventuate, misunderstandings etc.

    After studying such a course one could claim compensation for the abuse inflicted on the neshama by the licensing body!

  • #907268

    aCookieJar
    Participant

    I too have made the decision to no longer be religious.

    I’ll put myself out there and open myself up to questions. I may not answer all of them, though.

  • #907269

    ready now
    Participant

    PuhLease and aCookieJar:

    After that, to eat kosher and say brochos the rest of the week and a person is not OTD anymore. It is EASY, and THE BEST.

  • #907270

    aCookieJar
    Participant

    I’d also like to add my comments to some of the previous posts here.

    farrocks:

    That being said, what everyone seems to be missing is who is truly the most responsible for the person going off the derech. And that, of course, is the person himself who went OTD.

    You know nothing of the pain suffered by any of the individuals in question, or you would not be so quick to judge.

    In addition, that statement helps nobody. Blaming the victim will not help you prevent others from leaving religion. The purpose here isn’t to blame the schools or the parents, it’s to understand what’s going wrong and to fix it.

    He will face consequences down here

    What consequences are there down here?

    and, most importantly, he will face the music upstairs

    Do I need to point out that this won’t scare anybody who is no longer religious?

    ready now:

    I’m not sure if you realize that you do not sound like you’re engaging in a dialogue, rather, it comes across as preaching. All the things you list as being “the best” are all things that I grew up with, and gave up. Clearly, we disagree on what the best things in life are.

    PuhLease:

    I’m sorry to hear how you were treated.

    groisnaches:

    that you knowingly are shortening your loving grieving parents’ lives

    You can only live your life for somebody else for so long. At some point, you need to be true to yourself. And I’d hope that as a parent, that’s what you want for you child.

    But let’s be honest – when somebody becomes frum, we don’t worry too much about whether their parents are grieving.

  • #907271

    iced
    Member

    Ice cold and callous.

    You go otd and don’t give a dang that you are killing your parents?

    Wow.

  • #907272

    ready now
    Participant

    a Cookie Jar,

    By your response to those who are trying to help, I can see you are angry.

    Do you want people to spur you on to further OTD, has v sholom?

    Do you get satisfaction from rejecting well-meaning, heartfelt advice?

    Wishing you a refuach shelema (get well soon).

    Going OTD is not a logical response to mistreatment.

  • #907273

    MDG
    Participant

    Pulease,

    Please clarify somethings for me.

    A few years ago, you said that you have a wife in this thread Yeshiva Delay – Children Sitting Bored For Week At Home . But above you wrote ” I do not dress like a streetwalker….”, implying that you are a female. What happened? Did the mods get confused or is that a shared account?

    “I was a status symbol. Nothing more, nothing less.” Can you tell me more about that? I’d like to understand it better.

  • #907274

    uneeq
    Member

    Ready now: I said “reason for anyone to pursue a religion, whatever religion they believe to hold the most truth.” which is not from non Jewish writings, but rather my own thoughts. It’s actually pretty logical. On the notion that there is a Jewish G-d, one must understand why someone would get punished and sent to Gehinom for not keeping the 7 Noachide laws.

    If I was christian, muslim, or buddhist Ch’V, I would be able to say to at the Day of Judgement, that I did all that was supposed to do. I was a faithful X, Y or Z. Why should get I punished for keeping my religion 100% Lechumra? They would tell me Upstairs that that reason doesn’t help. I should’ve known that Judiasm is the #1 real religion, and that I would at least have to keep the 7 Noachide laws.

    But I would complain again and say “How am I supposed to know that Judiasm is real, if I wasn’t born Jewish?” To which they would reply to me, “If you would’ve objectively seeked out the truth, you would have found Judiasm to be 100% authentic. The fact that you didn’t seek out the truth is what you are getting punished for.”

    Therefore, it’s pretty logical to say, that if a christian, muslim, and buddhist would get punished for not seeking out the truth, the same obligation would apply to Jews too. For how can a Jew get rewarded for keeping a religion he was born into, without seeking the truth, while a christian, muslim, and buddhist get punished for doing the same exact thing!? Don’t we have a Benevolent G-d, Whom Judges every person fairly?

