04 October 2006

Unchosen

Just as I came late to the whole BLOG party, I also arrived late to the “Unchosen” party. And I’m really upset that I did, because this book touched me. The problem is that I read it over a month ago and I don’t remember the details so clearly anymore. I kept on pushing off posting about it, because I wanted to be able to do it real justice, better than my typical hastily written posts. At this point, I’m reaching the “better late than never stage” so here goes.

I was totally blown away by this book. (And so was my non-skeptic wife, but more about that in a later post). For those that joined the party even later than I, this book is about the lives of some Chasidim who either no longer wish to stay in the fold or decide to lead double lives within the Chassidic fold. And just like the characters I come across in Blogs, the characters in Unchosen each have their own story, their own path to the world of Skepticism. The real colorful ones have an emotional bent to their tale and others are more intellectually driven. In any event, I found myself identifying with and pitying some of these poor souls.

Take Yossi, who is the protagonist of the book. While he does have serious emotional problems, I can’t help but shake the feeling that his emotional issues are exacerbated due to his being stuck in world he no longer cares for. Or take a Rabbi Fein (not real name) that remains in the system as a popular Chassidic Lecturer.

As difficult as my situation is, it pales in comparison to these individual’s plight. Those that stay in a double life, are trapped in a much tighter web than I find myself in. And those that want to leave find they are unprepared and lack the social and educational skills to live in the secular world.

The book also discussed “Footsteps”, an organization run by a Malkie Schwartz, herself being an Unchosen. The organization is devoted to providing support for those Chassidim who wish to enter or explore society outside their current boundaries. I believe Footsteps could use volunteers, so if you're in a position to help, check out their website.

I was so moved by this book that I contacted the author, Hella Winston. My first Email to her included the following:

“You have uncovered a deep truth about our society (Chasidic and Non-
Chasidic), namely that peer pressure and public opinion plays a deep
role in many peoples development.”


Well, after several Emails back and forth, I had a long telephone conversation with her. She was, to date, the only verbal contact I’ve ever had with anyone about my situation. Let me now take a step back. Hella, while Jewish, is not from a religious background. Yet, she managed to gain insight and access into the workings of this subset of the Jewish Community. She was amazingly sympathetic and understanding of my own plight and the bind that I’m in. I am grateful to her simply for listening.

If you have not yet read this book, check it out. You’ll be glad you did.

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    188 Comments:

    At October 04, 2006 4:39 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    First of all, as a convert to Judaism, I can tell you that it really works both ways.

    Imagine a man in Kansas who decides to convert to Judaism (perhaps after reading my blog; and believe it or not I have gotten several inquiries about conversion). How easy do you think it will be for him? He will have to leave his wife and children. He will lose his family and friends. His parents will call him crazy. His children will not have shidduchim problems, however they will not be able to afford college without his support. This is besides the fact that he will have to convince the rabbis to accept him, learn new languages and an entire new culture, etc. It is just as hard as it is for a Satmarer to change and become a goy. Yet there are many wonderful converts who do make the leap.

    The impression I got from Hella's book is that her subjects were basically just complainers who are unhappy being Frum and who will be unhappy elsewhere as well.

     
    At October 04, 2006 4:52 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >First of all, as a convert to Judaism, I can tell you that it really works both ways.

    I can sympathize with that and I give enormous credit (if that's the right word) to those who embrace Judaism.

    >The impression I got from Hella's book is that her subjects were basically just complainers who are unhappy being Frum and who will be unhappy elsewhere as well.

    I'm not surprized you would see only that. You keep searching for some hidden motive to my change of heart.

    I do agree that there are some or even lots (but not all) who would forsake Judaism for emotional reasons, but I bet you there are plenty of BT's and Gerim who embrace OJ as an emotional response.

    So it does go both ways.

     
    At October 04, 2006 4:58 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    In Hella's book, I didn't hear any philosophical or idealistic reasons. It was more like "I want to have a girlfriend and go to the movies, but I don't want to anger my parents. So in Brooklyn I'm a Jew and in Manhattan I'm a goy." That doesn't really inspire me.

     
    At October 04, 2006 5:07 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    JP, I don't think Hella's book is meant to be inspirational. It's a statement about a segment of society that has been hidden. A segment of a society that closely parallels mine.

    True, most of the anectodes in Hella's book are of people who stray for emotional reasons. But there were others such as Fine and some other individual who saw the light while away in Israel. I should also state, that just because someone starts down the path of secularization because of emotions does not mean there is no intellect to back it up. I should not let myself fall into that trap.

     
    At October 04, 2006 6:46 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    bhb
    and you left us hanging with your wife.

    can i borrow your copy?
    i read the book by f. margolese, 'off the derech'. im sorry i bought it.
    are you sure its a better read than that?

     
    At October 04, 2006 6:57 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Happy, it was a great read. I got it, or I should say my wife got it from the library. I would have been too afraid to take it out bacause my wife would think that I have an interest in skeptics. (See I'm spilling too many beans from next post.) I don't remember the last book I bought, I'm Jewish remember?

     
    At October 04, 2006 7:08 PM, Blogger Hasidic Rebel said...

    "her subjects were basically just complainers "

    JP, I am flabbergasted by that comment. Is that all you can find in your heart for individuals in obviously tragic circumstances? Furthermore, do you honestly think someone with intellectual motivations would fare differently?

    And why should you need idealistic or intellectual motivations? The author isn't trying to engage you in an argument, and she isn't making a value judgement on the merits of Orthodoxy. In this country, we believe that people deserve to shape their own destiny, and those who are being denied that opportunity have a story worth telling.

    Let's revise your analogy a bit: a guy in Kansas is raised in a community of fanatical and extremist Christians who hold absurd beliefs and impose a rigid and unforgiving lifestyle. This person decides it doesn't make sense to him, and wants to leave. But then his family will be forced to disown him, his kids will be brainwashed to consider him the devil incarnate, and his friends will never speak to him again. To top it all off, he knows nothing about the outside world, and will find himself lost and alone there within a matter of days.

    According to your logic, since this person's desires aren't "inspiring" (he merely wants out of a lifestyle he finds suffocating), he's just a "complainer". I guess that's the same "logic" you use to assert on your blog that Judaism is the only religion "based on logic and reason".

     
    At October 04, 2006 7:30 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Hasidic Rebel, thanks for pitching in. I plan on a follow up post regarding a prominent individual who "blasted" hella's book and my Email to him in response.

     
    At October 04, 2006 8:05 PM, Blogger dbs said...

    I liked the book as well. I was written well and with much heart. Also, it was clear that the author realy 'gets it' with all of the nuances. She does not oversimplify or blend different issues into one. Partly for this reason, it works more as a poinient story about those who find themselves in this situation rather than a broad sociological study.

    JA- I'm sure that your motivations are noble, such as they are. But you are a good example of how upside down the situation is. We tell our children that they need to suspend their abitity to think rationally, and to beleive an endless amount of supernatural mythology in order to be accepted. And then, those few who simply can't get themselves to be satisfied that the sky is actually red - those are the weirdos. Boy, they must be really immoral to be questioning that what they see in front of their eyes is actially there.

     
    At October 04, 2006 8:34 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

    Baal,

    Did you know that Hella is a member at TFSG? She comments in once in awhile.

     
    At October 04, 2006 8:59 PM, Blogger Shtreimel said...

    HR,
    Nothing to get excited about. It’s a very typical behavior for someone with deep leaps of faith to leap once again at the sight of a questioning mind and factor in a non-existent “complaining” or as chazal eloquently phrased “ אם נכנס בו רוח שטות אין אדם חוטא אלא”. Better yet, their phrase that Jews worshiped the calf only to be promiscuous.

    To be fair, many non-believers who see their kids become black-clad have a similar reaction. “it’s a phase” “he’s totally off, was always so” etc. I believe JP, that you have first hand experience in the matter.

     
    At October 04, 2006 10:17 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    DBS, exactly. I found Unchosen to be a great Human Interest story. Not negative of Chassidus, not passing judgement, just describing people in a complex predicament. But I know first hand that it also appeals to non-skeptics, namely my wife.

    Shtreimel,

    >Better yet, their phrase that Jews worshiped the calf only to be promiscuous.

    That was a major factor in keeping me in check when I turned skeptic. See - this

    JP keeps on questioning me about my life before I turned. He simply can't believe that I enjoyed most of Judaism and was not a kid at risk, or abused, etc.

     
    At October 04, 2006 10:18 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Orthoprax, yes, it was thru TFSG that I got Hella's Email.

     
    At October 05, 2006 12:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I don't think the powers that be advise people to disown their children, that may be more common by chasidim but even so. There are people who stop talking to friends - but I sure know a lot of people who don't and wouldn't.

    As far as divorce, that is often the desire of the other party, sometimes the desire of the irreligious party, and it's sometimes the only workable solution - but it is not always and doesnt always happen.

     
    At October 05, 2006 3:44 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    Dear Hasidic Rebel, actually about 80% of converts to Judaism do it for the wrong reasons and later regret it. I discourage them.

     
    At October 05, 2006 8:34 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    I guess what bothers me about Hella is that she seems to admire these people who are struggling against oppression.

    In fact, they are no more oppressed than anyone is and I personally don't see so much to admire.

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:16 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >I guess what bothers me about Hella is that she seems to admire these people who are struggling against oppression.

