Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Brutal Torquemadas Of The Baal Tshuva Movement

The Brutal Torquemadas of the Baal Tsuva Movement by David Kelsey

After Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War, secular Jewry entered a phase of Jewish history unrivaled in its population’s readiness for a renewed commitment and a return to Torah Judaism at least since the bulk of the Jews of Spain (much more than the Spanish forecast of 1/3rd) defiantly walked out rather than convert to Christianity, and it is quite possibly unparalleled since the Hasmonean victory over the Hellinists.

The Reform “Berlin is our Jerusalem” Movement had been thoroughly discredited by the Holocaust and the Holy City’s recapture. Torah stories of birthrights no longer seemed like ancient tales of a strange and distant land, but a daily reality in the evening news. If anyone still thought this was merely a nationalist phenomenon, the Yom Kippur War made it crystal clear it was a religious one.

Trips to Israel increased for American Jewish youth, and many of them found themselves questioning secularism and liberal Jewish branches.

The bulk of secular Jewry was ripe for dialogue.

But the frummies squandered this opportunity, insisting they would not attempt to take the cake as a whole, but merely satisfy themselves with a few crumbs. Compared to the fallout that had been occurring since the beginning of the 19th century, this looked like a feast.

I have pondered why the frum are so cold and cruel to their secular coreligionists who seek to join their ranks. Perhaps it is because ba’alei tsuvas are considered to be b'nai nidah. Perhaps it is they suspect anyone who wants membership with their club must be disturbed. It is probably a variety of unsavory contributing factors. But it obviously comes from an angry, frightened, dark place of seething contempt – they operate kiruv the way they operate in business – shady, dishonest, and duplicitous.

Nothing illuminates the dysfunctional disaster that is the ultra-Orthodox world like the Ba’al Tsuva Movement. They take decent, secular Jews and attempt to turn them into welfare recipients.

You are not content to help people become religious. You seek to ruin lives. And I know why - because it seems unfair to you that a person can live a normal secular life and then become religious without massive suffering. You want them to suffer. You need misery. Otherwise it could be different, and that’s a scary idea for you ignorant, insular, fundamentalist penguins. Others must suffer so you are secure. So you can justify every aspect of the restrictive yeshiva education you yourself experienced and will inflict on your children.

See? It is a good thing you were brought up like you were – look how miserable they are!

Why can’t you people just get therapy? No one has to know – you wouldn’t be admitting you have a problem to anyone else but yourselves!

There are success stories. Those are the fortunate souls who enter a religious life together as a couple, secular Jews intent on growing, learning as chavrusahs on how much to take on, and continuing to attend to other aspects of their lives.

But that isn’t the preferred way, is it? That is biddie eved. Rather, you prefer to inflict the maximum disruption possible. Better a single person should “work on himself” –which means drive him as crazy as possible short of suicide or a complete mental breakdown.

Come and Hear:

Ohr Somayach, the Dark Light in Jerusalem, is such a nightmare. They feed their beginning students cookies for breakfast, a telling sign of the breakdown they need to inflict in oder to make a new person. They become weak from lack of protein, as they begin to “learn” gemorrah. They do have an ulpan, for those less “serious” students who insist on actually learning the Hebrew language of our holy texts instead of yet another mind numbing course of “hashkafa” or philosophy.

Why don’t they teach Aramaic like that as well? How about a mere half hour a day dedicated to learning the language of the Talmud, and its rules of vocabulary, grammar and conjugation? No, that would be too empowering. Too secular. This is not about education; this is about a radical change of lifestyle. Better to rely on the Rabbi for every last word. Eventually you will pick it up--or not. Who cares? It isn’t really important. It doesn’t really matter if a person is learning. What matters is to take them away from an “environment of sin.”

OCD behavior is encouraged rather than discouraged, provided it isn’t an identifiably a Chassidic “minhag.” The more you run to a Rabbi on the proper way to wipe your ass, and which hand to hold the negal vasser afterward instead of using soap and warm water, the more serious a Jew you are becoming.

One student experienced an unsettling incident in Mea Shearim when a chassid sexually accosted him. The Ohr Somaych Rabbi asked him, “were you dressed properly?” No, of course not. He had been wearing jeans. Therefore, it was his fault. You can’t blame the chassid – wearing jeans is obviously a declaration that you want to wear comfortable pants an ass pounding from a payoshead. Dark Light Rabbis will help you understand not to invite such unwanted and uncomfortable situations. You see? Wearing the proper, ben-Torah garb is more critical than it appears! Oy, the most obvious things must be spoon fed to these poor, ignorant baalei tsuvas. Who doesn’t know not to feed the bears in the safari, or wear jeans around the chassidim? Nebach, he grew up in darkness. Everything must be explained to these simpletons.

Aish Hatorah tries to reel people in using the Torah as a big ol’ crossword puzzle, with their Bible Codes. If you think the Haredi "there were no dinosaurs, G-d put the bones there as fossils" rebuttal against evolution was their best joke, you gotta check this one out. Add vowels as you please. Run sequential equations of every possible variety, backwards and forwards. Come and see--they found a reference to a 20th century event or character this way. Even references to 9/11! WOW! NOW I will filter my drinking water! Never mind that finding something after the event (of course) is the opposite of prophecy. Vat, you still don’t believe? You didn’t see the truth and beauty of the Torah lifestyle when you spent one shabbes dinner at the Hosselbernbachs? Then you must not have z’chus! Nebechal Tinuk shel nishba. Rachmanas Tzlan!

And you have the audacity to wonder why philanthropists like Michael Steinhardt have ceased funding your house of horrors?

I went up north –they didn’t try to get me to kiss mezuzahs all the time. There was more actual text based learning. But it was a grim, lonely place, with an overwhelming emphasis on asceticism. I was subjected to end-of-the-world prophecies at Shalosh Sheudas. Warnings about horrific, body destroying accidents for those outside the B’nai Torah lifestyle peppered the mussar shmoozes. It was weird and creepy, but it was still slightly less annoying than the singing and dancing with the boys that was demanded in Jerusalem. Torah Judaism as misery somehow made more sense than single sex community. One day my Rosh Yeshiva told me that the whole purpose of the mitzvot was to not enjoy life too much. Even shatnezz. I grew weary and depressed from this focus, and eventually began making plans to leave. When I told my Rosh Yeshiva at this branch of Ohr Somayach in northern Israel I was going to leave to go to college, he told me he was davening that I should reconsider. Because it really makes sense that as a child of a scientist with a post-doc I shouldn’t go to college.

Ohr Somayach Monsey was where I landed. To give credit where it is due, Rabbi Rokowsky is not as big a radical as the faculty in the Israeli branches, which is damning him with faint praise to be sure. He does allow students to attend college. But he grew up in Boro Park, he is not a Ba’al Tsuva, and his institution and its faculty reflect his lack of real understanding, empathy, or ability to give direction to those students interested in a less radical Orthodox Jewish lifestyle than the one a significant portion of his students have fled from at their previous Israeli yeshiva. At least they are trying, but it is still a disaster.

My maggid shiur railed against kosher pizza, because it is not “Jewish” food.

Is he out of his mind? My parents gave a (very) nominal nod to kashrut in the house itself, but I ate everything in my youth. EVERYTHING! Kosher is hard enough. Now I should develop the palate preference of a six year old in Poland in 1892? Because it’s not “Yiddish” enough?

I expressed my concern about my professional life. A Rabbi suggested becoming a traveling salesman. A friend of mine asked a different Rabbi the same question. He was told of a “job opportunity” delivering fish. He is also the son of a scientist.