    Therefore I am happy to say, that I am not a religious Jew because I was FFB, I am a religious Jew because I was proven beyond a shadow of doubt that it is much truer than any other religion can hope to be. My belief in G-d doesn’t come into play until it comes to the things that I cannot logically understand, (such as the 4 Questions that one may not ask); though after seeing that 99% of Judiasm is proven true, I can believe that the rest is true too. Staying religious based on plain Emunah Pshuta without any proofs that Judiasm is authentic, IS DEFINITELY KEFIRA.

    (Note: these thoughts only explain why I pick Judiasm over other religions; I would use Pascal’s Wager among other things to push away atheism.)

  • #907275

    uneeq
    Member

    PuhLease: Are you an atheist or an anti-religionist? You come off sounding as the latter. I ask because it seems hard to push away Judiasm with an informed decision, if you aren’t an atheist, because after all, you either believe in religion or believe in atheism. And if you’re agnostic, it would seem to me that it’s not an informed decision, rather it is doubts as to what your decision should be.

    ACookieJar, I am also interested in hearing your beliefs too.

  • #907276

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    Pascal’s Wager is inherently flawed for a few reasons.

    1. Belief in God is not based on a wager. You can live as a religious person and go through the motions, but doing it because of the wager is not true belief in God. If belief is required, not just the practices, it wouldn’t work.

    2. The Wager works if the only thing required was belief in a God. However, there are many different religions, and many are mutually exclusive. If you really don’t know what is true and what isn’t, how could you pick a religion? If you pick Judaism, the Christians believe you’re doomed forever because you don’t accept Jesus. If you pick Christianity, the Jews believe you’re in trouble because you do accept Jesus. Multiple religions throws off the while premise of the wager. It only works when there is one belief that works across the board.

  • #907277

    vochindik
    Member

    MDG: In that very same post you reference, PuhLease also wrote:

    “My wife and I could not afford camp. Right now, we cannot afford more than the bare minimum of groceries”

    Yet, above, she writes she has a Ph.D, a successful career and “lives quite well”. So in the span of 3 years, he/she went from a poor married man to a rich single girl. I say this is all a put on.

    PL: I don’t participate in any forums other than here on yeshivaworld. Please don’t be so paranoid.

  • #907278

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    vochindik: PuhLease wrote in another thread that she used to share the account with her husband. She is now divorced. An is it so hard to believe that a woman with a good education won’t be successful when she’s married to an abusive husband, but that once divorced, she’d become successful? Hashem can change someone’s financial situation in a second. Why is it so hard to believe that it changed for PuhLease over 3 years?

  • #907279

    PuhLease
    Member

    To Clarify:

    Which I am happy to do (by the way). My ex husband and I shared a yeshivaworld account. When we were married, he posted here, and we could not afford basic necessities. He spent all day online, did not look for work, chose not to in fact, and he drank, a lot. All the money that we had, from me working, went towards my schooling, our yeshiva tuition for our children, and his drinking binges.

    NOW, I am divorced, I have finished my education, and yes, I live well, and I have changed the password on this account, and it is mine. If he wants an account, he can figure out how to get one on his own.

    In terms of me being a status symbol, it is exactly as it sounds. My family saw me as a status symbol, not as a child. When I did something right, they took the credit for it. When not, they threw me in the trash, as they saw I belonged (Vochindik, feel free to add your comment here, I am sure you will anyhow).

    No, I am not a troll, no, the Moderators are not confused. I am now divorced, I do not drink, nor do I do drugs. The money that I have is either invested (well) or I spend it on my children. I live well because I don’t waste like my ex did. I cannot, nor will I take responsibility for the posts that he put up. I also will not apologize for what he wrote. I can’t.

