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February 27, 2010

Where Rebellious Haredi Sons And Daughters Go

Shtreiml He often frequents a lesbian bar. Sometimes a woman will come up and ask what a guy like him is doing in a place like that.

Where rebellious sons (and daughters) go
Tamar Rotem • Ha'aretz

D. sounded surprised when asked what he thinks about his beard. He has never pondered the question of how he would look without it. He doesn't spend time twisting the ends of his mustache, contemplating what life would be like if he were clean-shaven. Perhaps this is because D. has never left the ultra-Orthodox community. Though he defines himself as yotze beshe'aylah - the Jewish equivalent of a lapsed Catholic, say - he isn't one to spend time imagining "what if?"
There is no doubt that among those having a good time at Tel Aviv bars on Thursday nights, D. stands out. Nevertheless, he wears his beard thick, intentionally ragged.

"When I go out to a club or a pub," he says, "I don't take my skullcap or my fringed garment off like other [former] ultra-Orthodox do. I don't change into a T-shirt. If it's a Saturday night, I go there in my Sabbath clothes. In principle, I'm not 'investing' anything in looking any different from the way I look in my natural environment."

Nonetheless, the sight of D. constitutes a sort of visual cognitive dissonance - an ultra-Orthodox fellow at the bar with a glass of beer.

He often frequents a lesbian bar. Sometimes a woman will come up and ask what a guy like him is doing in a place like that. His appearance provokes some pretty good conversation openers. People are captives of images, he observes, and he exploits the advantages of the rabbi costume to the fullest. When he is in the right mood, he plunges into deep conversations. At the bar, freely displaying the other part of his identity, men and women both open up to him.

D.: "At first some people thought I was a horny ultra-Orthodox male, who wanted to watch girls kissing one another, but quite quickly they understood that I have good friends there. I feel comfortable there."

He feels uncomfortable going around with his skullcap sometimes, because it symbolizes something he doesn't believe in, or when he feels that his two identities - the ultra-Orthodox and the other, hidden one - clash and cause a moral dilemma. For example, when he is asked to talk about religious ethics.

"Usually I evade this," D., says. "It sometimes happens that I'm asked, though, and I have no choice."

Latter-day Marranos

In contrast to D., who lives in peace with his beard and skullcap, S., whom I met several years ago, had a far more tortured and complex relationship with her wig. Every time she came home and closed the curtains, she would release her other personality, as expressed in a platinum-blonde buzz cut, well hidden in her daily life under a wig.

About five years ago some of these "split" ultra-Orthodox would refer to themselves as anusim, or Marranos, after the secret Jews of Inquisition Spain - only in reverse. They fanatically guarded their secret secular customs. On Shabbat, for example, they would smoke a furtive cigarette in hiding or turn on a light. They would eat something on Yom Kippur and sneak away to a movie matinee.

The epithet was brilliant mainly because of their sense of persecution. When I started to take an interest in their story and look for people to interview, I received an anonymous phone call. A man on the other end of the line told me to wait in a certain park in Ramat Gan. He appeared, glancing from side to side, as though he were an underground activist living under a totalitarian regime.

It seems that what was once thoroughly concealed in the religious world is today more open, thanks to the Internet. "First of all, people have discovered they aren't alone," says D. "They go out together more. They are more daring. If it used to be that people were afraid to go to a non-kosher restaurant, now three people together dare to do so. People learn from one another how to behave in secular society. Where it is a good idea to go so they won't be outed."

The Internet also provides an opportunity to meet women. It is clear to D. that the number of ultra-Orthodox who desecrate the Sabbath is increasing all the time because of the possibilities offered online. While in some ways these people act as if they work for an espionage organization, life under an assumed identity has never been easier.

Ultra-Orthodox society does not hurry to expel a rebellious son. The sky does not fall when it is discovered that a certain Hasid goes out to clubs. And altogether, in a world outside that is controlled by social networks in which an assumed identity may open all kinds of new possibilities, and everyone who is abnormal becomes normal because there are a lot of other people like him - what's wrong with a second, or third, skin?

Comments

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This sounds like the setup to a joke: "A chasid goes into a lesbian bar..."

The Internet also provides an opportunity to meet women. It is clear to D. that the number of ultra-Orthodox who desecrate the Sabbath is increasing all the time because of the possibilities offered online

And one wonders why some rabbis are against the unrestricted use of the internet. Here is the proof.

