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November 25, 2008

CBS: Secret Lives Of Hasidic Jews

Hasidic swingers have finally…

…made it out of Craig's List and onto the television screen.


How widespread is this behavior? It's hard to say, because no studies have been done, and al reports are anecdotal.

I hear the this type of behavior is fairly common, and professionals (law enforcement, social workers, etc.) that have regular contact with Brooklyn's haredi community talk about very dysfunctional families with high rates of sexual abuse and incest.

Instead of quoting them, CBS went to Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler of YU for comment. This is not his area of expertise, and his family's problems – which in all fairness do not necessarily reflect badly on him – make him a particularly strange choice.

The good news? CBS mentioned Footsteps on the air and linked to it online.

Culture Shock: Secret Lives Of Hasidic Jews
Not Happy With Their Marriages, Some Hasidic Men And Women Engage In Extramarital Affairs Via The Internet

CBS 2 HD Goes Deep Inside A Rigid And Sheltered World Few See

Dave Carlin NEW YORK (CBS) ― The overwhelming majority of men and women in New York's Hasidic Jewish community are strictly pious and scrupulous in their religious observances. But in the course of a three-month investigation CBS 2 HD found something hidden -- secrets kept not only from the outside world, but from each other.

Some Hasidic men and women are straying far from their beliefs and breaking their marital vows. CBS 2 HD gained exclusive access into this rigid, ultra religious world, and spoke to Hasidic men and women who broke the rules by sneaking on to the Internet. They betrayed Jewish law and their spouses.

On the Internet there are postings in chat rooms and on craigslist. One posting advertises a husband and wife, who describe themselves as "frum" or observant. They claim to be from Flatbush and want another Orthodox Jewish woman to join them for sex.

"I know of swingers in the ultra orthodox community, which shocked me to hear it … just the way it would shock anybody else," said "Yossi" of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Yossi said he knows adultery is taking place because he said he had affairs with several Hasidic women.


The 36-year-old was raised strictly Hasidic and was in his teens when a bride was chosen for him.

"I met my wife for just very brief period and then months later we got married and we hadn't seen each other. I never felt committed to her in any way," Yossi said.

He was not physically attracted to my wife, "But given the culture I was raised in I did not think it an appropriate response to say I don't want this marriage arrangement because I do not like the way she looks. I did not think that would be an acceptable thing to say."

He said he only had a vague idea what sex was until his wedding night.

"I didn't know what sex was until the day I got married. There is someone who teaches you the specifics. They teach you the basic function of sex, the nuts and bolts, what goes where," Yossi said.

As the years went on Yossi said he felt trapped with a woman he did not love, with five children and a job he hated. He went on the Internet, looking for answers and for people who felt as alone as he did.

"There are a lot of places on the Internet where people meet up … in discussion forums where people have common interests. You get to know another person and sometimes it evolves into a sexual relationship," Yossi said.

He said he found unhappily married Hasidic women willing to have sex with him.

"It was with people I met online. Women in the Hasidic community that I met online and I had a number of fairly serious relationships ... while married."

He said things spiraled out of control when he fell in love, for the first time in his life, with a married woman whom he continues to have an affair with. He divorced his wife, which he said left him a ruined man in the eyes of his family and community.

"It is devastating to her, to our entire extended family and it was especially devastating because people know I've become non-religious. I've left the lifestyle," Yossi said.

He hoped the married woman he loved would leave her husband and the Hasidic world but she did not. Yossi regularly visits his children, who remain in the Hasidic world. He calls their lives "pure" and wants them to stay there and be raised just the way he was.

"It is the only life they know and I don't know that they could handle any other life," Yossi said.


Leah was a bride at 17. It was an arranged marriage that, at the time, she did not question. Her Hasidic community was so religious and rigid she did not dare ask to wear a wig over her bald head instead of a tichel, or headscarf. Refusing her chosen mate was not an option. She said her wedding night was miserable.

"I ended up with someone I had no idea who he was and I end up in bed with him," Leah said.

She had two children in the first two years of the marriage. She was unhappy and felt she couldn't talk to anyone. She sneaked out of the house and found computers hooked up to the Internet in coffee houses. In secret she reached out to others online, hungry for information. Later, that hunger included the desire for a satisfying sexual experience with someone other than her husband.

"Getting attention from other people was just for me an escape. I really didn't know what love was," Leah said.

While in her 20s she decided she could no longer live what she called "a lie" and she divorced her husband. She said her family is angry and she is in a legal fight with her husband for custody of their children. She abandoned the Hasidic style of dress, but continues to wear conservative, modest looking clothes. The transition to life in the secular world remains difficult.

"I had no idea what it was to even write a check, " she said.

She said she spoke to CBS 2 HD hoping it helps other women in similar situations. Referring to Hasidic leaders she said, "they need to face the issue. They can't pretend it doesn't exist."


Rabbi Moshe Tendler, a professor at Yeshiva University, told CBS 2 HD: "You're dealing with a real oddity, a rarity." But he added, "I believe (cheating) is more of a problem than it has been."

Access to the Internet is a factor, as is what he calls the "autonomy of modern life." While many in the Hasidic world deny this problem exists, Tendler and others said facing it could help the community solve the psychological fallout that can go hand in hand with arranged marriages, the separation of boys and girls and the influences of an outside world that threaten unwanted changes.

"This is where the community is particularly guilty," Tendler said. "They do not take care of psychiatric problems. They hide from them because it will impact on the ability of the other children to find mates."

Tendler said the reaction of Hasidim to temptations and threats from the outside is to clamp down more.

"It has been for the last 20 years a clearly discernible trend of further isolating from the outside world," Tendler said. "Opportunities for young people to meet each other have become very restrictive. How does a boy meet a girl? How does anyone learn how to communicate with a female?"

Tendler said while the isolation in Hasidic life actually works to preserve traditions, there is a downside.

"You can't put up a wall. You can put up a wall for one generation, two generations. But the wall is always breached. It is not a permanent solution to anything. Education is a permanent solution," Tendler said.

His advice, "Take the best of the outside world and spit out what is unfit."


Helping those in the Hasidic communities who feel conflicted, confused and alone is the New York City based group "Footsteps." Some of its members enter the secular world, but many others get information they need and decide they are happiest staying right where they are.

