I'm a bit of a procrostinator, so if this post makes no sense, please keep in mind I have an essay due tomorrow so I'm trying to rush...
I just returned from a shuir in which the Rabbi was speaking about the fact that Jews managed to survive throughout all the years because they always had a sense of community. He mentioned that before each event in which Jews got "abused" (in whatever sense by the goyim) it was directly resulting from the Jews fighting amongs each other. He went on to say that nowadays there is an overwhelming amount of good that negates the bad in the community. So ofcourse I got skeptical, and he saw it in my face (he is my rabbi), and he asked what the problem was...so ofcourse I mentioned that there is no way we are a "community" in any sense of the form. So he mentioned a shabbaton he was on in which some girls there had peircings and had never experienced a shabbos in their lives. Blah blah...I was like "ooo...one whole shabbos, now what?" And then some man (no names) kinda interrupted the conversation and so we went on with the shuir.
Here is where my skepticism (pessimism may be the better word here) kicks in.
1st he mentioned all the good things going on in the community. He said how when Hatzolah is called they never discriminate amongst the type of Jew, they'll go and save lives. Then he said about the shabbatons and all the charity to the poor, and all the good in Israel that came over the summer during the war with Lebanon, when all the Jews had to flee North. And all that.
So there I was flipping out, shaking my head 'til the end of the shuir. I was thinking, "good, huh?"
Ok, so Hatzolah I did say was good, and no normal person would ignore the plea of a dying person (even goyim!). Then all the other stuff...Take kiruv.. so you make a girl frum, Mazel tov. What now? Now, you get to show off that you are a successful inspirational speaker. That looks super amazing in terms of shidduchim for your children (in most circles), as well as getting your children accepted into the "right" schools. What happens to the chesed case that is now a BT? Now they're stuck...why? Because if they became frum too much to the right their options are very limited. They can either marry only a fellow BT or someone with "tzaros" in the family (divorce, down syndrome, diabetes 3 generations up, lack of white tablecloth usage on shabbos etc.,) If they "only" became modern, it may be easier for them (depends on the community and how modern is modern...)
Then there's those that may argue "what if they're already BT, whats in it for them to do kiruv?" And honestly, I cannot tell you for sure, but its totally selfish. Like for example, one of my teachers in HS (I was in a kiruv program at school) was one of those super frummy lubavitch. Not sure she beleived the rebbe was moshiach, but she was super obsessed with discussing "what will happen when moshiach comes" Anyway, my class was half already frum and half not frum at all. Everyone was on a different level (whether frum or not) but as a general breakdown, it was half/half. One day this teacher was lecturing about something, and somehow the conversation came to the idea that "moshiach isn't coming because Jews don't keep shabbos" I don't completely remember how this happened but she particularly picked on one girl (whose older sister happened to be frum) and attacked her! "Why don't you keep shabbos? Your sister can do it, why can't you. YOu should be frum, its because of YOU that moshiach isn't here yet." The teacher ended up making the girl cry.
Now, I have no idea what this teachers motive is in doing kiruv but I think it is a safe bet to assume its a selfish one, because she wants to make more people frum so that moshiach comes quicker. Hmm...anyone see the good?
Then theres other people I know who do kiruv and specifically focus on girls from divorced families or abusive home families. These people, probably a large percentage (I doubt more than half though) do this out of good intention. It really is sad to see some of these kids, and inviting them to your home, and making them comfortable with a community is really amazing. However, there is so much selfish motive in it. Like for example, I know of a family like this. They do a tremendous amount of work. Every shabbos their houses are open to these girls, they help them overcome the struggles and scars they may have ended up with, to make them really feel good about themselves...and then what. Then they're stuck. They still are deemed products of a "dysfunctional" home (as normal as they maybe) and are still hindered in their abilities to properly fit in within the frum community. I asked one of these people if they would allow their son to marry someone that was a BT from a divorced home after they become all "normal" like they claim they make the girls. She had nothing to answer, she just changed the subject.
So what is the point of doing the kiruv definitly not for the good of the person becoming frum, because in many communities the fact that one is a BT is an automatic hinderance to their starting a family or being accepted into certain schools (depends on age).
What is the point? Selfish motives...it looks good on the "resume" any "resume" infact. It looks good to say "Hospitable" even when searching for a "secular" position, just like it looks good on the "shidduch" resume or on the HS applications, and so fourth.
Whats good? The selfishness? I don't think so. I was so naive when I became frum. I thought "Wow,, the girls at HS will be so nice, so great!" After all, religious people tend to be known as being nicer and friendlier (the whole missionary attitude goes hand-in-hand with being nice).
No, HS was the worst. Had I been allowed to be in the yearbook (totally different issue though) it would've said that I graduated from my program, not the HS. Nope, the 3 years I spent wearing that ugly uniform, and taking "secular" subjects with the "main" school, definitly does NOT qualify me to be part of the yearbook as a first class citizen. and you know what the excuse is? The excuse was, that if they allowed it to NOT say the programs name under our pix, then if someone sees us dressed "untzniously" or in a treif place, they don't want people to identify that behavior as the norm, and writing my schools name would avoid that. So, why would the school agree to host my program to begin with? Only one thing...Selfish motives! because if they really gave a damn (pardon the language) they would've done what would've made the girls feel good, and cared about the girls feelings.
I can go on and on, but I really have to write my essay.