I was to buy and trade second hand clothes out of my car, he was to deliver fish. The sky was the limit! See? Being frum doesn’t prevent a ba’al tsuva from being successful! But alas, nefalim that we are, we couldn’t hold on. We shunned our birthright – of low level jobs appropriate for a couple of eved ivris like ourselves.

What a tragedy the Jews don’t have oil. Then one rich Penguin family, probably originating from Toronto, could sponsor ten more Ba’alei Tsuva yeshivas, and have a special “joint program” for the “bochrim” to also be gas station attendants.

Want to get your professional life together? You don’t need classes, you don’t need internships. Wear blacker clothes, and SHUCKEL HARDER MOTHER F-CKER!!!!!

Have B’tachon! ;)

The b’tachon game sucks. It’s up there with Russian Roulette. It is Russian roulette, except there are more bullets than blanks in this game.

When I told them I was going to YU, they flipped. Only one Rabbi (at the very end) wished me well, and was supportive. In a last ditched effort to save my increasingly wayward neshumah, they had one guy talk to be about some kabbalah mumbo jumbo. He was more the Chassidic Rabbi. They didn’t really get that I was a Litvak, just not yeshivish, and such “spiritual” drivel wasn’t going to change my mind. There are only two paths of the Torah for these people – yeshivish OR Chassidish. The idea that neither is particularly well-suited for the vast bulk of secular Jewry is not even a possibility for these people, but that’s why the vast majority of secular Jews will never become nor stay religious.

Many are like me, and we are the ones who tried. Tried hard, and grew to hate it.

And don’t give me your line about how if a tree is bent, you have to bend it the other way in order to straighten it – that is on one midah at a time, not a whole lifestyle you fools!!! And if you bend a tree too far and too furiously, it will break – if it has a spine.

Why don’t you tell us the truth? That the only part of the Torah that matters are the Chukim? That’s why they are listed first! “Don’t steal” is really written “don’t kidnap”, so that gets rid of that unreasonable goyishe narishkeit. This isn't the King James version, you shaegetz - now sign the Pell grant application - the tuition your parents are paying doesn't nearly cover the needs of the yeshiva. Don’t lie--except in business, and everything is business one way or another.
Our mashgiach read three, (three!!) self-help books on psychology. Look at the expertise our faculty possesses! Such multi-faceted scholarship is not for free.

Much of the money set aside for college went to these places. Instead, I am still paying loans for college.

What matters to these guys is keeping the lowly ba’al tsuva away from the evils of this world: Women (unless he has a Jewish one already – then it’s okay), a job that challenges him (unless he has one already – then it’s okay), and a life of his own (never okay unless he is at least forty and has money – then it’s okay).

You are fools to think you can’t give us a straight answers and good guidance. Later, the more reasonable frummies said, “why did you listen to them?” I said I had stopped. They said well then NOW you can be religious on your own terms! So I asked, “Why didn’t you tell me that then?” Because they didn’t want to encourage me to be less religious.

Bad strategy. Very bad strategy. Now it is too late. I am wounded and bitter about the whole thing. After you burn your hand, you don’t want to hold a hot drink. The time for that was before.

Now I am secular on my own terms, instead of religious on my own terms.

Long term, those were the only two options: Religious on your own terms, or not religious on you own terms. These are the only two options for the vast majority of secular Jews.

Are you really so blind that you can’t see the paucity of the numbers of your “success stories?” Do you know how few of us stay even for a while? Do you not know how many of the ones who do eventually walk out? How many balked, sooner or later, for every story about some guy who did whatever crazy background, and is now “married and learning in Jerusalem?” All their BT stories end like this – but do you really think most stories actually do, in fact, end like that? Well, they don’t. And the few that do are not always as happy as you pretend they are.

You see what you want, or at least speak as if that’s what you see. You only see who is in the daled amos of your (illegal according to town zoning laws, but screw the goyim, right?) basement synagogue. You are like a sleazy telemarketing firm that justifies impossible sales quotas with the one guy who has a great territory and makes them. “See? If he can do it - you all can!” If everyone could make quota, they would change the commission structure yet again. Just like you do – constantly upping the ante if too many succeed.
That guy for you is the kid from a fabulously wealthy family, or the one guy who already has an ivy league law degree. He is your poster boy because he is the exception, not the rule.
Rashi says 80% of the Jews died in the plague of darkness. Therefore, the maximum amount of the secular world you will tolerate returning is just enough to make the Orthodox world 20% of the total Jewish world. Eighty percent MUST GO. And you will make sure they do.

How many of us will really make a long-term commitment to washing our hands with a cup after we piss? In the end, we return to using soap and warm water, like others of this millennium in the west. We don’t not shake hands with women in business. That is your idiocy – and you can get away with it – you dress and talk like you just left Poland. Because you never left Poland. Because life in Poland was so wonderful. If you want to ponder shaking hands in business with women over seven tsuvas, each one longer and stricter than the last, go ahead – that’s what being black hat is for – but don’t impose that stuff on people who grew up speaking English as a first language. Stop telling boys who played little league baseball that they need to wear black hats in the heat of the summer. They don’t need to. It’s bad for them to do so. Tell them not to. You would be helping everybody. I know it's scary, but try it - say it after me - "you, who grew up here in America to a secular Jewish family, have no minhag of donning a felt black hat in 100 degree weather - not even on Shabbes. The Torah does not demand that of you, and in fact, it is probably a very bad idea for you to take on such a minhag on. As your spiritual advisor, I implore you not to do so." Wasn't that easy? Yes - too easy.

We don’t know about all these mind games, that we are supposed to resist your mishagas, that we aren’t supposed to take you seriously. We enter without defenses, arms open, with our belly exposed.

But we learn eventually. And there is a price for such acquired knowledge. It is one nasty kinyan.

But you won’t change, because that would mean you would have too many normal people finding their own path. Anarchy! Hefker! And you would have less freaks striving to speak in broken, penguin English like you (cause three languages in one sentence are better than one!) - instead of the fluent English they were cursed to learn as a nebachel, tinuk shel nishbah. They struggle to be like you.

Feels good, huh? It’s all about ego, isn’t it? Your ego.

And many of you get some twisted chizuk from this, you bastards!

It could be different, but it won’t be.

I have slowly learned to forgive much of what I endured, and forgive myself (to a lesser extent) for having attempted a Penguin lifestyle, but I won’t forgive those who ruined my love of yiddishkeit. Everyone is so concerned about another’s ruchnius, but for their own gashmius. This seems ass backwards of Judaism, but what do I know.

You’re the ones with the Big Mesorah: How to ruin lives.

You had better have been right. There better be no other acceptable way, never mind a better one.

Or you better hope it’s all BS anyway.

Cause otherwise, the Din will be extracted by G-d in full.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Saturday, August 27, 2005 9:10:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

I will be deleting SPAM posts only!

Saturday, August 27, 2005 9:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Saturday, August 27, 2005 9:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Saturday, August 27, 2005 9:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Saturday, August 27, 2005 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous sechel said...

I am so sorry for how you were treated.But as you surely know now'its those rabbis' and not the religion .YU is a good choice.

Saturday, August 27, 2005 10:09:00 PM  
Anonymous BT said...