Yossi and Leah hope by sharing their stories they help others work up the courage to chart new lives in the outside world or tap in to the deeper faith and happiness to remain part of the world they grew up in and stay true to the traditions and religion they love.

"I think if more people would do it there would be less stigma attached to it," Yossi said. "There would also be a larger support network for those who want to do it. People would be aware of others who leave and it would make it easier for others to get out if they want to."

To learn more about "Footsteps," please click here.

[Hat Tips: Yochanan Lavie, KK.]


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You r the only one made out of plastic.
47 , Single and living on mammy basemant

Please take your pills shmarya.

You think all day ( 24/7 )only about chasidim and sex with small childrens.

I think I'll install a jacuzzi in the mikveh.

Although it's a major problem, i think it could be easily resolved by getting Green's chocolate kokosh cake instead of the cinnamon one.

With their scraggly beards and babushka bods, it's hard to understand how haredi spouses do each other, much less invite others for threesomes and groups sex!

I recall that the Qitsur Shulhan 'Arukh mandates haredim copulate in the dark and refrain from (I paraphrase) looking at the wife's twat, much less (kol she'qayn) kissing it!

Maybe the famous "hole in the sheet" is really an ultra-Orthodox Glory Hole?"

Ask your haredi roov to explain "bi'ah she'lo cdarkah"! I always enjoy hazering those naughty sugiyot with proselytizing meshichisten and otherwise unsuspecting rabbinic types.

Now we know how cretins and mental defects like Rubashkin and Ovadiah Yosef come from. They dribbled down to impregnate their mummies dearest after a smelly bout of anal sex. (Yes, Virginia, a dayah in the Talmud sez you can get preggers -- up yer duff -- when a sperm dribbles out the anus and swims up the vagina!)

Ah, the wisdom of the ages!


Anderson, you are a sick, twisted, man.

Abram Engler Anderson, you seem to have moved around a lot in your journalism career, from Time Magazine to various small time Jewish newspapers.

Is this what happens to a washed up writer that can;t get a job? Posting vulgar obscenities on Failed Messiah?

Birds of a feather ...

please let out your anger in a non-vulgar way, like the rest of us do,

this is good, really good ... very nice. lovin' it ... mmmmm!!! mamesh shepping nachas ...

Anderson wants attention and he writes like a retard; just let him be and he will blow away on his own.

believe it or not, I have met some hasidic swingers. they would have normal shabbat dinner and then after the kids went to sleep have an orgy with their friends.
I hung around with a group one saturday night that was looking for the morning-after pill because the condom broke as they were having their shabbat oneg.
the whole thing was both hilarious and revolting. with their fiddler on the roof accents and total lack of morality, it was like a saturday night live sketch.
there is a whole underground in monsey, monroe and flatbush, where women walk around outside in snoods and long skirts but have pierced nipples underneath.
many of the men and women are gay and bisexual also. sick sick stuff. its like the story of adam and chavah and the snake. Once they break one little law, they go crazy because they have no moral guidance outside of their gedolim.

I don't think the sub-culture exists in Monroe. The Vaad hatznius would drive them out if they suspected anything.

I know that it exists in Crown Heights in disproportionate numbers compared to elsewhere. There is total hefkerus there since the Rebbe passed which is very sad.

If the women have piercings they are probably not going to mikva. There are some guys in Brooklyn with pierced nipples but they are the type who left home at a young age when they started breaking Shabbos. They have drifted back somewhat to at least wearing a yarmulke most of the time and not publicly breaking Shabbos.

Anderson, can you tell me where it says that a woman can end up pregnant 'lo k'darcha'?

I heard of a shul in Chicago where swinging was the norm for the congregation, and when the rabbi spoke out against it (subtly) he was removed from his position. Although I don't believe this has a chareidi shul, not sure though.

Sick comments, sick story, we are also only human, chosen or not. It hurts me that the secular world sees Jews as thus. Kinda spsoils the image that we have been taught rigorously to protect. There is so much written in our laws about pupblic behavior, and about wanting only good to be exposed, to the point of sending the children born who don't measure up to homes, living apart and separate from their families, children, put in homes because the family thinks that their other children will suffer when it comes time for a shidduch. What kind of morality is that?? I don't like it at all. And what kind of an example does it give to the other children in the family, secrets, family secrets, hurtful messages to all. I don't know how I got on that subject, but I guess the tie-in is the strong prohibition against exposing what is not good. So be it.

I think they can use a healthy dose of Chulent:


Critical Minyan: What the swingers did was okay, as long as there was no mixed dancing.

> 'I think I'll install a jacuzzi in the mikveh.'!!! - Yochanan

OMG!!! Sick!!! And I love it!

- Seriously, what a fascinating story. From my perspective, one of the last places one would expect such activity. But alas, we're human and passion is an essential element in life. If one isn't in love, sex is rather mechanical.

There's nothing like making love, when deep in love.

Just goes to show, self inflicted isolationism can and does have the opposite affect(s). The lack of courtship imposes dysfunction in marriage, in life. Love is an empirical aspect to marriage. Arranged marriages can lead to such admiration, but I find it difficult to comprehend, there's much of that, in these particular cases.

- A E ANDERSON, Although we do infuse humor in our discussions, please try to exhibit some restraint; Outside your opening remarks, the rest of your post was over the top. Your observations require less raucousness - consider this audience - FM isn't a raunchy comedy club. And don't get me wrong, there's a place for such observations/humor, just not here. There's a line that needs to be respected; your comments were far too graphic as well as offensive. Thanks for considering the aforementioned.


Anyone with a bit of wisdom knows man, in any form, is not infallible. Do not view this personally with shame. It only shows the end result of people's differing views on monogamy. Its not my cup of tea, but who am I to judge?

The CBS producer for this story, Lee Kushnir, contacted me about 3 weeks ago. She read something I had written on a blog and asked me to call her in the newsroom. We spoke, and unfortunately, I did not have much to contribute to the story. I do not have a televsion. and the idea of being in contact with a newsroom at all made me very nervous. I think the cat is out of the bag now, but it is nothing that has not been going on for years, in every culture. I agree with an earlier posting, however, the reporter David Carlin did stress the piety of the average Chussid in the community.