    And what exactly is wrong about admiration for people who struggle against oppression. Should those people just lay down and die. Gerim are admired for taking a stance, why shouldn't heretics get the same admiration.

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:53 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    The "oppression" suffered by most "unchosen" is along the lines of "if my wife catches me with a hooker she'll leave with the kids". What heroes.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:05 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    JP,
    > The "oppression" suffered by most "unchosen" is along the lines of "if my wife catches me with a hooker she'll leave with the kids".


    You're doing it again. You're changing the argument in mid-stream.

    First you said
    " guess what bothers me about Hella is that she seems to admire these people who are struggling against oppression."

    So now you're saying something else and switching back to your old canard.


    I dis-agree on many counts.
    Chiefly,
    1) Not all have affairs. IN fact I don't think any did in her book. IIRC, even Yossi was divorced.
    2) Her admiration, if any, is for their struggle in breaking out of an old shell.


    You are once again reverting to your simple argument that they are leaving for their yetser hara which is simply not the case.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:20 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    Most of the people in her book aren't really leaving. They are still sponging off Frum relatives, living with Frum spouses, deceiving Frum friends while doing whatever they want to do when they think no one's looking.

    I told my adopted parents I wanted to be Jew, they kicked me out when I was 16 and haven't given me a penny since.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:43 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >Most of the people in her book aren't really leaving. They are still sponging off Frum relatives, living with Frum spouses, deceiving Frum friends


    Great point. Maybe that's what Footsteps is for. You don't realize these people are stuck because of their minimal secular skills.

    >while doing whatever they want to do when they think no one's looking.

    Nuch Amahl.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:56 AM, Blogger Frummer????? said...

    That book came across to me as being about a few individuals who had issues with frumkeit, but who seemed to have significant other "issues" as well. The main character in fact, seemed to have quite strong psychological issues. Not very representative at all, and a very poor portrayal of people who "go off".

    Or is it that only people "with issues" actually take the plunge while "normal" people are able to remain rational and stay put?

    I found the book very lacking, and I read it when I was still in "100% sceptic mode".

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:57 AM, Blogger Frummer????? said...

    jewish philosopher said...

    "The impression I got from Hella's book is that her subjects were basically just complainers who are unhappy being Frum and who will be unhappy elsewhere as well."

    Spot on. But as I just wrote, they were more than complainers.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:59 AM, Blogger B. Spinoza said...

    >I told my adopted parents I wanted to be Jew, they kicked me out when I was 16 and haven't given me a penny since.

    See, that would be an interesting story to hear. How did you go about doing this? Maybe you can inspire others to do the same

    >They are still sponging off Frum relatives, living with Frum spouses, deceiving Frum friends while doing whatever they want to do when they think no one's looking.

    I have not read this book, but there are many reasons for a person to want to stay within the community. One major reason is that they don't want to hurt their loved ones by leaving. I wouldn't want to hurt my parents by dropping their religion. Personally, I think there is good within Judaism so there isn't a great need on my part to leave. But I guess if I thought it was evil, or something, I would really have a hard decision to make.

     
    At October 05, 2006 12:02 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Frummer,
    > Or is it that only people "with issues" actually take the plunge while "normal" people are able to remain rational and stay put?


    Interesting take. Another possibility is that a book on skeptics like me is just not apt to be as interesting.


    > found the book very lacking, and I read it when I was still in "100% sceptic mode".

    Lacking in what?

    >
    >

     
    At October 05, 2006 12:09 PM, Blogger Frummer????? said...

    It's a long while since I read it. I bought a copy right when it was published.

    Lacking in context of what drove them?

    Of describing the inner thoughts and torments of other whom I thought I'd relate to?

    I found it devoid of the thoughts and feelings of the average John Doe (like myself and my friends) who wanted out.

    "Another possibility is that a book on skeptics like me is just not apt to be as interesting."

    On the contrary, I wanted to hear similar experiences.

     
    At October 05, 2006 12:43 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >One major reason is that they don't want to hurt their loved ones by leaving.

    B, big truth being that. I think that's what motivates most skeptics.

    >Personally, I think there is good within Judaism so there isn't a great need on my part to leave.

    How about you also are comfortbale with your life? I think the more scholastically inclined an individual is, and the more rewarding a yeshiva background, the less likely you are to bolt.

     
    At October 05, 2006 12:45 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >Of describing the inner thoughts and torments of other whom I thought I'd relate to?

    >I found it devoid of the thoughts and feelings of the average John Doe (like myself and my friends) who wanted out.

    >On the contrary, I wanted to hear similar experiences.

    I hear you. Maybe Unchosen - The sequel?

     
    At October 05, 2006 1:13 PM, Blogger Hasidic Rebel said...

    "Or is it that only people "with issues" actually take the plunge while "normal" people are able to remain rational and stay put?"

    I think that's quite clearly the case.

    This reminds me of what a fellow chasid--one who used to enjoy arguing the theological merits of Judaism--once said to me in a flash of realism: "To drastically change one's lifestyle--whether it's converting to Judaism, becoming a ba'al tshuva, or abandoning Yiddishkeit--one must have serious psychological issues."

    What surprised me was the implied recognition that one's belief system is generally determined by birth, not by intellect. But it also gave away what many frum people feel instinctively: That the convert and ba'al tshuva population (specifically those who embrace the more rigid paths--Chasidism, or fervent Charediism) contains a disproportionate number of troubled souls.

    And in the same way, that is often true for those who make a full break from Orthodoxy.

    Having said that, it's crass and insensitive to dismiss these people as mere complainers. Their stories are sad, even if not heroic. And they highlight the grave injustice of Chasidish society in repressing those who want to make their own choices in life.

     
    At October 05, 2006 1:25 PM, Blogger B. Spinoza said...

    >How about you also are comfortbale with your life? I think the more scholastically inclined an individual is, and the more rewarding a yeshiva background, the less likely you are to bolt.

    I had become extremely disillusioned with my Yeshiva study at one point and I had no warm feelings for my learning. Mostly I thought it was a waste of time. I am not one of those geekS who enjoy the minutia for its own sake. Had it not been for my family, I would have almost surely left completely. I'm only now beginning to try to make some reconciliation

     
    At October 05, 2006 1:30 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    H. Rebel,

    > "To drastically change one's lifestyle--whether it's converting to Judaism, becoming a ba'al tshuva, or abandoning Yiddishkeit--one must have serious psychological issues."

    That might be a little much. One can find themselves in an untenable situation and be very unhappy and leave. They don't need to have serious serious psychological issues.

    Take for example, an individual getting divorced anyway. They may use that moment to break away.



    >What surprised me was the implied recognition that one's belief system is generally determined by birth, not by intellect.

    Even LY admitted that in reference to Mormons.

    >But it also gave away what many frum people feel instinctively: That the convert and ba'al tshuva population (specifically those who embrace the more rigid paths--Chasidism, or fervent Charediism) contains a disproportionate number of troubled souls.

    I once made reference to that in a comment on GH blog. Wow, the BT's really took offence then.

    And in the same way, that is often true for those who make a full break from Orthodoxy.

    >Having said that, it's crass and insensitive to dismiss these people as mere complainers.

    True!

    >Their stories are sad, even if not heroic.

    And why not heroic? Just because they have problems does not mean they're not heroic as well. (well, maybe they're desperate)

    > And they highlight the grave injustice of Chasidish society in repressing those who want to make their own choices in life.

    Now that's taking it it a little to far. What do expect - a Monopoly "Get of Jail" card?

     
    At October 05, 2006 1:36 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    B,

    > I had become extremely disillusioned with my Yeshiva study at one point and I had no warm feelings for my learning....

    Theres a difference between disillusioned and being a failure in class.

    I still go to shiurim because it's sort of the fabric of my society, but only because I can tolerate it and even thrive on it if I had to. I'd much prefer to stay home and read Dennet. If I could not tolerate it, I'd wouldn't show.

    Of course, a huge difference is our age. I was clueless till 25 years out of high school.

     
    At October 05, 2006 1:52 PM, Blogger B. Spinoza said...

    >Theres a difference between disillusioned and being a failure in class.

    I guess so. I can still learn and at one point I really enjoyed it.

    >Of course, a huge difference is our age. I was clueless till 25 years out of high school.

    yeah, you're married and I was completely single. This is also a huge factor

     
    At October 05, 2006 2:11 PM, Anonymous just reading... said...

    i find it more than a little interesting that people like frummer seem to feel the need to denigrate those who leave by claiming they have "strong psychological issues." of course, there is little doubt that being at odds with your community, living a double life, or struggling to conform even though you no longer believe can take a serious psychological toll. in fact, i would be much more suspicious of the "skeptic" who claims not to have any emotional "issues" or is totally sanguine about his or her situation.

     
    At October 05, 2006 2:13 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    People's religion is largely determined by birth - provided that they are basically happy with that!

    Otherwise, how would any new religion every begin? We should still be worshipping Sumerian deities. Or, in my case, old Norse ones.

     
    At October 05, 2006 2:42 PM, Blogger Baal Devarim said...

    "And in the same way, that is often true for those who make a full break from Orthodoxy."

    Those who are happy and content with their current way of life are not liable to turn their whole life on its very head and suffer the painful consequences -- theological and philosophical doubts not withstanding. Is that a surprise? Does it even need pointing out? It's practically a truism!

    Of course those who finally leave are troubled enough by their current position so as to find it untenable and worthy of risking all in order to make drastic changes. Still, I have to disagree strongly with the connotation of the phrase "serious psychological issues." Troubled, surely, but certainly not (necessarily) unbalanced.

