Monday, August 6, 2007

Drawing a line...

Two weeks ago, Noah Feldman wrote an essay for the New York Times' Sunday Magazine. The essay, entitled Orthodox Paradox is his own personal complaint against the system that he feels contributed to his developement, his worldview, and where he is holding today. You see, Feldman went to a Modern Orthodox yeshiva, where the message he recieved was that it was possible to be both a jew and a professional in the non jewish world. However, after embracing the secular world - ultimately marrying a non jewish woman - Feldman now turns to his Alma Mater - which has proceeded to omit the mere mention of him in their alumni newsletters - and cries foul.
My brief summarization can't possibly do the article any justice. Here's the link; I hope it works, and although it's a very long article, it's worth reading.
The reactions varied; many lambasted Feldman, and as an interesting note, it appears that Feldman didn't just piss off folks in the religious community. Allan Nadler of The Forward seriously questions Feldman's sincerity in his choices to remain outside the parameters of Orthodoxy.
Gary Rosenblatt of the Jewish Week was by far the best response.

That was the background.

When I first read the article, I struggled. As one who aspires to work in the Kiruv field professionally - specifically speaking, with jewish teens who reject religious life - I know the importance of not writing off people right away. A lot of times there are misunderstandings, etc. On the other hand, this Feldman fellow blatantly violates numerous Halachic rulings, is aware of it, discusses it in an open, public forum, and has the cajones to blame the system that he came out of, all the while justifying himself with the pithy excuse of "trying his best, in his own, flawed way."
My question - and this wasn't addressed by any articles I have seen - is this. What is the line? What do we consider the point of "no return"? When do we indeed pull up the stakes and pack it in, because there's no more we can do to help this person who is so intent on rejecting the faith? In Kiruv, we deal with kids who are at all sorts of levels of rebellion. Aside from the dangers of desensitizing ourselves to this behaviour, at what point do we move on?
When is it more than an option, but an obligation?
How do we face that moment, and how do we live with that rejection?

Any suggestions? I'm open...

Note: I just found this article, which lends a significant twist on the whole story.
An added point that I forgot to mention was that I was irked at how much attention the Matisyahu "debacle" got from bloggers in light of the fact that the Feldman story happened at basically the same time. I haven't seen any bloggers responding or discussing this very important ( in my opinion ) issue...


anonym00kie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anonym00kie said...

i dont think there is a line - thats the "problem" with kiruv. its not a job, it's an expression of love (or it should be). when does a parent stop loving a kid? is there a line? ui hope not. when does g-d stop loving a jew - i hope never..
you dont turn your back on your poeple, you dont turn your back on those you love. you love a fellow jew, if he wants/needs you, youre there for him. if he doesnt.. you let him know you're not too far off.

that being said, there are certain actions which are not acceptable. you're own actions, not his. if the school or shul feels its not appropriate to include him, then they shouldnt include him. if someone close to you intermarries, and you cant/wont go, dont go -BUT in all circumstances treat this person with all the love and acceptance in the world. let them know youre so sorry you cant be there, that it doesnt change your love for them, you respect his choice, even if you dont agree with it, explain why you cant agree with it, and ask to get the same respect in return. only someone looking for a fight will reject this - and in the case, they're in the wrong, not you, and if they ever come around, they will know you dont hold a grudge.

another thing.. the problem with kiruv and lines is that we start to make categories, work according to whats more 'profitable' - sexy kiruv. real kiruv should just be an expression of love for your fellow jew, and if you hve that, there is no line that can change that

fashionista cat in a zero gravity shoe-store said...

So you'd avoid the presence of King Solomon? I've discussed that with several Chassidishe rabbonim; none of them doubted that he was married to non-Jewish women as well as at his time the wedding legally constiuted out of sexual intercourse. BTW, as European Jewish history's a particular interest of mine, intermarriage used to be way more common in Europe, even among the Orthodoxy, than many will admit to nowadays. It's an absolutely silly to claim to be able to trace one's origins to centuries or even millennia back unless someone was Roman Catholic, as the Roman Catholic Church was the only body to reliably keep track of birth and death data from medieval times on. The rest is forged histography.

the dreamer said...

is the person struggling or not?
a teen who leaves the torah pat is usually struggling and hasn't thought out exactly what he's doing... many leave on emotional grounds rather than intellectual ones, so any intellectual arguments or disassociations are for naught.

allan nadler's article is quite on the mark, though obviously not the orthodox take on the matter.

