The Three Year Anniversary of Frum Follies and How I Got Started

I got started with a post on  erev Sukkot three years ago. For some time I had been lurking on the other blogs including UOJ, Failed Messiah and a few others. The shameless hypocrisy of Agudah really got to me. I found my comments on those blogs getting longer and longer.

I began writing a parody of someone from Agudah prevaricating and dissembling even as that person tried to make it seem like Agudah really cared about the problem of child molesting. Eventually, I realized what I was writing was too long to be used as a comment on someone else’s post. Then I thought I would get some blog to accept it as a guest post. Eventually I ended up with my post, “Moetzes Gedolim Speak About Znus Affecting Children.” I don’t remember if I actually approached any bloggers to offer my post. At some point I just decided I could easily create a blog and if some other blogger was interested I could get them to link to my post.

Once I finished writing the piece I needed a blog and a blog name. While I usually anguish over software decisions, I quickly narrowed down my choices to WordPress and Blogger. For the love of me, I cannot remember why I chose WordPress  My first choice for a name was Frum Satire, but I discovered that Heshy Fried already owned that piece of internet real estate. I don’t remember some of my other choices. But Frum Follies appealed to me. It was alliterative, shorter than Frum Narishkeit, and conveyed my intentions while also suggesting an entertaining show.

Now it was time for a slogan or mission statement. I seriously considered, “Frum Follies: Where it is Purim all year.” But knowing my motives I did not want to limit myself to satire. Satire is not one of those things that I can produce at will. When something is obviously absurd I begin joking satirically while talking to others. When I know I have more than a few good lines, I start writing. I was pretty sure I had a lot of serious issues I wanted to discuss. So I settled on the masthead slogan, “Frum Follies: Combating Foolishness with humor, satire and serious talk.”

Working quickly I pasted in my essay to my newly registered blog and hit the submit button early in the afternoon pleased with myself for meeting my deadline so it could be read over Sukkot. This was especially important since my parody involved a drashah about Sukkot (or since this is an Agudah parody, I should pronounce it, heimish style, as Sukkos).  Presto, the deed was done. Sometime in the next few weeks, my hero, UOJ linked to my post from a very unflattering picture of the Novominsker Rebbe on the top of his front page. I went from 3-4 hits a day to about 100 over several days. I was off and running. With fits and starts including almost a year off, I am still at it.

Sadly, my original post is still timely because Agudah has not really changed. So, I encourage all of you to get your sukkos drashah here.

Below are a few select paragraphs of my purported Agudah Moetzes drashah:

I came here today to talk tachlis about a fact that we must face. Our sonim lose no opportunity to say, chas v’chalileh, that certain rabeim are touching certain places. First of all it isn’t mamesh as bad as people think. Ashreinu, we praise and give thanks that those raised in torah keep their clothing on when they sin. Secondly, many of these accusations have never been proven. We will do our best to keep it that way. Thirdly, many of those making the accusations must be distrusted because they are really just fishing for heterim to commit the grave sin of mesirah (snitching).

So great is the chet of mesirah (informing) that it endangers a person himself, his children, and his children’s children. When it says in the torah that a punishment is passed down it means that you won’t find shidduchim (marriage partners). L’halochoh, an ordinary yid can give up his own honor but no one has the right to affect the shidduchim of his eynekloch. Moreover a talmid chochum cannot even give up his own kovod. That is why an accused talmid chochum is not allowed to take the easy way, plead guilty and remove himself from being osek bitinokos shel beis rabbon, perhaps even osek too much. You should know that R. Yehudah got a special heter, and has undertaken the difficult burden of pleading guilty to prevent goyim from exploiting his trial.

Moetzes Gedolim Speak About Znus

May of these problems are created by mosrim (snitches) who went off the derech. We have rachmonis on them because they are mentally ill. When someone is mentally ill we don’t accept them as eidim in a besdin; if American courts had seichel they would also reject such testimony. We do these unfortunates a great favor in declaring them mentally ill. We spare them shame by not calling them intentional liars. Unfortunately some of those who are moser or advocating mesirah have clearly demonstrated their apikorsus befarhesyah by the ways in which they are mevazer talmidei chachomim.

Sadly, the poison of such chutzpah has even spread to some who are part of our kehilot kedoshimHakol, kol Yaacov, v’hayadaim yedei Eisav (the voice, is the voice of Jacob and the hands are the hands of Esau). Among us they speak the toras Yaacov about tznius, tzedakah, mishpat, emes, and caring about klal yisroel. Their hands, their hands type with the sinah of Eisav. They strike at yidn in ways that cost them parnassah, the honor of their families and the prospects of their children and grandchildren. Moreover they are choteh umachti, they sin and make others sin. They encourage other yidn to repeat their lies. These cowards hide behind Internet firewalls. If they had any faith in the truth of what they say they would come out into daylight and let us tear them apart, piece by piece.

For the full drashah go to my original post of Moetzes Gedolim Speak About Znus Affecting Children.

To all of you, Chag kasher v’sameach!

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