PDA

View Full Version : What would cause a rift between father and son in an Orthodox family?



mario_c
09-07-2009, 09:50 AM
Hey, don't know if this would go here or in Religion discussion - I think here it would be more clear I don't know and need to know for my WIP, so there you go. Specifically I'm writing about a Hasidic or Orthodox Jewish family: What if the son cuts off his rings / facial hair? What if he leaves Yeshiva for a gentile university? Let's discuss, thanks.

waylander
09-07-2009, 12:55 PM
He has a non-orthodox girlfriend?

not_HarryS
09-07-2009, 05:10 PM
He likes men?

He bought a leather wallet from a mohel?

RJK
09-07-2009, 06:04 PM
Have you ever seen The Jazz Singer (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080948/)starring Neil Diamond?

semilargeintestine
09-07-2009, 07:10 PM
Hey, don't know if this would go here or in Religion discussion - I think here it would be more clear I don't know and need to know for my WIP, so there you go. Specifically I'm writing about a Hasidic or Orthodox Jewish family: What if the son cuts off his rings / facial hair? What if he leaves Yeshiva for a gentile university? Let's discuss, thanks.

Orthodox and Chassidic are not necessarily the same. The customs are much different regarding dress and philosophy between Modern O and Chassidic. Within the Chassidic community, there are dozens of groups with different customs. It is not as simple as just asking what would cause a rift, c''v.

In a Chassidic community, it is almost unheard of for a child to stray from Judaism. It is slightly more common in Modern O communities, but it is still a very small percentage.

Cutting facial hair would only be a problem in Chabad, because they hold by some very Kabbalistic teachings about the beard, and hold that you cannot shave or trim it. Other Chassidic communities hold that shaving is not permitted, but they are more lenient, and some trim. Modern Orthodox holds that one can shave so long as one does not use a razor, and so shaving would not be a problem there. In fact, most Modern O Jews do NOT have lomg beards, and it's probably 50/50 with facial hair at all.

By "rings" I assume you mean peyos, the curls grown out by the sideburns. This is a mostly yeshivish thing, not so much Chassidic. There are Chassidic groups that grow them, but it would not necessarily be a problem if they were taken off so long as the sideburns were not shaved up to the top of the ear (that is with ANY Orthodox group as it is an issue of halacha, not custom).

As far as yeshiva goes, that depends. Modern Orthodox communities encourage people to spend some time in yeshiva, and most of them will send their kids to yeshiva high schools; however, most Jews go to college, and a good many of them go to non-yeshiva schools. For example, Rutgers has a huge Jewish population, as does Yale. It is considered a wonderful thing for a child to get a good education and a good job so he can support his family.

The yeshivish group of Jews hold that it is a man's job to learn and the woman's job to make the money. This is a small sect of Jews that is not looked upon favourably by the larger Jewish community, as it places a huge burden on the family (usually 4-6 kids as well).

Yeshiva isn't something you "leave" to go to university. Studying at the yeshiva isn't like studying at a university. You don't go there with a degree plan or anything, you just go to learn for a while. When you want to leave, you leave. Most people stay for a year if they go at all, but some go for less. I'm going for only a month because I'm going back to school to change careers. My rabbi is super excited that I'm going just for that month, as it will do wonderful things for me.

That said, most people will recommend that you stay a year if possible. Most men and women go after high school when they are still expected to be dependent on the parents, and they go to university afterwards.

What is the context of your story? The customs and hashkafah of a family will depend greatly on the community, the customs of the family, the history of the family, etc. It is a complicated web without a clear answer if you want subtle things like that. However, there are things that would cause tension and even major problems inside a family/community.

1. The child dates a non-Jew or, c''v, marries a non-Jew.
2. The child desecrates Shabbos on a regular basis in a major way, c''v.
3. The child moves away from Judaism or, c''v, decides to practice another religion.
4. Things that would cause tension in any other family, i.e., drugs, etc.

