Kelsey sent me this call for submissions. There’s been a lot of talk on Jewlicious about tone, etc. and this will probably piss some of you off, but, c’est la vie. The text below is taken straight from the post on the topic at Jewschool.

It was only a matter of time before current or former ba’alei tshuvahs banded together to oppose the kiruv world’s radical policies, excesses, and lies.

That time is now.

If the Ultra-Orthodox compilations, essays, and movies about Ba’alei Tshuvah are to be believed, most stories follow a similar arc. Secular Jew discovers Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. Rejects secular world in its entirety. Marries like-minded newly religious spouse. Lives very fulfilling and meaningful life, and achieves higher and higher spiritual levels.

See the rest of the call for submissions here.

About the author

grandmuffti

33 Comments

  • Muffti wrote: “and this will probably piss some of you off…” I wouldn’t say pissed off. More like annoyed. Since when do we reproduce posts from other blogs in their entirety? Couldn’t you have summarized the post and then simply linked to Jewschool? Very friggin annoying. And ugly. And boring too I might add but that’s inconsequential.

  • Since when is jrelicious trying to pretend to be as ‘progressive’ as jewschool? Why don’t they simply take a straw poll between readers and see how many are BTs and how many are post-BTs?

  • Laya: Muffti suspects, based on tone, that it is the latter that they are after. The thesis, muffti takes it, seems to be presupposed. They are out to provide evidence for the thesis that they take as given. But, Kelsey, feel free to jump in here anytime.

    CK, Sorry to annoy and bore you; its a call for papers so Muffti felt it best to use the ‘callers’ own words, lest he misinterpret their point. It was on request from Kelsey and Muffti thinks the topic is relatively germane so what’s the big deal?

    Josh, Jewlicious isn’t pretending to be anything; there’s a book of relevance to Jews which has a call for papers out. Jewlicious, through Muffti in this case, is extending the call for papers.

    No one should read the call as an endorsement of the project, the thesis or anything else.

  • couldn’t you just link to it? i’m absolutely positive that Kelsey would not have minded. its a huge amount of real estate devoted to something we neither wrote nor added our perspective on.

  • All right, all right, Muffti’ll link to it. Chill! Sorry about the extra few seconds of scrolling Muffti caused people out there.

  • muff – there’s not much tone here at all (though you keep bringing it up, why? hoping i’ll take the bait and be outed for the unreasonably extremist I obviously am?), but if you meant based on the intro, i’d probably agree.

  • Yeah, Laya, that’s exactly what Muffti’s hoping for. But for now Muffti will settle for you outting yourself as merely paranoid.

    What do you mean not much tone here at all?


    “It was only a matter of time before current or former ba’alei tshuvahs banded together to oppose the kiruv world’s radical policies, excesses, and lies.”

    If that last bit doesn’t sound like a sort of aggressive tone, then Muffti isn’t sure that we agree over what the english word ‘tone’ means.

    But Muffti apologizes. Thanks again for granting him the power to post.

  • Geez, y’all should really chill out a bit. Laya, more than most posters, has worked really hard to make Jewlicious what it is. I say this in no uncertain terms – you are able to post on Jewlicious in large part because of the tireless work Laya does on a regular basis to maintain the viability of this blog. I do a bit of work on it too. The point is all other posters just have to post. Laya and I have to post and also keep this thing running, which isn’t always so easy, believe me. So come on Muff. A little acknowledgement of that please.

    That having been said, thank you for making those adjustments. Now the post is far more appropriate don’t you think?

  • There are other post-BT’s??? I thought I was the only one! All the people I became frum with are living happily ever after, remodeling their kitchens, redoing their sheitels, having baby #7, starting to have bar mitzvahs for the first born, and still missing lobster, good pizza, the beach, unregulated sex and getting high. If anyone out there would like to band with me to oppose the kiruv world’s radical policies and lies PLEASE write to me.

    More importantly, if anyone would like to join me at the beach for some unregulated sex, and lobster etc….please write!

  • I am grateful to Laya and to you for making Jewlicious look as it does and function as it does. I also enjoy your posts and graphics, think you’re both talented and was very pleased to see Laya’s “Slaves” series a little while back. I also think that if one person becomes closer to Israel or to their identity as Jews because of this site, we have done a mitzvah, and I believe the two of you have done this many times so you’ve garnered a few notches in your belts.

    I won’t speak for Muffti, but I believe part of the problem lies in how we relate to each other’s views. We already know that on some things we disagree and we know we’re going to knock heads sometimes because some of these topics are important to us and touch on some basic points of faith and values.

    In my opinion, we can avoid the messiness by sticking to the topics and avoiding the personal confrontations altogether. Debates are debates and when we stick to the issues, we all learn something. When we personalize issues or attacks, we go off on very messy tangents and it’s simply unpleasant – not only for us, but also for our guests.

    We used to disagree and still have fun. This is because none of us are extremists. In one way or another we’re all middles. It can be fun again. I suggest that if somebody posts a topic or comment, and another poster has a problem with the way it is posted, there is email or one can write comments that address the contents of the post. If we put aside the recent anger and baggage and try addressing ideas instead of personalities, I think we can achieve this. Also, how about we go back to fun (“hee hee, there goes that wacky Middle again” as opposed to “THERE GOES THAT WACKY MIDDLE AGAIN!”)?

    Fun. Jewlicious. Fun.