  • #907280

    aCookieJar
    Participant

    iced:

    What advice would you give to a non-religious jew considering becoming religious, if his/her parents are staunchly anti-religious? Would you worry about “killing” parents then?

    ready now:

    By your response to those who are trying to help

    Trying to help whom? I joined this conversation because reallynow asked for input. I’m not here to get “helped”. I’m not angry, nor am I rejecting any advice, simply having a conversation.

    uneeq:

    Staying religious based on plain Emunah Pshuta without any proofs that Judiasm is authentic, IS DEFINITELY KEFIRA

    I wholeheartedly agree with you on this. Kudos to you for making the effort to prove it to yourself and not just going with the flow.

    I am also interested in hearing your beliefs

    Beliefs about what specifically?

  • #907281

    groisnaches
    Member

    PuhLease,

    Stay healthy.

    Im not worried for you or any other OTD individual.

    Theres the present and then there are future generations.

    Chut Hameshulash Lo Bimhaira Yenatek.

  • #907282

    farrocks
    Member

    aCookieJar: Reminding folks that there will be hell to pay for going OTD is certainly worthwhile. First of all, the person him/herself may have gone OTD even though they still believe in G-d. In which case he/she can still recognize there is reward and punishment when one comes upstairs after 120. Second of all, even if the person went south and doesn’t believe in G-d, G-d forbid, reminding that he/she will be punished is still a deterrent for others who may have otherwise been enticed to go OTD but who hear the message that there will be hell to pay if they do.

  • #907283

    uneeq
    Member

    aCookieJar: Why did you reject Judiasm and why did you embrace whatever you have embraced?

    DaMoshe: a) I agree belief in G-d cannot be based on Pascal’s Wager. Though I understand that the opposite -someone’s belief in atheism- can be torn down (albeit not completely) using a simple logical wager, a wager that forces one to objectively consider the possibility of a G-d.

    b) I agree that Pascal’s Wager does not come into play when deciding a religion. I specifically wrote in my post above that it gives a logical reason to pursue ANY religion. It won’t provide you with belief; it’ll provide you with tools that will help you believe something in the future. I wrote about this at length above. There are many other proofs, probably better ones. Though I feel that bringing up Pascal’s Wager would help reveal intellectual dishonesty in a discussion such as this.

  • #907284

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Everyone has a place to be in life . There are some things people are good at and other things they are bad at.

    I can tell you from some of the responses, some people need to stay as far away from Kiruv as possible, they are doing more harm than good.

  • #907285

    ready now
    Participant

    You are not correct in what you said about (your words above)

    Teachers who teach English literature and people who quote or reference goyish words really a part of the OTD problem.

    DaMoshe and Uneeq – please do not mention by name other religions- it is extremely not good.

    It is all kefira – our thoughts should not even go there.

    You cannot expect to on this post to prevent anyone from giving good advice.

    ZD- Your simple line is “You’re OTD? Sorry and I just want to keep feeling sorry and feeling sorry (without helping).”

  • #907286

    PuhLease
    Member

    Just a thought.. by the way.

    Any one person who does not follow EXACTLY as their parents, and their parents before them, and their parents before them, and their parents before them, etc., have ALL gone “off the derech” so to speak.

    Additionally, unless each and every one of you know the exact specific details of why an individual has gone frei, secular, irreligious atheist or otherwise, it is certainly not your place to determine whether or not one is going to hell.

    Some of us have lived in hell most of our “religious” lives.

    And, to answer a question that I erronously did not respond to earlier, I have great faith in God, just none in people. Having read a majority of the forums on this website, I am sure that many of you can garner a small glimpse into why. I am not an atheist, just not religious.

    By the way, there are a great many “frum” psychotherapists. I put “frum” in quotations because I do not believe that any one person is still living exactly k’halacha. Some of our sins may be more obvious than others, but none of us can state with clarity that we live exactly as we should. And before any of you deny this, read the posts that call others’ on here names, state that they are going to burn, harass others, or speak lashon horah. Perhaps some of you choose not to follow a certain tradition, mayhaps did something that not have asked forgiveness for it, did not pray with enough concentration once, or so on, cheated the government on taxes or perhaps took food stamps, medicaid or other benefits when one was certainly not entitled to them because one could have worked, but chose not to, did not take care of their body, smoked (which could be looked at as a slow form of suicide?), did not give their 10% of all income every time, did not pay their taxes,took money under the table, cheated or mistreated another Jew, embarassed someone, did something without asking rabinnical counsel (and the Yeshiva World is NOT rabinnical counsel), was disrespectful to a child, did not always act “al kiddush hashem”…need I go on?