So you need to tell me a few things. Where do they live specifically (not just NYC, but what part)? What community do they belong to (a primarily Modern O community or primarily Chassidic) and what is their hashkafah (are they Satmer, Chabad-Lubavitch, Breslov, MO)? Are they frum-from-birth (FFB) or are the parents baalei teshuvah (BT)? If they are FBT, what is the history of their family? If they are BT, when did they become religious (before or after kids, how old were the kids)?

mario_c
09-08-2009, 04:49 AM
Semi-Large to the rescue!
What is the context of your story?
The teenage son is rebelling against his strict religious (Chassidic) parents, so he shaves his beard and peyos and applies to a large university (it's supposed to be Yale, name is changed FLR :D)


So you need to tell me a few things. Where do they live specifically (not just NYC, but what part)? What community do they belong to (a primarily Modern O community or primarily Chassidic) and what is their hashkafah (are they Satmer, Chabad-Lubavitch, Breslov, MO)? Are they frum-from-birth (FFB) or are the parents baalei teshuvah (BT)? If they are FBT, what is the history of their family? If they are BT, when did they become religious (before or after kids, how old were the kids)?The story is set in a college city - again, a small city dominated by college activity and culture. The family lives in a mainly Chassidic community and are FFB. You stumped me on the hashkafah question...might not be ready to dig back into this one yet, but this is good to know.
Thanks for the help!

semilargeintestine
09-08-2009, 05:21 AM
Semi-Large to the rescue!
The teenage son is rebelling against his strict religious (Chassidic) parents, so he shaves his beard and peyos and applies to a large university (it's supposed to be Yale, name is changed FLR :D)

Okay, so Yale has a huge Orthodox Jewish population just so you know.

Why is he rebelling against his parents? It's pretty rare for someone to rebel all the way. In Chassidishe communities, the families are very tight knit. It's exceptionally rare for one to break away. But then again, I guess that's why it's fiction, right? :)

I'm asking for the reason because I want to make sure it has at least some basis in reality. I'm just afraid the book is going to come off anti-Semitic or bashing Orthodox Judaism. Most people who rebel against Judaism do so either because of the exceptional amount of rules or to marry a non-Jew. That happens in about 3% of Orthodox families, and I'd say the majority of those are Modern Orthodox families. There is not much dating in Chassidishe communities. If a couple dates more than 9 or 10 times, it's considered a long time.



The story is set in a college city - again, a small city dominated by college activity and culture. The family lives in a mainly Chassidic community and are FFB. You stumped me on the hashkafah question...might not be ready to dig back into this one yet, but this is good to know.
Thanks for the help!

So there isn't really a Chassidishe community around Yale as far as I know. The closest one is probably Boston. I think that's closer than NYC. Is it important to your story that he goes to Yale? He could live in Borough Park and apply to Cornell to study something and refuse to get married or something. The only thing about Yale would be he'd have a good community there, so if you wanted him to reconcile at the end, there's that angle.

mario_c
09-08-2009, 09:53 AM
I was worried that some would suggest is anti-semitic, which being in a partially Jewish family is the last thing I want. Now he does not get the chance to reconcile at the end because he is dead (it's a detective thriller) but his younger brother who is part of the family fights for his redemption alongside the disillusioned (secular Jewish) detective investigating his death which is racially and religiously motivated (a conspiracy of sorts - it gets complicated).
It could be that he dates a non-Jewish girl (there is a girlfriend currently) and the rift occurs later. Yeah, back to the drawing board...
But thanks again, this helps!

semilargeintestine
09-08-2009, 04:53 PM
It sounds very interesting. Could the non-Jewish girl somehow convince him to move away from religion for her? What if he goes to Yale (which has a big Jewish community) and starts dating this girl, who moves him away from religion. You've got enough of a religious and non-religious crowd at Yale where you'd have plenty of people available for a conspiracy of sorts.

StephanieFox
09-09-2009, 01:08 AM
He becomes a WWF wrestler.

(No, wait. That was Goldberg and his family wasn't orthodox.)

Maybe he stops keeping kosher and eats ham on Yom Kipper.