    "Now that's taking it it a little to far. What do expect - a Monopoly "Get of Jail" card?"

    No. But pointing out the existence of a jail in the first place as being a grave injustice is quite appropriate.

     
    At October 05, 2006 3:07 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > of course, there is little doubt that being at odds with your community, living a double life, or struggling to conform even though you no longer believe can take a serious psychological toll. in fact, i would be much more suspicious of the "skeptic" who claims not to have any emotional "issues" or is totally sanguine about his or her situation.


    Just reading, ha! So it's the chicken or the egg. Good point. I t's definitely true for me - I was much better adjusted before I turned skeptic.

     
    At October 05, 2006 3:07 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > of course, there is little doubt that being at odds with your community, living a double life, or struggling to conform even though you no longer believe can take a serious psychological toll. in fact, i would be much more suspicious of the "skeptic" who claims not to have any emotional "issues" or is totally sanguine about his or her situation.


    Just reading, ha! So it's the chicken or the egg. Good point. I t's definitely true for me - I was much better adjusted before I turned skeptic.

     
    At October 05, 2006 3:09 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >Otherwise, how would any new religion every begin? We should still be worshipping Sumerian deities. Or, in my case, old Norse ones

    JP, and MOST people don't leave. How is that possible? So Hasidic rebel is pointing out how difficult it is to forsake your a birth orientation.

     
    At October 05, 2006 3:14 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >>>"Now that's taking it it a little to far. What do expect - a Monopoly "Get of Jail" card?"

    >No. But pointing out the existence of a jail in the first place as being a grave injustice is quite appropriate.

    Using the word injustice makes it sound as if it's a conspiracy. In the old days Pas Yisroel and Yayin Nesech may have been exactly that. (or did the Christian ban our foodstuffs first?) But is that really happening now?

     
    At October 05, 2006 3:18 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    People's religious beliefs are based on whatever they are the most comfortable with. Parental preferences play a role of course, but so do many other things.

    This is the reason why the Jews are the eternal people. Judaism is the truth and there will always be some honest people in the world, whether more or less. Other religions are based on personal whim and fashion and will inevitably come and go.

     
    At October 05, 2006 3:33 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > Other religions are based on personal whim and fashion and will inevitably come and go.


    Right, I see Islam & Christianity is losing market share. Puhleeeeeeze.

     
    At October 05, 2006 3:41 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    Christians of a thousand years ago would never recognize the churches of today, even the evangelical churches. Islam may go once we get smart and carpet-bomb them.

    Two thousand years ago, you would have told me "Worshipping Caesar will go out style?! Puhleeeeeeze."

     
    At October 05, 2006 4:04 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    JP,

    > Christians of a thousand years ago would never recognize the churches of today, even the evangelical churches.

    You think King Solomon would recognize us? You think Roveh and Abaye would recognize Chassidim?


    >Islam may go once we get smart and carpet-bomb them.

    Does that include Detroit & Jersey City? and Turkey, and Old City?

    Islam is a lot more entrenched in Arboh Kanfos Haaretz than we are.



    >You think Two thousand years ago, you would have told me "Worshipping Caesar will go out style?! Puhleeeeeeze

    Huh? Religions come and go, some stay longer than others. It means nothing.

     
    At October 05, 2006 4:11 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    Yes, of course Solomon would recognize our religion. Because of the exile the Temple has been replaced by the synagogue, that's all.

    Islam will disappear. We won't. Of course, individuals will leave Judaism and, tragic as it is for them, in a way, that's a good thing. Drop outs are one way of getting rid of trash. But some have always remained and will always remain.

     
    At October 05, 2006 4:17 PM, Anonymous just reading... said...

    "Drop outs are one way of getting rid of trash. But some have always remained and will always remain."

    Wow. This reminds me of when Avi Shafran compared Reform Jews to "vermin." I hate to say it, but JP sounds more like an anti-semite than a Jew here. Calling fellow Jews "trash?" He should be ashamed of himself, but I won't hold my breath.

     
    At October 05, 2006 4:18 PM, Blogger Hasidic Rebel said...

    "That might be a little much. One can find themselves in an untenable situation and be very unhappy and leave. They don't need to have serious serious psychological issues."

    That's certainly true. The line you quoted was my quote of someone else.

    My main point was to JP (who set the tone of this thread by his first comment), that his argument, to the extent that it's valid, can be made both ways. Gerim and BT's might have previously been unhappy, unbalanced, or just social misfits, but I don't think JP would discourage them from embracing Judaism because of it, or argue they'd by "unhappy anywhere".


    "Now that's taking it it a little to far. What do expect - a Monopoly "Get of Jail" card?"

    Do you disagree that Chasidim (and Charedim in general) institutionalize stigma for those who don't conform?

    What I expect is the simple recognition that lifestyle choices, when imposed forcefully, are gravely unjust, and are unhealthy for the community as a whole.

     
    At October 05, 2006 4:18 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > Drop outs are one way of getting rid of trash.

    Is that what the Christians said about you when you converted?

     
    At October 05, 2006 4:23 PM, Blogger Baal Devarim said...

    "Using the word injustice makes it sound as if it's a conspiracy."

    It may not be a conspiracy (that word carries a sinister overtone), but it's certainly conscious. The dress, the (lack of) education, the narrow confines of what is considered acceptable or respectable, the constant exhortation not to be like the Goyim and the concomitant demonizing of anything and anyone "different" are expressly designed to forestall the desire and ability to leave.

     
    At October 05, 2006 4:25 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    Did I touch some raw nerves? Just look at the Hellenizers and the numerous apostates to Christianity throughout the Middle Ages. Look at the Yevsekstzia who mercilessly persecuted Soviet Jewry before being purged themselves. And I won't even go into all the secular Jews who collaborated with the Nazis.

    Today Hella Winston wants to call them Unchosen. Whatever. I would use a different word.

    Just calling a spade a spade.

     
    At October 05, 2006 4:37 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    H. Rebel,
    >Do you disagree that Chasidim
    (and Charedim in general) institutionalize stigma for those who don't conform?

    No, I don't disagree.

    > What I expect is the simple recognition that lifestyle choices, when imposed forcefully, are gravely unjust, and are unhealthy for the community as a whole.


    *We* recognize it but that's the way religion works.

    If you insist on going down that path, we can build a case for religion even when it's not imposed forcefully. Is it not unjust to have everyone sit in shul for 12 hours on Yom Kippur even if they aren't skeptics? When looking from the outside, it's all unjust, especially the handicapping of Chassidim by their low level of Secular education. But is it unjust when looking at it from the inside? I'm not so sure.

     
    At October 05, 2006 4:38 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Baal Devarim,

    Ibid.

     
    At October 05, 2006 4:42 PM, Blogger Hasidic Rebel said...

    "Yes, of course Solomon would recognize our religion. Because of the exile the Temple has been replaced by the synagogue, that's all."

    What a bizarre statement. Putting aside the question as to whether Solomon actually existed (there's little evidence for it other than the Bible), you have absolutely no idea as to how he practiced his religion. From the Bible itself he seems to have been quite fond of idol worshipping females, for starters. And by any logical reading of the text, Solomon does not seem very concerned about whether one may pick bones from fish on Shabbos (if he kept it at all), or whether to go by the shiur of the chazon ish or R' Chaim Naeh for the size of his Lulav.

    And by all accounts, synagogue prayer, Torah study, and almost any other feature of modern Judaism, even those going back to Mishnaic times, were developed well after the monarchic periods.

    "Islam may go once we get smart and carpet-bomb them."
    "Drop outs are one way of getting rid of trash."

    Reprehensible statements even to most frum Jews.

     
    At October 05, 2006 4:45 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >Did I touch some raw nerves? Just look at the Hellenizers and the numerous apostates to Christianity throughout the Middle Ages.

    And that's good?


    > And I won't even go into all the secular Jews who collaborated with the Nazis.

    Do you have any numbers to indictate the number of secular collaborates compared to religios ones? And what does this have to do with the price of tea in Wesly Hills? That's disgusting to compare dropouts to collaborators.

    >Today Hella Winston wants to call them Unchosen. Whatever. I would use a different word.

    The difference between you and Hella is that she has a Gutteh Neshoma and you don't.

     
    At October 05, 2006 4:49 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    "And by all accounts, synagogue prayer, Torah study, and almost any other feature of modern Judaism, even those going back to Mishnaic times, were developed well after the monarchic periods."

    Not by my account. Solomon actually said for example that we must face his Temple when praying (I Kings 8:30), as I just today at minchah.

    "Islam may go once we get smart and carpet-bomb them."

    Do unto others before they do unto you. Solomon would have agreed.

     
    At October 05, 2006 4:50 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    "The difference between you and Hella is that she has a Gutteh Neshoma and you don't."

    The difference between me and Hella is that I call a traitor a traitor.

     
    At October 05, 2006 5:03 PM, Blogger Hasidic Rebel said...

    "Solomon actually said for example that we must face his Temple when praying (I Kings 8:30), as I just today at minchah."

    And that means what exactly? His religion included some form of prayer. What does that tell you? What about Shabbos, Kashrus, Taharas Hamishpacha, shukkeling Lulav, praying three times a day with a minyan? How about gebrokts on Pesach? You think he ate it, or was he machmir like the chasidim? And I wonder if each of his one thousand wives wore a tichel or a shaitel. And if a shaitel, if they were makpid not to use Indian hair. Just wondering...