Archie, how does a woman having a pericing affect her going to mikvah? They get their ears peirced and that doesn't make a difference to mikvah goings, so i don't see how nipple peircing will make a difference.

Then you don't know anything about going to the mikvah.

I'm working on a screenplay for a sequel to the movie 40 year old virgin. its gonna be called the 50 year old virgin and Shmarya is starring.

Interesting that all the "open minded" members of the forum are suddenly so unaccepting of peoples lifestyle choices.
If so I suspect that the indignant fury against Rubashkin and The Ultra Orthodox was just deep old fashioned bias cloaked in altruism and caring.

"so i don't see how nipple piercing will make a difference"

nipple piercings or other piercings that are not in the ear are much more difficult to remove. If the woman removes the nipple ring it is A) difficult to reinsert (they close quickly). B)can be painful to reinsert. Body jewelry changes usually require the barbells to be in constant contact with each other when they get changed.

So you can see how going to a mikvah once month, or for some women whose menstrual cycles are shorter than 28 days, twice a month, is a serious "pain!"

I actually hadn't even thought of the chatzitza issue.

I think the women would refrain from going to mikva for 2 reasons. They are obviously not worried about the gravest sins anyway, even worse than niddah. And because the mikva attendants would be disgusted with the piercings and think who knows what. In some mikvos women get the 5th degree and are sometimes kicked out by the attendants.

I'm working on a screenplay for a sequel to the movie 40 year old virgin. its gonna be called the 50 year old virgin and Shmarya is starring.

Posted by: | November 25, 2008 at 11:46 AM

Too bad Shmarya didn't remain Chassidic. He could have become an amoral swinger, too.

The lifestyle choice is not what bothers me. i am all for live and let live. What bothers me is that many who choose this lifestyle still consider themselves "frum" and continue to dress and act as if they really are. By posting on craigslist as "frum couple" or "hasidic couple", they are causing a tremendous chillul hashem which leads to this type of media attention. The severity of these sins without the publicity are immense to begin with. They would be better off going the Spitzer route. If they were to declare themselves as OTD's and change their appearance, then it would lessen the chillul hashem considerably.

Actually the most interesting thing about this latest is the use of the old word 'swinger'. I didn't know people used that any longer. We could use some streakers too while we're at it.

+++I don't think the sub-culture exists in Monroe. The Vaad hatznius would drive them out if they suspected anything.
Archie Bunker | November 25, 2008 at 09:39 AM+++

I'd bet that the Vaad Hatznius thugs are the worst offenders when it comes to porno and deviant sexual behavior.

“What bothers me is that many who choose this lifestyle still consider themselves "frum" and continue to dress and act as if they really are.”

I think you are ridiculous. Life is not so black and white. It is your attitude, (not meaning you) but people with similar outlooks that cause people to go OTD (off the derech), the, “all or none attitude.” If a man eats a tuna sandwich on bread that does not have a heksher, he might as well be eating a ham and cheese sandwich? If a woman wears jeans, she might as well be wearing chaps with no panties? If a woman does not keep shabbat, why bother lighting shabbat candles? There are people who are very charitable and then get caught cheating clients. Does that mean their charity does not count? It is not all or nothing! People are more complicated than that! I am sure you are!

Some people love sex and other people do not. This woman attributes her longevity to being a virgin. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1788363.ece
I could never be her!

Well, of course these people add extra elements like chilul Hashem but the swinger lifestyle is immoral no matter who is misbehaving. It's part of what brought down Sodom & Gemorrah and ancient Egypt. There are also midrashim that Haman & Zeresh y's were very active in the lifestyle.

"I'd bet that the Vaad Hatznius thugs are the worst offenders when it comes to porno and deviant sexual behavior."

In many cases this is true but they will not do so in an organized manner or else they can't justify their existence.

"Does that mean their charity does not count?"

In the end game of schar veonesh each has it's own cheshbon but the Beis Halevi learns that avayros hold back tefillos and the zchus of mitzvos from counting in this world.

If a man eats a tuna sandwich on bread that does not have a heksher, he might as well be eating a ham and cheese sandwich? If a woman wears jeans, she might as well be wearing chaps with no panties

Ah, this is slightly more extreme than a tuna sandwich or a ham and cheese sandwich, don't you think? Don't you think that "frum swingers" is an oxymorn? Again, I have no problem with their choice of lifestyle as long as they keep it private.

tenlers crowd dosnt have to worry about adultery , there all single living on the upper west side


As far as piercings, what if they were to remove them prior to entering into the mikva? Then they could complete their journey to becoming kosher, yes?

Steve, I'm surprised you say you have NO problem with it.


The purpose of going to the mikva is to cap off a process where one seeks to be pure.

If one immerses while contemplating their next lustful rendezvous, the mikva not only does nothing but the person will be further punished if they try to absolve their sins this way.

Humor. Hyperbole. Reductio ad absurdum. Maybe that got lost somewhere.

I seem to remember the gemara was Ketubot. Bi'ah sh'lo kedarkah is hardly an unpopular subject in the Talmud.

Don't get me wrong.... I like Habad! They cost me more than US$30,000 in out-of-pocket donations this year. Everywhere I go, they want a check! That said, I do so enjoy holding them up to ridicule sometimes, especially with the whacky yechi stuff. I think they can handle it.

As for Ovadiah Yosef...


Doesn't the Gemara say that if you have an overwhelming desire to sin you should put on dark clothing and travel to a strange place?

I guess they must have meant put on a kapoteh and go to crown heights or williamsburgh!!!


What I mean is that it is not for me or anyone else to judge. Everyone has their faults and their weaknesses, and all of us succumb at one time or another. If these people mentioned on the CBS report were sinning in private, it is nobody's business. They will have to deal with it on their own with HKB"H and eventually with their spouses. I did mention the severity of the sin, on both ends, since we are dealing with eishes ish.

Thank you Dr. Dave. I did mention this gemara on a different thread dealing with homosexuality.

I don't know that it's unfair to be judgemental here.

Adultery is something that any ignoramous among the monotheistic religions knows is dead wrong. If someone makes an immoral choice here they deserve to be ostracized.

"Doesn't the Gemara say that if you have an overwhelming desire to sin you should put on dark clothing and travel to a strange place?"

