WTF (What The Frum) Happened?
For years, I knew little about the frum world’s current events, but since I started writing FreiFem, I spend a considerable amount of time flipping through websites and news sources, reading up on the latest achievements of the world that I long ago left.
And my impression is similar to Der Bik’s, commenting on The Expert:
“Now I read the news coming out of Israel, and out of frum communities on the East Coast, and I wonder, “When did all this nuttiness start happening? Was it there all along, and I somehow didn’t notice it? Or did it somehow start to snowball all of a sudden?”
Where was I? When did I stop paying attention? What happened?”
I was a teenager when I left the frum world, so I never got an adult dose of the politics and insanity. It’s possible that my more pleasant view of the community in those years was simply a product of childish naivete. Now, as I read through the various news sources documenting Charedi violence in Israel, and child abuse cover ups and widespread financial fraud here in the New York area, I am constantly shocked. I’m not even talking about the religious fundamentalism that seems to be intensifying at a crazy pace – I’m talking about the blatant criminality and immorality.
Of course, no community is without its ugly side, but this is a community that prides itself on not having an ugly side. This is a community that doesn’t tolerate criticism from insiders, let alone outsiders. A community that seems to have no self-awareness of its problems, where lauded leaders are more notable for covering up scandal than attempting to address it.
Was it always like this?
Was it this bad ten years ago?
I would venture a guess that it wasn’t. That as the religious community continues to grow and solidify its power financially, politically and psychologically, it breeds more of this insanity. It makes one wonder what the ultra-Orthodox world will be like in ten years from now. It makes one wonder and fear.Printable Version