     
    At October 05, 2006 5:16 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

    JP,

    Just wondering, do you think you'll go to heaven for being an asshole?

    I think the truth is that you don't see the Jews as your people but a backdrop to justify whatever wacky theological views you come up with.

    Accoridng to even the most conservative contemporary theology of Judaism, you didn't have to convert if all you wanted was to go to heaven. So why'd you do it? It's clearly not out of solidarity with the Jewish people since you carelessly denounce so many as 'trash.'

     
    At October 05, 2006 5:16 PM, Blogger Baal Devarim said...

    BH:
    "But is it unjust when looking at it from the inside? I'm not so sure."

    Are you saying that to the people who propagate this system, it isn't unjust when looked at from their point-of-view? I'll agree. However, keeping people in line using these methods is inherently unjust.

    JP:
    "I call a traitor a traitor"

    Such as you are to the religion of your youth?

     
    At October 05, 2006 5:23 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

    BB,

    All day I wanted to comment but I was too busy…

    Hella did indeed portray the tormented souls amongst us correctly. But she was far from being objective. She betrayed the readers of her book by implying that the underlying lifestyle we Chasidim live is the cause for kids to rebel, which is false and Hella knew it. Every single society has its troubled teens; we Chasidim are not any different…

    Check out this article

    And this article

     
    At October 05, 2006 5:39 PM, Blogger Shtreimel said...

    JP

    You got me cracking up today!

    Sholomo HaMelech will recognize today's jews as being of the same religion (if he had any as reading HR's comment, or the Tenach will tell you) by praying, as he did with animal sacrifices. Cool! How will he recognize the 1000 wives of his?

    Is your blog to the Song of Songs as minche is to the temple sacrifices? You might want to spice up your posts a little—include some graphic details man!

    But the funny thing is that you decry the very same ones who did what you did. And you still have the nerve to call them trash. Just so you know, and you seem to know little about us Jews, there are many and many more seemingly Orthodox Jews and Chassidim who go about their lives not only transgressing but with outright heresy. So much for "getting rid of the trash".

    By the end of your argument though you got me quite angry. You're foul-mouthing some of the Semites you happen to disagree with is more akin to Nazism as are the MAJORITY of the Jews who decided to discard un-provable ideas to the TRASH.

     
    At October 05, 2006 5:47 PM, Anonymous Jewish skeptic said...

    >" I hate to say it, but JP sounds more like an anti-semite than a Jew here. Calling fellow Jews "trash?" He should be ashamed of himself, but I won't hold my breath."

    JP,with a typical Jewish name (or could be German),who claims he converted to Judaism at age 16,remains in his heart an antisemite,even if he wears a shtreimel & danglig tsitsis.
    His too many antisemitic Freudian slips proven that;so does his obsession with the Holocaust,blaming it all on the victims-the Jews,using religious lingo.
    He comes either from meshumadim or from german ancestry,since he seems to know German.
    As I wrote in a comment on his blog: the antisemitism that he probably imbibed with his mother's milk can't be that easily erased,not even when one davens 3 times a day.It willy-nilly bursts forth!

     
    At October 05, 2006 6:09 PM, Blogger Hasidic Rebel said...

    "*We* recognize it but that's the way religion works.

    If you insist on going down that path, we can build a case for religion even when it's not imposed forcefully."

    I don't think religion by itself is inherently unjust. Like-minded people may form a community or fellowship and agree on a set of practices and beliefs. It becomes unjust when the community, consciously and deliberately, adopts practices to prevent members from leaving if they so desire, prevents its youth the tools to make a conscious choice for the lifestyle on its merits, and encourages the denigration of those who do manage to leave.

    But my argument goes even further. When members have no choice but to remain, there will inevitably be a high percentage who embrace its principles only half-heartedly (and this goes beyond just skeptics). The result is a society complacent and hypocritical, with large numbers outwardly living by its principles, but lacking passion for its ideals (such as they are). There is no good reason to maintain such a system. It would be far better to educate youth about what such a lifestyle entails, and allow a conscious decision for accepting or rejecting it.

    Do I think this will ever happen? When pigs will fly. (Or, if we can adjust it's meaning, "in Moshiach's tzeiten"). But the argument is still valid. (And with years of Gemorah study, we're all used to beating dead horses. ;) )

     
    At October 05, 2006 6:10 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Also a Chusid, I went throught your post and I must say that no book and no researcher will be totally unbiased. It sounds like nitpicking for the reason that it's irrelavant. When I was reading the book, none of the elements that you pointed out had any impact on me. I don't see the book as trying to "blame" chassidism or even the individual's family. It's not trying to blame anyone! To me it is simply a book about individuals, some more colorful than others, who find themselves in a belief system they don't agree with. Nothing more and nothing less. I am more interested in how & why these individuals came to their plight and what they are doing to address it. The book is not trying to pose solutions nor ways to prevent the problem. It's simply about human beings in a bad situation.
    And it is something that many skeptics, such as myself, readily identify with.

     
    At October 05, 2006 7:01 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

    Its funny you should mention that. I read this book and it turned my world around. I am a Jew but not raised religiously at all. I am simply fascinated by people to begin with, and different customs, but more so Jewish people, especially chasidic. After I read the book my journey began. I found that what she said was so true for so many in the Chasidic community. I found sites teenagers formed, chasidic kids, airing their troubles and questions. Seems to me there is a lot of things that are not handled properly in the community and its a sad shame what some people go thru, especially the 'free thinkers'. Amazing book..amazing journey!

     
    At October 05, 2006 7:12 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

    BB,

    In my second article I started out by quoting from Hella’s book. In that quote, she very clearly goes far beyond simply telling a story. She tries to illuminate the reader, what is it that causes these so-called rebels to rebel. First she invented an imaginary oppressed Chasidic culture. Then in an almost laughable wired way, she attributes her made-up oppressed Chasidic culture of nowadays to the phenomenon of “identifying with the oppressor” – commonly known as the Stockholm syndrome. This psychological syndrome was never before assigned to a community at large.

     
    At October 05, 2006 7:20 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    I love all those who love God and His Torah and I hate His enemies. I hope that most readers of this comment are in the former category.

    And I openly identify myself because I am ashamed of nothing.

    All my beliefs are clearly provable, unlike the absurd religion known as atheism. See my blog for details.

     
    At October 05, 2006 7:22 PM, Anonymous S_C said...

    JP wrote: "... Of course, individuals will leave Judaism and, tragic as it is for them, in a way, that's a good thing. Drop outs are one way of getting rid of trash."


    Of course this is horrible, both the choice of words and the sentiment behind them. I think a lot of the comments already spoke to that quite convincingly.

    However, I can't help finding the sentiment similar to something a Rabbi at Neve once told the class:

    Basically, it was JP's comment in reverse: "As the world becomes darker and darker and there is more to cloud you from seeing yad Hashem, it is you students who can still hold on, and still have faith, that will outlive the rest.
    Do you realize how special you are?..."

     
    At October 05, 2006 7:23 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    jp will tell you that the gemera says that avrohom avinu did eruv tavshilin!

     
    At October 05, 2006 7:23 PM, Blogger Billie Jean said...

    I think I had some intelligent comments to make about this book before I read the comments. But JP has driven them out, I'm just too angry. What an asshole.

     
    At October 05, 2006 7:27 PM, Anonymous solu said...

    "It may not be a conspiracy (that word carries a sinister overtone), but it's certainly conscious. The dress, the (lack of) education, the narrow confines of what is considered acceptable or respectable, the constant exhortation not to be like the Goyim and the concomitant demonizing of anything and anyone "different" are expressly designed to forestall the desire and ability to leave."

    this describes the chassidic community, not orthodoxy. It isn't even accurate for the yeshivish community.

     
    At October 05, 2006 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Too bad AAC does not know how to read. But this is old news. Yawn.

     
    At October 05, 2006 7:28 PM, Anonymous Bingo_Bob said...

    jp--Hitler went only one-step further than you. Guess what, you’re no Nazi maybe but you’re a little anti-Semite. Big deal, we are still standing.

     
    At October 05, 2006 7:30 PM, Anonymous hsimpson said...

    >>In my second article I started out by quoting from Hella’s book

    Articles my ass.

    You got some obsession dude find something else already. You’re annoying.

     
    At October 05, 2006 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "Just reading, ha! So it's the chicken or the egg. Good point. I t's definitely true for me - I was much better adjusted before I turned skeptic."

    The blog you first opened - going back to the beginnings of Hasidic Rebel's blog - you seemed quite cynical or even bitter (this was when you were posting about the structrue of yeshivas). Were you skeptical then or did it begin later? (I've asked before but didn't understand your answer).

     
    At October 05, 2006 7:44 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

    JP,

    "And I openly identify myself because I am ashamed of nothing."

    We already know you are shameless, but you didn't answer my question.

     
    At October 05, 2006 8:32 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    Looks like I've made a few people feel a little guilty. Good. That's what I'm here for.

     
    At October 05, 2006 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Where do you get "guilty?" Angry is more like it. But you don't seem to have a very good relationship with reality as it is...

     
    At October 05, 2006 8:56 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    HR,
    > It becomes unjust when the community, consciously and deliberately, adopts practices to prevent members from leaving if they so...

    What practives are you referring to? Maybe I'm missing something here.