Well, I must say that is a very bitter post, Kelsey. I, too am a so called BT, and while I can understand some of your feelings, and while I endured some of the bad advice that comes to BT's as well (such as being advised to sell luggage at a flea market for a "parnasa") my read of your posting is that you are a lonely, bitter person, and probbly had problems prior to spending time in yeshiva. My advice to you is to find you own way in Torah. This includes such little things as dressing the way you want. No, you don't have to wear a black hat. I certainly don't, yet I was President of my "black hat" shul. You need to take a deep breath, determine what you want, and then settle in. You don't need to follow every stupid bit of advice you've received from people who obviously come from a very different background than your own. I am sorry you are so bitter and unhappy. I agree that there are problems in the BT world, but you are a big boy and it is time for you to be grown up.

Saturday, August 27, 2005 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Shlomo said...

OK NOW I GET IT DK. You are simply a misfit ex-BT whether secular or religious. You're a pitiful "victim" of the baal teshuva movement. You're just a victim of your self. I guess you're not totally secular because you frequent this blog. If you're satisfied as a secularist why bother? The answer>>>>>>> YOU need someome to blame for your failure in life. BOO HOO I'm in tears.

It's almost Elul, stop crying and do something positive. BTW Unortho that goes for you too. I used to think you were an ehrlicher yid with an axe to grind. In fact, I felt bad that a yid was so angry all the time and I even agreed w/ some of the issues you mentioned, but when I saw that the first thing you could think of doing on Tisha B'Av night (and the eve of the disengagement) was to feed your big fat ego with another post pure sinas chinam (as usual)I realized that you were stam a rasha. It's people with attitudes like yours that cause churbanos. I don't understand why all the hatred. Go sit in a bai medrash and learn a little. G-d will fix the rest.

Saturday, August 27, 2005 10:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Saturday, August 27, 2005 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


I was getting worried about you.
I used to "think" you were a PUTZ,
now I know for sure.

How dare you call David a misfit BT?You're a typical FFB black hat cockroach slamming any Jew that doesn't look like you.
For shame!!!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2005 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...


So happy you are president of a Blck Hat Synagogue - proof you have "arrived."

Of course I am bitter -I was 17 t the time, and naive.

Don't worry - I am least angry about the dress code - and as we all know, anyone who isn't happy in BT land surely has mental problems. You and Shlomo are so right - you should start your own shul and be co-presidents together.

Saturday, August 27, 2005 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Shlomo said...

Guess what unortho,
My family turned frum when I was 12, so I guess you're WRONG! Could that be possible? My whole family are BTs if you will, but we don't blame all of our problems on others. If anyone here is an FFB cockroach IT'S YOU! Maybe change the name of this blog to Self hating jewish egotist.

Saturday, August 27, 2005 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...


That nust have been a horrible experience, but it is no excuse to label UO as a "self-hating" Jew.
Please get a hold of yourself, and be more rational and less inflamatory. Try to discuss these things reasonably.

Saturday, August 27, 2005 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Re-read my bio.
I love Judaism, authentic Judaism.
The stuff being practiced today IS NOT AUTHENTIC JUDAISM.IT IS BULLSHIT!!!!!

It's been hijacked by fundamentalists like you!

Now that I know you are a BT, I have a bit more respect......but you are a nut case...I don't care how you were raised.

Saturday, August 27, 2005 11:17:00 PM  
Anonymous BT said...


I think there are lots of interesting things you could say about the "ba al tshuva" movement, but you haven't said them. You've touched on some problems that do arise, but you are so full of bitterness , your posting just doesn't come across as a thoughtful commentary on the subject. Calling rabbi's "Torquemadas" is akin to calling them "Hitlers". You started your bt experience at 17. I can't imagine that you are even out of your 20's yet, based on your adolescent sounding post. just, chill out, man....take it easy and try to enjoy the good stuff, and appreciate your blessings.

Saturday, August 27, 2005 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...


Don't give me that "akin" garbage. Stick to what I said- "no "akin."

Glad it worked so well for you. It didn't for me. Guess I'm so the rare exception, right BT?

Saturday, August 27, 2005 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger Shlomo said...

What do you consider authentic Judaism Unortho?

Sunday, August 28, 2005 12:48:00 AM  
Anonymous bt said...

I don't know Kelsey. We all have our issues and challenges. I don't know whether you are an exception or not. But your bitterness and immaturity come through loud and clear. That is the real problem here, not the rabbis and fellow Jews who probably had your best interests in mind. Calling fellow Jews "torquemadas" is childish. I know a fellow BT who really went off the deep end, was bitter like you, and then converted to Islam. He now runs a horrible web site and tries to get his fellow Islamic lunatics to murder Jews. Does this pathetic loser mean that the BT movement is a failure? No, it means that this guy is a loser, big time. I hope you do not fall into that category, but you sure are bitter and full of "sinas chinam"....you really do have to try to get over it, for your own sense of happiness and well being, if nothing else.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 12:52:00 AM  
Blogger TheRebbitzen said...

First Time ... / Long Time ...

Good Blog, Kelsey

UOJ: Can we some comprehensive coverage into some of the fundraising and other financial practices of our tainted institutions?

Why the blind eye on Mosdos Chaim Berlin and all of their shennanigans? (An uninformed reader may mistakenly be led to believe that The UO Board endorses CB and its activities.) What about the never-ending trail of disreputable business by the "pillars" of that institution?

There's too much left unsaid. Keep up the momentum!

Sunday, August 28, 2005 12:56:00 AM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...


I gave my reasons why I am angry. I have certainly not converted to Islam, nor called for the killing of Jews.

With the exception of the hyperbolic comparison which I did employ, you have not given any examples of anything I said that you claimed was inaccurate, but have, rather, resorted to character assasination.

If you think the "derech" of these places is, in fact, acceptable, by all means, explain how I am wrong, and how it is a good system, and why it should be continued as is.

If, however, the best you can do is to say I am a Hamasnik, you are grasping at straws. I am secular Jew, to a large degree, with some residual Orthodox nuance, but I am hardly an Islamic fundamentalist.

I am done with all fundamentalism.

I recommend discarding fundamentalism to people of every faith. It's some bad sh-t.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 1:00:00 AM  
Anonymous bt said...

Well, let's see here...As far as your challenge to me to "prove" you "wrong", there is not much to work with. other than repeatedly calling Orthdoox Jews "penguins" and referring to the "penguin lifestyle" you really haven't said much, Kelsey. That you did not think you fit in very well in the "black hat" world...ok, we accept that. It's not for everyone. Go to Israel and you will meet Orthodox Jews living all kinds of lifestyles... though I would hardly call Ohr Somayach a black hat place...but whatever, to each his own....

Sunday, August 28, 2005 1:14:00 AM  
Anonymous bt said...

One more thing...you complain about "fundamentalism" but the last line in your little essay is that G-d will "extract Din"....

That is about as fundamentalist and harsh as you can get, Kelsey.

Maybe you should take a long hard look at yourself....

Sunday, August 28, 2005 1:16:00 AM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...

It was a conditional call for Din, BT. On their advice and direction being false. Since according to them, they did nothing wrong, and had, as you said, "my best interests at heart," they have nothing to worry about. Just a big fat piece of Gan Eden ahead.


Sunday, August 28, 2005 1:23:00 AM  
Anonymous eli said...

David what are these quotes about:'How many of us will really make a long-term commitment to washing our hands with a cup after we piss? In the end, we return to using soap and warm water, like others of this millennium in the west. and this :The more you run to a Rabbi on the proper way to wipe your ass, and which hand to hold the negal vasser afterward instead of using soap and warm water'
Please tell me you haven't picked up this unhealthy obsession with feces that other members of unorthodox's 'board' have.You happen to be wrong about this.Who in heaven promotes not washing their hands with soap after the bathroom?????Neggel vaser is NOT instead of soap.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 1:25:00 AM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...


