In The Name Of ‘Piety’
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In The Name Of ‘Piety’

In discussing Faigy Mayer’s suicide, Hannah Dreyfus mentioned
Footsteps, a group that helps “rebellious” charedim transition to
secularism (“We Tried To Be There For Her,” July 24).

I would ask why no similar group exists that would help them
find less restrictive forms within the Orthodox rubric. That would seem like
a win-win situation, as these recalcitrants would discover that one can
attend college, date, be clean-shaven, etc., and still conform completely with
halacha. The various sects within the charedi
world establish norms which they consider sacrosanct, but the function of
these norms is not to bring their minions closer to God, rather it’s to force
communal conformity.

While each group has every right to develop and foster
their particular mores, they have no right to demand compliance if such
demands will drive out even a single member of the flock. Authentic Judaism
has so much to offer. Whether it’s Talmudic study, philanthropy or acts of
chesed, a Jew’s DNA is hardwired so that he can’t properly function unless
he’s expressing the will of Hashem. It’s frightening to think that some Jews,
in the name of “piety,” actually turn off their brothers and sisters and even
their own children by insisting that they deny their own identities for the
sake of the so-called common good.

 

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