Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Why do Kiruv?

While reading the comments to FrumPunks post When does BT status start? I came across the comment Moshe put in which one of the things he wrote was "Why do kiruv?"

Even pre-BT post comments I asked the same question. In fact I sarcastically asked my Rabbi that once. And I came up with a few answers as to why they do it.

One of the reasons is what Moshe himself said - To create for yourselves a caste of workers who’ll pay for the parasites who are sitting in kollel and pretending to learn?

This reason seems to make alot of sense. Think about it. A BT generally has more money. Not because frummies are all disgusting, dumb, and poor (like my grandmother says they are) but because BTs tend to come from smaller families as well as from better educated backgrounds (at least with this generation). An investment in Kiruv is like an investment in brand new-buildings and gorgeous new plaques for schools that can hardly afford to provide anymore scholarships. A few BT paying full tuition per school is some nice money.

The other reason is for shidduchim. I know this sounds completely out of the world considering this post is being based on a post about a girl that got rejected for being a BT, but I am NOT crazy, and I mean what I say.

When it comes to shidduchim, frummies go all out and crazy.

Take normal people looking for jobs. Normal person writes up a beautiful resume, calls up everyone he knows, gets headhunters, buys newspapers, begins to network in every possible way, all in hopes of making the write "connection" and finding the right job.

With frum people this is very similar. In shidduchim? Pretend you're job-hunting, and do some chesed so that you stand out from the other candidates.

What do I mean? I mean, that kiruv is done solely for the purpose of having something to add on the resume. All frum girls are the same. They all wear black on the first date, heels, straighten their hair, wear waaaaaaay too much make-up and have the same idiot posture and tone in their voices when they say "FOR SURE!!!!" If mommy and tatty do chesed, the resume is that much better and it heightens the chances of typical frum girl #37 of getting married.

Reason number three on why do kiruv at all, is so that one family can be all "holier-than-thou" about their lifestyles. EVERYONE can donate money to a chinese auction but "make" someone frum is exclusive to the people who think they did it.

Well so, I think I'm done with the reasons as to why do kiruv. If you have any to add, please feel free to comment. Otherwise, keep in mind I'm super anti-kiruv and think that alot of the money used towards "outreach" programs would be better spent towards providing already frum kids with decent education.

But what do I know? I'm a BT and Yeshiva education really sux in comparison to the PUBLIC SCHOOLS I've been to-which by the way were "free" and non of the girls I KIT were pregnant as teens or even now.


Child Ish Behavior said...

Sorry gotta call you on this one. Pure 100% BS. They do kiruv because in the end it really doesn't matter who you are. In the end of it all we are all Jews. And that is what counts. Shidduch resumes may be nice, but if all a person does is do kiruv all day and she has nothing else going for her, no one will fall for it. Just as no one really falls for it in the real world.

And another thing, don't you think you are being a little one sided. Sure there are some people who wont marry people who are BT's, but then there are some people that wouldn't marry any person different in culture, ethnicity, or race. Just because a person doesn't want to marry you because of your background doesn't mean that they have something wrong with you personally. It just means that they don't want to join your family. According to you Avraham should have just gotten over it and let Yitzchok marry the daughter of Eliezer. Even though he knew that her father, no matter how good he was now, was once a person with intrinsically bad character traits.

As for the support of the community thing, perhaps that works for Chabad(I don't know) but in other circles the money has to come from a reputable source before getting accepted. All the other cases to the contrary are exceptions to the rule. If I recall correctly YOB would not accept money from Barbra Streisand, because they felt that getting the money from her would be unbecoming for their institution. You can argue from today till tomorrow but that doesn't sound like a group just interested in money.

And neither is the rest of the Frum world only interested in money and ulterior motives. Some people, most people have a heart.

Jessica said...

I was going to write (in a much less eloquent way) exactly what child ish wrote. Every person I know who does kiruv does it because they feel in their heart it is the right thing to do.

frumskeptic said...

