Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why Kiruv Sometimes Fails | Beyond BT - The Baal Teshuva / Baal Teshuvah site for Baalei Teshuva / Baalei Teshuvah and Other Growth Oriented Jews

I was recently asked by a congregant about their friends' kids who became ba'al tshuvah, or 'frummy' in the more vulgar argot. They had been raised Orthodox (if not necessarily Orthoprax) and as they grew and got married, became more and more drawn to Orthodox practice and ritual. For my congregants, the sense was not that they became more 'religious' but more 'doctrinaire' or 'ritualistic'. Perhaps; I'm increasingly loath to judge in that fashion (especially after seeing the joy of Reform Jewish teens adapt or adopt traditional rituals for themselves with tremendous enthusiasm). What's great about this article is it articulates some of what happens for "BTs" and their process and how exhausting and draining it can be, especially when they don't have good mentors (that is, folks who can guide them beyond the ritual into the Kavannah itself). While I can argue pretty authoritatively that this approach is not for me (specifically due to the lack of egalitarianism) I can appreciate the passion, and how that passion can make the process of religious exploration even more challenging...

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