Sunday, February 28, 2010

The High Price of Religious Defection

Here's a brief profile of two Israelis who left their ultra-orthodox lifestyle behind, and the price they had to pay for it: The High Price of Religious Defection.
Over the 19 years it has been operating, only around 2,000 defectors have turned to Hillel. "There are tens of thousands who have doubts and want out," Paneth says. But only a small number are ready and willing to make the sacrifices that defection demands. For example, most families completely break off contact with defectors. "Some even hold wakes," Paneth says, "as if the daughter or son has actually died."
I guess Der Spiegel can be forgiven for mixing up a wake with sitting shiva. I really wonder though about her numbers. Are there really tens of thousands who want out? How can she be sure about that?

One of the protagonists shares the picture she was painted of what would happen if she left:
"We were contantly told that the secular world was only waiting to turn us into prostitutes or slaves," Mayan explains, "that there was nothing but drug addiction waiting for us out in the modern world."
Sound familiar?


Off the Derech said...

Nice article. Here's another.

joey said...

Very late on this, but:

Can you do a piece about buying pre-cut Shabbat toilet paper, and call it "The High Price of Religious Defecation?"