You mean you're against freedom of choice without fear of physical attack?

Yochanan Lavie: A horse goes into a bar and the bartender say, "Hey buddy, why the long face?". (I love that one)

Libby: me too! That's a good one.

"what's wrong with a second, or third, skin?"

What's right with it? Nothing positive can come from living a shady double life, where half of your actions are a lie.

The saddest part is that these guys only perpetuate their misery by not leaving completely.

I left the fold years back, and watch in disbelief as my yeshiva friends who eat tarfus with me send their kids to the same yeshivas that we hated. It's so unhealthy on so many levels.

Gladtobegone: its harder for some than for others

A dyslexic goes into a bra...

Haaretz could continue their daily assaults against Chareidi Jews but let one Israeli praise Boruch Goldstein and others like him,the Israeli government run like cowards with a tail between their legs in arresting such an outspoken individual. In 8 years Jerusalem will be wall to wall Chareidi. 8o per cent of the rest of Israel will also be Chareidi. Then we will show them Jewish justice. Haaretz will fold like all the other racist bigoted rags. We Chareidim will continue increasing our BABYs,Ballots and Belief. CHAREDI POER NUMBER ONE.

I somehow doubt that the lesbians would pick him to be "yotzeh" the mizvah of "pru, u're'vuh," but I nonetheless admire him for trying!

Chayim - if you keep coming back to this website of apikorsus then soon you will become an apikores like us! Did you ask a shaiyla if you are allowed to read the articles and comments on this site? I bet you did not! You know the rabbanim say it is assur. So, you see, here you are, taking the first steps towards going against "Daas Torah!" Keep reading this website and before you know it, you'll be eating treif! The yeitzer hara makes you think you're reading and commenting l'shmah so you can write stupid things like "chareidi power" etc. The yetzer hara is sure pulling a fast one on you! This is how it starts. You're on your way to becoming one of us! Give your yetzer hara a high five for me - will ya?

Anon is speaking the truth.

Very good Libby!

Chayim, when Israel is "wall to wall Charedi" how will it survive? Who will do the work? Who will protect it? Where will the money for food, water, electricity, gasoline and clothes come from? Who will be the doctors, welders, carpenters, soldiers, programmers and all those other things ignorant, lazy peasants like yourself refuse to be?

Your lifestyle is parasitic. It relies on the host producing enough surplus to keep it fed. If you succeed in weakening your host you will kill it. And then the parasite will die. Let's just hope you don't kill of Judaism in your insatiable greed.

Chayim if in eight years Jerusalem will be wall to wall Chareidimm, who will defend you against your Arab neighbors? Who will pay the taxes for the welfare you collect from the local office? Who will run the electric on Shabbat for running refrigerators and for emergencies? Who will serve as police to protect against suicide bombers? Who?

Thinking that Chareidim can run there own affairs is good Purim Torah.

I don't like reading the word 'parasite' in regard to Haredim. Nazis used that word to describe Jews, surely you can get your message across without utilizing National Socialist terminology.

I am curious why Chaim is on the 'net if it is assur, though.

Simcha,Nuran and Anon.
I will answer all your questions.
When a Jew keeps the Torah there will be no need for so many police,doctors and other emergency situations. The ny times ran an article pointing out that the sucide bomber mostly strike the night club life NOT the yeshiva world. Bnai Brak has never had a sucide bombing. WHY? Because it is fully Sabbath observant. As far as who will do all the work ,thats why we have goyim in this world. I watched here in Brooklyn as hundreds of young mexicans cleaned the sidewalks of snow in Boro park and Flatbush for 10 dollars a house. We as Jews have our mission to study Torah and pray while the secular world takes care of our needs. Once Israel is fully Chareidi we will see the arabs quiet down. The arabs opposition to Israel today is Israels secular lifestyles of gay marriages etc. The Arabs will make peace with Chareidim. As far as you being worried about me turning into an apikoris,not a chance. I was a fighter physically and philosophicly since I was a kid. I saw many reform Jews turn Chareidi overnight.I spent ten years vbeing part of Kahanes goons and know the score. Then I was lucky to meet Rabbi Avigdor Miller and do lots of undercover work for him. You guys can blog from today till tommorow,but I look out my windows and see the massive increase of Chareidi children happily dancing all over the streets on Purim. To see them is to see our peoples victory over the nazi brutes that thought they would wipe out our people. The scene of Chareidi women pushing triple type strollers gives me a high. I love my people and they shine through all the destructive elements of society and continue carrying the Torch of Judaism forever. CHAREDI POWER NUMBER ONE.