When there is never any soap to be found, nor hot water, that is a pretty good indication on where the emphasis is.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 1:27:00 AM  
Anonymous eli said...

C'mon David , You can do better than that!
There are problems with orthodox Jews and I mean ALL orthodox Jews, not only those 'terrible' Satmars/neturei Karta, but this little 'soap' tidbit is not a fundamental reason or practice of orthodox Jews.
I agree with some of your substance regarding the baalei teshuva yeshivas, but why do you lower yourself to Unorthodox's cheap rhetoric and vulgarities?The bottom line is:You can't 'blame' these yeshivas from turning you off from orthodoxy as you well know that they do not have a monopoly of orthodox Judaism

Sunday, August 28, 2005 1:36:00 AM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...

I know that now, Eli.

I didn't know that then.

My limited understanding of Orthodoxy at that time were a few very special Jews who identified with this movement.

And when you are in Jerusalem, most of the Orthodox look pretty damn frum.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 1:41:00 AM  
Blogger Jake said...

I learned at Ohr Somayach.

There are no cookies for breakfast, and lunch and dinner are chicken or fish. Where is the protein deprivation. Sure, the food tastes bad, but it is nourishment.

Also, do you have any real tainus with Ohr Somayach or do you just have emotional problems and need a place to vent? And what were you saying about Aish? You don't like it because of the Bible Codes? I think BC's are silly too, but it doesn't make me hate Aish. What is wrong with you?

A Note to the Readers of this Blog:

Most of the intro level classes at Ohr Somayach are lecture style, and discussion oriented. The Rabbonim allow questions and will engage students in debate if the students object to something discussed in class. No one has anything shoved down his throat. Also, classes are all optional, so if someone doesn't like a certain shiur, he may skip it. I knew plenty of people who only learned a couple of hours a day, and the yeshiva made an effort to reach out to them, but was happy enough that they went to only a few classes than if they weren't learning at all.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 2:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Sunday, August 28, 2005 3:14:00 AM  
Anonymous snoopy said...

I also learned at Ohr Somayach (over 25 years ago), and I agree with many of David's complaints, but I also agree with Jake that the Rebbeim are not doing high-pressure tactics and certainly not 'protein deprivation' or anything like that. (The 'advanced' students are another matter altogether.)
There is a tremendous amount to improve in the kiruv world, but most if not all of the people involved are well-intentioned and it is a start, at least.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 3:25:00 AM  
Blogger The Hedyot said...

The Ohr Somayach of today is a very different place than it was 25 years ago, even 10 years ago. Back then, it was common to see people of all sorts of backgrounds, variety of dress, appearance, etc. Nowadays, the black hat at OS is commmon. They still have a beginner focus, but they do not encourage variety like they were known to back then. Much of their focus now is getting people up to speed so they can fit into typically yeshivish places like the Mir.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 7:13:00 AM  
Anonymous snoopy said...

I think this whole post makes it obvious that the solution to this problem is the same as the solution to all the other problems in the frum world, and that is to teach Rabbis to know their place. Just because someone is a whiz in Gemara or Halacha doesn't qualify him as an expert in medicine, psychology, occupational counseling, politics, economics or anything else, and maybe he's even worse off than the average guy on the street.
Why would an Ohr Somayach student even think to ask a Rabbi what to do with his life? Only because he's not aware that the Rabbi is just some yeshiva guy who learned (hopefully) a lot of Gemara and needed a way to make a buck. He has no training or experience in anything else, period.
These Rabbis (and the bigger ones as well) are at fault for sure, but probably we are all at fault for looking for miracle tzaddikim who will have the answers to everything. As soon as people start to wake up to the fact that a Rabbi is just a Rabbi, just like a doctor is just a doctor or a lawyer is just a lawyer, the frum society will start to become normal again.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 7:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever told you to not use warm soap and water to wash you hands after you go to the bathroom is a profound ignoramus...there is no such halacha...

There have been some great people involved in Kiruv over the years...

Maybe, David, you just focused on the most silly superficial aspects and mistook them for Torah...

I do not believe that the baal tshuva yeshivas engage in protein deprivation like the cults.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 7:28:00 AM  
Anonymous snoopy said...

In response to the comment that Ohr Somayach is not what it once was, I know that quite well since I drop in there from time to time, and one of the main aspects in which it has changed is precisely in the fact that many or most of the Rebbeim in the Israeli Ohr Somayach are former students. Are they more or less qualified to run other people's lives than their predecessors? I don't know, but I think they all should get out of that business.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 7:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Rabbi Tarfon said...

Well...there IS such a thing as Daas Torah...there ARE some rabbonim who CAN offer excellent advice on many aspects of life. BUT, and this is the big problem, there are a lot of rabbis who are TOTALL UNQUALIFIED to offer advice and as a result they offer Really Bad Advice... The challenge for all of us, BT's included, is to learn to think for ourselves! Yes, and to recognize who is and is not qualified to give good advice. You don't run to a lawyer for medical advice. You don't run to a doctor for legal advice. You can ask a rabbi for advice on life, but make sure the rabbi is wise, level headed, and experienced. You have to know who to ask and then, even then, you have to THINK FOR YOURSELF!

Sunday, August 28, 2005 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...


When you are learning the basics of Ultra-Orthodoxy 101 and 102, you are not really in a position to "think for yourself" within a Torah based lifestyle, you are still learning the basics.

Your suggestion that a BT have all of this figured our at a young age while beginning a radically different lifestyle is not particularly helpful after the fact, when by then you have learned the hard way not to trust frummies for direction of any sort.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

My understanding is that the BT movement adopted the FFB indoctrination methods of daas Torah, of the traditional yeshiva world.

Which means plain and simple that you lean on your rebbe for EVERYTHING.

After all, after living a life of sin, everything a BT does is potentially sinful.

David is sharing his experiences, while there may be some good results, the vast majority of kids in the BT movement DO NOT make it.

Yes, blame the rebbes who act like gods, most of them are shmucks that could not make it in the traditional yeshiva movement.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

You are jealous of David that he's on the board and you're not??
Sharpen up your thoughts and writing and submit a five hundred word essay,

Sunday, August 28, 2005 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Authentic Judaism is:


Orech Chaim is relatively easy to keep in America, there practically is no yetzer hara to be mechallel Shabbos and eat tarfus.

The nisayon today is Choshen Mishpot,AND ALL REBBES AND ROSH YESHIVAS(save a very few) are mazeiden.

To hell with the behaimas and thieves that do away with the parts of the Shulchan Oruch that makes them uncomfortable.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


I am not familiar with the particular goings on at Chaim Berlin by Fruchthandler.
Deep Nose comes up short as well.
Please e-mail verifiable information to a_unorthodoxjew@yahoo.com
I will verify and publish.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger TheRebbitzen said...


How about some coverage on yeshiva fundraising and financial activities?

Maybe it's time for some inter-blog investigative collaboration between Deep Nose and Whistleblower.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 4:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Rabbi Tarfon said...

People who are troubled prior to becoming baalei tshuva sometimes think that by becoming fum, all their internal and external problems will go away. It is a cult mentality. When the problems don't really go away, they get hostile towards their teachers, just as they were hostile towards their parents. Judaism is not a cult, but people sometimes do approach it as a cult phenomenon, a crutch, on opiate...and it will not work. Yes, some rabbis have given really bad advice, so learn to think for yourself. Get your act together and put your head on straight. Don't be a mindless follower.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 4:30:00 PM  
Blogger Shlomo said...