     
    At October 05, 2006 8:58 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Stephanie, welcome. I'm glad to have an seemingly unbiased view. (Especially when it agrees with me!)

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:01 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    AAC, in re stockholm syndrome. So what if no one ever mentioned it before in a community context. Ever hear of fresh insight?

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:04 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    JP,

    >And I openly identify myself because I am ashamed of nothing.

    Well, you should be. Did you ever discuss your views with a Rabbi to see if they have any legitimacy? Then again, if the Neturai Karta can meet with Iranian whatshisname, you could find a Rabbi to justify anything. Ha.

    >beliefs are clearly provable, unlike the absurd religion known as atheism. See my blog for details.


    You sound like a broken record.

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:10 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Baal Devarim,
    >It may not be a conspiracy (that word carries a sinister overtone), but it's certainly conscious. The dress, the (lack of) education, the narrow confines of what is considered acceptable or respectable, the constant exhortation not to be like the Goyim and the concomitant demonizing of anything and anyone "different" are expressly designed to forestall the desire and ability to leave.


    You would know better than me because you're in the community. But I was under the impression, that the dress is for conservatism as done by the zeidis. The lack of education is so the outside world should not seep in. Not to prevent people leaving but rather to keep outside ideas from infiltrating. It's not the same.

    I see that in the development of the Litvish community now.

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:12 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >The blog you first opened - going back to the beginnings of Hasidic Rebel's blog - you seemed quite cynical or even bitter (this was when you were posting about the structrue of yeshivas). Were you skeptical then or did it begin later? (I've asked before but didn't understand your answer).


    Anon, I'm not sure what you mean. I was not around at the beginning of Hasid rebel's blog and I don't recall posting about yeshiva.

    Sorry.

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:14 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

    BB,

    I would entertain the idea had it been A. presented by a reputable psychologist with a PhD, not by some student that wrote a biased dissertation. Or B. it would make sense.

    I urge you to read up on the Stockholm syndrome, see for yourself if one can apply that same concept to a community at large.

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "Anon, I'm not sure what you mean. I was not around at the beginning of Hasid rebel's blog and I don't recall posting about yeshiva.

    Sorry."

    ? You said it was you. It was about charges of nepotism in yeshivas. You had old blogs up for a while - I was surprised at first, but it did seem to be you. That baal habos advertised his blog on Hasidic Rebel. I'm too lazy to dig up comments now. You don't know what I'm talking about?

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:24 PM, Blogger Hasidic Rebel said...

    "What practives are you referring to? Maybe I'm missing something here."

    For starters, forbidding access to outside sources of information, such as the Internet; referring to anything that questions the fundamentals as Sifrei Minim; forbidding exposure even to Jewish material outside the mainstream (Rav Kook, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, Slifkin, etc., bandying about those most handy labels, "koifer" and "apikorus").

    At the social level, all are conditioned to fear intense ostracism. If you have kids, all will be done to deny you access to them. You will no longer be welcome in your family, among your friends, even in the neighborhood.

    There's much more, but I don't have time now for an exhustive list. In my book, these suffice as gravely unjust.

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    >Then in an almost laughable wired way, she attributes her made-up oppressed Chasidic culture of nowadays to the phenomenon of “identifying with the oppressor” – commonly known as the Stockholm syndrome.

    Can you ref a page please?

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:28 PM, Anonymous myASS said...

    as far as i can remember, there was no mention of stockholm syndrome in the book.

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:30 PM, Blogger B. Spinoza said...

    sounds almost like a cult. Or is it?

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:32 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >I think I had some intelligent comments to make about this book before I read the comments. But JP has driven them out, I'm just too angry

    Billie Jean, no rush. we've got all night.

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:35 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

    Anon,

    This link is a post I wrote that starts out quoting verbatim from the book. I am not home now so I can’t look up the exact page but it’s in the conclusion chapter which is the final chapter in the book.

    YourASS,

    “identifying with the oppressor” – direct quote from the book – is what’s commonly known as the Stockholm syndrome.

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:37 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Hasidic rebel.
    >For starters, forbidding access to outside sources of information, such as the Internet; referring to anything that questions the fundamentals as Sifrei Minim; forbidding exposure even to Jewish material outside the mainstream (Rav Kook, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, Slifkin, etc., bandying about those most handy labels, "koifer" and "apikorus").



    These practices, of prohibiting outside exposures, are as old as the Judean Hills. V'lmalshinim Al thi Sikva.

    Anyway, I see these all as ways to keep outside percieved immorality's at bay. I can't see calling them unjust.

    Of course Judaism can't survive if it does not retreat into a Ghetto.

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:41 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Also a Chasid,

    So what? The book was BARELY about chassidic society at large. It was about those that want to leave. I hate when people can't see the forest cause the trees are in the way.

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:41 PM, Anonymous myass said...

    “identifying with the oppressor” – direct quote from the book – is what’s commonly known as the Stockholm syndrome.

    WRONG. Time to get your definitions stright, my friend.

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    aac,

    >had it been A. presented by a reputable psychologist with a PhD, not by some student that wrote a biased dissertation. Or B. it would make sense.

    A dissertation is what gets you a Ph.D. Hence, Winston is assumedly a "respected" sociologist even if not a “psychologist”. Don’t forget the subject of the book.

    I very much doubt you have read her dissertation. And I also did not see any mention of Stockholm Syndrome in the book. But here is an example of the concept of identification with the oppressor discussed in the context of another "community":

    Because of the long historical individual and collective oppression of African-Americans by whites, the situation has shaped and conditioned the structure of thought displayed by African-Americans. In many ways, African-Americans have absorbed the white oppressor within themselves, thus impairing their perception about themselves and their situation. This partly explains why African-Americans become oppressors or sub-oppressors of their own people. In this way, the oppressor lives within the oppressed. The situation of oppression produces an adhesion to, and identification with, the oppressor. Consequently, as Carter G. Woodson explained, “When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions.” He will find ways to further oppress himself.

    Is Freud respectable enough? How about Bruno Bettelhiem? Study things you don’t know. Study, study, study.

    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0341/is_3_55/ai_58549257

    http://www.washingtoninformer.com/ENTProfile2005Dec15.html

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    >commonly known

    commonly known My Ass (pun intended)

     
    At October 05, 2006 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i went to a reading and the author said that the book was different from her dissertation, so i think it is unlikely that you read her dissertation aac.

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:04 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > You said it was you. It was about charges of nepotism in yeshivas. You had old blogs up for a while - I was surprised at first, but it did seem to be you. That baal habos advertised his blog on Hasidic Rebel. I'm too lazy to dig up comments now. You don't know what I'm talking about?

    Sorry, I still don't recall. There was/is a baal habatish. (no relation)

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:05 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

    Anon, 9:43 PM

    I admit I am an uneducated chassid but I love to read and learn, and will admit when proven wrong.

    The article you quote is merely an explanation – or so it seems – why there is a higher crime rate in the African American community, which again is an explanation why an individual will commit crimes.

    Hella took it one step further by claiming that the so called oppressed Chasidic culture and system - and by that I mean the way of life, education, the raising of a family, community life and its culture - was structured in a way to suppress the masses, all as a result of the “holocaust”...

    What utter rubbish and nonsense…

    Anon, 9:49 PM

    I don’t remember if she mentions this in her book as well but I have heard her on some talk show say that she intended to write a dissertation but it ended up to be a book…

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hella took it one step further by claiming that the so called oppressed Chasidic culture and system - and by that I mean the way of life, education, the raising of a family, community life and its culture - was structured in a way to suppress the masses, all as a result of the “holocaust”

    WHAAAA?????? Did we even read the same book?

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:18 PM, Anonymous myass said...

    The article you quote is merely an explanation – or so it seems – why there is a higher crime rate in the African American community, which again is an explanation why an individual will commit crimes.

    This is a rather racist interpretation of the quote. How on earth did you conclude anything about a higher crime rate from the above statement. You really are not a very good reader.

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:28 PM, Anonymous myass said...

    There is no doubt that the holocaust played a central role not only in the formation of these communities, but in their structure as well. The experience and fear of persecution, as well as the fear of destruction through assimilation drove the leaders' decisions to do as much as possible to insulate and separate their hassidim from the outside world.

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:29 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

    YourASS

    Ok I just looked up the article, this is the complete quote (I wonder why it was omitted, nay I know)

    KW: If Black entertainers are willingly denigrating Black people, how can any white people be blamed for oppressing African-Americans, unless they’re putting guns to these artists’ heads?

    RK: Because of the long historical individual and collective oppression of African-Americans by whites, the situation has shaped and conditioned the structure of thought displayed by African-Americans. In many ways, African-Americans have absorbed the white oppressor within themselves, thus impairing their perception about themselves and their situation. This partly explains why African-Americans become oppressors or sub-oppressors of their own people. In this way, the oppressor lives within the oppressed. The situation of oppression produces an adhesion to, and identification with, the oppressor. Consequently, as Carter G. Woodson explained, “When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions.” He will find ways to further oppress himself.


    Note: RK is an African American…

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:30 PM, Anonymous Viktor said...

    There is mp3 which can be downloaded on an ipod type device featuring and hour long discussion with Hella on KQED San Francisco

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    how does this quote prove your racist point, aac?

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:34 PM, Anonymous 9:43 PM said...

    aac,

    The answer to your "a" was that she is a PhD (I assume), and in sociology, which is the subject at hand. The answers to your “b” and to your “see for yourself if one can apply that same concept to a community at large” were the articles I quoted. The crime rate of the community was at hand, incase you didn’t get it.