    I said that I would be open to answering questions, what I will not do, is justify my actions to the likes of individuals on here who will attempt, poorly, to shame me into pretending to feel bad for the lifestyle that I have chosen.

    I do not feel shame nor regret. I have never in my life hit another, certainly not in anger. But not a single member of my immediate family, including my decesased father, could have said that, and that includes my ex husband, who beat me, and continues to lay hands on my children in anger. That, is not what Torah intended. And, for a “rav” to state with clarity that I may have done something to “deserve” that, is also completely uncalled for, and does not deserve the title that his smicha paper is written on.

    Just a thought.

  • #907287

    groisnaches
    Member

    PuhLease

    “and that includes my ex husband, who beat me, and continues to lay hands on my children in anger…….And, for a “rav” to state with clarity that I may have done something to “deserve” that, is also completely uncalled for, and does not deserve the title that his smicha paper is written on”.

    No one can deny that!!! I think most would agree with you.

    But, for every “Rav” like that, there are many who are totally different.

  • #907289

    uneeq
    Member

    ready now: I did not take the time to read your post fully before posting. I saw you ranting and raving for a couple of paragraphs about how I am postings thoughts from a non Jewish source. I didn’t mention ANYWHERE that those thought weren’t my own. I DID specifically state that my thoughts were NOT from non Jewish writings. NO non Jewish references, quotes, paraphrahing, whatchamacallits, NOTHING!

    Not like it makes a difference if I did.

    Get over it.

    If you would like to call me a Kofer, go ahead.

  • #907290

    uneeq
    Member

    PuhLease: You state that you have great faith in G-d, just none in his people. (thanks for answering my question BTW) Does that make your current position of “unreligious” in transit? Having faith in G-d requires more than just saying that G-d is great; it requires a tremendous amount of energy into keeping His mitzvos. It seems to me that you would return to religion right now if you had two things:

    a) a loving community

    b) the right amount of time to ease your pain from being abused the first time around

    You and I both know that not all Jews are corrupt, hate mongering, zealots. There are plenty of good acts that Jews do unwarranted that you would not find in the rest of the world. Chaverim, Hatzalah, Shomrim, a million Gemachs etc. It will definitely be hard to accept this after being abused emotionally (and physically) from the many that you know. Yes, I know that many Jews have faults, though we do live in a low generation where Right may be perceived as Wrong and vice versa.

    If you do have any sort of plan of “starting over”, I would suggest you take each step slowly, as to not overwhelm yourself.

    I am sorry in advance if my post is disrespectful.

  • #907291

    PuhLease
    Member

    @groisnachas

    Thank you for that.

    Sometimes I wish I still had some faith in people left. Unfortunately, the rabbonim of which you speak must live in some other cities, because the ones in the cities in which I dealt with were worth nothing.

    And, for the kindness with which you are treating me, may YOU have much nachas from those around you.

    @ready now: What makes your advice “good” versus “bad”? Is your advice good because you’re the one giving it? I joined in this conversation for the same reason that the other poster did; in order to give input that was asked for, not for advice, and not for other reasons. I’ve given good and bad advice. I’ve been the receipient of good and bad advice, but I would never say that my advice is good simply because I am the one giving it. Narcissistic much?

    If one chooses to name other reigions by name, they will. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. That’s a choice that you are more than welcome to make, just as we all have choices. There are choices in every day life that people make, and my firm and strong belief is that the heavy criticism that extra narrow minded judgemental and even hypocrtical individuals such as (insert name here) push people such as myself, further away.