"AND ALL REBBES AND ROSH YESHIVAS(save a very few) are mazeiden"
Unproven ridiculous allegations. WHAT ABOUT THE BASTARDS THAT THROW AWAY HILCHOS LASHON HARAH V'RICHILUS? What makes you any better? Who made you the problem solver for all of the yeshivos? If you don't like it move up to Washington Heights of Gush Atzion. NOBODY cares about your immature fraudualent opinions! You're a disgruntled fraud and a MISFIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2005 4:35:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...

Since the BT industry is full of "Rebbeim" who are BTs themselves, the same BS is taught over and over. These teachers never learned authentic Judaism so they are unable to transmit it.

What they are able to do then is bash anything that intimidates them (like a REAL education & life) and make you feel like drek for "wasting" your life.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 4:50:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...





Sunday, August 28, 2005 5:02:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Good to have you back!
I thought you took a job blogging for GM or something.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 5:05:00 PM  
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Sunday, August 28, 2005 5:34:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

I am deleting SPAM posts only!

Sunday, August 28, 2005 5:36:00 PM  
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Sunday, August 28, 2005 5:42:00 PM  
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Sunday, August 28, 2005 5:53:00 PM  
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Sunday, August 28, 2005 5:57:00 PM  
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Sunday, August 28, 2005 5:59:00 PM  
Blogger Shlomo said...

You don't have that kinda gelt. If you did you wouldn't be crying here all of the time because you'd be getting the KAVOD that you don't get now. Face it, millionaires are a lot harder to come by than disgruntled yeshiva dropouts failing in real estate. OH yeah you got semicha and an "advanced" degree from NYU when you were 19. You couldn't even find NYU without a map.I bet you mommy still breast feeds you. BABY! WAAAAA WAAAAA WAAAA WAAAA The mean bad rabbis ruined my life.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 6:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Sunday, August 28, 2005 6:13:00 PM  
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Sunday, August 28, 2005 6:29:00 PM  
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Sunday, August 28, 2005 6:35:00 PM  
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Sunday, August 28, 2005 6:44:00 PM  
Blogger kjef1 said...

dear, WE have to get to get back to basics. Must we be so extreme in our views, do you really think G-d loves all the extremism. Are all the "chomros" necessary? My Grandfather was a European Jew , all he did was with gentleness and Nachos. He did not show off his Frumkeit with the latest frum styles. He was modest, honest nad respectfull to all. He made a Kidush Hashem in whatever he did.
Above all he was polite to all.
Where are we today? Can we say the same about ourselves? Its hard to find a person with impecable Midos.
This blog is exposing the hypocrisy. We have to realize that as a people, we are wounded from the Holocaust. Lets get back to basic halacha, and above all commom courtesy. Shlomo the lawyer should not be talking about Loshon Hara when his very own profession makes there money from Loshon hara to the fullest extent.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 9:21:00 PM  
Anonymous tabak said...


Sunday, August 28, 2005 9:27:00 PM  
Anonymous AttyAT Law said...

kjef1: you are completely wrong about what lawyers do. I am a lawyer, have been one for more than 25 years, and am proud of my profession. You write against hypocrisy and loshon hara and then smear an entire profession of people...you are a phony.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 9:39:00 PM  
Blogger kjef1 said...

dear sir, can you honestly say that
you have never smeared a innocent person just to get a client out of trouble. If you knew for a fact that a client of yours was guilty
without a doubt, can honestly tell me that you have never gone after someone who was totally innocent, and smeared that person so that your client could get off? Your the phony , sir. It happens every day, and you know it. Can you tell me for sure that you have never misconstrued and twisted the facts
for any of your clients? Give me a break.ITs all about who can hire the biggest twister of the facts out there. Its an adversarial system.Lets be honest.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Lawyers are never concerned by TRUTH;advancing their clients interests and winning are all that count.

I have more respect for used car salesmen than I have for ANY lawyer.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

When was the last time you told the TRUTH???

Sunday, August 28, 2005 10:22:00 PM  
Anonymous AttyAT Law said...

UO: Lawyers represent clients. I have NEVER lied in my career and most lawyers I know are ethical people. As a group, lawyers are actually more ethical than the population at large as lawyers have some concept of ethics, having studied it. If a lawyer is caught violating ethics, the lawyer can be reprimanded and even lose the right to practice law. This happens fairly often. Not every lawyer is honest, but the majority are very decent people. Most laymen don't have a clue what lawyers do. I have NEVER gone after an innocent person to protect my client. However, I represent my clients with utmost zeal and I am a very successful attorney...

Sunday, August 28, 2005 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


One question,If you knew your client was lying,would you refuse to represent him?

Sunday, August 28, 2005 10:37:00 PM  
Anonymous attyatlaw said...

Your questions is very broad. Clients lie all the time. They lie to me, to the other side, to the court, and to themselves. I have an obligation, as an attorney, to represent my client within the boundaries of legal ethics.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger kjef1 said...

dear, i would lkie to ask the lawyer "MIchila". If your an honest man, i believe you. HOwever, the perception of the legal professional is much different than what you are describing. JUst from news articles alone, and personal dealings its quite the opposite.
This is not an attack at you personally. Therefore i must ask forgiveness from you personally.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


I appreciate your honest response to my question by not answering it.

You will advance your clients position even though you are certain he is lying.

That makes you an accomplice to the lie!

Well, you say, that's my job.


Sunday, August 28, 2005 11:00:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...

"I have more respect for used car salesmen than I have for ANY lawyer."

ANY lawyer? What about fellow board member Farshtoonk?

Sunday, August 28, 2005 11:44:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...


I am growing tired of your BS. You are a typical yeshiva guy who thinks they're hot sh**t for attending law school.

Besides for being a total cliche, you are also a hypocrite. The issur of listening to Lashon Hara is just as great as speaking Lashon Hara. Your repeated attempts at convincing UO of his "wrongdoings" have gone ignored. Your "job" is done. Now go back to impressing your fellow fourth-tier alumni.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Great respect for Farshtoonk the man; he did pick a "smelly" profession.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Shlomo got lakewood to give him a B.S. degree,he is probably taking some on-line law courses at the University Of Penis.

Monday, August 29, 2005 12:02:00 AM  
Anonymous gross said...

I don't know if he's finished with school yet but kids like him don't stand a chance in the real world. I know the type. They'll fress him up alive.

Monday, August 29, 2005 12:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Monday, August 29, 2005 12:13:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

I hope sooner rather than later,the guy is a pain in the tukey.
In order for us to have a diverse readership of normals and not normals, I leave his posts on for us to be able to say B"H we are not like him.

Monday, August 29, 2005 12:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Monday, August 29, 2005 12:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Monday, August 29, 2005 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger Tex said...


It looks like i need a terminology lesson. I'm not really sure if matters to you all, but by now, I'm sure you've guessed I'm not jewish. Oh well, if you have the time or feel like taking pity on me, please let me know some things for better understanding.


Monday, August 29, 2005 1:03:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Hi Tex,

Ask all the questions you feel like, I will answer them to the best of my ability.
I have many friends that are not of the Jewish faith.
Welcome to our blogspot.
The UOJ Boys.

Monday, August 29, 2005 1:26:00 AM  
Anonymous AttyAT Law said...

To tell you the truth, UO, I will not knowingly advance a client's claim if I know it is false. I have refused to go forward in cases where it is obvious the client is a liar. A false case is a frivolous case, and there are ethical and legal proscriptions about advancing a frivolous case. I have dropped cases in the middle when it became obvious the client was total liar.