Chayim,
Do you know anything about the second law of thermodynamics? This is one of the immutable laws of the universe that Hashem created. Look it up (yes, on this Internet) and understand that it poses limits on the growth of the human population. Including Haredi.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of us reverse marranos, I am one of them. I am living a double life because the rabbanut bet din will take my children away from me (as they did once before) if I appear to them as an apikorus. The devil can take them! : )

Where is the middle ground? There has to be something between a guy with a beard in a lesbian club, two women sneaking off on a Shabbat afternoon to a movie, and a fellow with a beard sitting and learning all his life , or women pushing triple strollers (nothing wrong with that anyway, as long as they don't ask you to feed them).

What about a guy without a beard, going bowling with some friend after Shabbat is over? Or two women going to the movies on Saturday night, or two couples. It IS possible to enjoy (in moderation) the legitimate pleasures of modern society, while observing the bona fide (as opposed to shtick) requirements of Torah Law.

What about the guy in the kippah s'ruga, wearing his M-16 and tzitzit/ t'fillin? Or the attorney who leaves his office for an hour to catch a daf yomi?

We must stop this all or nothing business. There are middle roads. People should take them.

For the record Rav Avigdor Miller had moonies and i believe fallwell people but for sure Moonies at his shul more than once come and speak at his shul as example of good anti commie goyim.

All jews not frum were to be told they were going to hell and damned and that should be the message to them ...damnation.

No other message to them acceptable period.
And do not say i am exaggerating . He liked me and so too his wife for other reasons ...meaning i was able to lets say not damn people and reach out to them. It confused the hell out of him a tiny tiny tiny bit.

Anyone ever sat in his shul week day morning . It was like parolees out of prison or some kind of strange pathology. All smug and scared.

now i was actually pretty good friends with rabbi miller. I walked with him at least once a week. He was an extremist par excellence and we fought plenty to fight about.

He never could figure me out but he was a marginal player in a shul filled with socially challenged linear people but i liked him anyway.

but lets not make him into a quote machine or adam gadol. He had alot of funny ideas and just was locked in a mind set he never could change. He never except when little boy knew the outside world other than reading newspapers and remember some baseball stuff as little boy.

His son in law and i will not mention name used to in shiur at yeshiva use to use the word niggers and spics in gemora as good examples of things not good..sub humans.

He was a tad bit easier to shut up. He was basically also nice man but passive aggressive so easy to back down.No back bone.

You have to get in the face of these people and get edgy with them. And i mean smart, forthright and edgy.

Get real close to their face and invade their comfort zone and then go at it with them.

Isolate them. But here in this blog it is all talk now isn't it?

To isha chazaka and yudel,
First to Isha, I understand your anger and fears of certain rabbis who you feel may hurt you in your divorce situation. But that does not mean you have to cut your nose off to spite your face. Most,no virtually all people going through a divorce fall a notch or more from their spiritual level. Some catch themselves some dont. The trick in life is to look at the big picture and especially the future picture. Some parents I know who have custody or shared custody try to detroy their childrens jewish future by enrolling them in public schools. They are only hurting themselves. My advice to any parent of a seperated or divirced situation is to build up your child in yiddishkeit and you will reap the nachas and reward here and in the next world. Dont be shortsighted. Yes its very difficult being frum in a single situation let alone raising a child in a proper frum way ,but the reward is worth it.
To Yudel, Rabbi Miller was actually the most open minded rabbi I knew. Yes he spoke sharp words to change peoples attitudes but I am very lucky to have met him at age 23 and get to know him personally. He was American born and saw the truth. He called a spade a spade. He made people grow spiritually with his incredible insights. I visit his grave at mount olives each time I go to Israel. He was one of the greatest Rabbis ever produced in America. In fact for 30 days there was no rain in Ny after he pased away as it showed that he was the source of blessing to new york city. 6 months after he left this world ,911 happened. New york lost its divine protection. CHAREDI POWER NUMBER ONE. JOIN THEM OR MISS OUT ON THE SWEETNESS OF LIFE.

