March 11, 2012 1:04 pm at 1:04 pm #602432avhabenParticipant
What is it with these folks that are only socially Jewish? They act the part merely for social reasons. They want to fit in. But they are totally empty vessels that have no feelings for following the Torah. And in private, as often as not, don’t follow it.
I’m sure such folks always existed. The guys that started the Reform were, originally, supposedly observant Jews. Yet, I’m sure they were never serious, commited, followers of the Torah.March 11, 2012 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm #860067gabieMember
Lately they’ve been called Orthoprax or Heterodox. But whatever you call them, they’ve been around throughout Jewish history. They tend to disappear from the Jewish scene and assimilate into the gentiles after a generation or two (or a bit longer sometimes.)March 11, 2012 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #860068yitayningwutParticipant
Yeshaya decried those who merely pay lip service: “????? ???? ??????? ????? ?????? ??????? ????????????? ???????????? ???????? ????? ????????? ???????? ????????? ????? ??????? ????????? ??????????” – “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.” (29:13)
This past weeks Haftorah has Eliyahu exhorting the Ba’al followers, “???-????? ?????? ????????? ???-??????? ????????????” – “How long are you going to jump back and forth between two positions?”
We all struggle with sincerity. This is the reality of our world. Unfortunately we don’t have an Eliyahu nowadays to give us a miracle or a sign. But it should be noted that it’s one thing to actually jump from one position to another, then to simply not be sincere. Someone who does one thing one day and another on a different day, is to be be exhorted. It is not a mehalech at all. But lack of sincerity, lip service, even “social orthodoxy” as it were, as much as it is not what Judaism ought to be, is something which we have to learn to live with to a certain extent, on a communal level. I think that as long as someone is not going against the Torah or preaching anti-Torah values, we need, on some level, to live and let live. The famous Chazon Ish in Hilchos Shechita is apposite here, v’doik. One day we will have prophets again and it will be easier, and such an Orthodoxy will then be completely unacceptable. But for now, my humble opinion is to let it be, because not doing so would cause more harm than good. On a personal level, of course everyone should work on themselves. I am speaking on a communal level, because it sounds to me like the OP is trying to create a split in the community, and this I believe is incorrect in the world we live in.March 12, 2012 1:02 pm at 1:02 pm #860069
They get the whole kiruv thing, but don’t take the hook.
Your complaints are like asking a fish why it didn’t take the hook, but did take the bait.March 14, 2012 2:59 am at 2:59 am #860070gabieMember
What kiruv? These guys are often born frum.March 14, 2012 1:27 pm at 1:27 pm #860071
What kiruv? These guys are often born frum.
Why be Jewish? If the reason is Chulent, then they are doing right. If the reason is Hashem, then they aren’t. Kiruv tries to get you to do the second by pulling you in with the first.
Being socially Jewish allows you to take the Geshmak parts and leave the difficult ones.March 14, 2012 2:00 pm at 2:00 pm #860072soliekMember
by the way, on the subject of kiruv for orthoprax people, ive come to the conclusion that its pointless. the foundation of their problem (not the cause…the cause is usually something unrelated to religion itself) is a complete lack of belief in god and by extension the torah. ive given up trying to convince people to believe in god because i feel that it is a personal decision–not one that can be made for someone else. i can share my experiences, i can tell them why i believe, but i cant try to make them believe. we are all given free will, and for many if not most people born frum in never really is a choice we have to make, but it can be, and if it is, it is one of the hardest decisions a person would have to make in life.
the people i have come across usually try to instigate a fight with me in hope that by making me look like an idiot theyll be secure enough in their kefirah. im not going to facilitate that, and i dont believe the conversation would be productive even if i did win the argument, so i just dont bother. i gladly debate everything with anyone who wants to except the existence of god–i just see it as a pointless endeavour.March 14, 2012 6:06 pm at 6:06 pm #860073BTGuyParticipant
Everyone I know who came about orthodoxy through kiruv is inspired, dedicated, and very respectful every time they are in shul, for example.