Monday, August 29, 2005 7:17:00 AM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...

Rabbi Tarfon,

I would love for all the ba'al tsuva parents to see your allegations that everyone who doesn't agree with your radical movement in its entirety is "troubled", and that people freuqently approach this movement as a "cult."

You are better, in your defense of these institutions leaders, at explaining why they should all be shut down than I am in my attacks.

Monday, August 29, 2005 10:48:00 AM  
Anonymous hot girl said...

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Monday, August 29, 2005 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Sexy Pusy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Monday, August 29, 2005 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...

Another intelligent, heligeh rebuttal from the Penguin faithful. Behold - Am Kodesh has spoken.

Monday, August 29, 2005 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

It sounds like you could be an exception to my rule.
Kol Hakovod!

Monday, August 29, 2005 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Should I leave those previous posts on?
Christians and many secular jews read our blog.

Monday, August 29, 2005 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Great response to Rabbi Tarfon.

Monday, August 29, 2005 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous un-orthodox jew said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Monday, August 29, 2005 12:08:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...

Remove those posts

Monday, August 29, 2005 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Some PUTZ is using my name!

Monday, August 29, 2005 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Shlomo said...

Come on unortho, "on-line law courses at the University Of Penis." Real mature . Like I told you in a previous post I DID NOT get a degree from BMG. I have a bachelors in Psych, and a law degree from a tier 1 law school where I was an articles editor on the Law Review. I don't have a changing story like you. First you got semicha then a month later you decided to add a degree from NYU all at age 19 (YEAH RIGHT!!!!) The reality is that you could only try to make it through the SYRIT real estate course and I understand your bitterness but try to grow up a little and try stop referring to male genitalia so often.
Sorry to tell you but the yeshiva system works for most of us with a half a brain, but there will always be disgruntled ungezetzed misfits like unortho and Gross, and I guess that's good, because people like you make good clients.

Monday, August 29, 2005 1:36:00 PM  
Blogger Shlomo said...

Hey Gross,
How's the deep fryer job working out at KD?

Monday, August 29, 2005 1:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Rabbi Tarfon said...

kelsey: I am not impressed by your ability to understand what you read. I did not write that everyone who becomes a ba'al tshuva is a wack job. I wrote that some wack jobs become ba'al tshuvas. There is a world of difference between the two statments. I'll leave you a few hours to ponder the logic, and then if your response shows that you can follow the thoughts logically, we can resume our discussion.

Monday, August 29, 2005 2:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Hot Pusy(DK's ex) said...

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Monday, August 29, 2005 2:32:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...


That was quite funny and original too. At least the deep fryers @ KD make an honest living and usually know their place. They don't fantasize about "first tier" law schools.

Monday, August 29, 2005 2:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Moshe said...

How are you R' Chaim Stern,um uh I mean unorthodox jew, Stop pretending that you are someone whom you are not. Remember When we were in 10th grade together and I asked rebbi to switch to a different dorm room because I couldnt sleep because Chaim Stern was making tons of noise jerking off three times a day? Do you remember the time you were caught with the janitor in his room only wearing your boxers? Do you remember the time you were caught in Shoprite with your hands down your pants and looking at magazines(Which wasnt even porn)? OH and do you remeber in 11th grade when you asked eli stein to give you a blow job? you even promised to return the favor. But now You make it sound like you're a married rich fellow when in reality you are a 22 yr old who doesnt have a highschool diploma when all the "jerks" in the your class got one. All of those "yeshivish bastards" worked very hard to get their diploma. BTW, half the class is going into good professions and still remain part of the yeshiva world. Oh! I forgot one more thing-Try to hold in your taavahs for men and be like the rest of the world and go for a girl. I bet you if you lose 200 lbs you can get one. Oh! one more-now that you are 22 it really is not appropiate to jerk off 3 times a day,try to limit it to once a day, and then slowly wean off. Unortho/Chaim Stern, I hope you do well in all your endeavors.

Moshe Cohen

Monday, August 29, 2005 2:48:00 PM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...

Of course, Rabbi Tarfon. And let me guess the breakdown according to you- all the BT's who stay in your fashtunkene system are the normal ones, all the ones who don't or have issues are the "whack jobs."

Isn't that a bit convenient even for you?

Rabbi Tarfon - I would love a public debate with you - on from the secular Jewish parents.

We will let them ponder your logic, and mine - and see what they make of the "world of difference" between our repsective takes on thse horrible institutions.

Monday, August 29, 2005 3:01:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Hi Moshe,

I should have known you would be able to figure out who I am.

I will try to keep it down to TWICE a day,once a day is way too much to ask.

Nice to hear from you.

Monday, August 29, 2005 3:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Moishe K said...


Sorry you are such a loser. This whole blog is populated with losers, misfits and crybabies. Except for the poet, he is funny. You are all a bunch of dweebs.

Monday, August 29, 2005 5:17:00 PM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...


We can't all be a bunch of welfare recipient followers who express our loyalty to fundamentalist leaders by making sexual and masturbation references like you do.

Keep up the good work!


Monday, August 29, 2005 5:31:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Mose Pipick and all other pipicks,

WE must be doing something right, we're getting about FIVE THOUSAND HITS A DAY!


Monday, August 29, 2005 6:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Moishe K said...

I did not make any references to masturbation and the other subjects you mentioned. You are confusing me with another Moshe on this board. Why don't you learn to read you pathetic little twerp. You, sir, are a LOSER. I read your little sad story about how all the bad mean rabbis made you so sad. Oh Poor Little David, if that is your real name.

Monday, August 29, 2005 6:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Moishe K said...

By the way, kelsey you dumb jerk, I am not a welfare recepient. I own two businesses and do well thank you. I don't know anyone on welfare except for chassidim and for them its part of the culture already. So, you little dipshit, as soon as you grow up, you can have a job too.

Monday, August 29, 2005 6:15:00 PM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...

Wait until you read my next post, Moishe K. Your horrible BT movement is going to come under increased scrutiny by the general Jewish community by the time I am through with you - and you know what that means - the same thing it always means when your institutions come under audit.

Bad Rabbis will go DOWN!!!!

Keep laughing Moishe K. And Moshe Pipik. You and your chevra have nothing but name calling as a defense.

You will be calling all of us much worse when we are through with you.

Of course, it could take a bit of time...

Monday, August 29, 2005 6:26:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Monday, August 29, 2005 6:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Farshtoonkena Yid said...

Ba'al Tshuva Blues
By Farshtoonkena Yid

His life was in tatters,
His ego destroyed,
His parents he hated,
Each day was a void.

A spastic at sports,
a failure at school,
and beset with a complex
about his small tool.

He then met a rabbi
with black hat and beard
who taught him to daven.
He get really weird.

He grew his beard long
and donned clothes of black,
He became a fanatic
and stopped wiping his crack.

His rabbi had told him,
(Or so he had thought)
that you can't use your hand
to wipe that bad spot.

So he hired a dog
To do the deed right
But then his rav told him
"A dog! He could bite!

"No dogs for a Jew!
to lick out your crack,
Grow your beard long
Get dressed in the sack!

"Don't look at women
Stop stroking your schlong
Don't even touch it,
That would be wrong!

"And don't got to movies,
And don't go to bars,
The beaches are ossur
And so are sports cars.

"Don't drink in one gulp
And cover your legs!
Don't work for a living.
Hashem said to beg!

"You can't go to college
and don't read any books.
Forget all you know
Ignore all the crooks."

The rav said to marry
he tried very hard
but no one would date him
except a retard.

