Requesting information about frumteens and R’ Yaakov Shapiro (hear me out mods!)

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  • #1308042

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    Hi everyone!
    Long time no see. I’m out of Sem, but pretty busy. Plus most of the folk I know here are gone and every time I come here I just end up stirring up trouble so yeah. But I’m alive and good.

    I’ve been doing some research on frumteens. It was kind of before my time, but I’ve spent over 8 hours now just reading and googling stuff on the site and this Rav. I know someone who wants to make a website with similar concepts. (Don’t worry, she’s been talking to some pretty big rabanim about it and it sounds very positive! Daas Torah and all) Anyway I’m still confused as to why type this Rabbi was, I have so many questions for him, that would be so helpful if they could be answered! About the site too. I know most of you were around back then, I noticed The Wolf had been posting there, and I’m sure others have to.

    Like was this Rav Chareidi? Why didn’t he post his name? Why did the site shut down? Why didn’t he get haskamos? Why did people bash it? How did he have time for this? Why did he make it? Who helped him make it? Who is the gadol he posted about that pushed him to do it? and more…

    Please, even if you can’t post information, perhaps you can pass it through the mods.
    I’m not sure.
    (Oh and mods, sorry bout the whole book and music buisness. I’ve gotten more mature and educated….but I still retain parts of my side I won’t give up on!)

    #1310599

    Joseph
    Participant

    WB, Shopping613.

    Rav Yaakov Shapiro shlita was and is Chareidi. I think he didn’t post his name because even though he was (I think) the main mod, he wasn’t the only mod who posted and answered shailos and haskafa questions. He also had haskamas from other rabbonim but I don’t remember who they were.

    Regarding why the bloggers bashed him, well, that’s what bloggers do. They were basically a set of Chareidi haters who hated anything Chareidi and anything that strictly followed the Torah without regard to modern 21st century Western norms.

    The truth is he didn’t have enough time to be responsive full-time to the large number of posts to the site, which is which there was often delays in posting and responding, and sometimes not everything would get addressed so other volunteers would try to kick in when they could. The site started in the late ’90s and was still going strong for over ten years. Eventually it got replaced by the newer site, which was slightly more active when new but doesn’t seem to currently have enough volunteers with time to be very active.

    You should know that Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, a Modern Orthodox rabbi, wrote a multi-page cover story in the Orthodox Union’s flagship publication Jewish Action effusively praising Rabbi Shapiro and the work he conducted on the website for, as he described it, literally saving the spiritual and physical lives of dozens and dozens of Jewish teenagers at-risk. Through the site all kinds of troubled teens got in the touch with the rabbi and he would help them and put them in touch with people and communities that could guide them to a proper Jewish life.

    #1310681

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Shopping – HI! hope you are doing well and keeping your nose clean 🙂
    I don’t know much about frumteens, and I don’t read bloggers blogs for obvious halachik, hashkofic and spiritual reasons, but I have to tell you that Joseph’s endorsement worries me. I am familiar with his version of “kiruv” and how destructive it can be. I looked at a few videos of that Rabbi when Joseph used to quote frumteens a lot and I found him quite unsettling. Please be cautious and find out more from people you actually know in real life and trust. I don’t know if you are the “friend” or if you are just working together but please be careful. People have a tendency to want to tell people what they want to hear to keep them from being turned off, and that is not Torah. and some people want to throw it smack in your face and call it truth (“Shabbos!”) and that isn’t Torah either.
    Hatzlacha in doing whatever is right.

    #1310684

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    Shapiro is one of Joseph’s heroes because he is a member of Neturei Karta. He stands with the enemies of the Jewish people, and deserves no respect at all.

    #1310714

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    A blog is just a soapbox. They are not good or bad in general, it depends who’s using it.

    #1310733

    Joseph
    Participant

    LOL. It was actually exactly folks like DaMoshe and his very good friend and neighbor Feif Un — who in fact ran a hugely negative blog that literally every single post attacked Chareidim and strict Torah adherence. Indeed the name of the blog itself (which after being up for years suddenly disappeared within an hour after on this forum I identified its owner as Feif) was named “OrthoWatch”, as if we Orthodox are bad people needing to be exposed.

    It was exactly these type of folks that hated the Rov shlita, who is the Mara D’asra of a Litvish Kehila in New York and has absolutely no affiliation with Neteurei Karta. And if you search his comments on his site regarding NK you’ll see he was not supportive of them. But since the Rov frequently critiqued Zionism, bitter Zionists having no real basis to attack him invented stuff just as you saw DM falsely claim his affiliation with NK.