I think getting married to a Christian girl might do it, unless she converted. If he converted, it'd be all over for him with his family. They might even sit shiva for him, as if he were dead.

semilargeintestine
09-09-2009, 01:39 AM
They might sit shiva for him even if he was just dating a non-Jew.

The problem with a story like this is it hardly ever happens. I personally don't know of anyone like that. Chassidishe communities are very tight knit and happy. It is highly improbably that a Chassid would suddenly think eating kosher is a waste of time and that the Torah is just a book, c''v.

Here is a more likely scenario, and one that I've seen:

Parents are born into respective reform families. They marry and have a child. When the kid is still in school (~9th grade), the parents become religious. While they don't go completely Chassidishe, they are more strict than Modern Orthodox. The son is dragged into it and forced to eat kosher and keep Shabbos. He doesn't get the opportunity to really explore it on his own, and ends up resenting it. He keeps Shabbos to appease his parents, but when not at home, he doesn't eat kosher and doesn't keep many of the mitzvot.

He goes to college, stops keeping Shabbos, and dates a non-Jewish girl. The parents are devastated and try their hardest to convince him of his error. This causes a lot of tension and a big rift in the family.

I know someone who this happened to up until the dating part, but it is easy to see how the rest could happen.

Kitty Pryde
09-09-2009, 02:02 AM
They might sit shiva for him even if he was just dating a non-Jew.

The problem with a story like this is it hardly ever happens. I personally don't know of anyone like that. Chassidishe communities are very tight knit and happy. It is highly improbably that a Chassid would suddenly think eating kosher is a waste of time and that the Torah is just a book, c''v.


Not a guy, but a woman I know was a Lubavitch married mother of three, American but living overseas. She realized she was a lesbian, agonized over it for a long time, divorced her husband, and wound up back in the US. She didn't get her kids.

She's still Jewish, attending reform jewish synagogue. I don't know how much of her Chasidic ways she still follows, but she doesn't cover her hair or eat kosher. She dresses conservatively relative to the average american, but much less conservatively than she would have had to in the past.

I remember reading a really long article about a woman in NY who did a similar thing, except she wasn't a lesbian, she just wanted a divorce. But it's a little different from the scenario the OP is talking about because then you're getting into the issues of sexism within the community.

semilargeintestine
09-09-2009, 02:14 AM
Two examples does not equal common. Couples get divorced in Orthodox communities, just much less than in the greater society (and even less in Chassidishe communities).

Just as an important note, Lubavitch isn't necessarily Chassidishe (in practice or customs--a Chassid is not defined by his outward appearance, but by his hashkafa). They are a much wider net of customs, some even going to nearly MO. Was she very Chassidishe? It's a shame that happened anyway. But if she got a divorce, I'm not sure why she would be covering her hair anyway.

Unfortunately, the presence of sectarian groups allows people who are unwilling to follow certain mitzvot to find an outlet for their contempt. Reform Judaism will assure her that G-d doesn't care if you follow the Torah or not, since Moses wrote it with Aaron and Joshua around a campfire. And so this woman who could have found a way to work it out within her community is now cut off from Judaism. That's a shame.

But I digress. Those examples are certainly the exception and not the rule. As far as sexism goes, it's a big problem in Yeshivish communities. Lubavitchers are certainly not sexist by and large, and neither is the greater Orthodox community. It's mostly the Yeshivish and Hareidi community, which fortunately does not represent Orthodox Judaism.

I still think my scenario is far more plausible, as it is a common result of Baalei Teshuvahs who want their kids to be as excited as they are without giving them the chance to find it on their own.

Kitty Pryde
09-09-2009, 02:32 AM
Two examples does not equal common. Couples get divorced in Orthodox communities, just much less than in the greater society (and even less in Chassidishe communities).

Just as an important note, Lubavitch isn't necessarily Chassidishe (in practice or customs--a Chassid is not defined by his outward appearance, but by his hashkafa). They are a much wider net of customs, some even going to nearly MO. Was she very Chassidishe? It's a shame that happened anyway. But if she got a divorce, I'm not sure why she would be covering her hair anyway.

