Only recently, one of the blog readers kindly forwarded me a link to a new American book publication. I think it was a young woman publishing a story about her chassidic or whatever haredi background. How she escaped and now lives a secular lifestyle. As already Devorah Feldman, this woman is also bashing her haredi background.
I told the person sending me the link that I am simply not interested, as I am a kind of fed up with the subject. I never read Devorah Feldman’s book and I won’t read the new one either. It has become a real fashion for runaways publishing books about their haredi background. The more gossip about haredi society, the better the book will sell.
Just a few years ago, I interviewed the famous Israeli Gur runaway Sarah Einfeld. I actually liked her although she appeared to be extremely hyperactive which drove me a bit nuts. Sarah, however, is a good person and very much cares for her little children she took with her.
The main reason why I spoke to her was that I thought to find some answers for myself. Why I had left haredi society and why it didn’t work out. Why I left after two years of being a Baal Teshuva ?
Sarah and me are very different. She was born into Gur and I only discovered haredi society later on in my life. At first, I was with the national religious movement but soon after, I got in touch with Haredim whose society I liked much more. Until today I am getting along with Haredim but I do have a few problems with national religious Jews. 🙂 I simply feel more comfortable among Haredim although I don’t look that way anymore. 🙂
After my interview with Sarah, I tried getting in touch with other runaways in order to interview them. Talking to Sarah hadn’t helped me finding any answers for myself and my conclusion was that everyone is different. My reasons for leaving the fold were not hers and every single runaway has his own issues. So, solve your own issues and get on in life. This is what Sarah Einfeld actually did. As far as I know she got a regular school education and a degree. I also heard that she was giving lectures to psychology students at Tel Aviv University where she is talking about haredi society.
When I lived in Tel Aviv I met a couple of runaways. Unknown runaways who are not looking for fame but just live their lives. The more I met, the more I realized that 95 % of them had left haredi society due to problems such as homosexuality or drug addiction. In other words, runaways were facing their own private issues and this is why they left.
I, on the other hand, couldn’t identify with them because I am neither a homosexual nor addicted to any kind of drug besides coffee. When I spoke to a runaway and felt that we may have something in common, it didn’t take too long and he or she told me about drugs and sexual matters. This was it for me and I was angry with myself of having wasted the time coming to the meeting.
I got fed up and this is why I stopped writing about the subject. And I don’t read books because I still have my own “WHY” to solve. After a while, however, I came to the conclusion that not every Jew was made for being a Haredi. There are different types of people and my purpose in life must be laying somewhere else. At a place where I feel comfortable and don’t have to strive for being accepted.
On the other hand, I still have Haredi friends. Normal ones and no drug addicts. 🙂