Sunday, November 16, 2008

Atheism – a Guide to Prevention


“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin

Orthodox Jews who become atheists seem to follow a fairly consistent pattern:

- Trauma. They experience some very painful incident or incidents. This means that in this person’s perception, the event was traumatic. Some people are much more sensitive than others are to the same experience.

- Medication. They use sex to console themselves and to distract themselves from their pain. This may be anything from flirting to masturbation to actual intercourse. Pornography is usually important; for girls, this means romance novels.

- Rationalization. In order not to feel guilty about their sexual misconduct, they deny the validity of the Torah and/or the existence of God.

This clarifies why explaining proofs of Torah to an ex-Orthodox atheist is never effective. He may claim that he is convinced of atheism because of philosophical reasons; however this is never the case. He needs the atheistic philosophy merely to remove the guilt which he would otherwise have to face.

To prevent atheism, the first step is to try and shelter your child from trauma. Some suggestions are:
- If you are married with children, do not divorce.
- If you do divorce, live nearby your former spouse.
- Do not become angry with your child. Discipline in a calm, well thought out way.
- Frequently show your child love and affection.
- Deal with any academic or social problems your child is having as quickly as possible. Stay in close contact with his teachers.

In addition to this, encourage Torah study as much as possible. I have yet to find an atheist who had learned in yeshiva more than a few years past age 20. The most solid foundation in Torah is vital. And obviously, avoid exposing your child to pornography. If you have Internet, you MUST have filtering software.

If the child has already reached the point of medicating his pain with sex, this is a crisis situation however all is not yet lost. Counseling and therapy, perhaps for the entire family, may be helpful. Perhaps the child can still be convinced to find more positive coping mechanisms. Obviously, a parent must be aware of a problem. Internet monitoring software may be very helpful. If a boy remains in bed until late in the morning this may be a sign that he is masturbating until late at night. A hidden camera with night vision in his bedroom might be helpful.

Once the child has reached the stage of rationalization, and has denied the Torah, then all hope is presumably lost. The child should be expelled from the home in order to avoid a bad influence on others. If he is under 18, then the parents are legally obligated to support him however they should do so by placing him in a boarding school. He should not be allowed contact with siblings.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

What if the boy has already grown up and is a member of an OJ community, has his own family but hides behind a secret identity and flirts with women who are not his wife? I think he sould be sought out & banished from his community. What do you think?

jewish philosopher said...

Well, is he an atheist? If so, I have a post about that.

Anonymous said...

> Rationalization. In order not to feel guilty about their sexual misconduct, they deny the validity of the Torah and/or the existence of God.<

You've got it backwards. We atheists first deny the validity of the torah. After that realization, we reward ourselves with a treat of debaucherous sex. You should try it Jacob. You might find that more satisfying than molesting your gerbil.

jewish philosopher said...

Don't bring my gerbil into this. That's going way too far.

jewish philosopher said...

"hides behind a secret identity and flirts with women who are not his wife"

Is this merely hypothetical? Or do you know any of those women? Do they enjoy flirting with this secret man? Is he something like James Bond 007? It may not be flirting involved there. He may just be irresistible.

Anonymous said...

I don't know any of these women but I do know of this man. The impression I get is if he is NOT an athiest and participates in these actions, then all is well. If he happens to be godless, then stone him for flirting? I think it should be the other way around. "Godly" men behaving like heathens are certainly more deceptive of their community, their families & themselves. Maybe you know this fellow I speak of? I believe he lives in your own community.

jewish philosopher said...

"Maybe you know this fellow I speak of? I believe he lives in your own community."

I'm sure I don't. But if you do, I guess stoning may be the best option. We don't want any flirting out there. Maybe just stone everyone to make sure you get him. You might want to check out some stone dealers. Compare prices.

Anonymous said...

Well, in order to save myself a pretty penny, Im sure his god will stone him once they meet. Us athiests dont need to worry about that sort of thing.

jewish philosopher said...

In these financial crisis times, I can understand that. But atheists don't believe in God.

Tamara said...

Too primitive and convenient:
http://machanaim.org/philosof/kook/b2-e.htm#p5

jewish philosopher said...