btw, it's not as if they didn't invite him to school functions - they just didn't view hs celebrations as celebrations, but rather, a tragedy...

jewmaican20 said...

m00k - See, the quandary is that we must make sure that we don't send mixed messages, neither to ourselves, the people we're trying to help, and - perhaps most important of all - our own children. In that light, then there are certain actions that are not acceptable on his part.
How can we honestly try to reach out and bring someone back to the fold, and at the same time say we respect his choice when it's the diametric opposite? We have to be unequivical about our stance when it comes to certain things that are antithetical to Judaism.
Obviously, we must respect a person's right to make a choice, but that doesn't mean we should be supportive when that person makes said choice.
If we did, what kind of message would we send? That "we have certain criteria - based on halacha - that must be honored, but if YOU don't, that's okay"? How does the person in question view that? How do kids growing up in a household dedicated to kiruv deal with something that seems to be a glaring contradiction?
Dissent doesn't have to be hateful, but if you really care about someone, and you really feel what you're doing is an extension of love, then that person must realize that you do not accept what he is doing. That's not the same as being unwilling to talk to the person forever, but he must know where you stand.
Fashionista - I'm not sure what you hoped to accomplish with your comparison to King Solomon; that holds even less water than Feldman's self comparisons with Spinoza.
First of all, TaNaCh in general is difficult to understand; anybody who is mentioned by name ( even the bad guys) in TaNaCh is way beyond our comprehension. We can't understand their motivations in their truest meaning; we can only discuss it based on mesorah and conjecture.
Even so, Chazal states that Solomon's move regarding marriage wasn't a simple matter, and according to several traditions, he was punished in certain ways.
As for Europe, who ever denied that assimilation and intermarriage happened? Look at the widespread destruction that the Enlightenment caused. When R. Samson R. Hirsch took the pulpit in Frankfurt, there were ony 12 families that were Orthodox.
That doesn't change any facts about the here and now. No one is saying that intermarriage is a new phenomenon; it's at a higher rate today than ever...
Again, I'm missing your point...
I don't know what data you're basing that last statement on. I know someone who has a family tree passed down from son to son dating back to the Rambam.
Also, if we can't trace lineage, than how do we have any Cohanim?
Dreamer - You're right, a lot do leave on emotional grounds, but those that are seriously entrenched will eventually find intellectual grounds.
Feldman maintains an intellectual stance, but demands an emotional response...

fashionista cat in a zero gravity shoe-store said...

I do see a difference between scientific evidence and tradition. Science tries to look back and see what things really were like while traditions change through the course of time. I didn't hope to accomplish anything by the comparison I introduced; I merely tried to state that everybody should be judged the same way. I don't think that anybody who opts for intermarriage and is to the slightest degree traditional takes their decision to marry somebody of a different faith lightheartedly. I've got Chasidishe friends that claim to be able to trace their family trees back to King David himself, yet those claim lack evidence - they are based on tradition. As for Cohanim, many of them changed their family names in Europe, mostly in a punny way. The German word 'Kahn' means a type of ship, so many opted for last names associated with ships or swimming, first in German, later on they'd often translate their family names to the predominant language of the countries they settled in. I do not oppose tradition whatsoever, but I do find it unfair to apply doublestandards. Intermarriage, or rather: interbreeding, as 'official' marriages were only legally possible between first-borns before the Enlightment, took place way before the Enlightment. With the ban on marriages between any children not being first-borns, hence no official recognition of a marital state even if a religios wedding was performed, genealogical documents are anything but exact. In addition, in medieval understanding, forging documents was a way to prove one's point and not actually a fraud. It compares to the Oriental tradition of proving one's point through narrating a story. Oddly enough, the rabbonim I'm friends with are aware of that and agree to it.

jewmaican20 said...