"Shidduch resumes may be nice, but if all a person does is do kiruv all day and she has nothing else going for her,"

Ever read badforshidduchim? THere really is nothing else going for her whether or not she does or doesnt do kiruv.

They're all the same. One family will view kiruv as important while the other will view hachnoses kallah involvment as important. ITs which org they choose that gets the resume ontop. Unless ofcourse they've got money. Then they're on top no matter what.

I see no reason as to why someone SHOULD marry a BT or SHOULDN'T. That isn't the issue. I went out with 2 American guys (one BT one FFB), very modern, my type, yada yada, and I found myself a bit misplaced. I dont see them as beneath me tho. And I'm not rejecting guys solely by their birth status.

With Barbara Striesand, she slept her way up. that is the only way she had that money. Totally different than someone who has good morals but happens to not be frum. TOTALLY different. Theres not a virgin, then theres whore (Barbara Streisand).

Well,considering I am an egoist, I do not beleive that most people have a heart. So I don't buy that.

But generally, if a person wants to be frum, they'l find a way to do it. From people and newspaper articles I've read the OTD rate is crazy rising and most often amongs communities taht are heavily involved in kiruv (ie Chabad/lubavich).

Worry about yourself and your own family, just keep your doors open, those who want it, will find you.

Chesed begins at home.

frumskeptic said...

ohh..and I dindt mean BADFORSHIDDUCHIM.

I think she's great. I meant "her" as in a general sense!

Mikeinmidwood said...

I have to dissagree kiruv is done out of wanting to help peole and you might have reason as to why they do kiruv if they arent going to be able to marry in.

Child Ish Behavior said...

"I see no reason as to why someone SHOULD marry a BT or SHOULDN'T. That isn't the issue."

That is exactly the issue. You see there being some sort of liberal discrimination thing going on between BT and FFB. You believe that the FFB are taking advantage of people by telling them to become frum and pulling the wool over their eyes about the community that they will be joining. That the only reason this is being done is ulterior motives that smack of having no connection to God at all.

The small differentiations that are made by through volunteer work do not show that they have no personality with out the volunteer work. It just highlights the things that would otherwise go unnoticed.

We are one nation. Am Yisroel.
The divisions that are created are something that is made up by grandmothers bickering among themselves because they have nothing better to do with their time.

frumskeptic said...


Help from what? eternal damnation?

Do you people really think these people have terribly boring useless lives? What exactly are they helping them with?

frumskeptic said...

"That the only reason this is being done is ulterior motives that smack of having no connection to God at all."

I find it hard to beleive that majority of the frum Jews in Brooklyn actually beleive in Gd. Never mind the wackos in Bnei Brak and Meah Shearim. Otherwise they wouldn't be behaving in the way they do.

If they really believed in Gd they wouldn't care so much about other peoples beleifs or disbeliefs. The color of peoples tableclothes or a bachurs shoe type.

If they really beleived, they'd mind their own business. Pray be shomer shabbos u mitzvot. They'd talk to their non-frum neighbors in respectful manners, and invite them for yomim tovim as a form of "kiruv" If they don't become frum, they'd still be frinds wit them. THey wouldn't pay thousnads of dollars to have an organization do it for them...

but thats what people who actually care and believe in Gd would do.

frumskeptic said...

"The small differentiations that are made by through volunteer work do not show that they have no personality with out the volunteer work. It just highlights the things that would otherwise go unnoticed. "

No in most cases it is the volunteer work. Even amongst "goyim" most people don't have developed personalities.

Walk near a yeshiva everyone is wearing the same uniform, walk by a shul on shabbos, everyone is dressed completely similarly.

Walk by a PS they all wear, Jeans and sweatshirt. Or Jeans and Tshirt depends on season.

Katie said...

I also had a public school education. I just don't understand the crazy yeshiva tuition prices.
My parents taught me values at home and I turned out fine.

Child Ish Behavior said...

I'm not going to argue with you on that because in essence what you have just said is that every frum person is a hypocrite. I don't buy that in the least bit at all. They have a leg to stand on for their opinions. They stand by them. That is not hypocrisy.

frumskeptic said...

