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Friday, 16 Tammuz, 5779
  |  July 19, 2019

    Disappointed Ba’alei Teshuva

    Op-Ed by Bracha Goetz: After deciding to be observant, we inevitably realized that many frum people were not as purely committed as those who had initially inspired us. Witnessing frum people engage in corrupt behavior can be a deal-breaker, especially if they wield authority in leadership. Full Story

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    Great article
    Guest
    Great article

    Very well written, and makes some very true points.
    There are a few things she mentioned that bother me as well.
    Thanks!

    WOW
    Guest
    WOW

    So True!
    We can all learn a lesson from this!
    We always have to remember that everything we do is a reflection of the Torah and think twice before we make a chillul Hhashem.

    Levi L.
    Guest
    Levi L.

    I take offense to some of the accusations here. As a person who has been frum all my life, and someone who does not do any of the things mentioned, I think it is unfair to label everyone as bad when its only a few individuals who perpetrate such things.

    OMG so true!!!
    Guest
    OMG so true!!!

    I THINK IT IS PATHETIC THAT FFB’S MOST TIMES THINK THEY CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT AND RULES DONT APPLY TO THEM. IT MAKES ME SICK.

    100% right
    Guest
    100% right

    keep the good work

    nicely written
    Guest
    nicely written

    I am also a baal teshuva and now do am on shlichus. sometimes I feel frustrated when asked to help at different conventions then none of my words are taken to heart by the “geizha” ffb’s in charge. But you what?. I dont care. I keep saying my ideas because theirs ar usually old and tired. No one will ever intimidate me!
    Maybe we should have a group–Chabad Baalei Teshuva unite!

    to collive
    Guest
    to collive

    you fail to mention that the writer of this op-ed is not a lubavitcher and that the content was refering to frum / ultra orthodox communities, not nesseseraly lubavitch –

    sumgai
    Guest
    sumgai

    i was mekarev by a shliach known for being gruff, blunt, and “real.” maybe that’s why i can fit in more with ffb’s and don’t feel slighted when someone goes out of their way to be nice to me. So often, we are mekarev yidden by telling them how special they are, how it’s so “beautiful” and “wonderful” that they’re baalei tshuva. Maybe we should emphasize bittul, as well.

    Turned off?
    Guest
    Turned off?

    RE: the remarks about being turned off:
    I always hope that people understand that there is a religion and there is the people that practice it. You cannot get turned off from a religion that promotes positive values because a few individuals do not espouse these values.
    It is important to remember why you became religious, what attracted you, why you liked it vs. focusing on the rude person you have just encountered.

    RE: the conspiracy theory that FFB’s do not take BT’s seriously.
    Again, please don’t label a majority based on unpleasant encounters with a minority.

    FFB agrees
    Guest
    FFB agrees

    As an FFB, I totally agree with this article. Particularly the junk food and other activities that are slowly being weeded out thank G-d. Thank you to the BT’s who are spear-heading these tikunim.

    It is true that ffb’s don’t smile as much. Maybe we are taught to be less fake. Well, greet everyone with a friendly face is a teaching in Pirkei Avos. You don’t have to walk around looking as if you’re deep in thought about some earth-shattering matter. SMILE!

    live an example
    Guest
    live an example

    It does not matter if your are ffb or bt we all have to set an example of our actions ,especially to the younger generation.

    amen!
    Guest
    amen!

    your Chabad friends in Maryland!
    The Kaplans

    what else to the shopping list
    Guest
    what else to the shopping list

    it seems the hot thing to do is to write a op-ed just make a list of things u want to complain and then let the comments flow

    second is there is a issue that after you become baal teshuva alot of the kiruv is forgotten and only given to those who need to join the community and the lack of stimulation means the children DROP OUT

    if this is a article on mentchlichkeit to people whatever but i dont beileve that because a frum person is not soo nice or honest means someone is going to go off the derech

    thank you
    Guest
    thank you

    great article
    go goetz!

    lets face it
    Guest
    lets face it

    when you get into a new culture there will always be problems and misunderstanding

    another BT
    Guest
    another BT

    another BT who comes and decides they are better then regular Frum People, she has some good points, but as was pointed out, just because a few FFB’s as well as BT’s are corrupt does not make being Frum corrupt!!