And that's the sad story
of Ba'al Tshuva blues
The poor sad Ba'al Tshuva
That's the Ba'al Tshuva blues.

Monday, August 29, 2005 6:40:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

You crack me up.
I'll let you sue me, anytime.

Monday, August 29, 2005 6:47:00 PM  
Blogger Shlomo said...

Anyone here ever hear of Kelsey as a Jewish surname? I'm suspicious of you Dave but that poem seems to sum you up perfectly. BTW take your idle threats somewhere else because NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU THINK!! I'm sure you have some dynamite stuff agains tthe entire kiruv movement. You upset because nobody wanted to molest you? Boo HOO BOO HOO BOO David K

Monday, August 29, 2005 7:14:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

That poem was talking about YOU!
David got out in time!!!!

Monday, August 29, 2005 7:18:00 PM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...


There was (and apparently still is, though not like once aupon a time) a town 60 kilomters northwest of Vilna called "Jonikelish". There was a man named Moshe Chaim who was born there, but sailed across the Atlantic Pcena, and went through a place called Ellis Island.

I'll let you figure out the rest, but suffice to say it was in a time when you and the rest of the fundmantalists refused to leave Eastern Europe for the "treife medina."

How did that work out for you? Wuestion is open to all you Penguins whose families declared America the "treifa medina."

Monday, August 29, 2005 7:59:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

I wouldn't waste my time with that pathetic loser, Shlomo.
He gives whacko a whole new meaning!

Monday, August 29, 2005 8:10:00 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

This post made me sad and angry, and scared for a friend of mine who's going to one of the 'less bad' yeshivas you mentioned soon.

Monday, August 29, 2005 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Shlomo said...

Must've hit another sore spot w/ you unortho. When are you getting out by the way? Obviously contemporary frum life is not for you. Have some courage, you could be the frum Liozna. He saw problems w/ Chabad and he did something positive. Blaze your own trail. You have 3-4 followers here. You have semicha. Open a shul and spread the gospel according to your inflated ego. Every time I hit the nail on the head w/ you unortho you start the name calling. Maybe a year or 2 in Ohr Someach could help you. Get a scarf and head out to Y"M. BTW the poem was very good. Gross is right on the next post I was laughing.

Monday, August 29, 2005 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger Shlomo said...

If the families came over here and intermarried then the "penguins" were right. BTW the kedoshim in Europe died al kiddush Hashem, you however, represent Chillul Hashem

Monday, August 29, 2005 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...


Your friend is in danger.

Make sure he reads this post. And get ready for another one! It will be up shortly.

Monday, August 29, 2005 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger kjef1 said...

dear shlomo, Why are so afraid of listening and perhapes try to understand a bt pain. Does it threaten your concept of Yidishkeit? Are you so numb to a fellow jews hardships as a bt? Perhapes you had it easy being born frum, and then going to Lakewood. Did lakewood make you numb? Theres a big world out there of our fellow jews who yearn to be frum. Its not a novel concept. Have you ever tried to be mekarev anyone? Its easy to live next to a stibbel, and have a father as a "bigshot" in the community. Whats the Nesoyon Test involved?
Try to feel anothers pain if you can? People are different with different needs. We can't be all black hatters. Does our yidishkeit
only revolve around the black hat?
Then anyone with 200.00 is a big goan, as long as he has the right hat or family. Whats wrong with you?

Monday, August 29, 2005 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...


I'm glad you are happy with the way Eastern Europe worked out. By all means, go back.

Monday, August 29, 2005 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Shlomo said...


That's not what I said and that's not at all what I meant and you know it. Just as you defame and defile the current Gedolei Yisroel, you have no problem doing so to the Gedolim of pre-war Europe. When you refer to "penguins" i.e. foolish, silly, uninformed, overly zealous extremists... exactly who are you be referring to? I'm sure you're much more in formed that R' Elchonon , R' Chaim Ozer, the Chafetz Chaim, R' Meir Simcha, R' Chaim Soloveitchik, his son The Brisker Rav, R' Meir Shapiro ZTK"L etc...etc...all of the Admorim, Roshei Yeshiva and Gedolei Yisroel. What exactly was the point of your post?

And you Unortho, do you believe in the concept of Gedolei Yisroel? Do you recognize any of the above Rabbonim as gedolim? Do you agree that they were wrong in the manner in which they acted ivs a vis the "treife medina"? Could you please define your concept of gedolim and list any rabbonim within the last 10 years who you consider a godol and why?

Monday, August 29, 2005 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger TheRebbitzen said...

Isn't that what the A-list is for?


Monday, August 29, 2005 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Dear Rebbetzin,

The problem is that Shlomo the LAWIAR can't read!

Monday, August 29, 2005 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

The Eastern Europe frumkeit was a myth.
The percentage of "non frum" yiden, pre WW Two was 90%.
The terminology "Al Kiddush Hashem" implies that they had a choice.
That's the lies we were fed in yeshiva.
Our people were slaughtered like cattle,Hashem was nowhere to be found!!

Monday, August 29, 2005 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...

Rav Rudeman was a Godol.

JN was the greatewt Rabbi of the latter half of teh 20th century.

We have not had a Rabbi of that caliber since then that I know of.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger kjef1 said...

DEAr, i have to fight against the statement, "G-d was nowhere to be found" THis is total rubbish. I thought your blog had a purpose, but to say such a statement is totally outrageous.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 12:07:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Was HE there?
Where?So he saw and let it happen?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 12:10:00 AM  
Blogger kjef1 said...

dear, now you know where G-d is?
And what G-d Thinks? Theres a reason it happened. Are you so bold enough to pretend to know? Things happen to people every day that are unsavory. Can we assume to know the reasons?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

No, but i do know where he is not!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 12:21:00 AM  
Blogger kjef1 said...

DEar, Its surely a sad day, my friend. Is this where we are holding in life? By the mere fact that me and you are alive is a testiment to G-ds Existance. Yes, people went al kiddush Hashem with Shema on their lips just like Rabbi Akiva. Its surely a sad day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 12:25:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

That's a myth.
The secular Jews and most frum Jews DID NOT recite the Shema.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 12:47:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

I am NOT disputing G-D's existence,
He could not have been in Auschwitz.......

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 12:49:00 AM  
Blogger kjef1 said...

dear, so where was He??? People did go with Shema on their lips as testified by Jews who heard the Shema from the GAs chambers, And from the Naxis YIMACH Shemo themselves who testified to that fact.The holcaust is tough to accept. It puts all that we believe in to the forefront.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 1:04:00 AM  
Blogger kjef1 said...

to shlomo, Do you think those same Gedolim yhat you quote be advocates for you to pursue a law degree? I think you know the answer.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 1:10:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

I had relatives there, and swore no shema was ever heard.
Art Scroll fairy tales at work.

Please, when you find out where He was, please let me know.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 1:12:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Shlomo is one confused alcoholic.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 1:14:00 AM  
Blogger kjef1 said...

dear, LIfe is full of contradictions. But to be hollier than thou is wrong. At least be honest enough to admit it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 1:17:00 AM  
Blogger kjef1 said...

dear, WE are surely wounded by the holcaust. There is no doubt about that.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 1:20:00 AM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...

I meant JB - hit the wrong key.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 2:10:00 AM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...


The men you would consider pre-war greats either did not understand the dangers they were facing and demanding their people stay and endure, or did did not care.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

Un-Orthodox Jew
ON HISTORY CHANNEL'S INTERVIEWS with ss and polish guards they claim they heard shema daily from the gas chamber.