Katie- When you have 6 kids you don't uusally have time to instill decent values into the kid.

Which is why frummyville is anti PS.

frumskeptic said...

how many opinions of the average frummies do you actually think are thought of on their own, not by some Gadol who lives up in a tower of a yeshiva (metaphore), and has no idea what is going on outside the walls?
They need to atleast have their own opinion to stand up for it.

So no, they're not hypocrites. They're just doing random things checked off as "good for shidduchim" and say things they were taught to say.

Child Ish Behavior said...

They do them because it is not the rabbis making things up. It is the rabbis interpreting what the torah said before and applying it to this generation. Personally I don't know many people who think on their own and are not swayed by something or another. The Rabbis want to sway people in the right direction. Most people who say that they have their own opinions are just spouting drive time public radio(hannidy, savage, ect...) And they all buy what the commercials tell them to.

frumskeptic said...

childish- very true. it is impossible to have your own opinion. really all it is is a collection of everything you heard that happens to suit what you think u want in life.

Kinda collectivist individualism, no?

But in order to really shape yourself you need OTHER opinions , not just the Rabbis.

Hearing what the Sephardim say does NOT count. lol

mlevin said...

You could instill values if you have 6 kids... you just have to be a stay at home parents with household help.

But, in frumville, you have a working parent trying to raise a family on one salary (because husband is not working), work, clean, cook, budget and etc. There really is no time for kids.

So, they created yeshivahs to ease mothers' burden. Now these yeshivahs conducting classes 6 days per week and completely take away your kids for a summer.

Moshe said...

YOB didn't accept Streisand's money because it's too high profile and would end up on the news. Yeshivas have no problem with doing money laundering for the mafia, setting up fake after school programs to get money from the government, various other scams and frauds. Is there a Jewish camp that didn't burn down its dining room for insurance money?

For those that didn't read frumpunk's post, one of the main reasons for rejecting BTs for shidduchim is that they're damaged goods because they were conceived while the mother was a nidda. The people doing kiruv don't inform their "pet projects" of this nor do they inform them that they will be shunned if they dare to retain any part of their previous life, like a TV. Frummies shouldn't be allowed to do kiruv unless they and their community are willing to fully accept the people they mikarev.

Jessica said...

FS: "when you have 6 kids you don't uusally have time to instill decent values into the kid."
Whoa! Not true at all. My parents' rabbi has 12 kids all of which are genuinely sweet, responsible kids. Many of my friends have 4-6 siblings and they're all great as well. And there are people who only have one or two kids and both kids ended up being total jerks.

shoshi said...

@child ish behaviour
What you say is disgusting:
"Just because a person doesn't want to marry you because of your background doesn't mean that they have something wrong with you personally."

That's exactely the point:

If they do not want to marry her because they are not in love with her - fair enough.
But if they think she is a nice person and still do not want to marry her because of her parents, that's simply disgusting.

By the way: those persons would not have joined Yitzhak avinu's family, since he was the son of two gerim!

Jessica said...

shoshi - I think what Child Ish was trying to say was that when you marry someone you're not just marrying them, you're marrying into a whole family. If you really don't like the family of the person you're dating (whether it's because of BT status or something completely different) it would be pretty hard to make the decision to stay with them simply because you love them. Marriage is not easy and if you have in-laws that you don't get along with it can make it even harder. There's no reason to make it any tougher than it already is.

Katie said...

Hey FS - are your parents from russia?

Mine too. Sounds like we come from similar families. :)

Moshe said...


frumskeptic said...

Katie- Mom is from Moscow, dad from Kiev.

where your parents from?

shoshi said...

...well: if your family chose you a chussun, would you marry him just because he fits in the family?

Why can two grown-up persons not make their own life, without staying the whole day long with their families?

But you are right on one point: many non-frum families refuse to pay. They do not see why they should pay for a son-in-law who sits in kollel. The do not see why they should pay for a 400-persons wedding...

I think a person who is able to assume his responsibilities could also marry a person "just because he is in love", even if the family has a different life-style.

offthederech said...