    >will admit when proven wrong.

    Please do.

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:35 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

    YourASS

    Agreed… yes the insular lifestyle we Chasidim live is to isolate us from the secular and general world, to preserve the Chasidic culture. So remind me again what those prices of tea in china have to do with Hella… Please be focused, we are debating if this so called oppressed Chasidic culture was as a result of the Holocaust…

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:36 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Viktor, thanks.
    Can it be listened to with real player? Can you post the URL?

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:39 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

    Anon 9:43 PM

    >The answer to your "a" was that she is a PhD (I assume), ...

    Is this a yes or a no?

    ROFL

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:41 PM, Anonymous Tkat said...

    she did a number of interviews. and in the one she did with zev brenner, aac actually called up, but failed to identify himself, of course. i believe he was yossi from rockland county, if memory serves.

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:43 PM, Anonymous 9:43 PM said...

    Since dissertations are something that gets you a Ph.D. I assume that she got it. I assume because I have no specific knowledge. I based it on your claim that she wrote a dissertation. Anyone cares to ask?

    Time to get up from the floor

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Maybe BHB will have to ask her whether she has a Ph.D.

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:49 PM, Anonymous myass said...

    I love how some hassidic people disparage secular credentials, but invoke them when it serves their purposes to do so!

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:53 PM, Blogger Baal Devarim said...

    BH:
    "But I was under the impression, that the dress is for conservatism as done by the zeidis."

    Part of the masses undoubtedly do those things out of a misplaced sense of piety and conservatism. It was always done this way, dontcha know. But make no mistake: these things are actively fostered with the express purpose of keeping people in-line. All you need to do is ask someone in authority why these things are done; invariably, the ensuing rhetoric will not be "because the zeidis did them," but "so as to keep you from sinning and bad influence.'

    "Not to prevent people leaving but rather to keep outside ideas from infiltrating. It's not the same."

    It's a distinction without a difference. The very reason they go to extreme measures to keep the masses ignorant of outside ideas is to prevent both the desire and ability to leave. And the measures used are inherently unjust, whichever way you chose to look at it.

    About AAC's bizarre claims: It's clear he has an agenda, and it isn't seeking the truth. His comments about the book are so far off the mark and so obviously inane they don't deserve a detailed response. To everyone who has read the book and then read his accusations (pompously and ridiculously alluding to a comparison between himself and Emile Zola, who penned possibly the greatest newspaper article in history), they serve not as the masterful deconstruction of the book he imagines it to be, but as a sad deconstruction of a brain derailed by a myopic obsession with its own warped view of the world.

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:55 PM, Anonymous s_c said...

    You might be interested:

    http://www.92y.org/shop/event_detail.asp?productid=T%2DMM5LD35

    Hella Winston with former Hasidim

    What makes some members of tight-knit Hasidic communities want to leave? Why do many of those who contemplate leaving find it so difficult? How do they fare in the outside world? Hear people who grew up Hasidic candidly discuss their lives, their choices and their Jewish identity. Hella Winston is the author of Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels.

    Tickets are $12 in advance ($15 at door).

    Date & Time: Wed, Nov 15, 2006, 7:00pm

    Location: Steinhardt Building, 35 West 67th

     
    At October 05, 2006 10:55 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    I'll find out about her credentials.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:01 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    This is Hella's reply.


    "I did write a dissertation (separate from the book), and I do have a Ph.D"

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:02 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

    Devarim

    LOL, me Emile Zola??? I was trying to make a point…

    While I enjoy your blog and envy your commend of the English language. I must say I do recognize your writings from elsewhere (I wonder where, I really do)…

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:10 PM, Anonymous 9:43 said...

    >and will admit when proven wrong

    It's about time.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:11 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >It's a distinction without a difference. The very reason they go to extreme measures to keep the masses ignorant of outside ideas is to prevent both the desire and ability to leave. And the measures used are inherently unjust, whichever way you chose to look at it.


    Baal D,
    What would you suggest, Yeshivos hold seminars in comparitive religion? I understand you're describing a problem of religion, and I believe it's all false. But from an inside perspective, I don't see how it can be called unjust. It's no more unjust than Bris Mila and sitting a five year old down to learn chumash for 5 hours a day.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:13 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

    Anon 9:43 PM

    With what???

    Is it about Hella having a PhD? When she wrote the book she didn’t have it yet.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    why not, the phd was not “chal” yet? That is what dissertations are all about, phd’s. it’s nice to be able to go technical when you’re out of answers. Just look at how you got stuck with all the other things the people here have told you but you only pick on technicalities. Does anyone wonder why?

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:25 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    AAC, forget about all the narishkeit. It seems to me that an unduly large percentage of skepic bloggers are chassidic. any thoughts about that?

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:28 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

    Anon,

    Again her theory of why this Chasidic oppressed culture came about was not worthy of my recognition based solely on her assertion. Hella Winston is not - and I quote what I wrote before - “a reputable psychologist with a PhD” …

    BH,

    I will have a post about this after yomtif. I hope I’ll see you then on my blog.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:33 PM, Anonymous 9:43 said...

    > “a reputable psychologist with a PhD”

    As I have said before but you didn’t answer for some reason, what we need here is a sociologist.

    You’re just being arrogant and childish, bring a new argument and we’ll discuss it.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    first of all, social life is the sociologist's stock in trade, so why do you keep harping on the fact that she is not a psychologist? second, nowhere did i see her offer a single theory of why a so-called "oppressed" society came about (she didn't use that terminology either, as i recall).

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    bhb,
    look at you, you have a goy turned Jew (hater) and creepy chusid turned creepier to plug their vile sites on your blog. I say take ‘em off now. let them find other ways to advertise their inanity.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:36 PM, Blogger Billie Jean said...

    OK, I'm ready to be coherent now (or more to the point, I've got time ;))

    1. I haven't read the book. It sounds very interesting though. I'm going to try and get my hands on it.

    2.I have a question, though, were there any women in the book or just men? The reason I ask is that the skeptic world seems to be overly dominated by men. I wonder why. Can UO's policies of educating women for ignorance explain it?

    3. Re Stockholm syndrome: I don't know much about it but I imagine that one could identify/cooperate with oppressors without it being specifically Stockholm syndrome. Apparently cooperating out of fear doesn't count; I'm sure that fear is what keeps many people within the UO community.

    4. I still think JP is an asshole. According to my upbringing, it's people like him who caused the second Beit Hamikdash to be destroyed. His ideas are so foreign to the Judaism I was brought up with, I think he is really still a fundamentalist Christian.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:37 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    bhb
    re whether the avos did the same mitzvos:

    jp will tell you that the gemera says that avrohom avinu did eruv tavshilin!

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:41 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

    Anon, 9:43 PM

    Holy shmoly…

    Ok here it goes

    Hella Winston is not a reputable sociologist with a PhD …

    Happy?

    Anon 11:35,

    This is what she wrote

    “One of the most striking things I came to understand during the course of this research is the power of the holocaust, and the history of the Jewish suffering in general, both in the actual lives of some Hasidic people and in the imaginations of these communities as a whole…”

    “With its history of religious tolerance and commitment to pluralism, America was an ideal place for these refugees to set about recreating their way of life. However as it turned out, the very same American values that allowed these communities to flourish also enabled them to become increasingly closed and insular, shutting themselves off from the larger world and its concerns, living in fear of bringing about another Holocaust through assimilation and the abandonment of a “Torah life.” Ironically, what began as a poignant and heroic effort in the face of utter devastation and loss has led, generations later, to communities in which nonconformity can subject members to the kinds of stigmatization and ostracism that have, throughout history, characterized the treatment of Jews by the outside world.”

    “Apprehending this sad irony was one of the most upsetting consequences of my involvement with this research. Work done in psychology tells us that it is not unusual for those who have been victimized to become victimizers themselves - “identification with the oppressor,” it is sometimes called…”

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:43 PM, Blogger Billie Jean said...

    Furthermore: I think that Malkie Schwartz featured in this book, Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers. It's about Lubavitch girls in Crown Heights and there's a chapter on the "unchosen" girls. Interesting read.

    One thing that one of those girls said that really resonated with me was that she knew a Satmar guy who believed in everything, but wasn't frum because he'd given into ta'ava. She said that if she believed, she couldn't do that. It was her intellectual honesty that had caused her to leave the fold.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:44 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    sorry for repeat.
    didnt notice this getting submitted earlier.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:44 PM, Anonymous 9:43 said...

    >Hella Winston is not a reputable sociologist with a PhD

    She IS. Can you not admit you made a mistake? Have you ever admitted? (I would love to see that.)

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:47 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

    BJ,

    "The reason I ask is that the skeptic world seems to be overly dominated by men. I wonder why. Can UO's policies of educating women for ignorance explain it?"

    On general statistics women are more credulous than men about things. This is true basically across the board from God and religion all the way to ghosts, astrology and crystal therapy. Not sure why that is, but it is.

    But even so the relative rates of men to women on the Jewish skeptical blogosphere is much steeper than you would expect as derived from those stats. Maybe it's a cumulation of the fact that men are more likely to blog than women. You get those two together and you'll find this blog issue highly male-dominated.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:47 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

    Anon, 9:43 PM

    Just noticed Hella herself used the term psychology…

    “Apprehending this sad irony was one of the most upsetting consequences of my involvement with this research. Work done in psychology tells us that it is not unusual for those who have been victimized to become victimizers themselves - “identification with the oppressor,” it is sometimes called…”

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The concept of identfication with the oppressor came from psychology. However, many researchers have applied to social groups as well. But then again, you need to read, read, read. You are out of your depth.