I cannot tell you how many people I look up to who learn and know a lot and who I respect for that; BUT…they are always schmoozing in shul, during leining, during the reading of the Megilla as of late.
While I can understand people dont always feel inspired, and I can also understand that I dont know what it is like to be doing this from birth, still, I wonder how they let their involvement dilute to the social. They seem to have lost admiration for the Torah, physically and spiritually.
Something is wrong. I believe that when you start to “know”, you have no other option but to show great respect for all that is Jewish.March 14, 2012 6:23 pm at 6:23 pm #860074
BTGuy: Why can’t you not “know”, but still remain/join for the social aspect?
What happens if a BT likes the social aspect, but doesn’t get the restrictions? The same question for a non BT?March 14, 2012 7:37 pm at 7:37 pm #860075yichusdikParticipant
BT Guy, I wonder if they have lost/are losing respect/admiration for Torah, or if they have lost respect and admiration for community and leadership. I can tell you that my experience discussing this phenomenon with people in the Chareidi/Yeshivish world puts people in four camps.
1. Those who don’t see any fundamental problems and don’t want to hear about problems and challenges, because it’s all in the hands of the Aibishter and they have ‘al ma lismoch’ in their lives and don’t want or need to question. Many of these people are the happy plurality of Chareidi populations, and likely represent a majority of chareidi and yeshivish communities. In a way, these people have a pure emunah, but they are also sometimes the ones who will ignore or deflect issues of abuse or crime or simple lack of menschlichkeit in the community because they can’t deal with the thought that someone in our community could possibly be doing such things.
2. Those who see the beauty of a Torah lifestyle, but who are upset, even disgusted by action condoned or ignored by some in positions of leadership, who don’t subscribe to the increasing kano’us they are seeing, and are worried about their institutions and their children in a less wholesome community than it could be. These individuals maintain both the lifestyle and the emunah in Torah and HKBH, but have had their dependence on leadership rattled, and their understanding of what Daas Torah means shaken. They don’t want to rock the boat, though, so they quietly live with their disappointment.
3. Those who can no longer see the beauty of the Torah lifestyle they grew up in, and have lost not only their respect for our community’s leadership and institutions, but also believe that these problems indicate fundamental flaws in the Torah way of life that they can not resolve or reconcile. Nonetheless, because of their spouse or their kids or simply because they don’t know any other way, they remain in the community, doing lip service in public but feeling nothing inside. I don’t think they are “orthoprax” because they want to deceive everyone, I think they are orthoprax because, fundamentally, they are afraid of the implications of change.
4. Those who either leave or are forced out of the community because they can not or do not want to fit within it, who sometimes quietly disappear, but who sometimes make a spectacular noise and likely a huge chilul hashem on the way out, like the two recent cases that have been in the news.
There are also those – a fair number, I expect, who come to a point of compromised emunah not because of the shortcomings of the community, but because of their own personal issues, be they familial, financial, emotional, or otherwise. I have a lot of empathy for these individuals and can only hope they find peace within themselves, as that might lead them back to stronger emunah.March 15, 2012 1:14 pm at 1:14 pm #860076BTGuyParticipant
Hi Gavra and Yichusdik,
I cannot speak for those people, but it seems to me that in one shul I go to there are so many FFB, not all, but noticeably many, who are socializing the whole time.
All I can say is that I know for me, there is not always inspiration and then I have to do the work because I made a commitment and I know better. I can only imagine if I were doing this since childhood, which I why I dont really judge them.
I was just commenting that it cannot always be assumed it is those who did not get a yeshiva background as a kid.
Basically, we all have to work to improve our committment, and that is not always easy for anyone for a variety of reasons, as you know.March 15, 2012 2:54 pm at 2:54 pm #860077soliekMember
by the way, i would wager that for most people, their emuna is an afterthought almost. they believe in hashem because why shouldnt they…their parents did and told them to, but most people i would say never have to give it much thought. those who do have to, for whatever reason, either come out stronger, or just drop it all.
poll yourselves, when was the last time you gave your emuna any serious thought? im not saying this to put a dent in anyones emuna chas vshalom, but it is an interesting point to ponder.
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