I think they do kiruv because it "proves" their beliefs, they feel vindicated. Look- this educated, intelligent individual likes me and my religion!

frumskeptic said...

OTD- I think you're right. MOst of the time everyone tells stories about famous ppl who are frum, or who were frum.

It makes them feel more special

I don't get why people care about other pplz religions. Live your own life.

The Babysitter said...

That first idea about BT's being an investment tool sounds so wrong on a 100 levels. I can guarantee that is not the reason.

What I believe the reason why people do Kiruv is because they are so happy with the way they are, that they just want other people to see the same. They have a firm belief in what they are doing, and they get sad to see others are having trouble with it, so they want to show them the light and happiness and clear things up for them.

The shidduch one doesn't make sense, because if their not a BT, then they don't go by the shidduch system.

Again, I don't think Kiruv is for everyone, so it would only look good if its genuine and you can tell when a person has a sincere interest in it from the way they speak about it. So it wouldn't be a reason to have a credential to put on a shidduch resume, cause like other job credentials, the higher can follow up on it and find out if its real or not. If it's real, even if you say it began out because it looked good on the shidduch resume then it doesn't matter, so long as its real. If it's fake, then they will know its fake, and then that's the end of that, so not a good reason.

I don't think its a case of hollier than though, not at all.

Your right that kiruv krovim is important, it should come first. But Kiruv Richokim is also important. I say by a person just being a good Jew they are setting a good example and thereby doing Kiruv in a minuscule way that they aren't even aware of it.

Kiruv isn't for everyone, but for those that do it, it gives them a sense of fulfillment, a reason for living. That is just who they are.

The Yeshiva you went to is supposed to have a better education than the one I went to, but yet you put it down, and I think my school was adequate. I'm happy with the education I got there. I don't feel as if I'm missing out.

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: "Ever read badforshidduchim? THere really is nothing else going for her whether or not she does or doesnt do kiruv."

That's not true. I know people who told me they admire her and would want to go out with her, or her type.

"With Barbara Striesand, she slept her way up."

I hadn't know that.

I can understand that people shouldn't push people cause it will turn them off. From my understanding of Kiruv its supposed to be enjoyable, and make people want to be religious and come closer to Hashem. By having a Shabbos meal or having fun in general. I don't think they push chumras when they do Kiruv. I don't think they impose their ideas on them either. It's more like to show them what's out there, the good side, and then have them choose.

"ohh..and I dindt mean BADFORSHIDDUCHIM. I think she's great. I meant "her" as in a general sense!"

phew..., but even still there are people who aren't all into the shidduchim requirement non sense, and think the type is great.

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: about them not believing in G-d, that is not true. People can believe in Hashem, but no matter what they believe, they know what's right and wrong, but there's still a yetzer hora, and people make mistakes.

It's because they believe in Hashem so much, they misput their belief and think of extreme things. They channel all their belief in Hashemm into taking "kadosh" into the extreme. But they do it with no bad intentions.

What's wrong with everyone wearing the same stuff? you know what your doing right now? your doing exactly what your complaining people do, your judging based on clothes!

You have something against people who wear white shirts and "uniforms" so they have something against people who wear other stuff, same mishugas.

"When you have 6 kids you don't uusally have time to instill decent values into the kid."

not true, see my post about having large families. These kids are amazing! ok gotta run off to babysit for 10 min, I'll be back to finish this off.

The Babysitter said...

Mlevin: "You could instill values if you have 6 kids... you just have to be a stay at home parents with household help."

not necessarily, there are working parents too that can instill values in their kids, remember there is Shabbos and Sunday still, plus the whole night when the kids come home and the parents come home. And a good parent can do anything no matter the circumstances. Remember the whole Parenting v. TV thing. Parenting is the overriding factor. SO no matter how many kids, working or not, the children can turn out great with values and everything. Plus the Jewish education helps instill the values. I've got tons of good values from school. I owe it all to them, they were known for the "middos" factor, and that is what happened.

