Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How do I turn from Frum into Secular (Chiloini) ?


The other day I was chatting with the Gur runaway Sarah Einfeld and we were discussing a certain matter regarding haredi women leaving their society and turning secular (Hebrew: Chiloni). Sarah's answer how to carry this out was very simple and any woman who needs some advice, here it comes:

"Leave your haredi environment, start building yourself a new life, go into a store and buy some pants !"

I wouldn't regard leaving haredi society as that simple. No matter if the runaway is male or female. Jeans and leading a secular life doesn't take away your thoughts about what is MUTAR and what ISSUR. The thoughts just pop up and suddenly you may find yourself saying a Broche (Bracha) before putting something into your mouth. :-)


Meeting Sarah Einfeld


  1. To a college student who asked him the following question:

    "You said that we should make religion part of our daily lives. However, some of us feel that we cannot accept religion completely. Is there any value in compromise? For example, eating kosher but not to wear a hat."

    The Lubavitcher Rebbe answered to him:

    "Nobody is perfect. “There is no tzaddik on earth that has never sinned.” Even the most righteous is lacking in some aspect, yet this doesn’t impair the good that he does perform. Every mitzvah gives him additional power to continue."

    The same college student answered back:

    "I meant a permanent compromise. That he is not interested in fulfilling some precepts at all?"

    The Rebbe finaly told him:

    "Let him do as much as he can today—tomorrow he will try to fulfill even more. Or maybe the day after tomorrow. G‑d has infinite patience. But why postpone till tomorrow what you can do now?"

  2. Another college student asked him:

    "How would you define Judaism in a nutshell?" The Rebbe answered:

    "Your question is reminiscent of the ger in the Gemara [convert in the Talmud] who asked Hillel a similar question.

    The essence of Judaism is that Judaism is not abstract and detached from life, nor is it limited to a certain portion of human activity or irrelevant to his environment. If he is a true Jew, it must permeate his whole being 24 hours a day, and concern all of his activities. He must believe in G‑d Almighty as an absolute unity, which excludes all possibility of something outside of Him. He must accept G‑d as the Creator of the universe not only at the moment of creation, but in every moment afterwards as well. If he were to think that G‑d was the Creator only then at the time of creation, but now the world exists on its own merits and that things happen by coincidence—this would be the opposite of unity. If you accept the first postulate of Unity, that the world is constantly maintained by Him, then every one of us fits in the general pattern of the universe. You must do everything in a certain manner, for otherwise it would confuse the system of the universe. There is a divine pattern for each of us, and each act brings us a step further in the right direction—towards our mission in life."

    A final student asked:

    "I come from a small community and never had a good Jewish education. I find the Reform too simplified and liberal, but I cannot follow the Orthodox services. What shall I do?" The Rebbe answered:

    "You are young, and you have before you all the time in the world to learn even more than those who already have a Jewish education. It is stated in Avos: Lo alecha hamelachah ligmor—you are not expected to learn everything at once. A little bit each day, as long as you are on the right track.

    Start with Chumash, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in English, Ein Yaakov in English. Avoid the complacency of thinking that you have achieved the summit; rather know that you have more to strive for tomorrow, and G‑d will give you strength.

    My major objection to Reform and Conservative Judaism is that they compromise their ideals. They make it easy for you to achieve the summit, and then they say you need strive for no higher. Orthodoxy says you must strive to become a little bit better each day. The stories in the Bible and Talmud apply to every era. Rabbi Akiva was 40 years old and had to support a family, and yet started with alef bais and became one of the greatest rabbis of all times. This teaches us that if you set your will to it, you will achieve it."

  3. B"H

    Very encouraging words !!!

    Regarding Sarah Einfeld let me tell you that she has nothing against religion but she simply doesn't want to keep Mitzvot.

    Sarah has a blog in Hebrew and many people keep on asking why, after leaving Gur, she didn't go to "more open - minded" Chabad or to the national religious. Sarah never gave an answer but while talking to her it is obvious. She doesn't want to keep Mitzvot. At least for the time being.

  4. She is suffering from a syndrome called "false or illusionary freedom".