    #1310743

    Joseph
    Participant

    Syag, one thing anyone who knows Rav Shapiro shlita’s writings, responses and talks can absolutely verify for you, he is the last person in the world to tell people what they want to hear. He famously will give the full Torah position in whatever issue is being discussed, even if that might make Torah Judaism seem very strict to someone secular or modern orthodox. Whether he’ll tell teens and tweens that have a boyfriend/girlfriend the absolute prohibition of having even a “platonic” friend of the opposite gender or someone enamoured with the State of Israel the Torah violations of Zionism, he certainly will not hide the Torah position to anyone who might not like what they hear.

    #1310758

    Imanonov
    Participant

    I used to visit Frumteens often and was always very impressed with the very kosher hashkofos and openness expressed there. Yes he wan’t a Tzioni, and rightfully so, but I never had the impression he was a Neturei Karte.

    #1310771

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Pretty sure Syag meant that frumteens had the other issue…

    #1310775

    Joseph
    Participant

    The mere fact that Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, who does not shy away on his cross currents from heavily criticizing Chareidim and Chareidi positions — and he’s a Zionist himself, in a feature article in OU’s magazine effusively praised to the hilts both frumteens and Rav Shapiro shlita as literally saving the lives and neshomas of so many troubled young Jewish boys and girls through his work on frumteens (and through his shul where he’s Rov), speaks huge volumes against anyone who would criticize Rav Shapiro.

    #1310780

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    What is necessary today are websites that provide non-judgmental, torah-based information to those with questions about lifestyles, education, workplace issues etc. but provide the opportunity for the individual to analyze information and decide for himself/herself their own hashkafah. The old fashioned guidance of finding one’s own local rav/posek is an ideal but often impractical in today’s world where younger people are highly mobile and don’t set down roots long enough to build such relationships. While having your own “virtual rav” would be second best, it also requires that individuals learn to think critically and decide for themselves how they want to live a torah-based life in the 21st century.

    #1310785

    Meno
    Participant

    Gadolhadorah

    What you’re suggesting is a WebMD-type site to replace Rabbonim.

    I was once having jaw pains and WebMD led me to believe that it was due to cocaine abuse.

    WebMD was a horrible idea, as is yours.

    #1310802

    Joseph
    Participant

    The Torah is judgemental. Not all hashkafas are equal or acceptable. You may not pick and choose. Torah Judaism implores us all to have a Rov. Having a “Virtual Rav” is, at best, like having a Virtual Spouse. We need to adhere to our Rabbonim’s Torah hashkafa, based on our Torah given to us by Hashem at Har Sinai over 3,000 years ago, and not “decide for themselves how they want to live a torah-based life in the 21st century.”

    #1310855

    “I was once having jaw pains and WebMD led me to believe that it was due to cocaine abuse.”
    truth hurts, huh?

    #1310857

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Say what you want, if someone writes a blog and Joseph is going nuts defending it and singing it’s praises, I would worry.
    And Joseph, every time (at least four or five in my memory) you want to say something positive about frumteens you reference that one article. I have always held that if a person can only bring one concrete example over and over again to prove their point, it is sorely lacking.

    RebYidd – sure thing, just like television

    #1310867

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    To Meno:
    Getting objective and non-judgmental advice on matters of halacha online when you don’t have physical or electronic access to a rav/posek with whom you’ve established a personal relationship Is a lot better than simply not getting any advice.
    To Joseph:
    My virtual wife assures me that she much prefers our electronic relationship than having to deal with me in a physical reality. Also, while Toras Moshe is “judgmental” there is no reason why a rav who professes to be knowledge about Toras Moshe must be judgemental. In fact, one of the greatest midos shared by both Rav Moshe’ Z’TL, and the Rebbe , ZTL, was how each was known for never denigrating or disparaging someone who came to them for advice. They were not shy about offering their views of what the Torah objectively required but at the same time never verbally abused a yid who professed to not having met that ideal.

    #1310868

    Joseph
    Participant

    Read again, Syag. I’ve provided dozens of proofs over various comments and theads demonstrating that the left-wing critics hate him and the Halacha/Hashkafa website because he’s unabashedly Chareidi and promotes Daas Torah as espoused by our Gedolim shlita today and our Gedolei Yisroel zt’l of yesteryear. But what really galls many of these MO blogging critics of his, is his clear opposition to Zionism. That’s why Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein’s review is especially powerful and poignant, that I’ve pointed it out more frequently perhaps than the many other points I’ve enumerated and referenced positively supporting him. But you are certainly incorrect in asserting that there aren’t so many other, even greater, points in Rav Shapiro’s lifetime of Hatzalas Nefoshos and other holy work on behalf of Klal Yisroel saving so many young Jewish lives both in ruchniyos and in gashmiyus.

