Sunday, September 5, 2010

Living in the Ultra - Orthodox Closet


Someone sent me the below link to an article about Haredim living in their frum AND in the secular world. They wear haredi clothes, pray and behave in haredi public but they do have another side: As soon as they leave haredi neighbourhoods, they lead a secular lifestyle. Bars, non - kosher food, newspapers, anything you can imagine.,7340,L-3944848,00.html

I have a few things to say on the Ynet article:

1. Ynet is known for its anti - haredi policy and I am not surprised that the site is trying its best to make Haredim look bad.

2. There are unhappy people in every society and whoever doesn't find himself in his society should leave.

3. I met quite a few runaways (including the Gur runaway Sarah Einfeld) and have to say that each of them has problems. Many are homosexual or have some kind of mental problems. Sarah Einfeld, for instance, wants anything but not a religious life. That's her right and, for her, she did the right step by leaving Chassidut Gur.

4. There are many Haredim living in such a closet. Thanks to the Internet and them hanging around newspaper stands. And there are many Haredim who don't really want to be as society is telling them. However, they are afraid of leaving. I don't have the perfect answer for them but if they are so terribly unhappy, they should look for professional help Jerusalem's Municipality offers.

5. The worst feeling is one's own guilt. Guilt about not following the Mitvot and the knowledge of the punishments. I know this feeling myself and you will never get rid of it. Different Rabbis will tell you different opinions about it but, in the end, it is YOU who has to be happy with your own life. You have to find a compromise with yourself and this is not easy at all. On the other hand, G - d doesn't want you to be depressed or getting sick and in this respect, you have to decide what is more important for you:
Squeezing yourself into a society where you are depressed or breaking out and starting a new life somewhere else. Not breaking away from religion but strict society pressure.


About SARAH EINFELD who doesn't want to be religious but have a "free" life.
Her goal was to become famous due to her writings but this, so far, hasn't really happened, as she always tells the same.

Sarah is a nice person but she should concentrate on getting a job and building a life with her children instead of hunting after fame.
I spoke with some Gerrer Chassidim about Sarah and they were interested in what she does today. However, neither the Gerrer Rebbe nor his Chassidut is willing to speak openly about their runaways. Unfortunately I lost contact with Sarah but someone told me that this is nothing extraordinary, as many other haredi runaways are not in touch with her anymore.


  1. 1) This is typical of such newspapers.

    2) Of course it does exist and we don't deny it, but when you look closer, you see that many of those who left the rank where not sincere in their faith at the beginning. For many, to say that they no longer believe in G-d is nothing else than an excuse because if they believe in G-d and knows that Torah was given by G-d to Jews to be practiced, when you don't want anymore such life, you need to say that you bo longer believe in G-d, but the truth is that they still believe but they need to convince themselves that they don't, it gives them an alibi for deciding not to follow the Torah. When you have been raised as a Cjaredi, there is always a part of Charedism in you. It's for ever.

    3)Of course, if you look at the Internet to have a proof that G-d does exist, it's not surprising that you will find that most websites don't promote G-d's existence. This is like trying to find a cheesburger in the home of a Rebbe. Wrong address! There are even websites that tell the Jewish people never existed and that it is a recent invention. So, what did they expected in going on the Internet to find a "proof"? I therefore believe that those who accept the "evidence" they found on the Internet are people who from the beginning were looking for excuses to disbelieve.

    4) To say that Charedim don't care if you no longer believe in G-d as far as you practice Torah is false. I've never heard such thing. And I don't know one single Charedi family who will find acceptable not believing in G-d.

    5) They are some details in their stories which don't make any sense at all!

    6) and why are they not talking about people who were atheists and became Charedim? or Jewish and non-Jewish scientists who admittedthe possibility that God likely exists? The answer is simple: because these people who write such stories are people who have no respect for the Torah, or for religion in general, let alone Charedim they hate in their whole being and feel so confortable to constantly ridicule

  2. B"H

    The majority of Chozrei beShe'elah I have met so far are not too happy with their emotional life. As I said, guilt plays an important role but also missing the caring haredi society. Even the Toldot Aharon runaway Noam Starik once said that he will never find such a perfect caring society as the Toldot Aharon.

    And you are right:
    Most people leaving haredi society just don't want to live in such a frum society. Today, the "free" secular world attracts them but soon they find out that this can be a very "cold" world where people are not interested in each other but only in carrer and money.

  3. Every country in the world has a mix of people who range from secular to fanatics but I have never seen anything quite like the poisonous hatred that is shown for the Haredim. America has the Amish, Canada the Hutterites and yes there is the full range of opinions--but never with the vitriol that Jew spew at their own. No wonder the world thinks they can use us a its punching bag!

  4. B"H

    The world has never liked Haredim because they behave and look "strange". The Arabs don't care too much about Haredim but the real hatred comes from fanatic Christians as well as from Reform and secular - left wing Jews. Especially in Israel, the left including left - wing authors such as David Grossman or A.B.Yehoshua hate Haredim.

    The worst hatred comes from the left - wing daily YEDIOT ACHARONOT.