The commentaries explain the intention of the Gemara. We are not being told G-d forbid that we may sin this way. The purpose of this routine is that while someone makes preparations, it will make him come to his senses and repent before setting forth on his journey to another city.

"Don't you think that 'frum swingers' is an oxymorn?"

Honestly, No.

If a husband and wife decide TOGETHER that they want to have an open relationship, then I do not think it is “adultery”. There is no deceit. It is similar to a husband and wife deciding together that they want to play burglar/tie-me-up (if you know what I mean). Could the husband be prosecuted for rape, not at all! He cannot be prosecuted because it was consentual, NOT because he is her husband. If a husband comes home drunk and physically assaults his wife, it is rape!

If married couples want to have naked shabbos onegs together, it does not make them “not frum.” Just like if a single frum man and a single frum woman have sex together Friday night, it does not make them “not frum.” They may all keep shabbos, kashrit, and sniyuts (at least in public).

A BT woman once told me that she was glad to learn about Shomer Negiyah (abstaining from touching the opposite sex). Although she was not a virgin, she told me she really did not like sex and had a lot of guilt after having it. Why should she be more “frum” then the sexually active single “frum” girl, who just adores sex?

If someone makes an immoral choice here they deserve to be ostracized.

If the sinner expresses remorse, then why should he be ostracized? It's between him and G-d and between him and his wife. OTOH, if that person does it brazenly, or is a rabbi/mechanech, then yes, he should be ostracized.

Relax Archie, it was a joke.

What is not funny is the hypocritical judgement of fellow Jews by these people.

A woman's wearing pants, a man wearing a kippa s'ruga or even going bareheaded is much less serious than violating gilui arayos!!!

Once again just because someone dresses like minor Polish nobleman of the 17th century (and lets not even start with b'darkum lo telechu - which they see in others and ignore in themselves) does not make them more religious, better or righteous than anyone else/

I'll bet anyone on this forum that the true statistical numbers of such deviant orthodox Jews is most likely not even close to 1% of the total orthodox population (including all of NY, NJ and Israel). Having said that, i think that orthodox Jews, as a group, need not exhibit any shame whatsoever as a result of this report.

If a husband and wife decide TOGETHER that they want to have an open relationship, then I do not think it is “adultery

The Torah considers both of them adulterers and liable to the death penalty, with witnesses and warning. So yes, they would be prosecuted by religious law if we had a Sanhedrin today. I only mention religious law because they consider themselves "frum". Besides their morally reprehensible behavior, their decision to go public and agree to be interviewed by CBS adds insult to injury. The sin of causing chillul hashem can never be rectified. Add it all up, these people are not too "frum". A Jew who does not keep any of the commandments and is totally detached from religion, but does not flaunt his indiscretions, should be considered more "frum" than the subjects of this report.

Some of the rationales offered on this thread read like Oscar Wilde satire.
The Hasidic crowd has discovered the world of sex for enjoyment, only a century after the rest of the world already did.
Congratulations, frummies.

'If one immerses while contemplating their next lustful rendezvous...' - Archie

But if they were contemplating their next encounter with their spouse...? Let's forget about the swinging, as the aspect of the mikva may do nothing for the participant, if they repeat the act.

I understand one shouldn't enter the mikva without ritualistic pure thoughts and intentions... But I'm beginning to get the impression of hypocrisy here - Has not the mikva ritual become a sexist's ritual, as men are no longer called upon to purify themselves after intimacy.

And isn't sex's joy, intimacy and pleasure, a gift from G-d?

What ever happens between a man and wife, piercings or not, is it not a private matter?

There are adult toys which assist, enhance pleasure - are these forbidden as well OR is it, G-d only intended sex for procreation, devoid of pleasure?

What ever happens between a man and wife, piercings or not, is it not a private matter?

Yes it is, and it should stay that way!

ya...lets blame it on the internet

20 years ago, i spent a shabbos in boro park...my host took me for a friday night walk, and he showed me the whore houses...he also told me about the underground wife swapping that was going on even then

and great choice talking to moshe tendler...how about having him explain his 2 sons?

what this story shows is that counseling services are needed for frum couples...as is education before the marriage...which includes sex education.

"The Torah considers both of them adulterers and liable to the death penalty"

That is not true at all. If you look at the actual words of the Torah it says "adultry". Technically, you have no idea what adultry is. Just like it says "keep" the sabbath or "gaurd" the sabbath. What is the defination of "keep" or "gaurd"? Not ripping toilet paper or not using toothpaste? Maybe, maybe not...It all depends on the rabbis' interpretations, which are different.

According to Rashi,(see Rashi on Gen. 22:20). Isaac is 40 years old when he marries Rebecca (Gen. 25:20), making Rebecca 3 years old at the time of her marriage. BUT... the OU sees it differntly. "another opinion found in the midrashim, and followed by some other commentaries that Rivkah (Rebecca in english) was fourteen years old" http://www.ou.org/torah/ti/5764/toldot64.htm

which rabbi is correct? I guess if you like 3 year old girls, then Rashi. If you like 14 year olds, then the OU.

If you really want to follow the torah it also says in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 that if a man rapes a unmarried girl, he has to give her father money and then marry her.

All I can say is thank G-d I am no longer frum today and thak G-d I live under America's crazy laws and not the charedi rules of the rabbis OR the Shariah laws of the Muslims! I would rather argue gay marriage then marriage of a 3 year old!!

And isn't sex's joy, intimacy and pleasure, a gift from G-d?

Yes, but some relations are forbidden by the Torah. Permitted relations are supposed to be enjoyed, and are a gift. That's why legally married couples are encouraged to have sex on Shabbat; it's oneg (joy of) Shabbat.

What ever happens between a man and wife, piercings or not, is it not a private matter?

The halachic world is divided on this. I lean towards more liberal opinions that say anything that promotes pleasure and intimacy in a marriage is permitted (except adultery, etc.), even if it's not procreative. But many authorities are more draconian.

There are adult toys which assist, enhance pleasure - are these forbidden as well OR is it, G-d only intended sex for procreation, devoid of pleasure?