Moshe: "Is there a Jewish camp that didn't burn down its dining room for insurance money?"

Is that really the case?

Ok, so one generation may be "damaged goods" but they save the future generations from not having that problem. My best friend's parents were BT's before she was born. She's getting married soon, and her chasson's parents were also BT's before he was born, so they share a common background. The more people do Kiruv the more of such families there will be, so there will be no problem finding someone of a similar background to relate to.

Off the Derech and FrumSkeptic: you can say that about science, and all intellectual education you want. You can say that if some scientist validates what the Jewish stuff say then its good, otherwise not. So your saying the same exact thing. Your saying they do it to feel good about themselves that some intellectual person is frum, so it must be good, in other words your saying they value the opinion of the intellectual person. FrumSkeptic, you do that too. Which is why you think that that is what they are doing.

Moshe said...

I was in 2 camps, both burned stuff down for insurance money, and more than once.

The Babysitter said...

Moshe: it's starting to sound familiar now, I think you once mentioned it before.

Moshe said...

Possible, though I think you heard it from someone else, it's a common practice. As far as yeshiva, that was on the news.

mlevin said...

Babysitter - There is not enough hours in the day to pay proper attention if you are working full time and have 6 children. Because in addition to spending time with children you also have to cook, clean, do laundry, shop and take care of yourself, and spend time with husband, do finances and etc. So, if you come home at 6:30 and your children go to bed at ten you have aroudn 3 and a half hours, that's roughly half an hour per day per kid. If one of the children is sick the rest are placed on a back burner. If you have a chassina or a bar mitzvah or shivah call you automatically cutting time away from your children.

" My best friend's parents were BT's before she was born. She's getting married soon, and her chasson's parents were also BT's before he was born, so they share a common background. " Honestly I am insulted by that statement...

frumskeptic said...

babysitter- You said it!! YOu got your middos from the school.

Schools should be places of education not personality deveploment.

My HS principal gave a lecture to the parents and said taht she banned concerts becase the parents dont haev the time to really know what teenagers do at concerts since they are so busy working and with the younger kids, so she said that since SHE knows that its inappropriate she has to act as the mom cuz she cant leave it to the moms.

THat wasnt a normal thing to say.

Kids shouldnt be raised by a village.

Moshe said...

Kids being raised by a village is not the real problem, kids being raised by the village idiot is. Or in this case, the village idiots.

frumskeptic said...

moshe- they did sociological studies that kids in kibbutzim dont develop as quickly as kids in nuclear families.

If the only time they spend with nuclear families is time they're sleeping...they're pretty much getting the development of the kibbutz.

So it kinda is a problem. EVen if frum kids woulda been lucky enough to be raised by smart villagers

frumskeptic said...

Babysitter- about education.

In PS all i did was study. from 6-8 grade I studied. Alot of papers. alot of math. alot of science.

Overall average 90.2.

In my HS, did nothing. Did HW and wrote papers and studied during other clases and during lunch, and I had an overall transcript grade (for college admissions) of 86.5.

And that includes 2 hebrew classes;

Moshe said...

If you have a kid in day care very early and he's there 9-4, that's somewhat of a village raising.

frumskeptic said...

yea...and day cares are a communist idea. When did they come out? Aroudn the time of feminism.

Who were the feminists? Commis.

atleast if u have fewer kids you'll have time to give them individualized attention and teach them a few things within the few hours they are home and then get to bed.

katie said...

FS - they're from this smallish town in ukraine. :)

Moshe said...

So is that Kiev or Odessa?

Katie said...

LOL! it's near Lvov

frumskeptic said...

babysitter- About the badforshidduchim comment.

I didnt mean it the way it sounded.

I happen to think she's brilliant and any guy woudl be lucky to have her. She's such a witty and smart writer.

I lvoe reading her blog. I wouldnt say anything bad about her.

Katie- I know someone from Lvov. Can't remember who. lol.

You live in Brooklyn?

katie said...

I wish! i live about 1,000 miles away-wait, can i email u?

frumskeptic said...

ofcourse you can email me :)



The Babysitter said...