    And it certainly isn’t only me. Just look, as a quick example, at Imanonov’s comment right above in this thread.

    #1310876

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Blogs are very different from television. What goes on TV is decided by companies. Any individual can blog. Some posters here should.

    #1310886

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    your comment is what is not different. You know good and well what kind of garbage, nivel peh, l”h, kefira and apikorsus you can be exposed to on blogs written by people who usually wont even post their names and with other no-namers posting. There is no halachik freebie for that type of exposure and just because there are many (maybe) “good channels”, that doesn’t excuse you.

    #1310906

    Meno
    Participant

    Gadolhadorah
    Getting objective and non-judgmental advice on matters of halacha online when you don’t have physical or electronic access to a rav/posek with whom you’ve established a personal relationship Is a lot better than simply not getting any advice.

    Would you say the same about medical advice? Do think I would have been better off listening to the advice I got from WebMD and checked in to a rehab facility to take care of my cocaine abuse problem just because I wasn’t able to get in touch with an actual doctor?

    WebMD gives people a false sense that they have diagnosed their problem, which is most often not true. The same would be true of the website you are suggesting.

    (For anyone just tuning in, I don’t actually have a cocaine problem. Though I suppose that’s what someone with a problem would say…)

    #1310920

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Syag, the same can be said of books. What excuse is there for reading books when you know what kefira and nivel peh can be in there, especially these days with self publishing?
    And I mostly don’t read Jewish blogs, so that alone is skipping most of the problematic content.

    #1310926

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    RebYid23

    You clearly have a viewpoint and are entitled to hold by it ….for many of us, getting input from online sources on a subject we know little about is better than making decisions with no information. Most of us feel competent to sort out the information we get online and apply the appropriate discount factors based on the qualifications of the source, how the advice conforms with other views solicited, etc. As another post commented, ANY third-party information requires one to exercise some degree of analysis prior to using that information as the basis for decisions. As to your own challenges in virtual rehab, we all wish you a refuah shelaymah.

    #1310938

    Meno
    Participant

    ^ Was this meant for me?

    #1310949

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Yes….cannot imagine how I could have confused Meno and RebYid….my apologies to whichever of you felt the greater insult

    #1310951

    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    Like ten minutes before opening this up i heard something about having a rov. The torah has so many mitzvos that require specific shiurim. With that, most shiurim are disputed about. Why?

    Because this will make you keep on going to a rabbi to ask him how to do this and how to do that. Getting close to a rabbi is very important for spiritual growth and helps anchor a person to judiasm.

    #1310955

    Meno
    Participant

    my apologies to whichever of you felt the greater insult

    I feel honored, though I would expect RebYid to feel insulted

    #1311029

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    RY – nobody was talking about books.
    and to say reading non-Jewish blogs skips the most problematic content is ridiculous. I’m sorry you are even willing to read that stuff let alone defend doing so.

    #1310860

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    Joe, Shapiro is also friends with Gilad Atzmon, who has proclaimed that he follows a strict diet – “I eat anything but kosher”. He is willing to deal with someone who hates everything Jewish in order to bash Israel.
    Shapiro has never said anything against NK, and has publicly bashed Israel, in front of non-Jews. He is inciting non-Jews against Jews, and likely can be considered a rotzeach.

    As for Feif Un, we aren’t neighbors. We are friends, and used to be co-workers. I met him in college. I also introduced him to Rabbi Bender, who he now admires very much.

    #1311143

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Syag, if you don’t read blogs, how would you know anything about them?
    I occasionally like to keep up with the farming blogs to learn more about caring for goats. Goats are low-maintenance compared to some other animals, but you can’t be too prepared.

    #1311277

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Syag, you brought up television, I mentioned books. And if blogs are bad, are message boards okay?

    #1311278

    Joseph
    Participant

    Rav Bender is no Zionist, unlike you and Feif.

    Rav Shapiro is not friends with Israeli Jew Gilad Atzmon. Oh my, the same radio host interviewed both the Israeli Mr. Atzmon and Rav Shapiro in NY and the Jewish Mr. Atzmon said he liked what the Rav was saying? That isn’t what makes one friends.