    I’ve made mention of Faranuk Margolis’ book before, it’s a supreme read, and quite on the mark, but I will go ahead and mention it again. I suggest for any of you that are really curious, as opposed to those of you that are merely here to “lovingly” inform those of us that have made our choices, that we are going to hell,to read this book. It will open your eyes.

  • #907292

    MDG
    Participant

    PuhLease said:

    “By the way, there are a great many “frum” psychotherapists. I put “frum” in quotations because I do not believe that any one person is still living exactly k’halacha.”

    No one is perfect; we are all human. As it says in Avot, “hacol l’fi rov hamaaseh” – according to the preponderance. The understanding is that are all imperfect, so we are judged on the majority, rov.

    “Some of our sins may be more obvious than others, but none of us can state with clarity that we live exactly as we should.”

    I once had a conversation with Rabbi Twerski about how addicts justify substance abuse, and he said to me that we are no different than them. They have their bad habits that they justify and we have ours. Theirs are more obvious though.

    PuhLease, I see you as saying that “no one is perfect, so why should I care”. You seem that you are showing some anger and scorn. If I’m wrong feel free to tell me. If I’m right, it seems to me that you may need to work out some issues. I can understand why you could still feel resentment. You describe a neglectful childhood in which your parents devalued you as a person. To make matters worse, you were in an abusive marriage where the tyrant claimed divine right.

    I might be going out on a limb here, but it seems to me that you are rather self-critical. It seems natural considering how it seems that you have not been shown much real love, but instead lots of judgement. I may be thinking of that because I used to “beat myself up” as a psychologist once told me.

    Anyway, it’s late and I know that my thoughts may be disjointed. I want to apologize if I say anything offensive to you in this conversation. Thank you for answering my questions above. I look forward to hearing more from you (and not from vochindik).

    vochindik, if you are reading this, remember that silence is golden and duct tape is silver. If you don’t have the will power to communicate like a mentch, consider the duct tape.

  • #907293

    iced
    Member

    PuhLease: Clearly, when the term “OTD” is used, it is referring to leaving the derech of Hashem and his Torah. Not merely or necessarily the derech of ones parents. That being said, it certainly can be said that someone who was frum and knows of the Torah will pay a very heavy price for leaving the derech of the Torah and becoming a Mechallel Shabbos and treif-eater.

  • #907294

    aCookieJar
    Participant

    uneeq:

    Why did you reject Judiasm

    Because Judaism was the source of much pain in my life. I guess for some (or many?) people learning, davening, shabbos, kosher, etc. is a source of pleasure, but for me, it wasn’t.

    In addition, I have been learning more about history and science, and the more I learned the less plausible religion seemed. I finally left when I stopped believing.

    why did you embrace whatever you have embraced

    I didn’t embrace anything in its place.

    Regarding your point about Pascal’s Wager. I am not a betting man. I will live my life being true to myself, and take my chances.

    ready now:

    Teachers who teach English literature and people who quote or reference goyish words really a part of the OTD problem

    No, the exact opposite. People who truly believe that statement are part of the OTD problem.

    then you find fault with my good advice

    I didn’t find fault with any of your advice, rather I pointed out that this thread was not about trying to help those who are “OTD”. I opened myself up to questions, not to being “helped”. I can see PuhLease feels the same way.

    PuhLease:

    it is certainly not your place to determine whether or not one is going to hell

    According to some here, it is unequivocal. If you aren’t “frum” (as determined by them, of course) you will burn in hell. And that’s final. The circumstances simply don’t matter.

  • #907295

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Bad “Help” is worse than no help

  • #907296

    iced
    Member

    acookiejar: Following G-d’s orders, as described in the Torah, is mandatory even it is not “pleasurable”. It is mandatory even if it is “painful”.

  • #907297

    PuhLease
    Member

    @zahavasdad.

    I simply could not agree more. I come to this site to “Stay Connected”.

    I am not sure why I keep coming back. I must have a sadomasochistic streak, because the more I come here, the less I have the urge to return to “the fold”.

