Thursday, 7 April 2011

On Being "Aished"

So someone Emailed me this essay he wrote about Kiruv Organizations. Scroll down for the article - but first a few words from me: 

I've said it once and I'll say it again. I hate Aish HaTorah, Ohr Samayach, Project Chazon and all sorts of Kiruv organizations.

I don't object to kiruv perse - people have the right to peddle their religion and for some people Orthodoxy may just be the right thing. Different things work for different people and I think it's more than legitimate to invite irreligious people to Shul or your Shabbat meal and give them a taste of what Orthodoxy is.

But I can't abide manipulation and I can't abide lying. Presenting Orthodox Judaism as "scientific" fact is a lie.

And that's exactly what the organized Kiruv organizations do. Rabbi Slifkin has been recently posting about the use of the Talmudic "four animal proof" which is such a blatant lie that I can't imagine that the kiruv workers using it don't know that they're bending the truth.

I can't abide the Kuzari proof which is logically unsound in countless ways. I recently sat and forced myself to listen to a Lawrence Kelleman lecture about the Kuzari proof. The way he bent facts, cleverly used logical fallacies, and used "scientific" terminology was actually sickening. I hope to God that he is just severely naive and is not doing it on purpose.

I can't stand sugar coating the truths of Orthodoxy. Yes Orthodoxy is sexist, yes the Talmud did not have a high opinion of gentiles, yes certain sects of Orthodoxy are anti-scientific. But the Kiruv organizations will never tell it's "victims" any of these things 'till they're deep in the system. And because people who are being "mekareved" have almost no knowledge about Judaism -  they have no idea that Kiruv workers are carefully leaving out the less savory bits of Orthodoxy in their presentations...

Do these organizations have no integrity? Do they believe that the ends justify the means? Or are these types of Kiruv workers just as naive as their targets?

Anyways here's  article:
On Being Aished


Abandoning Eden said...

as for the part about lying to break up interfaith couples...a rabbi in israel told my little brother (who was highly influenced by the charedi movement in Israel when he went there for a year and now is charedi and no longer MO) that if I married my (non Jewish) husband one of three things would happen- either my husband would convert, we would split up, or he would die within a year. Our two year wedding anniversary is coming up in about a month, we're still together, no one has died, and no one has converted, so I think we can all safely say that the rabbi was completely full of shit.

SecondSonG3 said...

> which is such a blatant lie that I can't imagine that the kiruv workers using it don't know that they're bending the truth

I wouldn’t bet on it. It’s only blatant once you know certain things, and even then, most wouldn’t notice unless it’s pointed out. To those of us who are inclined to listen when these things are pointed out to us by knowledgeable people, it’s obvious. To the average yeshivish guy who wants to get into kiruv, not so much.

The people in charge who write the scripts are probably less naïve, and therefore more to blame.

Josh said...

I know of a Chabad shaliach in a small city who drove around in a van with a huge sign that said, "If you were burned by Aish, then try Chabad."

Jacob Stein said...

"But I can't abide manipulation and I can't abide lying."

That's precisely why I reject evolution.

Undercover Kofer said...

Thanks Shilton!

Pierre said...

I disagree. His body contains a certain amount of excrement, yes. But I think he is full of other things as well, including himself.

emily said...

 I'm the product of an interfaith marriage, and I want to declare war on the aish-holes who do crap like that. (My parents are still together after 30+ years.)

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