Saturday, February 25, 2012

Why DEBORAH FELDMAN won't receive much attention in Israel


Deborah WHO ? 
Why Israelis aren't interested in another chassidic runaway ? Because we have plenty of them in our country and don't need any further reports from the United States. Who in Israel cares about Williamsburgh or Kiryat Yoel when we have Bnei Brak or Mea Shearim ? 

Israelis are definitely interested in such stories and TV series about "Off - the - Derech" cases are extremely popular. However, reports about Gitty Grunwald (Satmar) or now Deborah Feldman don't cause any interest although our left - wingers love to use such stories against haredi society as a whole. But lets be honest ? Who cares about New York ?

When I met the Gur runaway Sarah Einfeld and wrote about her, many people were interested. Maybe because Sarah was born into Gur and lots of Israeli Haredim hate the guts out of Gur. On the other hand, Sarah didn't really have any secret insights to announce but concentrates on "Why women should leave Gur or haredi society". The second thing is that Sarah comes from Ashdod and who cares about Gur in Ashdod ? Israeli Haredim asked me to find cases like Sarah in Bnei Brak or, at least, Jerusalem. This would be more interesting, but Ashdod ... 

Then another TV report made its round "Leaving the Fold" where, among others, a girl from Mea Shearim told about what happened to her in the neighbourhood and why she left haredi society. Wow, finally someone really interesting, as the girl was from Mea Shearim. Not only that but from BATEI UNGARIN, the famous Toldot Aharon, Chatam Sofer, Neturei Karta and Satmar backyard. Not a Sarah from Ashdod or a Gitty from the US but the REAL thing. This is how Israeli Haredim think and what arouses their curiosity. Let us hear some new gossip ...

Several Haredim asked me to get in touch with this formerly Mea Shearim girl because she has something to tell. I wrote to the production company of "Leaving the Fold" and was told that they don't provide addresses of the movie participants. However, I can send a request to the Israeli "Off - the - Derech" organization "Hillel". By the way, I know that "Hillel" wouldn't answer me because, as soon as they look at my blog, they may get the idea that I am a haredi spy.:-) No, seriously, "Hillel" never sent a response to some previous questions I had. 

I was curious finding out more about the Mea Shearim girl appearing in "Leaving the Fold" and asked a friend of mine living in Batei Ungarin. As expected, she didn't want to get involved and refused to give any information. It took a long time to persuade my friend but only after 1000 promises to never ever mention her name. To make a long story short, the girl from "Leaving the Fold" turned out to be a fake. If this girl had been born into the backyard, no matter into what group, and she had left in order to become secular, this may have been a story but not her being a Ba'alat Teshuva. Or, at least, her mother was and not necessarily the daughters. 

The market is flooded with different stories about leaving haredi society and how people were treated. I think that most people interested in reading such stories are those who hate Haredim. In particular, fanatic Christians, anti - Semites or even Reform Jews. Those taking a closer look and actually make a true and honest effort getting to know society will find a totally different world far beyond from Deborah's or Gitty stories. Of course, not every Haredi is perfect and there are plenty of society problems but no one should forget the thousands of people who are very happy with their lives.

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