MLevin: Well I know a family with 2 kids, and they never have time for their children. The father comes home from work first at 11pm. I see other families also with 2 kids, and the parents talk with their friends and let the kids run around wild and don't even pay any attention to them. So the number doesn't mean anything.

If one of the children are sick the mother can still take care of the others. Plus I've noticed the siblings themselves will all of a sudden act nice toward the sick child, and will know to behave and not drive the mother crazy.

I'm sorry, what did I say wrong?

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: your right that parents should raise their kids and teach them middos. But kids spend most of their time in school, no matter how many kids it is, part of a Jewish education is your learning double the amount, so its more hours. Anyways, I think its great the school taught it, it showed what was important to them. Perhaps they didn't teach it, I don't even know, maybe I've just heard so much about my school being an example of good middos, that I automatically attribute it to them. But in either case, if its a good thing then there's no harm in it coming from the school. They won't give you your personality and tell you how to act in every situation. But they do teach basics which I think is important. Some kids won't listen to their parents, and will listen more if they hear it coming from the school, since they associate learning with school. So if it comes from the school then it must be smart and knowledgeable and something to follow.

The Babysitter said...

Moshe: if its good, then I don't see how they're idiots.

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: I don't get the education comment. What were you saying? that you put in less effort by HS?

About B4S, yea I realized after that you didn't mean it in a bad way toward her.

frumskeptic said...

Parents should be solely responisible for the actions of their children. Where they can/cannot go before and after shabbos and all that. Whether or not they are or are not allowed to wear sox when not in uniform and all that. I don't understand why kids wouldn't listen to parents for these things.

about education- I put in no effort in HS yet my average only lowered by a few points. Whereas in PS all I did was study.

Shows that my HS was not even nearly as competitive or as hard as the PS.

Moshe said...

Sinai had a good education in my days, but when I transferred to Chaim Berlin, dee dee dee.

frumskeptic said...

My program was affiliated with Sinai.

They told us, "Keep away from the boys"

Which was easy considering we were in "flatbush" and boys were in Boro Park.

But still...wasn't hard to meet them had we wanted to.

Can only imagine how the education went down.

Moshe said...

Boro Park?!
You mean Bensonhurst, right?

frumskeptic said...

I'll take ur word for it.

Always thought it was in Boro Park. but Bensenhurst is still far from "Flatbush"

mlevin said...

Moshe - there are only four neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Crown Heights, Williamsburg, BoroPark and Flatbush.

So, again where is boys' sinai???

Moshe said...

I don't think anyone in their right mind would let those juvenile delinquents anywhere near buripark.

The Babysitter said...

wow, already 7 comments.

FrumSkeptic: your right, such choices like that should be up to the parents/kids.

about education- you may have put in less effort but its all the same. In college I put in varying degrees of effort for the same grade. So doesn't say anything about HS.

The Babysitter said...

MLevin: "there are only four neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Crown Heights, Williamsburg, BoroPark and Flatbush"

Reminds me of what I heard that in a sleep away camp they had neighborhood day where they split everyone up into the 4 parts of the world, and they are: Flatbush, Boro park, out of town, and places that aren't out of town and not flatbush or Boro Park either.

Anonymous said...

Why bring up Barbra Streisand's personal morality? It's really none of our business, and anyway how could you possibly be sure that what you're saying is right. Sometimes girls get reputations they don't deserve.

It's not that I'm a fan of hers. In fact I abhor her politics, but still she's entitled to her privacy.

(I know this is OT but I can't resist: Whenever I hear the song with her and Neil Diamond whining to each other about how he doesn't bring her flowers anymore, I burst out in uncontrollable laughter.
Of course he doesn't bring her flowers anymore. I can't imagine why he'd bring her flowers in the first place. If he doesn't bring her flowers anymore it means he smartened up. Then again, if I were a girl, I don't think I'd want flowers from Neil Diamond, so the way I see it, both of them are now ahead of the game.)

Ichabod Chrain