Unfortunately, the presence of sectarian groups allows people who are unwilling to follow certain mitzvot to find an outlet for their contempt. Reform Judaism will assure her that G-d doesn't care if you follow the Torah or not, since Moses wrote it with Aaron and Joshua around a campfire. And so this woman who could have found a way to work it out within her community is now cut off from Judaism. That's a shame.


I was under the impression that Lubovitch/Chabadniks were a subset of Hasidim. They seem to be under the same impression: http://www.chabad.org/global/about/article_cdo/aid/244369/jewish/About-Chabad-Lubavitch.htm

She was kicked out of her own community for saying she was gay and didn't want to be married to her husband. She wasn't stolen from the frum by sinful Reform jews.

It's certainly not common but it's real and it's plausible for the purposes of fiction.

semilargeintestine
09-09-2009, 06:12 AM
I was under the impression that Lubovitch/Chabadniks were a subset of Hasidim. They seem to be under the same impression: http://www.chabad.org/global/about/article_cdo/aid/244369/jewish/About-Chabad-Lubavitch.htm


Yes, Chabad is part of the greater Chassidishe community; however, Chabad is different from other branches because it is very accepting of everyone. They do not judge, and so many, many Chabadniks do not have Chassidishe customs. For example, the Chabad-Lubavitch shul by my house has only a few people who would be obvious Chassidim. Most of them look Modern Orthodox, but they identify with Chassidishkeit, and so are. Chabad accepts this no problem.



She was kicked out of her own community for saying she was gay and didn't want to be married to her husband. She wasn't stolen from the frum by sinful Reform jews.

That's unfortunate. Most Chabad communities are not like that. That is a terrible thing. While homosexual acts are considered a horrible sin, Judaism is a religion of deeds. The Torah does not look at being homosexual as a sin, only acting upon it. Unfortunately, some people let their prejudices against others cloud that, and they take it out on people who should be looked at as holy rather than lowly.

I never said that the Reform Jews stole her, so I would ask you to not put words in my mouth. What I said was the Reform Movement will help her justify her decision to no longer be observant, and eventually will lead her away from Judaism--which, based on what you said, has happened.

If you want to have a discussion on why sectarian Judaism is outside of the Torah and therefore away from G-d, we can do that on another thread in the religion forum or in PMs. I will just say that I do not look down on Reform Jews. I do not like the Reform Movement, but that is no reason to judge individual people. I am back in school, and I am heading the Jewish Students group at my school. I am the only Orthodox Jewish member; everyone else is Reform or Conservative. Not only do I get along with them fine, but I consider them good friends. A Jew is a Jew.



It's certainly not common but it's real and it's plausible for the purposes of fiction.

Yes, definitely. I was under the impression he wanted something more common. But either would work, and yours may be more interesting to read.

mewoone
09-09-2009, 06:38 AM
Hey, don't know if this would go here or in Religion discussion - I think here it would be more clear I don't know and need to know for my WIP, so there you go. Specifically I'm writing about a Hasidic or Orthodox Jewish family: What if the son cuts off his rings / facial hair? What if he leaves Yeshiva for a gentile university? Let's discuss, thanks.



mmmmm, my great great great great grandfather (from the mother side) was Jewish who belong to Kohanim tribe (they were very religious) ...however, he and his two brothers converted so the tribe Who didn’t accept and make them go out of the village... which was very sad for the three brothers to broke from their mother and father!!Anyway life was hard for the three brothers who carry a name that represent bad memory in our world….

semilargeintestine
09-09-2009, 06:54 AM
They converted to what?

mewoone
09-09-2009, 07:06 AM
They converted to what?

Oh, to Islam...I am from Arabian peninsula ...and they lived in South Arabian peninsula ..

semilargeintestine
09-09-2009, 07:24 AM
So two brothers from a religious Jewish family converted to Islam 7 generations ago, and you think it's odd that they were told to leave?

mewoone
09-09-2009, 07:37 AM
So two brothers from a religious Jewish family converted to Islam 7 generations ago, and you think it's odd that they were told to leave?