  • Guys… just a thought from a non-poster powered individual. You know you guys can communicate outside of the Jewlicious website right? I mean, email, AIM, MSN, Phone, all could be used for discussion of website administration ect… Not that it’s not fun to read, but… well.. It’s not. I’m just saying. I love the site, I love the people from the site that I’ve met and befriended personally. I just could deal without all the administrative bickering from the posters that apparently all the readers have to hear. Anyway, it’s just a suggestion, it’s your site. I’m just a reader and sometime commenter so what do I know.

  • I third that sentiment… when the argument is germane then it’s different… fighting over the actual topic is both interesting and illuminating… fighting over tone, space, and linking is not… on the plus side people are reading it right! 🙂

  • Hey. Mufti asked if I would like him to write about this. Of course I said yes. No hard feelings? What would you have done in my shoes, with a book you want to write, submissions you need to generate, and perhaps an ax to grind? It was a generous offer. Of course I said yes!

    Laya, I hear what you are saying, and did a big cheshbon hanefesh, and decided that yes, even I, usually pristine in spirit and motive, have an agenda. How could you tell? But both of us (meaning Failed Messiah also) are determined to be relatively more even handed than the usual books about Ba’alei Tshuvah, and include the positive as well as the negative, which I think, will be more accurate than the usual drivel released ad nauseum in the Haredi world which always ends happily fahfrumpt ever after after a mammish mesiras nefesh matzav allevited by clear hasgacha pratis which we should all internalize to shed the chetzonius and shtusim of the depraved (to the core) secular world (in its entirety, please use extreme examples to show this entirety) from where we come from in order to reach a higher medraga (and I respect such narratives, don’t get me wrong). Also, Laya, the focus is not about secular people who decide to live more Jewish lives, but people who are actively encouraged to lead more (much more) Haredi lives. As you are aware, there is a big difference between that and Normative Judaism. And if the Haredi world is not checked and challenged by those who are educated and understand the difference, the future for clal yisroel is black indeed.

    Chutzpah, we want your story. So lay off the treifus and the sex next Sunday, and get writing, boychick.

  • I’ll just use this space to give my appreciation to all of the posters/commenters/readers of jewlicious. Thanks to everyone—I’ve certainly enjoyed my time as I check out the site at least once a day during the week and get a lot out of the information, opinions, tones, ideas, and varying viewpoints. I LIKE the idea of a forum for Jews of various background to comment on immediate-cultural concepts from the pop cultural to the sobering. Thanks.

  • Um, I’m a girlchick and my screenwriting teacher keeps telling me to get writing too!

  • dk – thanks. I think your book, being as even handed as you hope to make it will be an intriguing read.

    Thanks for also clarifying the difference between more traditionally jewish lives and specifically haredi lives. Batzlacha.

  • Chutzpah is correct. The problem is shown by the likes of someone like this Matisyahu. It’s utter serious, droll, and dull. People want fun, as Chutpah has stated so well. They want more than, I want Moshiach now!, and the essence of my being.

  • They want the Golden Calf!

    Lesson never learned.

    There is nothing new under the sun.

    Shabbat Shalom.

  • This is why I feel Matisyahu has maybe 3 more albums he can ride off of the curio factor. his ‘message’ and I am discounting his hypocrcacy w/ the Jdub episode, is too serious for most people, the masses. They want Shaira and her hips. I can’t see how he will continue to sustain more than a cult following, but it will be interesting to see if I am wrong.

    I happened to attend the Israel Day parade in NYC last week, there was a ton of music being played live on the various floats, non of his.

  • Here’s my perspective in a nutshell: Orthodoxy is a wonderful life for the economically advantaged. Kiruv organizations target youths from affluent families or those with an education. Perfect match, everyone lives happily ever after. Certain kinds of fun replace other kinds of fun and it works in most cases.
    However, male BT’s that are attracted to the lifestyle because they think they can cop out of making a living in the real world and worse…have their wife and her parents support their newfound desire to do nothing but learn, should not be encouraged. Further, men that are attracted to Orthodoxy because they think they will get to marry a Jewish version of a 1950’s homemaker should really spend quality WEEKDAY time with families, because what goes on is quite different than “The Shabbos Show” that they see from kiruv families.

    If you run Windows 3.0 software on a XP hardrive, it may work, but there are going to be a lot of bugs. Modern “XP” women should think long and hard before giving up all their legal rights and hard won “upgrades” by opting in to the Orthodox system.

  • Chutzpah is largely correct; one thing I will point out, is if you have children, that are then brought up in that system, I prefer that system to what I see out there in public school land.
    Most of those Orth. kids have their eye on the ball. Yes there are exceptions, but nothing like what u have in general society.
    I think CP would agree w/ me. The problem tho is what does the parent do who becomes ambivalent by the crap that goes on.

  • Jobber, I’m not suprised that you didn’t hear Matis at an Israel day parade. His music is not Israeli, and with the exception of “Jerusalem” is not really overtly zionistic. If I were playing music for an Israel day parade I’d play Israeli artists and zionistic songs… seems pretty clear cut.

  • People who were never BT even for a while are a lot less likely to have more than two children if even that many. What is good has a price, sometimes a very high price but it’s worth it IMHO.

    But everybody should be very well.

  • Sorry DK, not so interested in any more “sharing” than I’ve already done on this blog for now, and my heart belongs to Jewlicious.

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