    #1311300

    Joseph
    Participant

    Bashing the State in front of non-Jews is a Mitzvah in order to educate the non-Jewish world that the State does *not* represent Judaism or the Jewish world, as the State and Prime Minister often falsely claim to represent on the world stage.

    By educating the world that the State’s position is a false narrative, we can hope to mitigate the negative reaction of the world when the State of Israel does harmful and reprehensible things, from the world blaming Israel’s badness on Jews in general, since the State of Israel falsely claims to represent world Jewry.

    But all of that is aside from your demonstrably false claim that the Rov is affiliated with NK. He is not and never was.

    #1311304

    Yitzchok Adlerstein
    Participant

    Some clarification is in order. I do not in any manner or form endorse Frumspeak or many of the positions of R Yaakov Shapiro. I wrote an article for Jewish Action many years ago about internet resources for teens with questions. Frumspeak was one of the resources I considered. I had seen a sampling of responses, and they seemed good, so I brought the site to the attention of readers. The reaction from readers was quick and furious; I quickly learned about other responses on Frumspeak, and positions of its author. I retracted my piece in a subsequent issue. I regret that I was not more conversant with some of those other responses when I first wrote my piece. (It should not surprise anyone that a bright, gifted person is capable of some very good responses to teen questions – and some very bad ones at the same time.) Any implied endorsement has been entirely pulled back. (My neighbors would be amused by one commenter’s assumption that I am MO. Not to mention the fact that Wikipedia says that I am charedi, and Wikipedia is always right! For better or worse, I am probably as charedi as R Yaakov Shapiro. But I don’t regard the MO label as negative either. I know plenty of MO yidden whose company, yiras shomayim, ehrlichkeit, and general avodas Hashem seem more appealing to me than that of some of my charedi coreligionists. )

    #1311312

    Letakein Girl
    Participant

    Here’s a quote from an article written by Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein entitled “Rabbenu Murphy”, which was published on the website Cross Currents, back in March of 2005:

    “The one I will apologize for is my review column in Jewish Action [Spring 2005; not available online]. Even good friends and supporters got it wrong, which means that I must have missed the mark of effective communication. (The only blog I read with regularity is Hirhurim, and even Gil misunderstood my intentions.)

    No, this leopard has not changed his spots. I find Frumteens� hashkafic pronouncements odious and repugnant. When I interviewed the mysterious Moderator, I told him that I would have to point out in print that our readers � myself included � reject his views. I made good on that promise.

    The mistake which people made (for which I have to take some responsibility) is seeing the article as some sort of endorsement of the Frumteens site, or of Mr. Frumteens. I thought I had made it abundantly clear that the site was valuable in giving parents a glimpse into the world of troubled teens. I continue to believe that many parents are in denial about what is happening in our community, and that hearing first person accounts might give some of them a jump-start into getting more involved. I have no reason to doubt that Frumteens provides a rare window into a little-understood world.”

    #1311506

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Adlerstein make a cogent point with respect to the risks of “endorsement’ of any website postings since there is not the same level of “quality control” as one might assume with hard copy publications. However, that simply means we apply a higher level of skepticism and due diligence to “advice” websites, Wikopedia type sites, and other forms of social media. I’m not aware that Moshe Rabenu had a Facebook pate and was liked by hundreds of thousands of yidden in the midbar and then flamed when the maan didn’t show up on time…..somehow, the rebbe was able to communicate to the world without a Twitter account by sharing pearls of wisdom, along with his aura and a dollar bill. Every generation communicates and shares information and advice differently but one common thread is that everyone ultimately is given the power of analysis and reasoning by HKBH and failure to use that power is ultimately you own fault, not that of some “Fake Virtual Posek”

    #1311491

    Joseph
    Participant

    Rabbi Adlerstein’s original multi-page Jewish Action article on frumteens is available online as a PDF. It is clearly effusive in lavishing high praise on both the frumteens site and the work and success of the rabbi behind the site in helping Jewish teenagers, via the site, in remaining frum.

    Sure Rabbi Adlerstein mentions in the article that many readers of the OU magazine will greatly disagree with the sites strong position against Zionism and its criticism of Modern Orthodoxy. And after the article was published RYA felt the strong heat from the farbrente Zionist clientele of the OU magazine’s subscribers in letters to the editor that were openly bitter that RYA dared to lavish such high praise upon RYS, despite his highly admirable and undisputed success in saving Jewish lives — as documented in detail in the Jewish Action article — since RYS was outspoken in his writings against Zionism and MO leaders. And for this clientele, Zionism was the greatest form of their religion. Speaking against Zionism was heresy to them and wiped out even saving lives.