See above. It depends on whom you ask. I think the "procreation only" response is culturally influenced by Christianity's Original Sin doctrine (not the way we interpret Genesis) and by ascetic Middle Eastern sects. But again, there are many who vehemently disagree. We have no Pope, so you have to find an authority whom you trust. I am very pro-Sex, as long as it's not expressly forbidden in the miqra, and there are rabbis who back me up.

Judgementalism: This is hard, because I am of 2 minds about this. My conservative/traditionalist side would say that marriage is sacred (pro-marital sex though I am) and "swinging" is a grave sin that undermines a basic principle of the civilization: the family. Also, the chillul Hashem factor is devastating. The Nazis used the image of Jews as sexual deviants in their propaganda, for example, as do Muslim fanatics today.

My libertarian side inclines me to live and let live, and not to judge lest I be judged. I am a sinner too (but not a swinger, sorry folks). As long as you keep it private, keep it consensual, don't hurt anybody or frighten the horses, go for it, even if I don't like your choices.

I can certainly forgive frum people for not being 100% perfect. Nobody is, and a Jew named Saul was no neurotic about the impossibility of being perfect that he started a new, easier, religion of his own. 613 mitzvot is the goal, but 612 ain't bad, and is better than nothing. Sometimes Orthodox is "all-or-nothing-ism."

How do I reconcile my 2 viewpoints? An occasional lapse is one thing; a habitual one is another. Private lives are one thing; public chillul Hashem is another. Weakness is one thing; crass, cynical, hypocrisy is another. Having premarital sex because you're middle aged and unmarried is one thing; violating your wedding vows (even if your spouse is into it) is another. That does not make lapses "okay." It just makes them forgiveable. I prefer to judge actions rather than individuals, because you need to see people holistically.

"Do I contradict myself?/ Very well then! I contradict myself./ I am large. I contain multitudes." Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself."

"and a Jew named Saul was no neurotic about the impossibility of being perfect that he started"

should read: "so neurotic about..."

Miss Jew (apologies to the Rolling Stones)

I've been davening so long
I've been schluffing all alone
Gott, I miss you
I've been hanging on the net
I've been waiting on my get
I want to shtupp you

Oy oy oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
Oy ooy oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
Oy yoy yoy (2x)

Well, I've been haunted in my schluff
You've been starring in my dreams
"L-rd" I miss you
I've been waiting in the mikveh
Been wailing like Hatikvah
When the phone rings
It's just some chevra of mine that say,
Nu, vos tot zich, man?
Were gonna come around at twelve
With some Bais Yaakov girls that are just dyin' to meet you.
We're gonna bring a case of Kedem
Hey, let's go be "ovor negiah"
You know, like we used to

Aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah
Aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah
Aaah aaah aaah aaah

Oh waiting for taharah's too long
Oh bubbeleh why you wait so long
Won't you come on! come on!

I've been walking in Boro Park
Singing after dark
People think I'm meshugah
I've been schuckling on my feet
Davening for Glatt meat
Asking people, what's the matter with Rubbishcan?

Sometimes I want to say to myself
Sometimes I say

Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
Oooh oooh oooh

Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
I won't miss you maideleh

I guess I'm lying to myself
I'm just a Jew like everyone else
Lord I won't miss being frum
I have a blatt gemara mind
But it's "Kiddushin" all the time
Nu, I won't miss shul, bubbeleh, yeah

Lord, I miss you maideleh

Aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah
Aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah
Aaah aaah aaah aaah

Lord, I miss you maideleh
Aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah
Aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah aaah
Aaah aaah aaah aaah (2x)


Pastor’s Advice for Better Marriage: More Sex

At last yochanan has new material!!!

Thanks, nachos. My last few didn't go over so well, so I thought I would sit out for awhile.

That is not true at all. If you look at the actual words of the Torah it says "adultry". Technically, you have no idea what adultry is

Devarim (Deuteronomy 22:22)

"If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel."

Leviticus 20:10

"If there is a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death."

There is no such death penalty for the Eliot Spitzer's of the world. It's better that they should cheat with gentiles than with married Jewish women. It's even better if they patronize prostitutes, as long as they change their clothing. Also, if they get caught, they should take off their yarmulkes when they are sentenced to attend John School.

What Spitzer did was deplorable (because he was married, and she was young enough to be his daughter.) But maybe he was ratted on because he was about to investigate Wall Street. You never know...

can we talk about agriprocesssors-i dont need any more attention

The Torah seems to prescribe the death penalty for just about any misbehavior, even jaywalking. So why don't the frummies go around slaughtering one another over various minor infractions?
I bet they would, if they weren't afraid of American law enforcement authorities.

There is an episode in Alfabeta d'ben sira, which is a questionable pseudoepigraphic midrash, that states that Yirmiyahu was forced to be motzi zera l'vatala in the mikva and that sperm swum around for a while, and impregnated his daughter leading to the birth of Ben Sira. (not that this has anything to do with Chassidish swingers, but there was some question about shelo k'darko biology earlier. Personally, I think there are unhappily married people having affairs in every culture, and its only a story in terms of the chassidic world because of the outfits that makes it a "story"; this comes up every so often when someone in a bekesha gets caught with a hooker, etc. Yeah, yeah, yeah, a New Yorker might say, what else is new.
Didnt anyone read the Naipaul essay in the NY Times this week?).

Yochanan, pretty good overall, but how did you work in a Rubashkin reference in a song about getting horny? I can't imagine anyone thinking about chopped meat while hooking up, or is that some kind of boro park thing? I can understand maybe gefilte fish, but meat? :)

So when will Crown Heights have its own Modesty Patrol?
Posters are already up.

Maven: I needed a rhyme for "feet" so I decided to use my old standby. Although "meat" is a vulgar, juvenile description of the penis.

Yochanan, you would love this-

There's an old Yiddish song by Fyvush Finkel (recorded in late 1940's), talking about the breakup of his marriage, in which he refers to his wife having an affair with the butcher. The lyrics say [this is my translation] "...the butcher would come over to deliver his meat..."


If you understand Yiddish, you'll find the song hysterical!

i actually met some of these chasidic swingers. what i found most revolting was their use of yiddish and their yiddish accents as they talked about sex.
they said stuff like, "she has a geshmakt pushka", or "let's go home and get leibedik", the combination of the fiddler on the roof accents and the yeshivish words they threw into the conversation is what make their activities seem even more creepy.