     
    At October 05, 2006 11:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    there are women in the book. malkie schwartz does appear in unchosen, but not in mystics, mavericks...

     
    At October 06, 2006 12:02 AM, Blogger Billie Jean said...

    Are you sure? I wonder where I've heard of her then... or maybe there's a similar woman in Mystics, Mavericks???

    I read it a long time ago so I can't really remember.

     
    At October 06, 2006 12:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    she runs an organization called footsteps:

    www.foostepsorg.org

     
    At October 06, 2006 3:23 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    I would like to remind all those who are criticizing me that the ancient Hebrew prophets were also routinely spat upon, beaten, imprisoned and murdered by other Jews as a result of their devotion to spreading the word of God. See the Book of Jeremiah. Unfortunately it would seem that nothing has changed. Not everyone is ready to hear the truth. However just as they were not deterred by persecution, neither shall I. On the contrary, this only makes the ultimate reward that much greater.

    In the meantime, I would like to wish everyone a joyous holiday, filled with the boundless satisfaction of serving God and fulfilling His commandments.

     
    At October 06, 2006 6:18 AM, Blogger Kylopod said...

    You might want to take a moment to recall the most noted trait of the greatest Hebrew prophet of all.

     
    At October 06, 2006 7:51 AM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    jp
    sounds like you are getting yourself ready for the lecture circuit ala gavriel sanders et al.

     
    At October 06, 2006 8:41 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Anon,
    >bhb, look at you, you have a goy turned Jew (hater) and creepy chusid turned creepier to plug their vile sites on your blog. I say take ‘em off now. let them find other ways to advertise their inanity.

    So from all the commenters, you want me to shut down possibly the only two full believers in TMS. Very Ironic.

     
    At October 06, 2006 8:53 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Billie Jean,

    >2.I have a question, though, were there any women in the book or just men? The reason I ask is that the skeptic world seems to be overly dominated by men. I wonder why. Can UO's policies of educating women for ignorance explain it?

    Yes there women and couples. In addition to what Orthprax said, perhaps there are less women skeptics bloggers out there because (post college) bloggers seem to be individuals in the tech industries and there are just less women in those industries. Also, maybe women have better friendships and don't need to vent on Blogs. If my wife would be skeptic, I'm sure I'd know about; the whole block might too; as well as all of her friends wherever they may be thanks to low long distance rates.

    >3. Re Stockholm syndrome: I don't know much about it but I imagine that one could identify/cooperate with oppressors without it being specifically Stockholm syndrome. Apparently cooperating out of fear doesn't count; I'm sure that fear is what keeps many people within the UO community.


    I've always felt there was an elemnt of Stockholm in Judaism. Like every third word is IY"H and Baruch Hashem, so Chas Vsholom Hashem shouldn't cheppe with us. Unfortunately, eventually he will anyway. (Future Post)

    >4) I still think JP is an asshole.

    I think he's the one who needs to repent.

     
    At October 06, 2006 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "At the social level, all are conditioned to fear intense ostracism. If you have kids, all will be done to deny you access to them. You will no longer be welcome in your family, among your friends, even in the neighborhood.

    There's much more, but I don't have time now for an exhustive list. In my book, these suffice as gravely unjust."

    these are pretty much only features of chassidic communities (and not even a given there). Which brings to the next point:

    ">It may not be a conspiracy (that word carries a sinister overtone), but it's certainly conscious. The dress, the (lack of) education, the narrow confines of what is considered acceptable or respectable, the constant exhortation not to be like the Goyim and the concomitant demonizing of anything and anyone "different" are expressly designed to forestall the desire and ability to leave.
    You would know better than me because you're in the community. But I was under the impression, that the dress is for conservatism as done by the zeidis. The lack of education is so the outside world should not seep in. Not to prevent people leaving but rather to keep outside ideas from infiltrating. It's not the same."

    I believe that the conscious or semi-conscious reason for the chassidic dress code is more that otherwise there is no reason to be chassidic than anything else. There is very little left of chassidism other than a social structure with a rebbe and dress code. (Interestingly, among Lubavitchers, where there is distinctive chassidic ideology, the rebbe adopted western dress.) I don't think it has much to do with not becoming goyish so much as deep fear of abandoning chassidus, which is ramped up and equated with becoming goyish. The taboo is very great because there is little reason for retaining identity other than the benefits (and downsides) of a somewhat tighter knit community.

     
    At October 06, 2006 9:00 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >Are you sure? I wonder where I've heard of her then... or maybe there's a similar woman in Mystics, Mavericks???


    Either way it sounds like an interesting book.


    > jewish philosopher said...

    In the meantime, I would like to wish everyone a joyous holiday, filled with the boundless satisfaction of serving God and fulfilling His commandments.


    I too, in the spirit of the prophets, would like too wish everyone a wonderful Chag Ha'asif where we enjoy the plenty that we have in this great nation of ours. (and you too Jewish Skeptic)


    > Kylopod said...
    You might want to take a moment to recall the most noted trait of the greatest Hebrew prophet of all.

    Fuhget about it.

     
    At October 06, 2006 9:01 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    Dear Baal haBos, Orthoprax, Rebels, Jeans, etc. etc.

    Reading over some of comments here, it seems to me that the best thing about the Jewish skeptics on the Internet is that most of them are probably the same person and I think he's under 16 years old.

    Good Yom Tif.

     
    At October 06, 2006 9:10 AM, Anonymous myass said...

    I wish Jacob Stein (aka Jewish "Philosopher") would actually take the opportunity to meet some of the people who consider themselves skeptics, or those who have left orthodoxy. Perhaps at least in person he would be capable of showing minimal respect for them (indeed, his insults and disrespect are just one of the many profoundly "un-Jewish" things about his behavior/thinking) and be able to take off his blinders long enough to see that they are thoughtful, intelligent, serious people who just do not believe the same things he does. But I suppose he may have trouble getting his head out of his own ass.

     
    At October 06, 2006 9:18 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    JP, first we're trash and now suddenly we are "Dear". Maybe you're starting to repent after all.

     
    At October 06, 2006 9:21 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    Anyone (including those dear trashy people who like to say "asshole" all the time) who wants to meet me in person can visit me at 15 Sherry Lane, Spring Valley, NY 10977. See www.mapquest.com for driving directions. I am in the sukkah on the back deck. Vodka is on the house - for those with ID aged 21 and over. ;-)

     
    At October 06, 2006 9:24 AM, Anonymous myass said...

    No, Jacob. Why don't you make some effort to come to them? I saw a post earlier about something at Makor. Neutral territory.

     
    At October 06, 2006 9:25 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > saw a post earlier about something at Makor.

    MA, what's this about?

     
    At October 06, 2006 9:29 AM, Anonymous myass said...

    s_c said...
    You might be interested:

    http://www.92y.org/shop/event_detail.asp?productid=T%2DMM5LD35

    Hella Winston with former Hasidim

    What makes some members of tight-knit Hasidic communities want to leave? Why do many of those who contemplate leaving find it so difficult? How do they fare in the outside world? Hear people who grew up Hasidic candidly discuss their lives, their choices and their Jewish identity. Hella Winston is the author of Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels.

    Tickets are $12 in advance ($15 at door).

    Date & Time: Wed, Nov 15, 2006, 7:00pm

    Location: Steinhardt Building, 35 West 67th

    October 05, 2006 10:55 PM

     
    At October 06, 2006 9:33 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Oh, that! what does Makor mean. I'd love to attend that but it means sneaking around my wife.

     
    At October 06, 2006 9:37 AM, Anonymous myass said...

    http://www.92y.org/content/about_makor.asp

    About Makor


    Whether you are interested in film, music, expanding your spiritual horizons or just meeting new people, you will find it at Makor.

    Makor is a place where New Yorkers of all backgrounds can feel comfortable expressing themselves, and where they can find meaning and inspiration. Makor is a place where you can rediscover Jewish life without losing your identity, where you can hone your talents while appreciating those of others, where you can cultivate the avant-garde while finding out about your roots.

    Makor reaches out to New Yorkers in their 20s and 30s with opportunities to connect and learn through imaginative programming in the arts and entertainment, education and service to others.

    We are located at 35 West 67th Street, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.

    For more information about Makor, contact us at 212.601.1000.

     
    At October 06, 2006 9:38 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    20's & 30's!

    OK, I'll leave my cane at home.

     
    At October 06, 2006 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Don't worry BHB. The lectures attract all ages, even the geriatric set. Ha ha ha.

     
    At October 06, 2006 9:44 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    Sounds fabulous. I'm sure the guys and gals at Makor can't wait for me to come and preach to them!

     
    At October 06, 2006 9:49 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Anon, at least we old fogeys are still welcome somewhere.

     
    At October 06, 2006 9:50 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    JP, maybe you simply make an effort not to preach but instead to understand legitimate differences of opinion.

     
    At October 06, 2006 9:56 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    I see no problem with my preaching at Makor. I happen to be comfortable expressing myself, I am avant-garde and I have found about my roots. If they want me to speak there, I am waiting for the call. Please inform Hella.

     
    At October 06, 2006 10:31 AM, Anonymous myass said...

