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Monday, June 4, 2018

Target Practice on the Tofel

Once I had a friend who went out on a date with an Orthodox Jewish young man. She asked him about his past "experience" and he told her it was "really nothing," just "target practice on a shiksa."

Someone else I know went out on a date with an Orthodox Jewish young man, many years ago. Hc called it a "tefillin date" because he left his tefillin in the car, thinking that she wasn't very religious, and therefore she would easily sleep with him. For convenience he wanted to have easy access to his tefillin when he woke up.

A third person told me that the gartel is worn by Chasidim because it separates the holy thoughts they have (above the waist) from the unholy ones (below the waist).

A fourth was supposed to marry the guy, but he took advantage of her gullibility and then walked away.

All of these stories are true. And none of them happened to me.

I thought that the sick stuff boys learned about girls in yeshiva was bad enough.

Then, somewhere around 2009, I learned more.

I learned that when ultra-Orthodox rabbis abused boys they didn't think it was anything. That one protested when a young boy was literally lifted off his lap in the mikvah while he was in the process of raping him.

I learned that the members of the "modesty committee" sometimes helped themselves to the girls they were supposed to be "patrolling." That one girl was abused so badly the rabbi actually burned a havdalah candle on her stomach in the course of sexually abusing her.

I learned that bad rabbis, meaning pedophiles, have historically been passed from yeshiva to yeshiva, because nobody wanted to ruin their lives by marking them as members of a sick, disgusting club.

The thinking here, of course, is that some girls don't count, because they aren't really pure anymore.

I have heard stories that religious men visit strip clubs and sometimes keep girlfriends on the side, so that their wives can stay chaste.

Last week threw me for a bender, even after all of that.

I had heard about the case of a yeshiva principal in Australia who fled to Israel to escape trial for the female students who accused her of sexual assault. As of this date that trial still hasn't happened.

And just last month, a young woman released a video about the abuse she says she suffered at the hands of a female counselor, over an extended period of time. It started out as psychological, she says, and ended with bleeding and threats.

I was very shaken up when I saw that video, and so were the people I showed it to. Even as I write this my hands are shaking.

Because it is bad enough that the yeshivas have perpetrated abuse among the faithful, but the thought that innocent girls, seeking to return to Judaism as full-fledged ba'alot tshuva could be victims of "target practice" by girls who are frum from birth (FFBs), and who therefore think they are somehow entitled, truly disgusts me.

I was raised religious, but I suffered from this mentality as my parents' families -- both FFB, but one Chasidish and one Litvish -- enjoyed making jokes about which side of the family was better. Chasidim are always late, and Litvaks have no heart, yada yada yada.

All fine and good, if it's only a joke. But unfortunately jokes are serious.

When perfectly good kids go out to be matched up today, they have to meet a litany of requirements, and often they have to show a literal shidduch resume. There cannot be a single thing wrong on that piece of paper, no blemishes, no scuffs -- and this is a culture that feeds directly into the kind of sexual abuse that can easily take place at a girl's camp. (Note: all people are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.)

When you have a caste of people called "frum," who grade themselves as "triple-A kosher" based on their yichus, whether a boy is learning in yeshiva, what yeshiva he went to, how much money the family has, and so on, of course you are going to get a caste of people who are labeled "B," or "C," or worse.

Of course you are going to get a silent epidemic of sexual abuse and exploitation, as people try to prove they are holier than holy, and take out their urges on kids who are innocent and trusting and scared of being found "unkosher" by others.

Of course you are going to get drug abuse, and cutting, and people hanging out on the streets, kicked out by their families, confused and struggling and exploitable, with literally nowhere to go.

Of course you will end up with domestic abuse.

You'll have children living secretly and ashamedly in poverty.

Of course you are going to get suicides, with people wringing their hands and saying, "Why her? Why him? It makes no sense, they seemed to be getting it all together!"

My friends, this thinking that some people are the Ikar and some are the Tofel is disgusting, and wrong, and impure.

It is not true that some Jews are better than others.

It is not true that White people are better than people of color.

It is not true that English speakers are better than Spanish speakers or speakers of other foreign languages.

And guess what, it isn't true that Jews are better than Muslims, or Christians, or Buddhists, or atheists, or anyone.

None of this is true.

It is all disgusting, sick and evil thinking.

The only thing that makes you better is your behavior.

If you are using other people for "target practice," you are evil and you are going straight to Gehinnom.

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Copyright 2017 by Dr. Dannielle (Dossy) Blumenthal. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own. This post is hereby released into the public domain. CC0 Creative Commons photo via Pixabay.