    Welcome to the Family
    Guest
    Welcome to the Family

    This article shows how this writer and many Baali Teshuva are no longer “newcomers or outsiders” – you are now part of the family. We don’t take out the best china or dress up in our finest anymore – just as we don’t for our own family members – because you are now part of us. If you can make us better – by all means do so – if you are frustrated by what you see try and fix it. Mazel Tov – you are now part of the Greater Jewish family (no more BT or FFB) – we… Read more »

    to 15
    Guest
    to 15

    who do you think you are? onot to be not nice or anything, but she does have a point!!!!

    Beautiful article!
    Guest
    Beautiful article!

    Well written! Yishar Koach! Together we will bring Moshiach!

    uh???
    Guest
    uh???

    tell him to speak to his rabbi

    ffb do not mix
    Guest
    ffb do not mix

    with BT in sidduchim only if they have money

    FFB v BT; SHLUCHIM v ANASH
    Guest
    FFB v BT; SHLUCHIM v ANASH

    It’s the old story – holier than thou attitude is our own worst enemy.

    BT have to realise that frum ppl are not malochim
    Guest
    BT have to realise that frum ppl are not malochim

    FFB’s are humans too; with temptations and imperfections!

    from some1 who is FFB
    Guest
    from some1 who is FFB

    I totally agree!
    This article was written most appropriately as we are now in the 3 weeks, still trying to correct the same problem that had our last Beis Hamikdash destroyed- Sinas Chinam.
    We all need to practice more love and respect for one another!

    no one is perfect
    Guest
    no one is perfect

    we are all human beings with human temptations. a perfect world will only exist when moshiach comes. frum people struggle with temptations for evil just like the not frum struggle. it is human nature. in addition, it is unfair to generalize and paint a picture of frum people being cold and closed minded. in doing so, stereotypes that Jews have been struggling with for centuries are only enhanced.

    Rediculous
    Guest
    Rediculous

    I happen to know alot of FFB’s who are very polite, law-abiding, nice people, and are very health concious and dont let their kids eat junk.
    I also know alot of Bal Teshuvas who are rude, not so nice, and are not into health food.
    How can you generalize any one group in this way?
    I think its rediculous.

    Very nicely written
    Guest
    Very nicely written

    Yasher Koach!
    and I agree with you on a lot of the issues mentioned.

    well written article
    Guest
    well written article

    As a well balanced BT, I have to say she makes some very good points. So what if she’s not Lubavitch?….. It is still relevant to us. Yes many BT’s need to experience the greater orthodox community to understand that there are many different levels within our community. I am definitely not welcomed with open arms in my local chabad shul. Barely anyone introduced themselves, almost no one has invited us for shabbos but BH we have a table full of Modern Orthodox. We are very into healthy eating, exercise for kids and an altogether healthy way of life. The… Read more »

    wow
    Guest
    wow

    From the comments it sounds like some people really have an inferiority complex about being “ffb”. Each person was created in a certain way and put in a certain circumstance because that is your mission directly from Hashem Who loves you and knows exactly what you are capable of. Nobody should feel inferior either because they were born to a frum family or because they were not. YOU do the best in YOUR mission and YOU will be fulfilling YOUR purpose. Yichus is like lots and lots of zeros, it’s who YOU are that counts and decides what digit goes… Read more »

    Lubavitch needs to learn
    Guest
    Lubavitch needs to learn

    As an FFB on Shlichus I can say that this is so true and worse in Chabad. . Having sent fresh BT students to a Chabad shul, no one invited them over or welcomed them, certainly no one asked me for tehir number to invite them the next week.
    When they went to the MO, they had places for Shabbos for the next ten weeks, they were invited to sleep over etc.

    I have seen all of this
    Guest
    I have seen all of this

    Unfortunately. I am so glad I became frum before I moved to the “makom Torah” I live in now!! No, I do not want to pay my rent in cash to help my landlord evade taxes!!

    HaShem help us!! Moshiach Now!!!!

    EVER TRY TO RETURN SOMETHING
    Guest
    EVER TRY TO RETURN SOMETHING

    THAT WAS DEFECTIVE?
    TWO MONTHS LATER I AM BEING AVOIDED
    VERY BAD BUSINESS ETHICS
    VERY SAD
    AND THEY ON THE SURFACE, APPEAR SO INNOCENT
    FOOL EVERYONE

    /

    Hey!
    Guest
    Hey!