    Who asked you to speak? The suggestion was, I believe, that you come to listen and engage in a dialogue, which are things you clearly do not know how to do, or more likely do not want to do..

     
    At October 06, 2006 10:34 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    I would suggest he simply learns to listen . Leave dialogue for another time.

     
    At October 06, 2006 10:34 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    I'm listening to plenty here on the web. How often do I need to hear about someone's ass? I am out of the teenage years.

     
    At October 06, 2006 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    jp,
    how convenient for you. when you don’t like what the say you simply affix an age and discard their ideas. fits with your philosophy.

     
    At October 06, 2006 11:00 AM, Anonymous myass said...

    i happen to a full-fledged adult and would argue that my nick is much less offensive than ANYTHING you have posted here.

     
    At October 06, 2006 11:04 AM, Blogger Kylopod said...

    I have previously ignored JP. I try to avoid attacking people, and I'm especially against those who attribute his behavior to the fact that he's a ger. I think it's very wrong to question a ger's authenticity. I just did what I suspect a lot of the more polite bloggers did, which was cringe inwardly anytime he entered a conversation. I saw no reason to belittle him openly. I even kind of admired what he was doing, naive as it was.

    But in the last few days he's crossed a line, in my book. I've encountered several non-skeptical frum bloggers--R' Gil, R' Harry, Chardal, Daganev--who would never behave like JP has. Even the much-derided Lakewood Yid is always polite, never personally arrogant. That counts for a lot in my book, even if I disagree with a person's views.

    I learned when I was about 15 how foolish it was to enter an argument with the assurance that I would instantly convert everyone to my way of thinking. It's not that I was bad at arguing. On the contrary, I'm a pretty skillful debater. But most people do not change their views overnight, just from hearing a convincing counterargument. What fuels personal belief can be very complex.

    There are very few official rules of discourse in the blog world, but people who show an unwillingness to listen to other points of view are not going to get very far in persuading anyone.

     
    At October 06, 2006 11:04 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    I'm not going to argue about the age of people who are too embarrassed to identify themselves.

     
    At October 06, 2006 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    bhb,

    >"So from all the commenters, you want me to shut down possibly the only two full believers in TMS. Very Ironic."

    ironic is that the only ones who believe are also busy plugging their own sites advertising their blogs time and time again. does it tell you something?

    i would leave it though. it serves your points a million fold. look who is talking, the grand Emile Zola with the even grander prophet Jeremiah, what a combo of freaks you got here.

     
    At October 06, 2006 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    jp, Jeremiah was a Jewish prophet; compare yourself rather to the goy Balaam and his talking acc oooops talking ass.

     
    At October 06, 2006 11:11 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    "what a combo of freaks you got here"

    Oooh that hurt. And how old are you supposed to be? Have you ever held a job or still living with mom?

     
    At October 06, 2006 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "> You said it was you. It was about charges of nepotism in yeshivas. You had old blogs up for a while - I was surprised at first, but it did seem to be you. That baal habos advertised his blog on Hasidic Rebel. I'm too lazy to dig up comments now. You don't know what I'm talking about?

    Sorry, I still don't recall. There was/is a baal habatish. (no relation)

    October 05, 2006 10:04 PM "

    Baal habos, I found one comment:

    http://pro.enetation.co.uk/comments.php?user=hasidicrebel&commentid=105771944677095057&usersite=http://hasidicrebel.blogspot.com/archives/2003_07_01_hasidicrebel_archive.html#1113472

    or try:

    http://tinyurl.com/qm8y6

    I'm pretty sure you said this guy was you. This guy gave up the blog and someone else eventually took it over.

     
    At October 06, 2006 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Again, Jacob, what does age have to do with any of this. As I recall, you became a BT (and began to reject your family) when you were 16. Do you believe your age should be a factor in how people assess your choice?

     
    At October 06, 2006 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Sukkos is a time to rejoice and be happy.

    tomidbsimcha.blogspot.com

     
    At October 06, 2006 11:42 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    As people get older they usually have better judgement.

     
    At October 06, 2006 11:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    apparently not in your case.

     
    At October 06, 2006 12:01 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    KP,
    >There are very few official rules of discourse in the blog world, but people who show an unwillingness to listen to other points of view are not going to get very far in persuading anyone.


    true, it's really a one way dialogue.


    > jewish philosopher said...
    I'm not going to argue about the age of people who are too embarrassed to identify themselves.


    You are the one who brought up age. Shekket.


    >>>Anonymous said...
    bhb,

    >>"So from all the commenters, you want me to shut down possibly the only two full believers in TMS. Very Ironic."

    >ironic is that the only ones who believe are also busy plugging their own sites advertising their blogs time and time again. does it tell you something?


    OK, now I see where you're coming from. I think we can talk about this offline, correct?

    >i would leave it though. it serves your points a million fold. look who is talking, the grand Emile Zola with the even grander prophet Jeremiah, what a combo of freaks you got here.

    LOL.







    Anonymous said...
    ">>> You said it was you. It was about charges of nepotism in yeshivas. You had old blogs up for a while - I was surprised at first, but it did seem to be you. That baal habos advertised his blog on Hasidic Rebel. I'm too lazy to dig up comments now. You don't know what I'm talking about?
    .

    Anon, no sorry, I am 6 months new to the blog world. If I ever gave you the impression that was me before, then I apologize. I think I do recall someone asking me if I was skeptic way back when and I replied yes. But that was not in reference to any prior blog. I'm skeptic for 7 - 8 years or so. You can Email if you'd like to discuss this further, as you can see in my newest post.

     
    At October 06, 2006 12:06 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    I am so happy to have met so many people [children??] who are completely tolertant of others opinions, so long as those opinions agree with their own. And who love name calling and insults except when they are the subject.

    You see why I am unsure of the age level here?

     
    At October 06, 2006 12:18 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

    If one person tells you that you have ass's ears, take no notice;
    should two tell you so, procure a saddle for yourself.

     
    At October 06, 2006 12:23 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >If one person tells you that you have ass's ears, take no notice;
    should two tell you so, procure a saddle for yourself.



    Orthoprax, how things have changed.

    It used to be.


    If one person tells you that you have ass's ears, take no notice; If two tell you so, check the mirror; should three tell you so, procure a saddle for yourself.


    Life is definitely speeding up

     
    At October 06, 2006 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i guess stein has to resort to name calling because his views are totally indefensible.

     
    At October 06, 2006 12:48 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

    Baal,

    "Life is definitely speeding up"

    It's all good. With either proverb I think he's got enough people here to get all the riding gear he needs.

     
    At October 06, 2006 3:43 PM, Anonymous Jewish skeptic said...

    >"I have previously ignored JP. I try to avoid attacking people, and I'm especially against those who attribute his behavior to the fact that he's a ger. I think it's very wrong to question a ger's authenticity"


    I agree with you.However,JP,coming as an outsider(& maybe of German origin)to join the Jewish people,should be sensitive enough no to touch the Holocaust subject.
    He had several posts on it,in all blaming the Jews themselves for it,for being secularists,disobedient to God,the Haskalah etc. He seems to be close to Satmar & I know their views.However,what some of the Satmar (many who lost their family in the Holocaust) say may be forgiven.(the irony is that their Rebbe who built up satmar in the U.S Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum,escaped from the nazis by getting on that infamous train organized by that secular Zionist Dr.Kastner.But thats a different story.).But he coming in as an outsider & didn't suffer the consequences of it mustn't touch the subject.
    All 6 million martyrs were k'doshim!
    I wrote JP on his blog,it's like I would say that God afflicted his son with terrible disease because of him & that's his fault.Would he like that? Of course not!
    In the same way I am infuriated whe he says that my relatives perished in the Holocaust because of any fault of theirs or their parents.With me its a personal issue.
    If he had the decency to apologise & desist from writing on the topic,maybe that would cause me to re-evaluate my opinion of him.
    I am certainly not against gerim-but gerim who become ohavei Yisroel,& not just robot ritual observers.
    Chag Sameach

    ps I am at least as old as you are ,JP.

     
    At October 06, 2006 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    >I think we can talk about this offline, correct?

    Not that I know. :)

     
    At October 06, 2006 4:20 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Anon,

    >> Ithink we can talk about this offline, correct?

    > Not that I know. :)


    Sorry, I guess I made an incorrect assumption of who you are.

     
    At October 06, 2006 5:01 PM, Blogger Kylopod said...

    I don't know why you think he might be of German origin. Is it the name Stein? That is actually a typical Jewish name, and it made me think that he changed his name. None of the gerim I personally know changed their name, other than formally adopting a Hebrew name for ritual purposes. The only time I've heard of such a thing was a fictional character in one of Faye Kellerman's novels. And that character was an ex-con. I have no idea if any real gerim change their last names. I suppose JP, given how un-squeamish he is about relaying personal info, can enlighten us on the details.

    As disagreeable and simplistic as blaming the Holocaust on nonreligious Jews may be, it is a view held by some rabbis, and it's quite possible that Mr. Stein learned under such rabbis.

    I can attest that my own ger friends are wonderful people who enrich the Jewish nation.

     
    At October 08, 2006 6:36 AM, Blogger Billie Jean said...

    Kylopod, I agree that JP has crossed a line. But when a person shows so much hatred to members of the Jewish people, I think anything, including his gerut, is fair game.

    >I can attest that my own ger friends are wonderful people who enrich the Jewish nation.

    Ditto.

     

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