Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Difference Between Kiruv and a Company

After reading the post Another Haredi-Kiruv Success Story on the www.kvetcher.net blog. two thoughts came to mind about the differences between a company and kiruv (orthodox outreach).

1) A company does whatever it can to guarantee the reliability of its product. There are no guarantees in religion, but that's not exactly the first thing a kiruv worker would say to a potential new adherent, if the kiruv worker says it at all.

2) companies sometimes say that if their product does not work out for you, get your money back and don't worry about using it anymore. In kiruv, noone will ever admit to the possibility that orthodoxy won't work out for the new adherent. No disclaimer that 'after a certain amount of trying you find out that orthodoxy is not for you, don't worry about it.' Kiruv wants your soul, period.

Kiruv organizations were to be more honest about their product (which is religion) if they had a disclaimer like "Religion does not provide guarantees. If you feel orthodoxy is not for you, don't worry about it."

Any chance of that happening? None that I can see.

37 comments:

DK said...

Well, a money back guarantee would definitely reveal how many unhappy campers there actually are.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Hmmmm, companies offer reliable products? To quote a slogan: Have you driven a Ford lately?

Companies offer money back guarantees. Heh. You ever read the small print on the TV screen when the local furniture store tells you that? Just try to actually get your money back if even one of the miniscule conditions in that small print discusses.

With kiruv, as it is with everything else, caveat emptor - let the buyer beware. If you are gullible and fall for every line the local expert gives you without double checking the facts, what do you expect will happen?

SJ said...

>> let the buyer beware

the thing with kiruv is that it presents orthodoxy as a magic button for making your life better because 'God is on your side.' Kiruv needs to be more honest that orthodoxy is not a magic button.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Wow, a normal sounding response. You finally taking your meds?

My point is that kiruv companies work just like other companies - they all present their product as the be-all and end-all. I'm a strong believer in consumer responsibility. If you believe what the advertisements say without doing some research on your own, you deserve what you get.

SJ said...

>> I'm a strong believer in consumer responsibility

but not in the responsibility of your fellow orthos?

Alleycat said...

The only issue I see in this post is that you are comparing an emotional product (religion), to a a company's products, which is usually an object. Judaism and a a new vacuum are not comparable.

Receiving a company's product means just that - receiving, taking. You pay money and you get a finished item. Religion is a result of pure giving of oneself, working for a long time for it. It is not quantifiable or measurable. If someone becomes unhappy after a year of being jewish, emotional and spiritual conflict/consequences remain.

If one does not like a company product after year, they can return it, get a new one, whatever. There may be consequences to buying the wrong product, but it does not involve one's soul, community, and daily emotional and manual exertion.

Your comparison is just not an even one.

SJ said...

>> Religion is a result of pure giving of oneself, working for a long time for it.

I disagree. A religion has to be liked for it to be followed. If you have to work for a long time for it it means you just don't like the damn thing.

>> If someone becomes unhappy after a year of being jewish, emotional and spiritual conflict/consequences remain.

Emotions are a behavior and thus they can be controlled. A person can choose to be emotionally fucked up, or, a person can choose to learn how to play a musical instrument or something.

alleycat said...

"Emotions are a behavior and thus they can be controlled."

We cannot control an emotion. It is innate, natural, immediate. We can, however control how we deal with that emotion. We can also train ourselves to withdraw from situations that may cause us to feel certain ways, though that is hard. We can also recognise triggers that may cause emotions.

"A religion has to be liked for it to be followed. If you have to work for a long time for it it means you just don't like the damn thing."

One might like the ideas Judaism, but to BE a jew, one works at it daily. We are not practicing Judaism if we don't regularly question our faith or feel exercised from the mitzvos. There are parts to Judaism that may not be liked by some, but it is (or should, in theory) be done anyway.

you can call religion an anchor, a club, a way of life, a culture, a burden, a cult, a savior, a place to sublimate id-related impulses, whatever -- But it is not a product.

SJ said...

>> We cannot control an emotion.

If you can't control your emotions at your age, you may get yourself locked up one day.

If one is angry or sad, one can choose to take his or her mind off of it and do something that makes him or her happy. If one is confused about something theoretical (religion), one can choose to find comfort in something practical (musical instrument, a good book, friends, a job and getting paid, any other kind of a hobby, etc.).

Your emotions are up to you.

>> One might like the ideas Judaism, but to BE a jew, one works at it daily.

That's called cognitive dissonance.

>> There are parts to Judaism that may not be liked by some, but it is (or should, in theory) be done anyway.