    I’m an ffb and I get turned off by all the behavior described in this article. I could have written it myself. Which means, of course, that the problem is totally across the board: Those returning to Judaism get turned back, and those born into frum families get turned off. The moral of the story is: Don’t try to be so chassidish, when you aren’t even a quarter of a mentch. First work on being a human being, then catch up on hiddurim. Thanks!

    WOW
    Guest
    WOW

    I totally agree!!!

    true
    Guest
    true

    as already mentioned,, you should look in the Torah for ou directives and not to people. those who get ofended by this, is probably cuz they r the ones who give the bad example, if u know u are going in the torahs way you would realize that what she says is true. most importat of all, although we may not ant or realize, we are an example for those around, whoever it may be , of all kinds of backround. and if when u see something not apropriate that bohers you, its a good sing, we should accept wrong… Read more »

    finally
    Guest
    finally

    So true. I am a BT and after 20 years in my community, would you beleive that when I go to shul, there are still some women who don’t even say hello. Unfortunately, most BT still feel they are treated differently in many ways and especially with shidduchim. And as we can see from the comments of some FFB’s, they don’t even recognize it.

    soap
    Guest
    soap

    there is a famous story with a rabbi who was walking down the and was approached by a soap manufacturer, who asked him if religion is all about peace then why has it brought so many wars, to which the rabbi replied if there is so much soap in the world why are so many people dirty, it doesn’t help that theres soap you’ve gotta use it v’hamaivin yovin

    To # 36 and many others
    Guest
    To # 36 and many others

    The problem is that your expectations are not realistic. For some reason you expect that once you’re in a frum enviornment you’ll be in a perfect world, but that is just plain ignorance.

    In the real world there are nice ppl and not nice people some will say hello and some won’t. Did you really think that you’ll become frum and now everyone that is frum has to say hello to you and be you’re BFF (best friend)???

    i am gezheh
    Guest
    i am gezheh

    so hahahah and i wont marry u . why is it that u complain that for shiduchim we dont want you yet all you want is geazheh and not bts

    "If the thief is found he shall pay double"
    Guest
    "If the thief is found he shall pay double"

    This article is so stereotypical that it’s borderline racist. Categorizing “FFB = inconsiderate jerk” and “BT = refined sweetheart” is exactly what racism is all about. If the author is expressing dismay to the fact that someone who tries to follow the Torahs rules is not that great at it, the answer is right there in the Torah. ALL the laws of the Torah (which is written for ppl who will consider themselves to be frum) are under the assumption that ppl are not perfect and there will be people who break the laws. If all Frum people would be… Read more »

    Been There
    Guest
    Been There

    I have been there closer than you could ever know , corrupt Rabbi’s, FFB which means what? they emerge from the womb holy with no need to refine their behavior, I live in the midst of it and the result is, have faith in no one human, only Hashem.

    To all the naysayers, esp. number 39
    Guest
    To all the naysayers, esp. number 39

    Wow. as difficult as it is for me to relate to your negativity, this one must have hit you all quite hard and right at home. What a shot to the ego for ya, huh? Truth hurts I guess. Number 39, since you wrote what you wrote for attention, sadly I will give it to you with utmost sincere apologies for the fact that all you have to hold on to clearly is the fact that you are Gezhe, most likely lacking in personality, kindness, or even a heart but no worries your geshekeit will most likely get ya far.… Read more »

    A Parable.
    Guest
    A Parable.

    A family was camping in the woods. When it was time to leave they forgot about their baby that was sleeping on a blanket and they left without him. A pack of wolves found the baby and raised him as one of their own. He ran on all fours, hunted with the pack and howled at the moon. Many years later some humans encountered this man/wolf and slowly befriended him, taught him human language and began to explain to him that he/it was a human being and can potentially be so much more than a wolf. As a human being… Read more »

    thank you
    Guest
    thank you

    thank you very much to # 42 i agree with you . I have the deepest respect for a BT. and i know that perhaps the only comparison to their mesiras nefesh to leave everything behind and to become frum, PERHAPS are my parents and grandparents (both of my grandfathers learnt n tomchei tmimim in lubavitch by the REBBE ARASHAB) who had mesiras nefesh to stay frum in the soviet union under threat of imprisonement or worse. the BTs their one of the sourses of my inspiration in this very dark time. from a shliach FFB (although i hate these… Read more »

    When there is a will...
    Guest
    When there is a will...

    there is a heter!

