Learning The Social Mores Of Orthodox Judaism

Heshy Fried writes:

When I lived in Dallas, the kiruv folk over there had the social process down pat, this was because they had no competition and most of the people becoming frum would probably never live anywhere else and hence they didn’t have any outside influences. I remember how blown away I was at the amazing BT watching in their shul Ohr Torah, I saw older folks with black hats and peyos behind their ears standing with their feet apart during shemona esrei like folks who have no idea what they are doing. It was my first introduction to professional out of town kiruv. It’s almost reverse to the way converts do it. Converts usually start keeping mitzvos and Torah and then figure out that coming to shul in jeans or a mini skirt isn’t the way it’s done.

I’m not so sure I agree with teaching BT’s the art of social orthodoxy first, but to be honest it makes sense. First get them dressing like their counterparts, get those little kids wearing velvet yarmulkes with the little designs on them, the mother wearing expensive hair pieces and the father wearing a hat and naturally everything will fall into place, right?

I have found it interesting that although BT’s learn the art of outward social orthodoxy, they still flaunt large TV’s in their homes, have raunchy (according to yeshivish standards) magazines lying about their houses and usually still talk about their pasts in whist full ways like “oh dear it’s been a long time since we’ve had period sex, while eating bacon at a drive in on shabbos”.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). 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 (Alexander90210.com).
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