Monday, 7 February 2011

Flipping Out

It occurs to me that "flip-outs" and off the deep-end, black hat BT's make the following mistake.

For whatever reason these idividuals have decided to dedicate their lives to Judaism. However they often decide that a form of Chareidism is the best way to do this. Now it is possible that these individuals actually identify with the extreme anti-historical anti-critical attitude to Judaism (as opposed to regular Orthodoxy which only mildly anti-historical) however I sometimes find that these people simply don't know enough about the difference in ideology between Chareidism and Modern Orthodoxy.

IMHO, though I can't say I've actually heard anyone admit this or anything, these people mistake Chareidism as a difference in degree rather than a difference in ideology. Reasons the enthusiastic BT/flip out: "I want to dedicate my life to Judaism, and Chareidim are the people who are the strictest about Judaism therefore I'll don the black hat and grow out my peos"

Now it is true that Chareidim are the strictest about Judaism but this is an ideological issue. Chareidim are stricter because they believe that the best way to be Jewish IS to be strict. However a more Modern Orthodox person would perhaps argue that strictness is not always the best way to go.

Also the strictness of Chareidism often stems from literalism and inability to perceive that times have changed (again even Modern Orthodoxy suffers from similar problems but to a lesser degree.)

So our BT or flip-out has perhaps not realized that stricter does not necessarily mean BETTER and that Chareidism stems not so much from a higher degree of dedication to the Jewish faith but rather from a different ideology.

In which case our BT must ask him/herself if s/he REALLY agrees with this ideology and whether this ideology is really better than Modern Orthodoxy....

That's what I figure but what do y'all think am I totally off the mark here?


leapafteryoulook said...

Well, in my 17 year sojourn as a black hat BT, I always told people who asked (and even those who didn't) that I saw Charedi Orthodoxy as more authentic. I had thrown a real wrench into my life to become an Orthodox Jew and, dammit, I wanted to make sure that I was doing it right. I now see disbelief in the whole of Judaism as the right approach but, this time around, try not to so generously share my views. Well, live and learn.

Yossi said...

I get a laugh from the BT Chareidim who refer to Rav Soloveitchik as "JB" even though they never heard a shiur from him, never read anything written by him and really know NOTHING about the whole controversy.

tuvia said...

would like to hear more of your story.  going through some of the same feelings myself -- but feeling guilt and fear.  A hard time now telling truth from lies from opinions from superstition.

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