Fashionista - "I do see a difference between scientific evidence and tradition. Science tries to look back and see what things really were like while traditions change through the course of time."
But as you and I both know, science is not definitive; many times what is accepted as fact one day is disproved the other day. Tradition has a basis in empirical data ( especially when you consider that everything outside of TanaCh is Torah She Baal Peh, and was subsequently handed down via tradition and oral transmittal through the centuries...), at least, derived usually from a combination of halacha and other factors such as the school where leading Rabbonim hailes from, context of said issue, and region.
" I didn't hope to accomplish anything by the comparison I introduced; I merely tried to state that everybody should be judged the same way."
Apparently, you are trying to accomplish something: You are seemigly trying to establish an equality between two people who are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
King Solomon had wisdom that was a gift from God. No doubt he was familiar with all the different aspects of Torah, both revealed and hidden. He was a paragon of service to Him, author of some of the most stirring prayers and songs in Jewish liturgy. He was more than several generations closer to the Divine Revelation at Sinai than we are. What are Feldman's credentials? Well, he's a Rhodes scholar, and a graduate of three Ivy League schools. He's a known figure in the realm of law. But that's it. There is no comparison past the fact that both of them are jewish, and male. It's liking drawing a comparison between Stephen Hawking and a tenth grade physics student: it's impossible, and nearly laughable...
Reagrding the "first born" sanctioned marriage, I really don't know about that stuff, and to whom and where it was applicable. Also, I'm not sure about which double standards you're referring to. They exist, and they are wrong, but I don't know what the connection is to here. Kindly explain?

fashionista cat in a zero gravity shoe-store said...

I neither know King Solomon nor Mr Feldman in person, neither am I omniscient, hence I cannot claim to know who is more spiritual than the other, but what should matter in terms of judgement is what you stated, namely that they are both Jewish. I might as well compare Stephen Hawking to a physics student in terms of their legal status; their accomplishments or lack thereof do not cause them to be of a different legal status (providing they both are adult citizens of a democratic state).
Those marriage regulations were in effect all over Europe until about the time of the French Revolution and applied to everybody. Even if a couple chose to be wed in a religious ceremony, the marriage could officially be void.
Anyhow, in your post you were asking for suggestions, and that's what I was actually trying to do. Being a teacher, I can tell you it's pretty important for a teacher to either know everything on a subject or to be authentic enough to admit to not knowing everything. "Just because the tetbook says so" won't get you far, and that's exactly the problem I see among many yingerleit - they seek for answers and get sold short. They are not stupid, they can handle critical thoughts. IMHO a critical approach to one's faith can make one even more firm in one's beliefs than pent-up doubts. So, that is my suggestion: be an authentic teacher, and I bet you'll do a great job.

fashionista cat in a zero gravity shoe-store said...


Sorry for the typo.

But I hope you get what I mean, be your own advocatus diaboli. Great teaching can also be achieved through provocations; this is a teaching technique of guided conversation. It forces your students to defend a point that's actually yours.

jewmaican20 said...

Your suggestion is a good one. Authenticity is important, especially in these times. Part of that is remaining consistent at all times. And I'm not arguing that we should stifle anyone asking questions; just the opposite, we need more people who can give answers to these questions. But questioning and criticism are two very different things.
"...hence I cannot claim to know who is more spiritual than the other..."
Somehow, I doubt you really believe this. I think you're a good "devil's advocate" thoough...:)
Anybody else?

The Dreamer said...

jewmaican - feldman claims to take an intellectual stance, but in reality, his is just about all emotional. just read deeper.

karma dude said...

After discussions with various rabonim and kiruv professionals the consensus was that the general line is apikores. Obviously, each individual involved in kiruv may have his own line that when crossed he feels it out of his league. However, in such a case the kiruv guy should under no circumstances give up on this particular fellow, he should simply refer him or her to someone who can deal with it.
The question remains though, who is considered to be an apikores?
The halachic requirement for one to qualify for this title is, that one must be a knowledgeable in Torah and halacha and consciously reject it. So you can have two people intermarry, one who didn't know better and one like Feldman who does know better and only one would be an apikores. Now Feldman according to his article considers himself well learned in Judaism and for that matter he says "The school did educate me and influence me deeply. What I learned there informs every part of my inner life". If what he says is true and yet he rejects it, and on top of that he makes a mockery of Judaism in the most read section of the most read paper in the world, according to all the rabis I spoke to (of all denominations, YU to Lakewood) Noah Feldman is an apikores and there is no obligation, for that matter it is forbidden to try to be mikarev him.

I would like to post a letter Dr. Lamm wrote to Feldman which was printed in the NY Times on August ND. Whether you generally agree with Dr. Lamm or not is each individuals private business but I feel this letter is a good read.

Dear Prof. Feldman,

My first — and last — impression after reading your extremely well-written New York Times Magazine essay(more properly — a manifesto) is one of sympathy for your predicament,respect for your honesty and profound sadness at the community's misfortune when one of our best and most well-known yeshiva day school graduates sees nothing wrong with "marrying out." Worse: You wittingly or unwittingly exposed your co religionists to opprobrium in arguably the world's most public forum — even as you express admiration for the Jewish tradition, especially for Modern Orthodoxy.