Did i say that i find it odd? mmmmm, i mean i also didn't find odd that Arab tribes didn't accept the brothers with open hand!! it was history and their circumstances was very difficult..
and they were three brothers..

semilargeintestine
09-09-2009, 07:39 AM
Sorry, I read it as he and his brother. My fault. You just seemed a bit disturbed by this, and I wasn't sure why.

mewoone
09-09-2009, 07:41 AM
Sorry, I read it as he and his brother. My fault. You just seemed a bit disturbed by this, and I wasn't sure why.


oh, no at all.... it is history...

mario_c
09-09-2009, 09:55 AM
:popcorn: Very informative, you guys. Thanks again.

I'm mulling over questions to ask but I may need to address these other topics in a different thread.

semilargeintestine
09-09-2009, 04:56 PM
Feel free to PM me too. Your story sounds interesting.

semilargeintestine
09-10-2009, 12:46 AM
That's a very good point. I sometimes take it for granted that the majority of America is Xtian and believes in Hell and eternal damnation.

Judaism focuses on life, serving G-d out of love for Him, doing good, and as you said, tikkun olam. We don't ponder on the afterlife too much. The actually workings of Gan Eden ("Heaven") and Gehenna (almost like a purgatory, but not really) are fairly complicated. The gist of it is everyone gets to paradise. Your seat depends on how you lived. Because everyone goes to Heaven, we are not living in fear of eternal damnation or anything like that. So, as Aquilegia pointed out, there is much less pressure to be perfect and people are free to not worry about going to Hell for accidentally turning on a light on the Sabbath.

JulieHowe
09-10-2009, 08:00 AM
What about an Ethiopian or an Indian Jewish girlfriend?

mario_c
09-10-2009, 09:36 AM
Interesting - she's just a girl in college at this point. I don't consider the race or religion, but she should be non-Jewish for it to work.

The rift could start when they visit their son in college and are annoyed at his girlfriend and secular lifestyle (dorm parties and such). I only had the parents living nearby because of the murder investigation, where they clash with the detectives - but that's later in the story. It doesn't make sense they would live in a college town.

I'm really learning a lot, and feeling like I don't know enough to continue yet. Interesting about Gan Eden; I think I'll end up a janitor in heaven :) but yeah, it's better than the Christian alternative...

semilargeintestine
09-10-2009, 06:19 PM
I'm really learning a lot, and feeling like I don't know enough to continue yet. Interesting about Gan Eden; I think I'll end up a janitor in heaven :) but yeah, it's better than the Christian alternative...

Everyone gets into the game, your seat might not be as good. :D

Aquilegia
09-10-2009, 09:33 PM
>>That's a very good point. I sometimes take it for granted that the majority of America is Xtian and believes in Hell and eternal damnation.

Aw shucks, Semi. :o If I'd known you were going to quote that I wouldn't have deleted it. Sorry... I was really tired when I wrote it and I try to stay away from religion and politics when I'm tired lest I say something stupid. I didn't keep a copy, but I think you put it more elegantly anyway. Yes, I think Judaism just has fewer reasons to rebel.

Mario,
>>but she should be non-Jewish for it to work.
Just a thought, but what if she's halachicly Jewish, but not really observant. If he still cares about his religion, then it's highly likely he'll only be looking for observant Jewish girls and non-Jewish girls will be totally off his radar, but he could still kind of let his guard down around a not-too-observant Jew and fall for her. That could cause a rift because his parents may think she won't raise the kids to be religious.

semilargeintestine
09-10-2009, 09:38 PM
I don't know why you deleted it. It was a good point. :)

Miguelito
09-11-2009, 02:18 AM
What about an Ethiopian or an Indian Jewish girlfriend?