That kind of talk is not going to get your brand of judaism very far in a free country.

>> We are not practicing Judaism if we don't regularly question our faith or feel exercised from the mitzvos.

If a guy questions judaism, he fucks up his chances of ever hooking up with an orthodox girl.

alleycat said...

"If a guy questions judaism, he fucks up his chances of ever hooking up with an orthodox girl."

Not this orthodox girl. I'm cool with the questioning. It doesn't scare me.

"If one is angry or sad, one can choose to take his or her mind off of it and do something that makes him or her happy. If one is confused about something theoretical (religion), one can choose to find comfort in something practical (musical instrument, a good book, friends, a job and getting paid, any other kind of a hobby, etc.)."

Now your'e talking. This is what I mean. If one is hurt, sad, jeaous, turned on, it is natural. You cannot prevent those feeling from coming over you. But you can deal with them like in the ways you mention.

SJ said...

>> I'm cool with the questioning. It doesn't scare me.

Well then you are one in a million.

1) I don't hook up with people from the internet. I'm just sayin that now. XD

2) I have not been a skeptic in a long time. I am a dissenter. I heard the "answers" and was not impressed by them.

alleycat said...

"I don't hook up with people from the internet. I'm just sayin that now"

Ew. Don't worry. I don't hook up. Period. I have relationships. I was just making a point.

You need to stop hanging out with The Kvetcher.

SJ said...

>> You need to stop hanging out with The Kvetcher.

I see. So, in orthodox judaism, questioning is allowed, but disagreeing is not.

alleycat said...

"I see. So, in orthodox Judaism, questioning is allowed, but disagreeing is not."

Ummm, you are putting words in my mouth. I never said or inferred that (It's possible you misunderstood my admittedly veiled reference). My religious life is full of disagreement and conflict. It's something I am learning to embrace (conflict, that is), as I cannot seem to find a way to reconcile my religious obligations with my personal or political opinions. In any event, all the frum school I went to all encouraged questions. And believe me, I asked. My questions were never turned away. I know others have different experiences than I do.

SJ said...

>> It's possible you misunderstood my admittedly veiled reference.

You told me on one hand that skepticism is allowed, but on the other hand to discontinue reading a site that is critical of orthodoxy.

>> My religious life is full of disagreement and conflict ... My questions were never turned away.

Alleycat, allow me to let you in on some enlightenment. If your religious life is full of disagreement and conflict, that means you aint got no answers to those questions.

Alleycat, it seems that orthodoxy has you in a bag observing all of its insane stringencies without you being answered.

The thing is a part of a true search for truth includes bringing your level of cognitive dissonance down to zero. Alleycat, it would appear that your observance of orthodox judaism has done the exact opposite.

alleycat said...

It is impossible to have no cognitive dissonance. I choose to be orthodox, but I have learned to live with internal conflict and conflict related to my community. I can walk away from it if I want to, as hard as it would be. I just don't, bec for now it is worthwhile to me, and my love of Hashem and His presence in my life keeps me afloat. I have good days, and days where I am not motivated. I accept this.

And again, you are putting words in my mouth. I did not say to stop reading anyone's blog. Are you kidding? Read whatever you like. Again, you did not get my reference, and that is ok.

I think this will be my last comment regarding this post. Good night.

SJ said...

>> Again, you did not get my reference, and that is ok.

oh now I understand your reference. The fact is I am straight.

I'd almost apologize for accusing you of being antidisagreement but ... making the sort of implication that you did about people who disagrees with you (even for a joke) is not cool.

>> It is impossible to have no cognitive dissonance

well, in your case, following orthodox judaism seems to cause more contradictions than it solves.

>> I can walk away from it if I want to, as hard as it would be.

* cough * cult * cough *

>> I just don't, bec for now it is worthwhile to me, and my love of Hashem and His presence in my life keeps me afloat.

It would seem that Alleycat is a master physicist who invented advanced technology for detecting Hashem XD


>> I have good days, and days where I am not motivated. I accept this.

Alleycat's orthodox recruitment ad: "You can hate halacha but you still must follow halacha. Free countries suck."

I'm sorry for being blunt but that's seriously how you are coming off.

>> And again, you are putting words in my mouth. I did not say to stop reading anyone's blog. Are you kidding?

You should have been clearer that "stop hanging out with The Kvetcher" was a joke, you yourself know that others did not get the same experience as you in terms of the amount of questioning that was allowed and the resulting reputation orthodoxy has for it.

Factualbasis said...