"can't imagine anyone thinking about chopped meat while hooking up"

Maybe not meat, but chicken...true story...

When I was frum living in Isarel I did kapparot with a live chicken at a butcher. After you swung the chicken over your head you had to stand in line and watch it get slaughtered to ensure that it went to the poor. After I swung the chicken I got in line. The other women had husbands to stand in line with their chicken, I had myself. Within minutes, men were yelling at me about being a woman, etc, etc. I could not stand in line. I tried to put up a fight, but it was fruitless. Finally, a man offered to stand in line with my chicken.

The men stood in line to WATCH a chicken's neck get sliced, put on a hook, and then get de-feathered through a machine. Although there was blood everywhere, I guess the thought of woman’s breast and thighs in line with them was just too much. I know I should have been grateful but I was a silly BT, who wanted to do the kapparot process exactly right. I was pissed.

WSC: I'm not fluent, but I understand a bissel. (i studied Yiddish academically, as well as German. My mother's parents spoke Yiddish, and my father's parents spoke German, but they were all fluent in English and raised my parents in English).

I might still get it. And I love Fyvush Finkel. He was great in "Boston Public."

anon, did you mean the chicken breasts and thighs?

I dunno. I can't help but giggle through this whole discussion. Pierced nipples at the mikva? Getting aroused during kaporos? Chopped meat fantasies? Someone ought to convince a Jew like Ron Jeremy that it may be time to film "Debbie Does Boro Park". Now I understand the pashkeval years back banning nylons with the line along the seam. Who knew how steamy the haredi world could be?
I certainly never felt this way in all the years I had lived in it, au contraire!

"anon, did you mean the chicken breasts and thighs? "

I am not sure if it was the chicken or my breast/thighs. I experienced a lot more sexual perversion living in Jerusalem/Charedi neighborhood than in the United States...peeping Tom, public masterbation (multiple times), lascivious comments, the rabbi putting the moves on me.

Trust me...I am just an average looking woman.

Maven: Wouldn't it be "D'vorah does Boro Park?"

What about "Rambam, Thank you, ma'am"? (That one isn't mine- it's from the novel "Guide to the Perplexed").

Or: "Beyond the Green Mezuzah."

"The Soton in Miss Jones?"

"I am Curious Yoel?"

The possibilities are endless.

People have sex. They don't always do it the way that social mores dictate. It's been that way forever. The only thing you can do is make choices you can live with.

One of the big culprits here is the increasing rigidity of marriage customs in 21st Century Haredi enclaves. In small town or village life young people meet and interact. It's absolutely inevitable. When they do they're prone to make their own choices. They won't always make good ones, but that as they say is life.

It's only in the modern disconnected urban world that you can even have practical separation of the sexes. It only really started in Af-frickin'-ghanistan with the destruction of the country after the Soviet invasion. It's much more of a problem in the oil-rich Arab states that can afford to keep women economically dependent and absorb the costs of separation.

What you have here is a combination several things.

The first is neurosis. When you can not control the world around you the neurotic response is to obsessively clamp down on what you think you can. In this case, the outside world is frightening and alien. So the community exerts an extreme degree of influence on marriage. Step out of line, wear a red blouse, talk to boys if you are a girl, report crimes to the police, fail to eat cholent or allow the tiniest smidgen of doubt as to the date of your mother's ritual ablutions and or choose a mate based on our own standards, and you will lose all societally-sanctioned breeding rights. By any objective standard it's absolutely insane.

We have elaborate mechanisms for determining the suitability of sex and breeding partners from the ability to determine complex immunologic profiles by smell (true fact, that) to visually determining from photographs whether a man likes babies (also verified) or a woman's basic capacity to survive pregnancy. The frum ghetto system of mate selection does away with all of these.

When your mate is forced upon you, Tevya's Daughters notwithstanding you get marriage without love. Yes, there may be all sorts of other deep attachment, especially over time. The passion that supports those later deep bonds? The deck is stacked against it if you eliminate that initial attraction.

The ineluctable corollary is nicely stated by Benjamin Franklin:

Where there is marriage without love, there will be love without marriage

The increasingly strict standards designed to isolate the community from the real world and perpetuate its customs will erode those stated standards. When people can not live happily under a set of customs they will violate them. When they violate these customs privately they may redouble their efforts to appear to comply so as not to suffer community sanctions. The beards will get longer. The hats will get blacker. The butcher will have to sell only Hyper Mega Glatt Kosher brisket. But they will abandon them in their hearts.

The presence of alternatives causes even more problems. If the whole world were frum there would be nowhere to go. You would have to comply or die. But there is an alternative - secular society. The destruction of Reform, Conservative and increasingly Modern Orthodox as alternatives to ultra-Orthodox hegemony makes the choice between compliance and complete abandonment of Jewish identity very stark.

This is why Haredi taboos concerning education and access to information are so important to the community. A secular education allows a person to understand the real world. More than that, it makes it possible to survive economically. A Haredi education stresses the minutia of dogma and every more elaborate taboos - laws which can not be questioned, authorities who are beyond reproach. Obedience, albeit a trained and intelligent obedience, is the key to status, control of resources, acceptance and survival.

Even access to independent information is dangerous. If a person sees that people who do not follow his tribal peculiarities lead happy fulfilling lives he is apt to stop thinking of outsiders as the Hated Other and adopt those customs which seem best to him. This, not pornography, is the real reason most of the Haredi reject modern information technology.

Comply or die. Make alternatives quite literally unthinkable. Obedience is valued above everything. Outsiders aren't even human the same way as members of the tribe. Strict control is exercised over the most basic needs such as food and sex.

In the end it's like bailing the sea with a sieve. It's already failing. The question is will it take Judaism down with it or will we have a new reformist movement that will not be hijacked by refugees romanticizing a Talibanesque past that never was.

Sad news all... 'I Want To Be A Rebbe' video is no longer available on YouTube due to a copyright claim by Tamar Gintzborg, as of Nov 25, 2008.

Guess he reads FM as well!

I watched it just a few days ago... hilarious and hip!

+++Posted by: Dan Gambiera | November 25, 2008 at 08:23 PM+++

Brilliantly summarized, Dan.

