Why I Created Frum Follies, Who I am, and What You Can Contribute

Four years ago I unleashed my blog, Frum Follies, with a post, Moetzes Gedolim Speak About Znus Affecting Children (Satire).  I also posted a paragraph-long explanation about why I created the blog. In response to reader inquiries I expanded it over the next few months to include my profile/biography, and policies for commenting and fair use.  But it has lain buried in my archives with relatively few readers. So I am reposting a slightly edited version for those curious about my thinking when I started Frum Follies.

Why I Created Frum Follies (10/6/09)

This blog exists to say out loud what many believe; a lot of narishkeit (foolishness) is passing itself off as frumkeit (religious observance). Hence the name Frum Follies. I am not saying frumkeit is folly. I want to expose hypocritical frumkeit which is used to cover up folly. The targets of Frum Follies include:

  • Cover-ups of child abuse (physical or sexual) and  domestic violence
  • Crooked behavior at the expense of Jews or non-Jews
  • Exploitation of  the rules of kosher to generate personal income or power
  • Sordid fights for leadership positions motivated by personal ambition
  • Exploiting Torah lishmah (learning Torah for its own sake) to support men regardless of their diligence, ability, evidence of good character  or the burden they place on others
  • Failing to respect people who pay their own way
  • Contempt for others  including modern-orthodox Jews, other Jews,  non-Jews, Sephardim, baalei teshuvah (newly observant), geirim (converts to Judaism),  women, and people of color
  • A double standard for loshon horah (the rules against gossip) which allows it against those outside the community or those who challenge the community
  • The reckless extension of chumras (stringencies)
  • Distorting Jewish history to make it look like gadolim (preeminent rabbinical leaders) were perfect
  • Distorting Jewish history to deny the legitimate place secular knowledge had in the past
  • Banning books by members inside the community without even reading them or allowing their authors to defend themselves
  • Deferring to wealthy people at the expense of others

All of these problems can be solved with candor, accountability, the courage to say the truth, and the courage to defy social pressure.

Many people sin by omission and don’t stand up for the truth. Often they do this to protect their  position in the shidduch (marriage) market. It is a treyf (unkosher) market because it favors money and status over character.  It is treyf  because it bribes people to deceive themselves and others.

Who I Am and What I Care About Continue reading