    @iced:

    I am denying to acquiesce with your position regarding your statement paying a heavy price for those that are OTD (in the yeshivish world of that particular definition).

    So tell me, whose sins are worse?

    Again, I am opening myself up for questions. If you would like to know, ask, but I will do my best not to lower myself to hypocrites and vendettas, and I will attempt to not respond to stupidities.

    If you have nothing constructive to say or ask, than say nothing at all.

  • #907298

    aCookieJar
    Participant

    iced:

    Following G-d’s orders, as described in the Torah, is mandatory even it is not “pleasurable”. It is mandatory even if it is “painful”.

    Ice cold and callous.

    You go frum and don’t give a dang that you are killing your parents?

    Wow.

  • #907299

    farrocks
    Member

    So tell me, whose sins are worse?

    It is worse to sin in public than to sin in private.

  • #907300

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Pulease

    Have you considered trying a less restrictive form of orthodoxy. The wag the finger element that occurs on this website and in some communities doesnt exist everywhere.

    I do agree that some forms of orthoxy have insulated themselves so much that it becomes impossible to see other views. And many do find pleasure in Chumaras, many do not and are really turned off by them.

  • #907301

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    acookiejar

    Science and History dont prove or disprove anything. I happen to have a university degree in both from a normal secular university (Not even Touro or YU) and Ive taken all those courses (OK I didnt take Biology because I hated it in High School.

    Again its unfortunate that some here disparage all secular studies, it then becomes “the forbidden fruit” and becomes more mysterious than it really is

  • #907302

    shnitzy
    Member

    ouch. wasn’t this supposed to be a peaceful discussion? could everyone like chill? seriously, it’s disgusting…we are all people, at least have respect for that….

  • #907306

    PuhLease
    Member

    @Groisnachas: I have a considerable amount to say with regards to parenting. However, at this time, I am unable to do so, simply because I believe that it would give away entirely too much as to who I am, and where I was raised. I am unwilling to do that at this time. What I will say is this.

    Jeffrey Dahmer, a noted psychopath, whose very behaviors were so immoral that he himself was killed in prison, had parents that loved and cared for him in spite of his “character flaws”. So did David Berkowitz (Son of Sam), amongst others.

    One thing stands out, though publicly decrying their son’s behavior, Dahmer’s father and step mother also publicly stated that while they did not in any way shape or form condone their son’s behavior, he was, and always would be their son (not step son, not killer or pervert, but “son”, and for that reason, they would always love him and support him in any way they could without supporting his criminal actions.

    With all that being said, how many children and adults that go frei have parents and families that can say the same things to and about them, simply because they have chosen to not keep shabbat or kosher?

    That, in of itself, should be a lesson in parenting.

  • #907307

    PuhLease
    Member

    @zahavasdad:

    The moment I put on pants for the first time, in spite of the fact that my kashrut and shabbat observance were impeccable, I became trash in the eyes of the community and my family. Less “strict” or another form wouldn’t have mattered. A step away is a step away. And again, I’m quite content where I am. It doesn’t matter how many times I’m questioned, that’s not going to change.

  • #907308

    aCookieJar
    Participant

    zahavasdad:

    While science and history do not disprove anything, it does cast serious doubt on many parts of the Torah. Perhaps this is due to the background that I came from, where the Torah is considered the absolute with no room for any other considerations.

    A great example of that attitude is the response from my brother when I asked him how he might reconcile any scientific evidence disproving the mabul. His response was “It’s irrelevant to me what science says. If the Torah says it’s true, then it’s true.” (Note I’m not trying to say the Mabul never happened, just what his response was to the possibility.)

    I’m not a scientist, nor am I any kind of talmuch chacham. However, I do not believe that it is possible to reconcile science with the Torah in many cases.

    While this wasn’t a major factor of why I’m no longer religious, it did play a role in why I was willing to walk away from a religion that held nothing but memories of pain and guilt for me.

  • #907309

    aCookieJar
    Participant

    PuhLease:

    As silly as it may seem, I felt the same way the first time I (as a guy) put on blue jeans as you did wearing pants.