Dan, brilliantly summarized. I second you, WSL.
I think this is a case of "le mieux est l'ennemi du bien"- "the better is the enemy of the good". In an effort to be super-duper-frum, these Hassidic folks (some not all of them) fall down morally.
The future of Judaism is neo-Karaism, or as I would call it Rational Traditional Judaism- ie. the best of rabbinic and karaite Judaism combined, ie. study the Tanach and try to think for yourself, and then IF you're Really stumped, Then and Only Then ask a rabbi.

Audio Only version of 'I want To Be A Rebbe' found.

Better be quick before its gone, too.


Enjoy :-)

'I Want To Be A Rebbe'

Video found with translation:


Again, be quick before its gone!

I wonder why they don't get into all the same-sex cruising and hooking up among the Haredim? Some of them find partners in their own communities through networks and others go outside and even have sex with goyim -- or, oy, even worse, Conservative or Reform Jews. A former rabbi at NYC's GLBT shul used to get calls and visits from queer frummies asking to be fixed up and almost all of them were married. And the strangest part may be that with all the racism among the Hassidim, some of their gay men just can't get enough black meat.

WLS and Just a Goy: Thanks for the kind words. The Truly Frum(tm) will try to eviscerate me out my ass for this one. I'm just trying to call it as I see it.

Sarah: Pascal said "The heart hath its reasons which reason knoweth not." The same can be said of other organs a bit further South. If you're correct let's hope the abhorrence of secular education doesn't extend to safe sex education as well. I'm willing to bet that it does :(

All the usual loonies on VIN are going ballistic with this story.

The possibilites sure are endless, but for those keeping score at home, how about:

"Chavies Night Out"

"Shaina Is A Shanda"

"Pinchus Meets Pesee"

Believe me I see nothing wrong with GLBT Hassidim following their hearts or other organs wherever that leads them. Like you I am concerned for them -- and also for the wives they come home to -- that these men have absolutely no knowledge of safe sex or STDs. And it's a damn shame these Jews have to do it on the down low as the goyim they live with in CH would say.

I really can't respond to every comment on this thread because I don't have time and if I did it turns my stomach.

WoolSilkCotton, stop exaggerating about death penalties and looking for excuses not to be religious.

Steve, we have debated this before, but trust me, Spitzer's behavior is worse than eishis ish. While the penalty dealt by the Torah may be harsher in this world, the din shamayim is infinitely worse in the next world. So learn the Geonim. Not to mention the fate of Shmelliot's various whores who never asked for such a raw deal. Vemayvin yavin.

"I see nothing wrong with GLBT Hassidim following their hearts or other organs wherever that leads them. Like you I am concerned for them"

If Sarah's heart can stop bleeding borscht for a moment, she might want to get her eyes checked out.

There's no end to this Liberal horse manure. Next it will be beastiality while they gear up to justify pedophilia.

So two consenting adults == fucking animals and children?

Oh fuck it, I'm tired of dredging out this talking point. No one brought up those topics before you did. So who's REALLY got the sick mind here?

Swinging hasidim kinda turns me on, actually. I'd go for them bald heads wrapped under layers of tznius and them shtickel beards and payos.

(Humor alert to the ironically named Archie Bunker!)

Remember, it's not their sexual promiscuity we're disapproving of per se, it's the hypocrisy of imposing strict sexual mores, and then being surprised when there's severe blowback (that just happens to tear apart families). We're lamenting the consequences of community willful ignorance, if anything.

Just an afterthought: I am not in favor of promiscuity in ANY sphere, secular or ultra-religious or otherwise.

Breaking news: Reb Yosef has ruled better they should do it in the mikvah than in the street and scare the donkeys. Or with the donkeys.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. Don't eat Agri turkeys.

Archie, can't you come up with any original material? This shit is staler than last year's matzoh. The dart hits, but it doesn't stick. And I'll tell you why.

The way you look at things homosexuality, pedophilia and bestiality are wrong because Jeebus or Mumbo Jumbo Gawd of the Congo said so. Man-on-man is just the same as man-on-cocker spaniel or man-on-boy. They're horrible sins and deserve death. Anyone who tolerates one of them has rejected a Divine Commandments and has no standards. Sooner or later all the others will go, too.

The way I - and probably Sarah - look at it they are completely different. It's about trust, consent and a relationship between equals. If two or more competent adults want to have sex that's their business as long as they don't involve anyone such as a spouse or bystander unwillingly.

Children are not capable of giving consent. A pedophilic sexual relationship is not even close to being between equals. The child will almost certainly take serious damage and doesn't even fully understand what is happening and what it means. Sexual activity carries the risk of pregnancy and serious diseases. The child/victim is not capable of making a rational adult choice about these things.

It's even worse with animals. A child will grow up to be a competent adult some day unless, G-d forbid, there's some sort of brain irregularity. The animal never will. It is a dumb beast not endowed with reason.

But let's get back to the molesters for a moment, shall we? You've been enraged at Shmarya for bringing up rabbinical sexual abuse. But you're quick to condemn Sarah for tolerating consensual sexual relations between adult men. You're certainly against pedophilia. No doubt about it. And I'll defend you tooth and nail against anyone who says you support baby-rapers.

Why the disconnect? I'll tell you.

It comes back to authority. If rabbis and teachers have illicit sexual relations with children or teenagers that's bad. But exposing them and punishing them for their crimes undermines the authority of people you respect. The urge to protect children is at odds with the even stronger urge to protect the community which gives you your identity. Shaming them reflects on good people like yourself. It makes you angry. So you lash out at the messenger.

To someone like Shamarya or Sarah or me that makes the sin much worse. The diddling rabbis compound the crime of pedophile rape with the abuse of authority.

You see disobedience to authority and damage to the reputation of the community as the greatest sins. I reserve that for harm done to innocents, particularly when those entrusted with power exploit it to facilitate crimes against the powerless.

There are homosexual Hassidim. That's just the way they are. All the praying and trips to the mikveh in the world won't change them no matter how much they want it. Marriage is the preferred state in Judaism, and certain male sex acts are completely taboo. They will not be happy trying to live with their essential natures and the rules. Many will look for happiness on the down low. If they do, better they protect themselves and their spouses. What's worse, a guy sucking dick or a guy sucking dick, dying of a horrible disease and giving it to his wife and their unborn child?