True, we no longer "sit shivah"for a relative who married out. But all of us experience poignant anguish when a brilliant and once fully committed son of our people,who earnestly believes he is not rejecting his upbringing, effectively does just that in justifying his transgression and holding us up to ridicule.

And why so? Because you violated a major principle of Judaism and yet object when we, your fellow Jews,express our heartache in one of the only ways open to us.

Quite simply, my dear Prof. Feldman, you want to have your cake and eat it too. Sorry, but that just can't be done.

Frankly,your resentment at the removal of your name and photo from the alumni list of your high school and other such petty discourtesies does not elicit much sympathy from me. Tantrums do not move me. I am moved by your resolve to continue your relationship to Judaism. And I value your suggestion that we reexamine our attitude to the social ostracism we have practiced heretofore. We certainly will not accept the violation of the law with equanimity, but we ought to rethink how we can express our displeasure in a manner that will not close the doors to teshuva — if indeed the couple wishes to take advantage of it.

Apparently,you take the matter of intermarriage lightly — something on the line of eating non-glatt-kosher meat. If so, you are sorely mistaken. True, one can make a case that out-marriage is, technically, not a more serious violation than work on Shabbat or eating on Yom Kippur. But you well know that in our times the ultimate sign of pending assimilation is intermarriage. You resent the small discourtesies you experienced, yet you ignore the massive insult to your alma mater, and to the Modern Orthodox community that nourished you all these years, by violating a fundamental law — and then punish them in public.

Prof.Feldman, I do not understand you. I am truly nonplussed. Once or twice in your article you imply that Judaism should tolerate a forbidden marriage because it is "one of my most important life decisions." I cannot believe that you really want to exempt the "most important of life's choices" from the purview and judgment of religion. For Heaven's sake, do you prefer that religion — any religion — deal with any thing but that which is important in life? Is this the Judaism you want? One that will make you feel warm and fuzzy and cuddly, one that will make grandiloquent pronouncements and issue pretty pieties — anything but what is really an "important life decision"?

That is not the kind of religion for which our ancestors — yours and mine — were willing to suffer abuse unto martyrdom.

Let me now address several other (but not all of the) important items in your essay.

You imply that Modern Orthodoxy is somehow responsible for Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir. That is a blatant example of guilt by association, and truly a low blow that is unworthy of you. If Modern Orthodoxy is responsible for Goldstein and Amir, then Harvard is responsible for the Una-bomber; Yale must answer for some of the most implacable kooks in this country — both right- and left-wingers, and by the same token Maimonides School is responsible for the tergiversation of one of its most distinguished graduates.

Now, for the facts: You do not quote any source for your assertion that when Baruch Goldstein murdered Arabs at prayer in Hebron on Purim day, he did so because he considered the Palestinians as Amalekites.

I beg to differ. His act was not one commanded by his religion, but by his Kahanist politics. How do I know? Because several years before the Hebron massacre, I received a document in which Palestinians of that area were effusive in their praise for the two brothers Goldstein, both physicians, who treated them with the same professionalism and compassion that they did their fellow Jews.

So your premise is faulty, and your conclusion is wrong.

Next item: You refer in anger to the Talmudic view on whether a Jewish doctor may violate the Sabbath laws in order to save the life of anon-Jew. You are critical of the Sages of the Talmud who permitted such violations of laws of the Sabbath because of concern for maintaining peaceful relations between the Jewish and non-Jewish communities. You suggest that, on the one hand, it is an "instance of laudable universalism," but, on the other, it is "an example of outrageously particularist religious thinking."

Surely you,as a distinguished academic lawyer, must have come across instances in which a precedent that was once valid has, in the course of time,proved morally objectionable, as a result of which it was amended, so that the law remains "on the books" as a juridical foundation, while it becomes effectively inoperative through legal analysis and moral argument. Why, then, can you not be as generous to Jewish law, and appreciate that certain biblical laws are unenforceable in practical terms, because all legal systems — including Jewish law — do not simply dump their axiomatic bases but develop them. Why not admire scholars of Jewish law who use various legal technicalities to preserve the text of the original law in its essence, and yet make sure that appropriate changes would be made in accordance with new moral sensitivities? Plato— as well as Maimonides — taught us that every law must leave some who are thereby disadvantaged, that it is in the nature of law to serve the community even when individuals are injured. We then must seek ways to ameliorate the situation as best we can. This is a legitimate way for the Talmudic and post-Talmudic rabbis to protect the sacred Shabbat laws, and by appropriate halachic legislation enable us to live without violating our moral conscience.

