The Baltimore Yeshiva Suicide

Read or watch the whole interview here.

Heshy Fried: “Blogging has opened up my mind to all sorts of people and I’ve got a girlfriend out of it and probably a future wife.” Luke: “How does your dad like your blog?” Heshy: “He’s never been on the internet in his life but he’s come to a few of my shows and he likes them. Half of the things I rant about are from him.”

“Last year, there was a chareidi kollel kid in Baltimore who committed suicide. It was reported on Yeshiva World News and Vosizneias that he died in a car accident. It was a blatant lie. I felt that as news sites they were responsible to tell the truth. The only good news service is JTA, even though they are obviously left-wing.

“I said this is BS. The guy committed suicide. To write a blatant falsehood on a news site is unethical. The editor from Yeshiva World News called me up. He said, we know it is a suicide, but we felt that to honor the family… He was Hatzalah. He said they knew it was a suicide before the family knew it was a suicide. He felt that the family shouldn’t learn from blogs.”

“I took my post down. The brother [of the suicide] called me up to thank me. He said no other blog would take down what I wrote… When you get a call from a family member and you see the pain and the sorrow, I don’t think it is right to put people through that. I’m not gaining that much out of it. It’s just my opinion.

“People don’t notice all the posts I take down.”

“There’s this sect of people who contact me — girls who are converting and becoming religious. This one girl wrote about guys who were coming on to her in shul who were Orthodox and because she was not Jewish, they think that sex with a non-Jew isn’t valid, so it’s fine. She wrote all about this experience. It had like 200 comments. She made me take it down because her Bais Din had seen it.

“I put up a post a couple of weeks ago. This [other] girl was raped. And she’s frum. She’s BT (baal teshuva) and she’s deciding whether or not to disclose it on shidduchim.

“The comments were nasty. They blamed her. ‘You were working in a bar. You were drinking with the guy. What did you expect?’

“She was really offended… She asked me to take it down. I took it down.”

“Every job I’ve gotten has come from a Jewish connection.”

Luke: “When you walked in here, you said that my blog sucked. What do you mean?”

Heshy: “Not the content, the look. When you come to it, you think you’re on a parked page. It doesn’t look like a blog. The first time you linked to me, I got all these hits and then I came to your site and I thought, what is this? There’s no style to it.”

“I spoke to people at the Jewish bloggers convention that were like, who the hell are you? I got that vibe from the guy who runs Treppenwitz and the guy who runs Seraphic Secret. These guys who’ve been blogging for years and a couple of hundred people come a day and they think they’re big s—. And I don’t even care to read your blog.”

“My writing is not formulated correctly because I never took school seriously. It scares people away who are from a smarter realm.”

“Even though I can’t please everyone, I sometimes want to.”

“One of my points of sorrow is that some of my greatest satire go unnoticed and unappreciated. In general, I wish there was more love.”

Luke: “How does it feel to be written about?”

Heshy: “It feels good… I’m an attention whore… At the same time, I’m a loner… I go to movies alone. I eat out alone. I go to concerts alone. People don’t do that.”

Luke: Do you have any theories on why some people choose to become Orthodox?

Heshy: “A lot of it is carefully crafted indoctrination… They don’t show you everything. It’s like going to a peep show.”

“The communal aspect is amazing. The support. To go from a place where everybody is doing their own thing to sitting down in a hundred million dollar house and we’re all equals… You’re a part of a group and a lot of non-Jews don’t feel that. You have communities based on little externals such as you all like World of Warcraft or you like to ski. You don’t have this all-encompassing community.

“Baal Teshuvas come into Aish and everyone is friendly and they give you good food and they’ve got all these hot women. Chabad is all hotties. That’s how they get you. Chabad is brilliant. They have these fancy places. All the women are hot. Everyone’s cool. And there’s booze.”

“A lot of converts read my stuff because they Google things that Aish is not going to talk about, such as wife-swapping in the frum community.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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