Say no to brainwashing

Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Danielle Kubes takes aim at Aish Hatorah, NCSY and other Orthodox outfits running outreach programs for non-Orthodox youth:

The organizations present their Judaism as the uniquely accurate one, the Halacha that the non-Orthodox have merely forgotten but that all their ancestors invariably followed. Their assumption that all our great-great-grandparents grew up in an Eastern European shtetl contributes to divisiveness among Jews, for it fails to acknowledge that Halacha has had a variety of interpretations across different times and cultures. …

A false dilemma is presented: Be secular and remain in impurity, where life is merely a game played for fun – or move toward a purpose and filled with holiness.

When presented so simply, which road seems more attractive?

The organizations transmit these teachings through trip leaders who often succeed in making observance seem fun and relevant, at least for the duration of the program.

But the teachings are superficial and the Orthodox world they present bears not a trace of dissatisfaction.

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