  • #907310

    Herr Himmel
    Member

    I don’t understand why PuhLease is tolerated here when she posts on Shabbos, as she did again now and as I noted on the first page of this thread when she did it last week as well.

  • #907311

    groisnaches
    Member

    PuhLease, we all came from the same place, have bumps along the way, and we’ll all end up in the same place, whether we wear skirts or pants or both.

    What is your feeling about the current situation in Israel, where our relatives’ lives there are in danger? Did your change of dress go hand in hand with any shift in loyalties to and concern for your relatives there?

    Either way, take care of yourself, stay healthy and love your kids.

    I have no fear for any OTD people.

    Chut Hameshulash Lo Bimhaira Yenatek.

  • #907312

    This post caught my eye, but I have to share…I have been “frum as a baalas teshuva for over 10 years and am fed up. sometimes i wish i had where to run away to. But i burned all my bridges. nothing seems to have meaning to me anymore. I am dis illusioned by the reality of life. I sometimes fantasize of going off the derech. I dont want to, but its hard.

    We are all products of our environments and therefore whatever what was comfortable and familiar to me is now disowned, distasteful and disallowed. The fact is I dont feel so spiritual sayign asher yotzar in loshen ha kodesh. maybe i ought to say my own prayer of thanks which i write.

    maybe i’m sick of trying to fit in to the cookie mold, the cookie cutter. I lost myself somwhere back there.

    Well anyways, whatever. thats life.

    a gitta voch

  • #907313

    Jakbre
    Member

    PuhLease is right. Even though I am not religious anymore, my parents still love me.

    @iced, I am proud to say that I am not killing my parents. Parents that are incapable of being happy for their child regardless of the choices he or she as made, are selfish parents.

  • #907314

    iced
    Member

    I guess it is possible that some parents are capable of being happy for their child irregardless that the “choice” he or she made is to be an alcoholic and druggie.

  • #907316

    Jakbre
    Member

    How is being otd similar to being an alcoholic or druggie?

  • #907317

    PuhLease
    Member
  • #907319

    PuhLease
    Member

    @groisnachas: There is only one thing I miss about being religious. My siblings.

    That is it. I can make my own food, my own shabbat, I can sing z’mirot, or whatever. I have never felt comfortable in shule, or in the community, regardless of where I have lived, and much like Runs With Scissors, with whom I can very much empathize, I am disillusioned, disappointed, disgusted, pick any of the multitude of “D” or other lettered adjectives that one chooses with frum judaism. Not because of God, but because of the people.

    The difference, is that I wanted to walk away for years and years, and when I finally made the ultimate decision to do so, I was so glad that I did. I have never in my life been more at peace. In terms of the situation in Israel, I may not consider myself religious anymore. That does not change the fact that I still very much consider myself a Jew. Born a Jew, Die a Jew. Period. And, my feelings regarding Israel have not changed. They are what they were 20 years ago, and 20 years before that. I love my children. They are the love and light of my life. However, should they come to me and state that they too have decided to not be religious, I would not love them any less, nor would I discourage them. Their choices are theirs and theirs alone. Never would I do to them what I see being done to other children all across the world. A child is a gift, and should be treated like one.

    @iced: I am pretty sure that one cannot equate being irreligious with being an alcoholic or a drug addict. I know, unfortunately, quite a number of “frum, black hat, yeshivish” individuals who are alcoholics, abusive, pedophiles, and drug addicts. And yet, they are welcomed into the loving arms of the frum community because they act and dress the part. I have only three words for that. Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.

  • #907321

    Herr Himmel
    Member

    A post from today (above) and a post from last week were both made by you on Shabbos. This site should not be facilitating your being mechallel shabbos bfarhesya right here on a frum site.

  • #907322

    iced
    Member

    My point was demonstrating the hypocricy of your demanding that parents lovingly accept the choice of their child, G-d forbid, going otd.

    You wouldn’t suggest a parent lovingly accept their child’s choice to become an alcholoic or druggie.