If you honestly think that orthodoxy shuns questions then you haven't been talking to REAL orthodox questions. A basic tenant of judiasm is questioning because only through questions can we discover the truth, that G-d and Judaism are truth. I always tell people i know, if you answer a question with "because G-d said so" you are doing yourself and our religion a disservice.
Read the Gemara, read any work of a respectable rabbi...the very CORE is questions.
Btw i also take issue with your side picture about negiah. Told like it? Fine. Dont want to do it? fine, free country. But the people who do it have every right, and the girls in that picture did nothing to deserve to be embarrassed on your page other then believe something you don't.
Otherwise keep up the good work you keep the rest of us honest by QUESTIONING which is good. I hope to be talking to you a bunch now that i have discovered your blog

Factualbasis said...

that "Told like it?" should read "Don't like it?"
sorry

SJ said...

>> If you honestly think that orthodoxy shuns questions

Orthodoxy does shun questions. If one questions, one screws up his chance of ever hooking up with an orthodox girl, which means he's second class in the community.

Disagreements are worse.

If one were to feel like wearing a yamica is not a real halacha but merely cultural, if the 39 melachot of shabbat does not regulate electricity, or if separation of meat and diary violates the biblical rule against creating new rules, then forget about it. That person is for sure shunned.

>> only through questions can we discover the truth, that G-d and Judaism are truth.

the funny thing is, chances are you were programmed to think that since birth.

>> always tell people i know, if you answer a question with "because G-d said so" you are doing yourself and our religion a disservice.

they don't say "because God said so." they say "because rabbis said so."


>> Read the Gemara, read any work of a respectable rabbi...the very CORE is questions.

you are being disingenuous. you know damn well there's a big difference between the questions of a skeptic and the questions of the gemorah which makes the questions of the gemorah ok to the orthodox community and the questions of the skeptic not ok to the orthodox community.

>> Btw i also take issue with your side picture about negiah.

A girl certainly has the right to not be touched if she does not want physical contact, however to make a religious rule about it is quite frankly taliban shit, and taliban shit will be called for what it is.

>> Otherwise keep up the good work you keep the rest of us honest by QUESTIONING which is good.

This is not exactly what an orthodox girl would say to a guy who wants to hook up with her.

In orthodox communities, skeptics are second class citizens. I am not a skeptic but rather a dissenter.

FactualBasis said...

"Orthodoxy does shun questions. If one questions, one screws up his chance of ever hooking up with an orthodox girl, which means he's second class in the community."

That's the 2nd time you have used that praise do you have anything original or is your entire being revolved around hooking up with girls.

"If one were to feel like wearing a yamica is not a real halacha but merely cultural, if the 39 melachot of shabbat does not regulate electricity, or if separation of meat and diary violates the biblical rule against creating new rules, then forget about it. That person is for sure shunned."

Not in my community. While people may disagree with you they won't shun you in anyway. Plus there is a difference between feeling a different way and outwardly fighting an issue WITHOUT proof. Proof is the backbone of every halacha. Any rabbi worth anything knows that halacha is only deprived from torah sh'bal beh and torah sh'bichtav. Look in the gemara every halachic ruling is cited with text from the torah, no different from a legal ruling in the US.

"the funny thing is, chances are you were programmed to think that since birth."

and you were probably programmed since birth that Democracy is the best form of government, it doesn't make it wrong automatically. Just like you have probably i have questioned, looking and found the truth on my own even though its the same i was raised on. In fact my investigation has made know knowledge (not belief) stronger.

"you are being disingenuous. you know damn well there's a big difference between the questions of a skeptic and the questions of the gemorah which makes the questions of the gemorah ok to the orthodox community and the questions of the skeptic not ok to the orthodox community."

have you ever read the gemara? if you had you would know there are skeptics EVERYWHERE. Rabbis attacking each other's views left and right. Yet unlike you most (not all) of them didnt hold grudges like it was personal. Hillel and Shamai were very close friends.

"This is not exactly what an orthodox girl would say to a guy who wants to hook up with her.

In orthodox communities, skeptics are second class citizens. I am not a skeptic but rather a dissenter."

What is your obsession with hooking up? there are more important things in life.

Im a skeptic, i keep people their toes. If some rabbi tells me i HAVE to do something i ask for a source. I'm not second class citizen in fact i have a great deal of respect in the community.


"A girl certainly has the right to not be touched if she does not want physical contact, however to make a religious rule about it is quite frankly taliban shit, and taliban shit will be called for what it is."