Let me clarify my stand, as an Orthodox rabbi, on the issue you raised: It is strictly forbidden by the Halacha to deny a non-Jew whatever is necessary to save his or her life. There must be no discrimination whatsoever. Every human being is created in the Image of God and has a right to life and health. "The Lord is good to all and His tender mercies are over all His works" (Psalm 145).

Because the issue is subtle and highly sensitive, do you not think that it would have been more responsible of you either not to mention an issue which for centuries has inflamed antisemitic vindictiveness and exacerbated irritation for those Jews ignorant of the method and subtleties of the law, especially since such subtleties are beyond the reader not trained in legal theory? But if you are compelled to write about it, would it have been a violation of some professional code to give precedence and preference to the universalism bias of the halachic tradition?

But you took the easy way out, and thereby succeeded in holding up the Torah, the Talmud, the rabbis and especially Modern Orthodox Judaism to public ridicule, making the whole Talmudic enterprise look bigoted and racist.

Bravo! You made a trenchant point and,by the way, you succeeded in supplying via the New York Times article enough anti-Jewish material to last a good few years — as antisemites have been spewing this sanctimonious poison for centuries. Did not this possibility occur to you when you were writing your article? Why the sudden collapse of your obvious sophistication? "Sages," the Talmud declared, "be exceedingly careful with your words."

You apparently were equally unaware of the damage your words have caused to innocent bystanders. Example: Daniel _____, a recent graduate of Yeshiva University, wrote this letter to me that broke my heart:

Like most Yeshiva University graduates, I interact on a daily basis with gentiles for most of my day. My Orthodox Jewish identity has never become an issue or conflict. However, following last week's New York Times article by Noah Feldman… I have frequently been getting questions like, 'Is it true that according to your law you wouldn't save my life on the Sabbath' or, 'Do you really believe that Jewish life is more important than gentile life?' How does a young Modern Orthodox professional answer these questions in a respectful and diplomatic way so as not to demonize others and at the same time be true to his faith?

My dear Noah Feldman, it is your duty to answer him, because you are the cause of his discomfiture and perhaps his possible inability to find employment — and so for the thousands who have no access to the pages of The New York Times and who will have to live under the cloud of calumny you have unwittingly visited upon them. Of course, I don't think you will, but should you be moved by Daniel's predicament, call me and I will gladly give you his full name and address. You owe it to him.
If my words sound harsh, it is because I have followed your career with naches and hope for the future of our Jewish people and Modern Orthodoxy, so I write like a spurned lover. I sympathize with your dilemmas. I can appreciate the pain suffered by one subject to the social sanctions prescribed by Jewish tradition, and I can understand the feelings of one who, under the pressure of desire or love, feels compelled to ignore the biblical prohibitions. The flesh, after all, is weak. But that is no excuse for embarrassing a whole community to which you always belonged and to which you maintain you still owe a degree of fidelity (and I believe you).
In your essay, your closing words are, "My best friend just laughed."
As for me — I cried.
I still dream that you will reconsider your remarks and your self-imposed alienation.
But whether you do or do not do that, remember: Judaism and the Jewish people will survive without you or me. But neither you nor I will survive spiritually without Judaism and the Jewish people.
Norman Lamm

Karma dude out...

jewmaican20 said...

Jeez, Karma Dude. I didn't think you'd post the whole thing.
Like I said, he's an amazing writer...
Dreamer - Oh, you're right that the source is an emotional one, but part of the problem is that he's able to justify it with an intellectual basis, as a result of his education (both Jewish and secular). That is part of the reason he stands apart from many others who break from halachic Judaism...

Curmudgeon said...

Here's what's irking me. On one hand, you can't ignore the inaccuracies and misleading nature of so much of the article, to wit:

1. The implication that he was cropped out of the picture;

2. (this is just me) the misuse of the term "consilience";

3. The "Jew at home, man on the street" reference is off by a century - it is attributable to Moses Mendelsohn, who, while personally frum (to use labels), started the Haskalah movement.