Even better: Palestinian and/or Muslim girlfriend.

semilargeintestine
09-11-2009, 06:31 AM
G-d forbid a Jew date/marry ANY non-Jew, but that would definitely be a good one for your story.

mewoone
09-13-2009, 02:10 AM
Even better: Palestinian and/or Muslim girlfriend.

it is forbidden and marriage will be invalid....But some people do it!

semilargeintestine
09-13-2009, 07:02 AM
A marriage between a Jew and anyone not Jewish is invalid. There is no special distinction for Palestinians or Muslims.

Mystic Blossom
09-13-2009, 07:40 AM
My family is conservative, and the way I follow tradition I might as well be reformed, but even in conservative Jews I do a lot of "disappointing" things. For example, these past couple of years I haven't kept the high holidays at all, I'm not dating a Jewish man, and I'm going to school for writing instead of a "useful" skill. I remember I got my driver's license on a Friday, and when my grandparents called me to congratulate me, I told them I was going to go shopping for a car the next day, and they said, "Oh, no, not on the Sabbath." So when we ended up getting my car the next day I told my dad that if his parents ask, we bought the car on a Sunday. But I digress. My point is, I've never done anything to cause a "rift" in my family, but it does cause a lot of tension, which, of course, can also be useful to a story.

Miguelito
09-13-2009, 06:27 PM
A marriage between a Jew and anyone not Jewish is invalid. There is no special distinction for Palestinians or Muslims.

Didn't know that. But I was going for something with alot more potential for tension and not that any marriage would be invalid.

semilargeintestine
09-13-2009, 08:02 PM
My family is conservative, and the way I follow tradition I might as well be reformed, but even in conservative Jews I do a lot of "disappointing" things. For example, these past couple of years I haven't kept the high holidays at all, I'm not dating a Jewish man, and I'm going to school for writing instead of a "useful" skill. I remember I got my driver's license on a Friday, and when my grandparents called me to congratulate me, I told them I was going to go shopping for a car the next day, and they said, "Oh, no, not on the Sabbath." So when we ended up getting my car the next day I told my dad that if his parents ask, we bought the car on a Sunday. But I digress. My point is, I've never done anything to cause a "rift" in my family, but it does cause a lot of tension, which, of course, can also be useful to a story.

You haven't caused a rift because your family isn't Orthodox, so there is not the same view on sinning. When you don't view the Sabbath as the holy thing it is, it doesn't matter if you desecrate it, hence conservative and reform Jews driving to shul on Saturdays. It's not their fault for the most part though. The Reform and Conservative movements brainwashed lots of Jews into thinking that the Torah is not a binding document given by G-d.

In the spirit of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur though, there is a Gemara that I think is appropriate here. There was once a rabbi who found himself way off the path of righteousness. He sinned a bit, and his evil inclination took hold--he let himself be taken off the path. This rabbi started going to prostitutes, and his goal became to sleep with every prostitute he could. He traveled the world in search for them, and finally he found that their was only one left. He traveled across an ocean to find this woman, and he paid her an extraordinary amount of money to sleep with him.

Mid-coitus, she speaks to this rabbi, saying, "G-d will not forgive your sins, and you will have no place in the World to Come." A prostitute said this to a rabbi. Needless to say, I think he had a difficult time continuing after that.

He rushed away and back to Israel. He walked to a valley between two hills and cried out for the hills to pray for him, but they refused. He called out to the stars to pray for him, and they refused as well. So did the trees refuse to pray for him. They told him that it is never too late to make teshuvah, but it was up to him to do it. He went down on his knees and cried so hard to G-d that he died; as he was dying, G-d appeared to him and assured him that he had earned his place in the World to Come.

A true story? Probably not. If it is, it's grossly exaggerated. But that's not the point. The point is that a person can sin her entire life and completely redeem herself in a single moment. It's never too late. I think this is relevant to both the story and real life considering it is less than a week until Rosh Hashanah.

semilargeintestine
09-13-2009, 08:05 PM
Didn't know that. But I was going for something with alot more potential for tension and not that any marriage would be invalid.

