Saturday, March 13, 2010


My friend's husband just came up with a great new term. These people are FFBs. They are Fake From Birth....


  1. So what exactly would this include?

    Is this related to people who are slacker-frum at all? Slacker frum are the people who show up late to davening, definitely don't daven three times a day, but self-identify as frum. They often get incensed at any suggestion that is at all progressive (you can be very sure they'll never show up at a Conservative shul for a bar mitzvah). In many of their cases they are frum because something resembling frumkeit is the path of least resistance.

  2. I think that's exactly who is to be included.

  3. Oh, that's totally not judgmental. We all suck.

    The annoying ones will always stick out. Doesn't mean we are all not up to religious standards.

    Do what I do. IGNORE THEM.

  4. You do realize that 'most people lives lives of quiet desperation', right?

    That is to say that most people simply exist.

    Very few actually live.

    To exist is to conform to a community or to oneself. To live is challenge both oneself and the community.

    Many who exist need and want as little stimulus as possible because stimulus exacerbates the desperation and shallowness.

    Geirim (excluding the whack jobs) tend to live- that is after all what brought them to Judaism. Geirim seek all the stimulus they can absorb in the furtherance of life- real life and passion for all things. This scares a lot of people in the community.


  5. NEBACH... like they say to us... I say to them.

  6. I hear that.

    I noted elsewhere that awareness and not seclusion is critical to really LIVE life.

    Knowledge and insight into the physical realm we inhabit opens doors. Sequester yourself and the doors of what is possible in the spiritual realm becomes greatly diminished. Previous generations never had to deal with the cultural leaps and bounds leaps we are exposed to and experience today.

    The 800 lb gorilla in the orthodox living room that you allude to and no one is speaking of speaks of is the fear of assimilation.

    To understand the phenomena is to recognize that assimilation is very different from integration. It is not understanding the difference between the two that has ripped apart orthodox communities.

    Assimilation (which is really about culture) is a choice. We can assimilate as much or as little as we choose. We can watch TV or not, we can go to movies or not or we can go to the theater or we can read books. If we choose, we can isolate ourselves entirely. There are communities that do just that (Amish, for example).

    Integration is another matter entirely because integration is about living and thriving in any given environment. Integration is about accepting the reality of the world we live in. Unless we are willing to live isolated lives, we need to integrate our reality into the reality of the world around us. We need to LIVE to thrive and grow.

    Individuals, groups and communities who fear integration do so because they are insecure with themselves or their community. The desire to assimilate is not the initial reason which compels a person to explore outside an insular community. Initially, most people in insular societies so inclined simply want to integrate into the world around them. They want more, they want to be challenged. They have no desire to give up their identity. They simply want to integrate. When that integration is denied, the individuals seek the full break of assimilation because they are told that integration is taboo. They are forced to choose. Some choose to leave, some choose unhappiness.

    To integrate into a society is to agree to the society’s social compacts, social contracts and laws that particular society has enshrined. We agree to the rules and seek no special status. We obey traffic laws and public health and vaccination guidelines and we enter into legal and binding contracts as necessary. We agree to follow the rules.

    Not assimilating into American society does not mean that individuals or groups can and should not integrate into the fundamental American values and laws we share.

    Not integrating into a society and remaining insular is a recipe for social and cultural collapse. A look at much of the orthodox society today bears that out.

    This is no small matter.