    To #42
    Guest
    To #42

    Well said. I had wanted to say something like that but couldn’t think of how…but you put it so eloquently. We can all learn something from this article, and remember, the author said that “there are SOME inappropriate behaviors”, which is true. She DIDN’T say “Everyone who is FFB is bad.”

    In agreement.
    Guest
    In agreement.

    FFB is a misnomer. No one is frum from birth. All are born equal. It is what happens when the parents begin to bring the children up. Today, unfortunately, there are many who were born into frum families and then years later have drifted and need to become BT’s.
    Furthermore, being “frum” doesn’t necessary mean being honest, Just like being honest doesn’t necessary mean being frum. Being frum and honest, now that is being tov lashomayim and tov labriyous.

    Enough!!!
    Guest
    Enough!!!

    It seems to me that there is a great deal of discontentment and negativity in CH these days. Recently it was Lubavitch and Shluchim who were the brunt of the bitter complaints, now it’s ffb’s. Who’s next? Yesterday S. Boteach was the hero for his courage in “speaking out” today it’s Bracha Goetz. Many of the comments, here and in previous posts, frankly, reek with plain old jealousy and resentment. I wonder if perhaps what’s behind all this class-warfare is a lack of personal fulfillment on the part of these CHers and what appears like their self-hating sympathizers. May I… Read more »

    ppl are learning chassidus
    Guest
    ppl are learning chassidus

    yes, they are learning
    but are not taught
    or
    dont know how to apply
    the chassidus
    i think we are all starving for it
    my son who is smart, very connected to the Rebbe
    learned etc
    startled me the other day, he said he didnt think ppl could change
    golly, if we cant change what’s the point of anything?
    or
    maybe he doesnt see ppl working on themselves
    has no role model
    i dont know
    what i do know is that many are lost
    something is missing
    there is some emes missing

    if i have to look for ‘self help/ books to learn how to apply chassidus,
    something is wrong

    We are all baalei Teshuvah
    Guest
    We are all baalei Teshuvah

    Thank you for helping us find our path to the eibishter!

    Dear #43
    Guest
    Dear #43

    It seems from your parable that you really understand the dilema that many baalei tshuva find themselves in.
    Maybe we truly need to look at ourselves long and hard, and make some changes in our behaviour, if we don’t want to send people skuttling back to “civilization”!

    BT and Proud
    Guest
    BT and Proud

    Although it has been a long hard road that I have taken and the “frum” world is far from perfect, I feel special and privileged to be part of Chabad. I have my adopted family (basically many old friends) and we support each other. There have been a few outstanding members of the established community as well. I feel that unlike FFBs, who are Lubavitch through DNA and not individual effort, I was handpicked by the Rebbe. There is no rational explanation for me being here, other than the Rebbe wanted me. And I have worked hard on myself to… Read more »

    a lot to say on this post
    Guest
    a lot to say on this post

    to #7 i do see a lot of this behavior in lubavitch, as a matter of fact before lubavitch i was bt in litvish community, and unfortunately i see more of this negataive behavior in lubavitch. just to name one…..on all of these lubavitch websites, reporting the goings on in CH is A ton of loshen hara. The split between lubavitch and the hatred the shows up in peoples comments is really sad. To #17, you are right on, i take it as a compliment when even the local shluchim treat bt’s badly… it means we are actually considered one… Read more »

     a long time bt
    Guest
    a long time bt

    number 43!! you explained it exactly! there are days when i think things were better before i became frum living in my goyish world! there have been many people in my community that became bt than fried out because of the corrupt, dishonest, behavior of many of the ffb lubavitchers. this is happening and the ffb need to take their head out of the sand. to the ffb who are upset by this…its usually cause the truth hurts

    litvish community treats bt better
    Guest
    litvish community treats bt better

    litvish community treats bts much better. i see it all of the time with my bt litvish friends. i get so jealous 🙂 i always joke that im going to become a snag to get good treatment

    your article!!
    Guest
    your article!!

    i think you have not been through life’s hard knocks. You seem like you have an inferiority complex. I guess the world owes you something right? Ohhhh poor baby no one smiles at him in shul…….try making some genuein friends and people will smile. Oh my gosh the junk food and the smoking in schools……. never happens in public school right?! they never smoke and never eat mcdonalds right?!

    X