Everytime someone tries to explain why frummies have a lot of children the explanations given are always one or both of the following:
a) It is a mitzvah to reproduce by Jewish law
b) To get back at Hitler/repopulate the Jewish nation to "make up" for the 6million killed
-The first answer (a) seems decent, but definitely dumb. No reason to go on and have too many kids for a normal sane person to handle! I mean, even halacha doesn't say one has to have a crazy load of kids. Just one boy and one girl. But whatever, having a large family is nice and all. But I don't believe even-half the people in charedi-ville are capable of handling all those children. The commonness of the huge (15+) family phenomena gets me wondering about how much attention each kid receives from the parents and such. But anyway, that's not my point...
- The second (b) reason is just beyond ridiculous and I've heard it more than once. Its like "Lets have 10 kids, so if they have 10 kids and they'll have 10 kids and within a few generations we'll make up the numbers" (I've actually heard this from someone I know who is 1 of 9).
So anyway, all this "Lets get back at Hitler" stuff has got me thinking, especially since a few weeks ago at a speech on shabbos, the rabbi said how one-third (1/3, 33%) of the frummies are going of the derech.
1/3!! That's enormous. And I probably wouldn't have believed the number if it weren't for blogging, but I fully believe it.
Anyway, 1/3 is alot of people, and in the end what happens. Hitler wins anyway. Why, because the reason 1/3 of the people are going off the derech is because the rules (mostly crazy chumras) and all the social pressures really end up getting to people, and they just lose it and therefore change their religious affiliations.
- the "at risk" people I've spoken to (the ones that went from frummy to modern- not exactly "off the derech") all had issues with girl/guy taboo, and hated the pressure to conform to every little thing.
- 3 girls from my HS that I know of, I kinda keep in touch with one, and she is best friends with another, and the third is a friend of my best friend. They all hated the pressure of HS. Hated how they were expected to only achieve at being "mothers" (which is fine for some women but not all).
Now, what happens when 1/3 of the people are "off the derech"? You have Rabbi's ban more things, and you have more people question why their neighbor/friend/family member chose NOT to be Jewish. But instead of answering the questions, you have Rebbeim make outright ridiculous claims, and HS principals make wack job remarks.
Where does this lead us? This leads us into labeling ourselves even more (isn't Litvish/chassidish, ashkenaz/sephard enough? atleast those have basis!), and then leads to more questioning amongst kids (why do they do that, or not do that) which only leads to dumb responses by Rebbeim (ie, immodesty leads to Israeli terrorism- "awearness") or something of the sort.
And then the Rebbeim go on and flaunt how many people they put ON the derech. "Look, Oorah made x amount of people frum" or "that particular kiruv HS has so many girls becoming frum each year, it must be working!"
Dude...its NOT working. if a 1/3 of the ALREADY frum people are going off the derech, that only shows that the system is NOT working.
Think of it as a business, when you try to expand on your customer base, you ADD things to the menu, you don't rid them (unless they're not profitable), you want to ensure that your current customers continue on coming as well. So why would you do anything to hurt them?
But Rebbeim don't get that. Rebbeim are so used to not thinking about consequences that they can't help but focus on the high "BT" rate.
Worry about whats in your own community before you worry about others. Raise your own kids, and educate your own community before you reach out to others. Or else you'll end up with a 1/3 off the derech rate, and a BT rate that doesn't nearly come close to making up those numbers.
In the end. 9 kids ain't gonna matter if you don't raise them to want to remain frum. it won't matter if you have 15 kids or 25 kids, because at the end of the day, the percentages speak louder. Rabbi's should teach parents to raise kids as opposed to teach parents how to invite their non-frummy neighbor for shabbos.
It shouldn't be about Hitler winning. Its all quality over quantity. If you've got crappy quality, Hitler wins anyway.