Got it, so if a girl has a religious view you dont agree with they are horrible people. Did a girl refuse to hook up w/you are something that you took it personally? They are entitled to do what they want its YOUR VIEW that is taliban because YOU are forcing you view on THEM. They are using their freedom as they wish and arent trying to make you do anything while you cannot claim the same.

alleycat said...

I hope you enjoyed tearing my words apart. On the one hand I am flattered at the time you are giving to my every phrase, but you are being malicious. You misunderstood me and have responded disrespectfully at moments. I don't do it to you, so don't do it to me. My momma always said never start up with bloggers. Was she right.

SJ said...

>> That's the 2nd time you have used that praise do you have anything original or is your entire being revolved around hooking up with girls.

The point is that since one can't hook up with girls in the orthodox community if one is a skeptic, then all the men in the orthodox community saying the skepticism is welcome is just nonsense PR.


>> Plus there is a difference between feeling a different way and outwardly fighting an issue WITHOUT proof.

It is really because of the lack of proof on the part of the rabbis. For example, no rule from God exists ANYWHERE to wear a yamica.

>> and you were probably programmed since birth that Democracy is the best form of government, it doesn't make it wrong automatically.

we are talking metaphysical beliefs here. you are taking yours that you received since birth, and sayin that u investigated it all to prove it. Ever here of the scientific method? The hypothesis comes first, not the conclusion.


>> have you ever read the gemara? if you had you would know there are skeptics EVERYWHERE. Rabbis attacking each other's views left and right.

Your claim about the gemara being the epitome of the orthodox community allowing questioning is erroneous on two fronts.

1) I doubt that the gemorah covers questions of modernity vs. too much traditionalism and rationalism vs. fundamentalism.

2) All the questioning in the gemorah became closed in the publication of the shulchan aruch in the 16th century. I'm guessing you know that factualbasis but failed to mention it.



>> What is your obsession with hooking up? there are more important things in life.

I'd say my "obsession" with hooking up is no more or less than any other normal guy. Thanks for your stupid attempt at character assassination.



>> Im a skeptic, i keep people their toes. If some rabbi tells me i HAVE to do something i ask for a source.

oh really? where is the source for separation of meat and diary in the Pentateuch? wait a sec ... there is none.

The last bit of your post is just character assassination. Being against shomer negiah does not equal mysoginy. You are accusing me of being mysoginist when you are from a culture that does not allow women to give divorces and in more closed communities, does not allow women to pick their own husbands.

SJ said...

>> That's the 2nd time you have used that praise do you have anything original or is your entire being revolved around hooking up with girls.

The point is that since one can't hook up with girls in the orthodox community if one is a skeptic, then all the men in the orthodox community saying the skepticism is welcome is just nonsense PR.


>> Plus there is a difference between feeling a different way and outwardly fighting an issue WITHOUT proof.

It is really because of the lack of proof on the part of the rabbis. For example, no rule from God exists ANYWHERE to wear a yamica.

>> and you were probably programmed since birth that Democracy is the best form of government, it doesn't make it wrong automatically.

we are talking metaphysical beliefs here. you are taking yours that you received since birth, and sayin that u investigated it all to prove it. Ever here of the scientific method? The hypothesis comes first, not the conclusion.


>> have you ever read the gemara? if you had you would know there are skeptics EVERYWHERE. Rabbis attacking each other's views left and right.

Your claim about the gemara being the epitome of the orthodox community allowing questioning is erroneous on two fronts.

1) I doubt that the gemorah covers questions of modernity vs. too much traditionalism and rationalism vs. fundamentalism.

2) All the questioning in the gemorah became closed in the publication of the shulchan aruch in the 16th century. I'm guessing you know that factualbasis but failed to mention it.



>> What is your obsession with hooking up? there are more important things in life.

I'd say my "obsession" with hooking up is no more or less than any other normal guy. Thanks for your stupid attempt at character assassination.



>> Im a skeptic, i keep people their toes. If some rabbi tells me i HAVE to do something i ask for a source.

oh really? where is the source for separation of meat and dairy in the Pentateuch? wait a sec ... there is none.

The last bit of your post is just character assassination. Being against shomer negiah does not equal mysoginy. You are accusing me of being mysoginist when you are from a culture that does not allow women to give divorces and in more closed communities, does not allow women to pick their own husbands.

SJ said...

>> I hope you enjoyed tearing my words apart.

Actually Alleycat I hope you learned something about yourself from having your arguments crushed.

"Know thyself."

Temple of Apollo at Delphi.



>> but you are being malicious. You misunderstood me and have responded disrespectfully at moments.

1) I admitted my mistake when I misuderstood you.