I am 24 female and divorced I had a very strict upbringing, I attended a VERY large strict all girls school (obviously). The abuse still goes on till this day, what a surprise beating a girls behind for wearing a skirt a bit too long isnt a solution, the abuse in boys and girls school have to stop already!

I am 24 female and divorced I had a very strict upbringing, I attended a VERY large strict all girls school (obviously). The abuse still goes on till this day, what a surprise beating a girls behind for wearing a skirt a bit too long isnt a solution, the abuse in boys and girls school have to stop already!

+++There's no end to this Liberal horse manure. Next it will be beastiality while they gear up to justify pedophilia.

Posted by: Archie Bunker | November 25, 2008 at 11:30 PM+++

Archie, your wonderful orthodox world already justifies pedophilia ('marrying' girls 12 years old or even younger), and they don't seem too bothered by child molestation.
NO other race, religion, or ethnicity among the recognized civilized societies of the modern world countenances those behaviors.

Your orthodox world ain't all it's cracked up to be. In fact, most of its rules were fabricated by middled-aged guys from the Middle Ages who wanted to keep themselves in power. Since orthodoxy, by definition, is incapable of change, you're stuck forever to obey these artificial rules.

The vast majority of nonJews and nonortho Jews I know are good decent people. We are not a bunch of amoral savages.
I wish I could say the same for all the ultra-ortho people I know.

I am reminded of the joke about a randy woman who approaches a hasidic man in hotel lobby. She tells him that "I have always wanted to have sex with a hasidic man. I want to run my hands through your peyot. I want to twirl you gartel and roll around in your beckishe. Please come up to my room with me." The hasidic man looks at her and in a Brooklyn-Yiddish infelcetd accent says "and vat's in it for me?"

Seriously, the article and comment stream leave me very depressed. The "frum swingers" sound manic to me. It's as if they are trying to either feel alive, numb the feelings of emptiness, and express rage at the community through self destructive behaviors. If there is a God and he/she is merciful, God will understand and feel compassion for his children (adult and children) who are suffering. I think there is a need for intensive therapy and counseling on an indiviudal level. Although I dont think this is possible, there needs to be a thorough and brutally honest evalution (cheshbon ha'nefesh) of the orthodox edcuational and value systems as there appears to be a major disconnect between the professed ideals of that community and the reality of many people who were raised or claim to be orthodox.

"And the strangest part may be that with all the racism among the Hassidim, some of their gay men just can't get enough black meat."

Attraction/repulsion are 2 sides of the same coin. Fascination with the "Other:" Interracial porn is most popular in the South.

The torah does not prohibit having a Gay orientation. It prohibits anal sex between men. I am Libertarian about Gayness, but if you want to be shomer mitzvot you have to observe the prohibition against male anal sex.

Archie's fear about a slippery slope (as opposed to slippery soap) are not unjustified. However, animals and minors cannot truly give consent. That is why such acts are heinous, and IMO prohibited by the torah.

As far as the Torah death penalty goes, everybody from Karaites to Samaritans to Rabbinites find justification to ignore it. Why beat a dead horse (no unsavory pun intended, for once).

+++As far as the Torah death penalty goes, everybody...find justification to ignore it.+++
+++Yochanan Lavie | November 26, 2008 at 06:52 AM +++

YL, I agree with you.
But how does one go about ignoring parts of the Torah that are very clear, such as the death penalty for so many violations, while going nuts observing other items to the extreme, such as separating milk and meat, which is really not that clearly stated? I guess the ortho world decided a long time ago what they would pick and choose, and now everyone is stuck with those decisions.

Dan Gambiera,

You obviously know nothing about my personal views and are confusing me with the various knee-jerk critics of Shmarya that pop up here.

I encourage exposing abuser rabbis although for different reasons that Shmarya. SHmarya seeks to undermine orthodox Judaism while I seek to restore it's integrity by discrediting and removing from power the abusive and corrupt rabbis, a phenomenon of the last few decades.

I'm not just giving you conjecture on the slippery slope to Sodom. Some of your more "prominent" fellow Liberals have come up with this crap justifying beastiality like Princeton University's Peter Singer.

And just like the homo lobby pushes their militant agenda on the rest of society, you have freaks like NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association) trying to legalize pedophilia, although granted violating a child is much worse than consentual abominations with adults.

We know that homosexual acts are prohibiting by the word of G-d, despite the denial of non-believers like yourself who claim the Bible is man made.

And again, there is no disobedience to authority when the "authority" is corrupt and has no business being in power in the first place. The Torah mandates that we not give respect to rabbis when they are responsible for desecrating G-d's name.

WoolSilkCotton said:

"your wonderful orthodox world already justifies pedophilia ('marrying' girls 12 years old or even younger), and they don't seem too bothered by child molestation.
NO other race, religion, or ethnicity among the recognized civilized societies of the modern world countenances those behaviors."

First of all, stop blaming the religion and it's adherents for the acts of some depraved individuals.

The only sect that condones marriages to "twelve year olds" is a group of Satmar outcasts living in Quebec's Laurentian mountains whose supreme leader is a convicted felon.

Pedophilia is completely unjustifiable. I suggest you check out the Unorthodox Jew blog and the rabbis who support the author's efforts.

You cleverly hedge yourself by using the world "civilized" but the fact remains that several religions and ethnicities tolerate or even encourage forms of child abuse. And you are unwittingly hoisting yourself up by your own Liberal standards in indirectly calling these various ethnic minorities UNCIVILIZED. And while you're at it, the United States is also considered uncivilized by many Liberals for giving the death penalty to minors.

"most of its rules were fabricated by middled-aged guys from the Middle Ages who wanted to keep themselves in power"

You are either completely ignorant of the origins of the Torah, which I doubt, or you breathe denial to make yourself feel better as you throw off the yoke of Heaven.

"We are not a bunch of amoral savages"

I once read somewhere about significant numbers of Reform & Conservative Jews who pursue the swinger lifestyle.

I also know first hand of an emergency meeting at the UJA when they discovered an online Jewish community forum they funded was being used by swingers to hook up with other marrieds and singles. The funding was not renewed and the forum closed. You see, at least NOT YET, secular Jews still don't OFFICIALLY condone adultery.

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