Monday, July 02, 2007

Chana's Post

Chana has a beautiful, wrenching post about her time in high school, how she was hurt by teachers purporting to be religious, and how she found her true Judaism in the works of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.

As I wrote in the comments there, I wasn't hurt as she was, and I didn't leave for the reasons that might have caused her to leave, but it's compelling reading, a Howl against some of the idiocy in the Orthodox world.


Anonymous said...

A bit over dramatic if you ask me. Can it really have been that bad? Or was she just a difficult teenager? We'll never know.

"Rich Perkins" said...

Sounds like what my wife went through while suffering all those years at Beis Yaakov. She openly admits that if it were not for the year she spent at a great place in Israel afterwards, she would not be religious at all.

Beis Yaakov was geared towards people who agree with everything they say. if you don't agree, then you are on their shit list.

As for myself, I actually liked my yeshiva HS education very much. I was not into questioning things, but it was not a crazy black hat, fundemental place. It was only when i was in college did I really take a step back and look at Judaism critically.

And as you know from my story, it's all a spiral from there. Whether it is an upward or donward spiral really depends on your vantage point :)

Stephen said...


I'm prepared to believe it was that bad. One's personal identity is a precious possession, and vulnerable to attack from people in positions of authority. Particularly vulnerable while you're a child.

Even for an adult — Ask someone who has been in an abusive marriage what it's like to live with someone who undermines your self-image on a daily basis. Yes, it's a big deal.

jewish philosopher said...

I also have linked to this post. I found it quite remarkable.

asher said...

Why, oh why does she go on and on about how bright she is?

Were blogs designed for narcissits like this?

Oh she she suffered. Oh, how terrible her childhood was.

I gurantee she knows the exact number of her IQ score, interrupted lectures with her bright observations, kept the instructor with endless questions
that usually had nothing to do with the topic. I suffered through high school, college, and law school with people like this.

And in the end.....whatever happens to them?

They rant and rave on a blog?

Anonymous said...

The fact that she remained frum despite abuse shows that her questions were not sincere but were motivated by a need for attention.

cipher said...

She doesn't go on and on about how bright she is, but rather that she familiarized herself with the source materials and posed questions that her teachers were unable to answer. This isn't an exercise in narcissism; it' an explanation of how stifling and repressive the Orthodoxy to which she was exposed was, but how she survived and managed to retain some form of belief in spite of it.

And for Anonymous who said, "The fact that she remained frum despite abuse shows that her questions were not sincere but were motivated by a need for attention." - this is just contemptible. That's right; it was all about getting attention. Because no one ever really suffers in these institutions. If they do, it's because their emunah isn't deep enough. Frumkeit offers the answers to everything.