I had an extended email conversation tonight with a non-Orthodox friend. The focus? For the most part, abuses in the haredi community. My friend is absolutely revolted by the scams, fraud, sexual abuse, lies and cover ups. So revolted that Judaism itself has become disgusting. My friend did not learn about these things from this website – quite the contrary. My friend learned about them first hand, through contacts at work. What does my friend long for? To to return to a self-described very non-Jewish existence that preceded contact with haredim.
This is not about observance or lack there of or where on the spectrum of Jews my friend fits. My friend was not and had no intention of becoming Orthodox in any fashion. It’s about being anywhere on that spectrum at all, about what it means to be a Jew – and about what haredi malfeasance does to that.
Maybe last year I would have had answer. But I don’t today. All I have is a gaping void and sadness.
But this is all a numbers game, right? Lose a few sensitive, caring, smart people but retain or trap others. As long as the retention and inflow is greater than the outflow, we’re ahead, right? Isn’t that the calculus? It’s not about the individual, it never has been – it’s about the community, just like with Stalin, right? That’s what the abuse coverups are all about.
Maybe the Novominsker can help me. After all, under such a big shtriemel must be a big, moral, honest brain, nu?