In an Orthodox family, marriage to--or even dating--any non-Jew would cause a lot of tension. The only place that could cause a bigger problem than any other non-Jew is in Israel or an Arab country, and it would be a big problem on both sides, a la Romeo and Juliet.

mewoone
09-14-2009, 02:11 AM
A marriage between a Jew and anyone not Jewish is invalid. There is no special distinction for Palestinians or Muslims.


I don't know about European Jewish law but in past we used to marry from them. I mean the Jewish who are either Arabian Ishmaelite (but Jewish) or who are Jewish from Isaac family tree….. and they didn't convert to Islam…

indiriverflow
09-14-2009, 02:17 AM
Hey, don't know if this would go here or in Religion discussion - I think here it would be more clear I don't know and need to know for my WIP, so there you go. Specifically I'm writing about a Hasidic or Orthodox Jewish family: What if the son cuts off his rings / facial hair? What if he leaves Yeshiva for a gentile university? Let's discuss, thanks.

I strongly recommend the works of Chaim Potok, particularly The Chosen, as it deals specifically with this issue.

semilargeintestine
09-15-2009, 07:08 AM
I don't know about European Jewish law but in past we used to marry from them. I mean the Jewish who are either Arabian Ishmaelite (but Jewish) or who are Jewish from Isaac family tree….. and they didn't convert to Islam…

Jewish Law doesn't view those as marriages. The State of Israel would not recognise them as valid.


I strongly recommend the works of Chaim Potok, particularly The Chosen, as it deals specifically with this issue.

That book is written by a guy who hates is own people.

indiriverflow
09-17-2009, 01:37 AM
Jewish Law doesn't view those as marriages. The State of Israel would not recognise them as valid.



That book is written by a guy who hates is own people.

That is a miserable and unfounded slander against a literary artist who devoted his career to writing about his people. I assure you, you will never find a quote from Potok which states that he "hates Jews."

I suppose you'd say the same of me, because I do not fit your myopic view of "our people."

Predictable...

semilargeintestine
09-17-2009, 05:58 AM
That is a miserable and unfounded slander against a literary artist who devoted his career to writing about his people. I assure you, you will never find a quote from Potok which states that he "hates Jews."

I suppose you'd say the same of me, because I do not fit your myopic view of "our people."

Predictable...

Actually, it would be considered libel if anything. My comment stems from the fact that he paints Orthodox Jews as oppressive, cold people who stifle creativity and censor differing opinions. He doesn't explicitly say that he "hates Jews," but he doesn't have to--it's quite obvious that he has contempt for the Orthodox Community.

I find it hilarious that you accuse me of slander, and then in the same post call me myopic and predictably discriminatory. Pot? Kettle? I think you've met.

And JFTR, I don't even know you. I have just as many non-observant friends as I do observant friends. I'm Lubavitch. We don't judge people on level of observance, we judge people on their attitude and behavior. You are quick to judge and seem to have a deep resentment towards Orthodoxy. Based on your behavior, I'd say you do have a thing against (Orthodox) Jews; however, I'd love to be proven wrong. Jews need to stick together, not write books about how terrible we all are.

StephanieFox
09-17-2009, 06:57 AM
I'm Lubavitch. We don't judge people on level of observance, we judge people on their attitude and behavior. You are quick to judge and seem to have a deep resentment towards Orthodoxy. Based on your behavior, I'd say you do have a thing against (Orthodox) Jews; however, I'd love to be proven wrong. Jews need to stick together, not write books about how terrible we all are.

Yes, you do indeed judge people on thier level of observance, if I would go by many of your posts. The majority of Jews on this board are not Lubavitch (for non-Jews, the Lubavich are a sect of very Orthodox Jews who follow a Rebbi, a spiritual leader, and who keep very strict rules and regulations, some based on the Torah, or the first five books of the bible.) You think that Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and other Jews, who make up the vast majority of Jews in the world, are not practicing Judeism. That's your judgment. We don't agree.

Believe what you will, but just to inform non-Jews who come to this board for information, what you say about Jews and Jewish practice may not be the same as what the majority of Jews thing about the subject.