    With the intensity of that heat RYA indeed wrote a letter in a following issue apologizing for not further making clear he certainly doesn’t agree with RYS’s positions on Zionism and Modem Orthodoxy and their leaders. But even then he still acknowledged the article itself was entirely accurate in describing the many young Jewish lives saved by RYS through frumteens.

    Whether RYA describes himself as Chareidi, MO or anything else, even a cursory reading of his many writings in cross currents and elsewhere makes abundantly clear that his underlying hashkafas, and not just his endearment to Zionism but his overall views and take on religious events, is far closer to Modern Orthodoxy than to Chareidi. His site partner Rabbi Yaakov Menken is a bit more to RYA’s right and RYM could be better described (in his worldviews) as Chareidi-light.

    #1311521

    Matan1
    Participant

    Joseph, I’m sure Rabbi Adlerstein is grateful for you explaining his views to him.

    #1311547

    Joseph
    Participant

    I didn’t explain it to him, I explained it to you. He didn’t explain his views at all, other than to self-describe to the category of Chareidi. But even that category, as much as he may self-identify to it, doesn’t imo correctly fit the multitude of views he’s expressed in writings. Indeed, a number of years ago Rabbi Sherer publicly criticized him from the podium of the Agudah Convention for his criticisms of Chareidi life. That wouldn’t happen if it were only an isolated, rather than continuous, criticism of Chareidim.

    #1313401

    mik5
    Participant

    Rabbi Shapiro is, if I am not mistaken, the grand-nephew of the Satmar Rebbe.

    Like was this Rav Chareidi? Why didn’t he post his name? Why did the site shut down? Why didn’t he get haskamos? Why did people bash it? How did he have time for this? Why did he make it? Who helped him make it? Who is the gadol he posted about that pushed him to do it? and more…

    He is Charedi. I don’t know where he supposedly didn’t post his name. His name is Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro. I have also spent a lot of time going through the Web site. The site was “bashed” because it expressed authentic daas Torah regarding Zionism, Lubavitch, and Modern Orthodoxy, as opposed to “popular” positions. He did it to help Yidden/ teenagers with questions about Yiddishkeit. There were other people/ “moderators” who assisted Rabbi Shapiro. He was clearly close with/ influenced by such gedolim as the Satmar Rebbe and HaGaon HaRav A. Miller zatzal.

    Just recently, Rabbi Shapiro spoke at the anti-draft/ anti-Zionist asifa in Barclay’s Center, where he said almost the same speech, word for word, as he had said earlier at a similar asifa in Jerusalem.

    Rabbi Shapiro travels around the world telling both Yidden and goyim about the evils of Zionism. (The Satmar Rebbe said that at every asifa, or gathering/ protest, there should be one English speaker so that the press, etc. can understand that the State of Israel does NOT represent Torah Jews, even though, of course, all Chassidic gatherings are conducted in Yiddish. Rabbi Shapiro is that English speaker.)

    #1314896

    Sam2
    Participant

    Shoppinh: I was a teenager when Frumteens was still a thing, and I and my friends used to go on it because, as bored internet-using teenagers who wanted to converse and interact with other Frum teens online. Needless to say, we were beyond disappointed. I personally know dozens of people who had either major psychological issues or spent time off the Derech (or both) because of that site and its moderators. Several of people I knew in high school are not Frum anymore, and the responsibility for that is squarely on the shoulders of those who ran that site.

    #1314998

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Several of people I knew in high school are not Frum anymore, and the responsibility for that is squarely on the shoulders of those who ran that site.

    WADR (and, keep in mind that I am no fan of Rabbi Shapiro and Frumteens), if a rabbi on a internet message board can make you go OTD, you probably weren’t all that strongly on it to begin with.

    IOW, he may have played a role, but to lay the blame “squarely” on his shoulders as if he is the sole (or even main) reason someone went OTD is far-fetched, IMHO.