Chayim:
Your utter blindness to the real world is at first sad, then it is frightening. You and your kind will, in the end, bring destruction and war to the jewish people. Instead of presenting a united front to the anti-semites, you bring divisivness. Your kind disowns anything not "Jewish-enough". It is the non working-non fighting charedi who now bring Israel the the brink of war. What will happen when our enemies have nuclear weapons? Your childish superstitions will not save us, and in the end when the worst has happened, it is your kind that will point the finger at the dead and say that Hashem allowed this to happen because the level of belief was insufficient; they did not daven enough, they did not keep kosher enough, they did not fulfill all possible mitvahs.

Wake the hell up!

Chayim, the Arabs hated us when we were their subjects, before Israel. They hate us because Israel exists and because hating Jews is one of the few sorts of political activity their corrupt governments and even more corrupt mullahs permit. They will not stop hating us if we go back to the ghetto and become "good niggers" again.

I know your sort loves the ghetto. Responsibility and freedom are the two things cultists cannot stand. So you've made an idol out of the ghetto and gods out of your Masters, your Great Ones. That's what "gedolim" means after all. That doesn't mean the rest of us want to be slaves.

Chayim you say, "We as Jews have our mission to study Torah and pray while the secular world takes care of our needs."

This is a true parasite-speak.

You don't ask the secular world whether or not they want to take care of your needs. They just must. Why? Is it because you have pretty face and nice desposition? Or may be because the goyim and secular Jews are lower then you? What is it Chayim?

Why do the individuals interviewed in
this article simply stop parading as
fruim jews and be open about their
lack of observance ?

I left the Chassidish life style at age 18 with out the backlash that some here are talking about ( leading 2 lives)

I on the other hand stayed religious saw the light and found a community that loves and cherishes no matter who or how you dress.

I'd suggest some of you who are out there reading this and are in the same position, instead of living the confused life come and join a lot of others who are or were in the same position.

plenty of religious communities that are excepting of you.

As far as who will do all the work ,thats why we have goyim in this world. I watched here in Brooklyn as hundreds of young mexicans cleaned the sidewalks of snow in Boro park and Flatbush for 10 dollars a house. We as Jews have our mission to study Torah and pray while the secular world takes care of our needs.
And where will the money come from? It won't come from people who create nothing and don't work. That same Latino who is hustling for ten dollars a sidewalk will help his daughter go to college or his son get a welding certificate. Their kids will become accountants and dentists, Senators and military officers.

Yours will be poor, ignorant. They will try (and fail) to make a living off an ever-shrinking pool of welfare dollars meant for those who cannot (not will not, cannot) support themselves. Eventually your kinder will be the ones begging to shovel snow for three bucks a sidewalk. And when people think about Jews they'll say "Oh, yeah. Parasites and leeches every one of them. Good thing they aren't around any more."

Is that really what you want for the Jewish people? Because that's what you'll get in less than a generation.

Nuran, right on !
The Rambam said "he who does not teach his son a trade, it is as if he taught him to become a criminal".

OK, this guy is a slick one! I'm sure he does have a lot of friends at this lesbian bar. I'm also sure that he thoroughly enjoys chatting with an abundance of women in this bar. I wish that he would be more honest about his real intentions there.

"In fact for 30 days there was no rain in Ny after he pased away as it showed that he was the source of blessing to new york city. 6 months after he left this world ,911 happened. New york lost its divine protection."

Do you ALL think like this??? No wonder the world laughs at you!

Dr. Bruce
The world mocks us when we forsake the Torah. How much more support Israel would receive had they observed the Torah. The world my friend is looking for spirituality and when Israel allows gay parades,women dressed like sluts in public,gang rapes in public high schools what does the world say?
Israel needs to be NOT technically advanced,or medically advanced,or scientificlly advance. It needs to be SPIRITUALLY advanced. Thats all and all the 70 nations will pour billions into supporting us including the 22 arab countries.This is what Chareidi Jews believe. CHAREIDI POWER NUMBER ONE.

Chayim is a delusional schizophrenic. Just ignore him.

I'm tempted to post Mishna's from Pirkei Avos about the importantce of working as well as learning Torah and some Gemara's on that topic as well. Seriously you can't overload a welfare state, even governments can run out of money and if the Chareidim don't produce more workers there'll be serious problems in Israel soon. And do remember that Zevulun was praised for working to support Yissichar learning Torah, workers are important too and can also serve Hashem. Sure some tzaddikim can dedicate themselves to learning full time, but that group's an elite, it's not supposed to to be the norm for K'lal Yisrael.

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