Also "HE" was having a Lowenbrau with hitler

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

10% of six million is six hundred thousand.
Is it possibble they heard the shema daily?
The myth that Eastern Europe, in particular Poland, was dominated by religious Jews, is B.S.
Pick up any book with pictures of pre-war Europe, it was a sewer.
This alter heim fantasizing is delusional.
Most people lived in dire poverty and were miserable.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

The facts are that many rebbes were shmucks, and so full of themselves, they refused to deal with the ugly reality.
They also were being paid real well by the local poretz to keep their herd in line.
That's the UGLY TRUTH.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 12:51:00 PM  
Anonymous yitzy said...

sorry to hear so many are unhappy

my parents are bt's they love life
from my expeirence most b'ts are not happy people before they start, thats why they start looking

most people dealing with B'ts don't know the basics of psycology
and they mess up these guys worse than they where before hand

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 1:31:00 PM  
Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 1:39:00 PM  
Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

This alter heim fantasizing is delusional
and dangerous,we need to be aware that there were zaydas at risk too.

The facts are that many rebbes
and rush yeshevos
were shmucks, and so full of themselves, they refused to deal with the ugly reality
or accept zionism,
to do so would've cost them position,power and prestige.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 1:52:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

I get the feeling that this blog is written by teenagers. The language you guys use is so juvenile. Good luck trying to compensate for your lack of personal achievements with a blog.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 4:58:00 PM  
Blogger Shlomo said...

JAKE U SAID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 5:27:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...


Who's calling who "juvenile?" Go back to blogging about your kindergarden teacher because it is clear that you are incapable of critical thinking.

Allow me to quote you:

...Unfortunately, a vast majority of Jewish bloggers write about how much they hate frumkeit. They typically bring to the table precisely the same arguments every time. Let me list a few for you....

*** "Frum people are all shnorrers stealing from their in-laws and the government!" ***

This might be unfortunate, but does not establish anything about frum people's character or their religion. It is just a statement of economics.

What?! Stealing and shnorring does not establish anything about one's character? What kind of twisted logic is that?

Why don't you thank me for the free plug and then get lost.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 8:00:00 PM  
Blogger Shlomo said...

Amshinover that's the dumbest least imformed post on this board.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 9:54:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

What's up with the zaydas?
Speak clearly.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Shlomo & Jake,
I,m opening a shul for slow people.
The membership is free,just bring your own pacifiers.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 11:15:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...

Shlomo still thinks the Lubavitcher Rebbe is alive. He is not to be taken seriously.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

If a person is legally entitled to federal aid, there is nothing wrong with them accepting it. I am sure that if you had an income and were receiving a tax rebate, you would not feel like you were stealing from the government.

Do you think that students who use subsidized student loan programs are thieves and shnorrers? How is it any different when they receive money from the government than when a frum family, who lets face it- many are eligible, receives similar assisstance?

The only difference is that you don't hate college students, but you do hate Jews.

Oh, and its ironic that you should make fun of my posts, at least the generally employ decent grammar and do not rely upon full lines of capitalization to make points.

Also, your pitiful attempts to insult my intellect ("critical thinking") do not hurt me whatsoever. If you wish to contact me privately, I will send you a resume.

You know, maybe I should make my resume public as a way of deflecting the writers on this site's insane claims about Baalei Teshuva being losers and failures in the secular world.

I, unlike the rest of you who claim false accolades, graduated from a nationally renowned private university in three years with two degrees. I was a champion debater in high school, winning nearly 100 speech awards while I was in high school (and was offered scholarships to continue, but tournaments are on Shabbos so I had to quit). I had a few other areas that I excelled in also (and by excelled I mean winning State Championships) but they are less related to critical thinking. In college I wrote for newspapers, designed courses and was used on MSNBC panels to discuss foreign issues.

Unlike those people who cannot prove any of their "claims to fame" I have material proof of all of these.

So to anyone who may have bought the little "People only become BT's because they need emotional support," know that I am a 21 year old Baal Teshuva who has achieved more in my short life than these guys can ever hope to.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 2:00:00 AM  
Blogger Shlomo said...

Gross & Unortho you are a sonei chachamim, machtei es harabim and stam roshaim. I can see you now davening if you do that) on Yom Kippur klapping:
Al Cheit Shechatanu ...b'losohn harah... bzilzul horim v'morim, b'latzon etc... I'd love to hear your rationalizations out loud. It must be pikuach nefesh etc... etc... etc... latznu kizavnu dibarnu dofi. Aru Aru misheinaschem. Oh but that's just a load of @#$%@&#&. None of that applies to you right? Mah haavoidah hazois lachem? Lachem v'loi loi .... v'hikka es sheinav. Rachmana nitzlan from people like you. Ridiculous immature unsatisfied babies. Unortho I bet Cohen is right. How old are you 21 or 22? Time to grow up. Try to limit references to male genitalia in your response.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 2:07:00 AM  
Blogger Jake said...

Shlomo, perhaps you ought to excuse his references to male genitalia, it might be all he knows about.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 3:35:00 AM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...


You are not disproving my point. I never called BT's "losers."

I would like to see all BT's encouraged to do as you have done, and to complete their secular studies at the best university they can attend (not some PACE or TOURO bullsh-t), and not languish at these horrible BT yeshivas.

If - as I claim - they are discouraged from doing so - do you agree with me that this is terribly wrong and inappropriate?

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 10:59:00 AM  
Anonymous YITZY said...

rabbi kokis wrote a article in the JO a few years ago

the jist was every sitch with bt's is diferent


Wednesday, August 31, 2005 1:05:00 PM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...

No Yitzy. Every situation is not different in regards to college. These boys almost all come from families that believe in college education. They should all be advised to finish and start degrees.

I have met many BT's who have been angered at being discouraged from doing so, regardless if they eventually get them or indeed don't get them.

I have not met many who are, long-term, happy with not doing so.

I think the situation is pretty simple and clear. You don't need a gadol considering it each time.

This may be the one situation where, indeed, one size fits all.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 1:18:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Hit the nail on the head as usual!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 3:12:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

When I grow up, I hope I can be like you.

Thursday, September 01, 2005 12:21:00 AM  
Anonymous yitzy said...

David Hu? on college

One size fits all? please

get over your own story and grow up

Thursday, September 01, 2005 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger David Kelsey said...


The fact that you have resorted to hurling a personal insult when you previously sought a debate suggests I've hit a nerve.

Thanks for the lead - you will see the subject matter explored in depth in a later post. If you would like me to credit you, I will be happy to do so, just let me know!

Thanks again,


Thursday, September 01, 2005 12:50:00 PM  
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and how does aish kodoesh institute rate?

Monday, September 26, 2005 2:50:00 PM  
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Monday, November 07, 2005 12:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I just discovered your blog for the first time this night.

I have to say I went to Ohr Somayach Monsey too. You are voicing my anger and frustration with that whole world and mind set. I am reading your blog and saying holy cow who is this person I must have seen everyday at yeshiva but never really got to know. You have all the words I so wanted to scream at the rabbis with. I can tell you R. Braun really screwed my life over! I am 29 I am trying to get my schooling over with so I can get on with my life and get a good academic career in a university or college. I was advised by the said rav to get a crappy job instead of finishing my BA in Archaeology and Anthropology. When I finally started growing a pair and going against his wishes my life in Monsey started going down the crapper…..

Anyway, I will not leave my blog link for fear of having annoying anonymous attacks on my site.

Take care and G-d Bless,

Mendy S.

PS What years were you in OS Monsey?

Sunday, December 25, 2005 1:01:00 AM  

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