To the original questioner: I am not sure if the original question about a father and son was about Orthodox Jews or about what is often called the ultra-Orthodox (such as the Lubavachers) but these are different groups. If you are going to write about Jews, you'll need to get your score card and know the difference between one kind of Jew and another.

semilargeintestine
09-17-2009, 07:14 AM
Yes, you do indeed judge people on thier level of observance, if I would go by many of your posts. The majority of Jews on this board are not Lubavitch (for non-Jews, the Lubavich are a sect of very Orthodox Jews who follow a Rebbi, a spiritual leader, and who keep very strict rules and regulations, some based on the Torah, or the first five books of the bible.) You think that Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and other Jews, who make up the vast majority of Jews in the world, are not practicing Judeism. That's your judgment. We don't agree.

We have a Rebbe who is our spiritual leader (even in death). We keep strict rules and regulations, all of which are based on the Torah (which is actually not used to describe just the 5 books of Moshe--in fact, the word Torah is often used to describe the entire Tanach, the Talmud, and sometimes the Zohar); some are directly from the text or oral tradition, and some are rabbinical in order to protect those that are directly from the Torah. Our dress and behaviour while dating for example are rabbinical institutions to protect the commandment to dress modestly and not engage in illicit sexual practices (i.e., premarital sex). Do you really see something wrong with that?

And, I've made it clear in numerous places that I do not dislike reform or conservative Jews, but rather the movements themselves. If I disliked reform and conservative Jews, why would I be a member of a Jewish Student organisation made up of entirely reform Jews (aside from myself) or be friends with several outside of school and work? That argument makes no sense.

I dislike the movements because they are apikores. They completely deny almost all of the 13 ikkurim, which puts them outside of Judaism. Whether you want to believe it or not, Judaism is Orthodox Judaism. First, it was just called Judaism, since there were just people who followed the laws and (few) people who didn't. Then, it was Pharisaic Judaism because there were multiple heretical sects such as the Sadducees. Now, it is Rabbinical--or Orthodox--Judaism. It's the same Judaism that's been practiced for 3,300 years, with adaptations for the modern world of course.

If you don't keep the mitzvahs, you're not practicing Judaism. You're still a Jew, but you're not practicing. There's a big difference.



Believe what you will, but just to inform non-Jews who come to this board for information, what you say about Jews and Jewish practice may not be the same as what the majority of Jews thing about the subject.

It doesn't matter what the majority of Jews think about the subject. My opinion is based on the Torah, word of G-d. So believe what you will, but encouraging people to intentionally violate the commandments is NOT Judaism--hence my dislike for the reform and conservative movements.

There is a big difference between judging a person and judging a movement. I have said many times that my like or dislike for a person is based on her attitude and actions. My problem with you isn't indicative of a problem with all reform Jews. My problem with you stems from the fact that from the word GO you were judging me because I'm Orthodox, spewing assumptions and baseless claims about me without any knowledge of who I am or what I believe, and telling me there is nothing wrong with violating the Torah. Maybe if you weren't so antagonistic, we wouldn't have a problem.



To the original questioner: I am not sure if the original question about a father and son was about Orthodox Jews or about what is often called the ultra-Orthodox (such as the Lubavachers) but these are different groups. If you are going to write about Jews, you'll need to get your score card and know the difference between one kind of Jew and another.

A Modern Orthodox Jew and a Chossid both believe wholeheartedly in the 13 ikkurim, which makes them both Orthodox. The difference comes in practice and hashkafa. The differences are not anywhere close to the differences between Orthodox and other sects.

And it's Lubavitchers.

Listen, I don't know you. You might very well be a nice person who just feels defensive because she perceives an insult to all reform Jews where there is none. I don't dislike you just for being a reform Jew. Really, I don't. It's up to G-d to judge you. If I dislike you, it's because you're not being a nice person. Stop being a hypocrite and blatantly judging me while crying about my "judgments" on others, and let's have a civil conversation about beliefs so we can move on and be friendly.