2) You are aware of the tone of my blog from the first second of reading it. You chose to post here.

factualbasis said...

"oh really? where is the source for separation of meat and diary in the Pentateuch? wait a sec ... there is none."

I'm going to save both of us some time on this and skip to the main part.
Because i'm going to say its implied by, "don't cook a calf in mother's milk"
you will say "it doesn't say anything about milk and meat"
So here is the end game...Can you tell me what totafot are? How about tzitzit? Better yet can you please tell me what the Torah means by eating food that is killed "correctly"?

Because there is NO WAY to do so without the oral torah aka the mishna/gemarah. It's just not possible. Totafot ONLY become tefilin when one takes the accompanied commentary. Otherwise its just a book with a lot of terms that don't make any sense and what G-d would give that? And if you say man gave it...what people would follow a nut who makes up all these laws and doesn't explain them.

Its like the constitution...without the supreme court we wouldn't know what some things mean. I'll give you 10 Billion Dollars if you find me the right to privacy in the constitution spelled out. Its not there, the courts have interpreted the constitution to apply that right.

"The last bit of your post is just character assassination. Being against shomer negiah does not equal mysoginy. You are accusing me of being mysoginist when you are from a culture that does not allow women to give divorces and in more closed communities, does not allow women to pick their own husbands."

I most certainly am not accusing you of mysoginy. I am accusing you of close-mindedness and bigamy against religious jews who in the case of those girls have done NOTHING to you personally. You hate religious jews? Fine. But hating what they believe in when no one is FORCING you to do it is close-minded and wrong...and UNAMERICAN

SJ said...

>> "don't cook a calf in mother's milk"

does not equal separation of meat and dairy. It is too much of a stretch.


>> So here is the end game...Can you tell me what totafot are? How about tzitzit? Better yet can you please tell me what the Torah means by eating food that is killed "correctly"?

Problems with oral law:

1) It can be twisted to meet someone's agenda.

2) It can be lost.

3) In can be remembered incorrectly.

Giving an oral tradition the same kind of credulity as a written document is intellectually very dishonest.


>> Because there is NO WAY to do so without the oral torah aka the mishna/gemarah.

the thing is a lot of interpretations of present day orthodox practice are products of rabbinical judaism, not received transmissions of an oral law.

A perfect example is not using electricity on shabbat. Not mixing meat and dairy is also a product of rabbinical judaism. The laws of shabbat is a product of rabbinical judaism. The dress code is a product of rabbinical judaism. etc.

>> I most certainly am not accusing you of mysogyny.

yeah u did.


>> I am accusing you of close-mindedness and bigamy against religious jews who in the case of those girls have done NOTHING to you personally. You hate religious jews? Fine. But hating what they believe in when no one is FORCING you to do it is close-minded and wrong...and UNAMERICAN

1) This country protects one's right to criticize religion.

2) I don't hate religious jews.

3) Not allowing women to divorce is unamerican. Being critical of religious blowhards is not.

factualbasis said...

so tell me what totafot are? How about tzitzit? Better yet can you please tell me what the Torah means by eating food that is killed "correctly". Obviously things arent the way they are today according to you, so tell me what they mean since G-d obviously meant something by them and we cant trust the oral law.

Btw love how YOU decide what is a stretch and what isn't nice to see G-d is being held to YOU standards.

SJ said...

>> Obviously things arent the way they are today according to you, so tell me what they mean since G-d obviously meant something by them and we cant trust the oral law.


This is your brilliant god damn talmudic logic? Because I may not know a meaning of something in the Pentateuch therefore the oral law is automatically correct?

Damn you are on crack.

>> Btw love how YOU decide what is a stretch and what isn't nice to see G-d is being held to YOU standards.

I see, so no disagreeing allowed?

Anonymous said...

love how you are bragging at kvetcher about the number of comments you have, but it doesnt count when you post your own comments TWICE. You posted your own comments twice 4 seperate times...cheater

SJ said...

anonymous, learn to count.

Anonymous said...

doubled your own postings twice, separated your comments into two different comments twice. Thats 4 extra comments, oh plus these of course.

SJ said...

to repeat what i wrote on the kvetcher:

i only double posted when too much information in one post would turn everything into a mish mosh, kinda like the talmud XD

Anonymous said...

what about the ones that are THE EXACT SAME THING twice?
what a faker

SJ said...

I see what happened. my bad. no need to twist things into the worst possible way.

factualbasis said...

good point man, i agreed with you on kvetcher

Alletcat said...

"Know thyself."

Thank you, great leader. Thank you. Thank you!!!!!