    The Wolf

    #1315016

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Wolf, I have to strongly disagree. I think your argument is 100% correct when people say that they saw a bunch of jews littering and went off, or they had one rebbe who humiliated people and they went off. But I think this is very different because this was a place that teens with questions could come for advice and answers. If someone in that mashpia capacity represents and teaches Torah in a certain way, they can do tremendous damage to a healthy teen. the mashpia acting out may not send a healthy teen off, but lectures, answers, schmmozen can certainly send people off. While Joseph likes to pretend someone can spit acid in your face and spread love, the truth of the matter is that our greatest, greatest gedolim NEVER treated people, Torah or halachos that way. Period. And that is because those warm and loving (though harsh when need be) Gedolim were representing Torah, and living Torah, and loving Hashem, and loving his brios. But those who hate, teach hate, and teach that Hashem hates, are perverting Torah true Judaism and turning people away.

    #1315092

    My interaction with Frumteens was as a mom trying to find information about various seminaries when my daughter was still in HS. Ironically, I first heard of her sem from posts I saw there when I was googling around about seminaries. It gave me an idea of what the hashkafas of that particular seminary were, and other key factors I wasn’t going to find out about elsewhere. She had two of the greatest years in her life there.

    #1326033

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    Well I’m seeing all this information way too late. I had a vision that this wouldn’t get posted and I checked and well…I guess it took a while for them to let it through and by that time I had stop checking the CR cuz I figured it wasn’t going through.

    Ok I actually learned a few things thanks stalking, um I mean researching online.
    I actually managed to track down Rabbi Shapiro and speak to him myself.

    About being anonymous: This site was started in the 1990’s when that’s what worked for people, every blogger was anonymous and people followed them.
    2. He wanted people to listen to him, not because he had a fancy name (he is a huge masmid of Rabbi Shneur Kotler (Son of Rabbi Aron Kotler) (who actually told Rabbi Shapiro to create the site) but because what he was saying actually made sense.
    3. It was huge back then, he didn’t want people stalking him, and he said although he was anonymous many people found him and sent him hate mail, threatening him (for making their kids frummer and “extremist” (oh you mean chareidi?) and his children.

    I spoke to some Rabbis from my seminary, from Aish, and from other places that are very credible and a lot even knew him and praised his work very well.

    If you aren’t chareidi then you may find his hashkafa not your type, but that doesn’t mean he’s bad.

    Why was it shut down? Well he transfered to an updated site called JewsWithQuestions, but when the internet asifa happened they lost 50 percent of their traffic and people just stopped coming. He also didn’t have time, it was his students and other people he supervised that did frumteens.

    When I spoke to Rabbi Shapiro he actually praised me for being so cautious about using and trusting his site. I was extremely cautious when I called him and told him that I want to know who he thinks he is, and how can I know if he’s credible. (I really asked such a big Rabbi that…I needed to know) again he said that the formula was helpful 10 years ago, but the world is different now and anyone going online has a good reason to be cautious as there is no credible information online about him, his website, etc.

    Sam2, as with anything in the frum world, everyone is so different. You create a formula or a system that helps 90 percent of people, there’s always the ones that need something different. I’m sorry, but that’s not a condemnation of him.

    Syag, he’s saying that this was online, no names, nothing. It could not of hurt that much. Most kids have enough self esteem not to take anything online that seriously.

    I hope this sheds some light on this.
    One last point, when speaking to my principal from seminary (a well known BY seminary, plus my principal speaks in many other seminaries like Darchei Binah, Pninim, Seminar, etc.) he told me that Rabbi Shapiro is chariedi, but represents someone with extreme veiws. His veiws aren’t wrong, but sometimes if you aren’t chariedi yourself you will find his veiws “exteme”.

    #1326048

    slominer
    Participant

    Wow, frumteens brings back memories as a kid. My father is an askan in some klal matters and I know a lot of kids and young adults directly became frum through their finding and interacting with the rabbis on that website. Many of these kids who became frum after working with Rabbi Shapiro had been OTD. But there were some who were never frum and some who were MO who became more frum. Those were the days.

    #1327423

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Just to stick in another view point:

    I, and even more so Halevia, have frequented Frumteens in their heyday. It was indeed refreshing to have a seriously Frum website in those days.The Hashkafah in general was very solid and it put things in correct perspective for many people.

    The anti-Zionist things was a raw thumb and perhaps part of its unfortunate undoing. Rav Shapiro has adapted the Satmar approach, which is fine but far from the normative approach. To most Heimish people the Satmar obsession with ‘The Medina’ is off the mark. Had the site just kept away from the topic they might have been much better off. But the Satmar Shita is that Zionism is right up there with Avoda Zara, and a Milchamah MiDor Dor. Therefore, a lot of energy and space was wasted on that. And this took attention away from important topics.

    The site itself, other than discussions with the Rav was also a great outlet for the teens to discuss things which each other and express themselves.

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