  • #907323

    aCookieJar
    Participant

    iced:

    When did this conversation become about drugs and alcohol? Neither I nor PuhLease do either (I can’t speak for Jakbre) so it is a topic for another discussion.

    In any case, most of the druggies and alcoholics I know are still frum. I’m sure their parents are very proud.

    Jakbre:

    I’m curious what your story is. Why did you decide to become non-religious?

  • #907325

    HaKatan
    Participant

    To PuhLease and others in this type of situation:

    While I can’t imagine the pain and suffering you must have gone through, and which must have helped drive you to make the decision you did, as I believe you indicated earlier, I still do not understand how you can be “at peace” where you are if that involves any sort of intentional neglect of halacha.

    How does one who was religious and understands laws of this system, even if deprived of its beauty, consider one’s self to legitimately be “not religious any more” as if such a thing were possible?

    I understand if a teen or even an adult rebels out of pain, CH”V, and I do sympathize even if I believe there has to be a better way than dropping one’s faith practices. But even in this case they still understand that their abandonment of mitzvos is simply their rebellion, not an alternate valid path. Please explain your thoughts on this matter.

    While nobody is perfect, regardless of observance label, there is, of course, a difference between sinning while understanding the wrongness of the sin versus sinning and not caring.

    You wrote that you submitted a post on Shabbos and it was not accepted. But surely you know that this is halachicly forbidden, not some overbearing hashkafa that is of no meaning to you. So how can you be at peace with doing something you know clearly is forbidden? Please explain, if you don’t mind.

    Finally, regardless of the Jews in your prior circle, surely there is at least the possibility that there are observant Jews who do not do anything you find morally objectionable. Besides that, you’re free to observe without this behavior you dislike. So why go beyond that and throw away religious observance when you could observe “morally” rather than completely discard? Please explain.

    Regarding your statement “but to use religion to justify terrible behavior, makes Jews as bad as the Moslems who blow people up in the name of Allah”, this is absolutely wrong, and I think your own biases are radically skewing your perspective.

    No public Jewish Orthodox figure would dare to use religion to “justify terrible behavior”. They might rationalize that what they do is not so bad, or otherwise permitted. Or else, if you are referring to molesters, then they might wrongly allow their compassion on the alleged molester to overcome what they should instead be doing.

    But for you to compare that, even if they are wrong and/or biased and issue a terribly incorrect halachic ruling, again, to compare that to these savages and their barbarity of indiscriminate homicide bombing, is wrong. Period.

    May Hashem redeem us all and bring us to the time when Hashem’s Truth is revealed for all people to see.

  • #907326

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    By some of the comments here Its no wonder many are leaving.

  • #907328

    PuhLease
    Member

    @Herr Himmell: I’ve already explained myself. If you are having difficuly with your comprehension, I suggest you get yourself tested. I will not respond to your poorly disguised attempts to pretend to act like an appropriate “frum” person again. Especially since I believe that you and Vochindik are one and the same. People with multiple personality disorders need to be heavily medicated, have you thought about seeing a psychiatrist?

  • #907329

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Pulease, I asked you about less restrictive forms of judaism, not to make you religious again, but you seem to want to be part of the jewish community and all the people you seem to know are the ones with the harsh view of it.

    I cant help you with your family, I wish I could, but I cant. But maybe you can connect to people with similar views to yourself. People who want connection to some form of judaism in their lives but dont want the harsh view.

    While almost everyone here will disagree with me, They want all or nothng and when this is the choice many times its nothing. its isnt the worst thing to pick and choose sometimes. You can decide where you want to go in life. You can meet women who got to shul on Shabbos and wear Jeans on Sunday. You can meet people with the same interests as you who are not quick to wag the finger that you will “Burn forever” (Which is NOT a jewish idea anyway).

    People here have condemed UJA and certain Rabbis. While I do not agree with many of the positions they have taken, at least they keep people connected. When someone is on the fringe becoming a Chasid or Yeshivish is not an option.

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