4. Did Noah never "brown bag" or dine with non-Jewish friends at a kosher restaurant or special order a kosher meal at a non-kosher event before he abandoned Orthodoxy?

5. It seems like Baruch Goldstein did in fact treat non-Jews (though in Noah's defense, Chris Hitchens makes a similar claim about BG, and in CH's defense, he sources it to a book).

6. According to a friend who was his classmate, the rabbi who uttered the infamous "particularist" quote is not one who views himself to be modern Orthodox.

OTOH - that incident did happen. And no one has really stepped up to refute the view. R. Carmy excoriates the teacher, implies that the view expressed is not normative Halachah, but never comes right out and says it. And, conveniently enough, the condemnation ends with the teacher. But, I remind you, the teacher made the comment in the name of his rebbe who was at YU.

Similarly, while R. Lamm does forthrightly say that the Halachah would forbid you from denying treatment to non-Jews, he ends it with Noah. Nowhere does he mention either Noah's teacher or Noah's teacher's rebbe.

It's always easy to condemn someone who condemns your beliefs. It's even easier when, in looking at his life's story, it doesn't appear that Noah was particularly troubled by any of the issues he raises in his article until after he began to date his wife. In the words of the Church Lady, how convenient.

But it does no good to knock down a straw man. It's unfair to read his article as condemning the Talmudic rationale for treating a non-Jew. Among the dross of his article, there is a point that we need to face forthrightly - what do we believe about how we are to interact with non-Jews. If we believe that the view expressed by Noah's rebbe in the name of his own rebbe does not reflect Halachah or our world view, then we must forthrightly confront those who do believe this.

jewmaican20 said...

Thanks for the input, Curmudgeon. As a matter of fact, Goldstein was noted as treating non jewish patients.
"...there is a point that we need to face forthrightly - what do we believe about how we are to interact with non-Jews."
That's a good question as well. Maybe we'll devote a separate post to the subject...

Reb Y. said...

Ive heard of two different opinions in the matter when to 'draw the line'. Please don't quote me for I havn't done much research on the matter and i'm sure there are many more different opinions on this matter and that every case must be dealt with great care.
R' Yisroel Riesman metions in a shiur that Rav Pam Zatzl (whos yartziet is today 28 of Av) was asked at what point does one stop 'going out of his way' to be nice to friends or family that are off the derech. Rav Pams answer was, when one intermarries he's making a statement and a lifes decision that he dosent want to be part of the jewish community. At that point is where you should draw the line of reaching out to him. It dosen't mean that theres no hope for him that its not possable for him to do tshuvah and on a professional kiruv leval you might still try and bring him home but on a personal level you have no 'cheive' to spend time and effort on being mekarev him. I mentioned this to a Chabad ruv and he said that the Lubabecher Rebbis view was that a Yid is never lost. That as long as ones mother is Jewish you most do everything in your power to bring him home.

pleats said...

"How can we honestly try to reach out and bring someone back to the fold, and at the same time say we respect his choice when it's the diametric opposite? ....
Obviously, we must respect a person's right to make a choice..."

You pretty much answered your own question. I respect your right to make a decision, I just might not respect your decision.
Hashem, kaviyachol, does similarly. He gives us bechira- the right to make decisions- even though that enables us to make choices that aren't the best. Hashem doesn't say, "OK, here's bechira, and whatever you do with it is right." He gives us the chance to choose, and then we have to deal with the consequences of those decisions.
Just as Hashem doesn't drop us when we make wrong decisions, we shouldn't stop caring for others when they do. Ok, fine- there's a line- apikores- but how many true apikorsim do *you* know?
If someone makes bad choices- hangs out at a pool hall Friday nights, fools around with his girlfriend, takes off the tzitzis- and frum society rejects him, why would he ever want to come back? What frum support network is he going to turn to?

Wow... I am so much more coherent when I'm not exhausted.

Lvnsm27 said...

This just had to do with a picture which he claimed he and his wife were intentionally taken out of.

Nobody was actually personally rude to him. And the community still sees him as a fellow Jew and hopes that he will do teshuva and that his wife will convert. But the community can't condone his action of breaking Jewish law.

jewmaican20 said...

Pleats - Welcome back! I know I answered my self; thanks for your input.
L - I hear you...

jjl said...

i have an uncle who married out but eventually had his kids and wife converted, i met him for the first time at my wedding. the rest of my family never even knew he existed. there is always hope . you must leave the door open , because if you lock it shut then its your fault for loosing these people.