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Monday, January 03, 2005

Wow - Naive Me

I inadvertently happened across some blogs from (apparently) chasidishe yiden with serious spiritual problems. For obvious reasons, I'm not linking to them, but what was amazing to me was (and they all had this in common):
1. The (large) number of blogs
2. The huge number of comments and posts
3. The reasonably high quality of the the English
4. The severe disillusionment with yiddishkeit, and willingness to violate halacha and spread word all over the internet. Not just the type of classic indiscretion one might assume - even a (self termed) mishugas like eating a piece of bread and (real) butter together with chicken soup when the bloggers' wife was not looking.
Many of these bloggers seemed to be Williamsburg based.


I'll choose to believe these guys are serious and mean what they say, partially because they take great pains to hide their identities, and partially because my gut tells me so (and yes, I said in the title that I'm naive)

Did their problem start on the internet blog?

Definitely not.
Is the internet attracting them new recruits? Possible, but not real likely for the following reasons:
1. How would new recruits find these blogs in the first place unless they were tipped off or looking for this type of thing?
2. They're not really 'selling anything' to someone who's not already turned off to the yiddishkeit they know.

Therefore, the key role of the internet here is giving them a soapbox and venue to anonymously vent and discuss their doings and feelings.
This may over the long term be good thing, because I believe that confronting serious issues openly will eventually lead to the emes.

Of course, that process could be sped up and enhanced if leadership in their community were aware of what a large segment of their constituency is doing and saying, and if good answers appeared in the comments and give and take on their blogs. None of these problems is new, and all are best confronted in the open.

Will the leadership find out? No

Can blogs be started to confront these issues? Yes, but responsible and erliche people must be there.

Is the internet the problem or the solution? No and yes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It wasn't chicken soup. It was liver blintzes and vegetable soup.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The number of people who watch porn online and not offline are small.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO the past 2 Anoymouses - you to are too naive.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Frummer????? said...

I like what you ssay.

You deserve a link on my site.

4:57 AM  
Blogger Rachack said...

i like what he says too. A link to this article goes to my blog.

11:17 PM  
Blogger TheProf said...

I'm not sure what type of blogs these guys are putting up nor have i seen any yet. orthodox jews going off the "derech" is not a new phenomenon for klal yisroel nor a new issue. and in every generation new reasons crop up, although these "reasons" may go in cycles. in the past, it may have been ideological, such as the greek influence during the chashmoneans, or socialism in pre-ww2 europe. today? probably basic "teivos olam hazeh". whats new it seems, is that these guys have made themselves a forum for discussion. that part may be good becuase someone may trigger a thought of teshuva if a dropout reads it. who knows. they are definitely not going off the derech because of the internet. someone coming into the "web" (used as a pun yes) is looking for something, not accidently stumbling on a dvar issur. nobody accidently eats bread and butter with his chicken cutlet. and open discussion can only lead to open minds who may end up coming back to where they belong.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you read _all_ of these anti-religious/skeptic blogs carefully you will find that these people have problems with Yiddishkeit due to psychological and emotional problems. I am not saying that they are unstable or depressed. Rather, they have certain emotional issues that were never dealt with.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some are emotional, some are cynical, some may be honest questioners (naive me?)

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the difference between emotional and cynical? The cynicism -- and, I believe, even the questioning -- stems from deeper, unresolved emotional conflicts. I have never met a frum apikoros without them.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Matthew Poley said...


1:27 PM  

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orthodox jews and the internet.