Interview with a Post-Charedi Jew
My article on Post-Haredim was picked up by several media outlets and caused quite a stir. I received some interesting complimentary feedback from some very well-known figures in the Charedi world, but unfortunately I cannot reveal their names. In preparing the article, I interviewed several people whom I identified as post-Chareidi in order to clarify the reasons for their change. One of them, a very serious Ben Torah who spent many years in kollel and still comes across as Chareidi in many ways, sent me his answers by e-mail:
I decided to become Post-Chareidi due to:
(A) My disillusionment with the Chareidi leadership. In particular:
(1) Their disconnectedness from the economic situation, or more accurately - fate of Chareidi society and instead of providing solutions, blasting people and organizations who are, and persisting forcefully in their agenda of keeping everyone in learning/ begging at all costs
(2) Their intolerance, and worse: their breeding of intolerance, for any school of thought deviating even in the slightest from their own; each leader creating thereby several elitist and bigoted societies
(3) Their narrow viewpoint regarding Chazal-and-science, and social issues
(4) Their handling of their reaction to Rabbi Slifkin's books.
(B) My growing distance from the lifestyle, habits and attitudes of the classic Chareidi society members. In particular:
(1) Their contempt for Religious Zionist and Modern Orthodox people
(2) Their looking down upon working men as a lower class member of society - unless he donates sufficient money to Chareidi causes, in which case he actually becomes a member of the highest class of Chareidi society (after the Gedolim)
(3) Contempt for general knowledge
(4) Demand of a learning-only lifestyle as an ideal even in the case of economic lack, to the point of lacking fulfillment of familial, moral and social obligations
(5) Their, up until recently, indifference to environmental issues and issues that pertain to the health and stability of society outside of moral issues
(6) Their attitude towards national responsibility outside of the spreading of Jewish practice and belief.
(C) My exposure to, and adoption of objective analysis of alternative schools of thought and lifestyles to Chareidi thought and lifestyle.
This response was fairly typical of what others told me.
In other news, I was pleased to read this article in Ha-aretz, of all places, about post-post-Zionism.
And in yet other news, I still have some openings in my February lecture tour in New York - please email me if you would like to arrange something.