Tamara, thank you for your comment, however I'm afraid I'm not very kabbalistic. If you want to discuss divine sparks, you would be better off emailing Madonna.

Anonymous said...

Is this all a joke?
and if it is not, do you truly believe anyone would follow through with this advice.
Come on.

jewish philosopher said...

"Is this all a joke?"

No.

"do you truly believe anyone would follow through with this advice"

Why not?

Tamara said...

Some people are not in rush to give up on Jewish souls
http://www.areivim.com/
http://www.baischana.org/content/category/6/15/27/
http://lya.org.il/

jewish philosopher said...

My blog expresses my opinion. I never said everyone or anyone agrees.

Tamara said...

What’s the point in expressing your helplessness?
Perhaps G-d has somewhat broader rehabilitation ideas, ways, and messangers?
Did you ever hear of Teshuva, parents’ prayers, etc. etc?

jewish philosopher said...

An atheist will not repent because he feels no need to.

Tamara said...

Yet another perspective. It might be hard for a future leader to learn to follow first. Rabbi Berel Wein once said that more than few Torah authorities were expelled from their schools. He brought an example of some Torah scholar who in his youth dragged a goat to his class and proclaimed his intention to study from that goat which in his words knew more than his Rebe…

Rochie Ploni said...

wow.
Having been around kiruv workers for almost 8 years, I cannot believe some of what is said on this blog.
With all due respect, I don't feel that insulting other yidden id the way to make them believe in yiddishkeit.
There is a mashal often given of two ways to prevail over another: one is to knock them off their pedestal, so that they are hurt and the other is to go up and put yourself higher then them. When they see this, they will ask how you got so high, and you will educate them.
So too with kiruv.
You can bash people and ideologies all you want, but if you want to make an ACTUAL difference, you have to do so by being a good example of what yiddiskeit really teaches, and others will follow willingly.

Kol hakavod, and have a good shabbos

jewish philosopher said...

Thank you very much for your comment.

One thing I should perhaps explain is that in my view, if someone has already been Orthodox and has chosen to leave, he is no longer considered to be a Jew and there is no realistic chance of convincing him to repent. We can only shun him and denounce him in the hopes that he will not badly influence others.

Rochie Ploni said...

yes, but who are we to say who can and cannot repent? That is Hakodosh Baruch Hu's job - not ours. While I understand the logic in trying to keep them away from where they may influence others, it is still an aveira to treat them in a way that doesn't reflect "v'ohavta lereacha camocha" It has been my experience that many times, the people who have left yiddishkeit did so because they saw the way Jews treated other Jews.

A gut voch

jewish philosopher said...

Thank you again for your input, however in fact it is obligatory to hate people who have converted from Judaism to atheism http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2007/12/good-hatred.html

Chana said...

the post you have linked to does not seem, IMHO, to be a fair assessment of the situation. The halacha to hate someone who goes against Hashem only applies to an apikores - and to become an apikores one must be a true talmid chacham and STILL turn against Hashem. Furthermore, hate is a strong word, and there are many prominent rabbonim who hold that even in the case of an apparent apikores, we still cannot hate them because we can't really know what their motivations are for leaving yiddishkeit. It would seem plain, to me at least - and I am no scholar so my opinion really holds no weight - that it is therefore safer NOT to hate a fellow Jew, and put oneself at the risk of slandering another Jew, EVEN if there is a possibility that he may be an apikores. Every yid has a neshoma, and it is the GOOD in that neshoma that one should focus on, not the bad.

jewish philosopher said...

I believe that these rules apply to someone who was Orthodox and has chosen to leave Orthodoxy.

Chana said...

"I believe..."
And which Rov do you have to back you up?
Who gave you the heter to hate other Jews?
Ahavas CHINAM is what is going to rebuild the beis hamikdosh, not sinas chinam.
Instead of spending your G-d-given energy writing hateful things, perhaps it would be better spent going out and showing other Jews - both secular born and those who left the fold - how beautiful yiddishkeit is.
This blog is one of the biggest chillul Hashem I have ever come in contact with, and I beg you for the sake of our nation to please take it down! Or at least speak to a rav about your postings here and if they are allowed.
I personally know of two people who, after reading your blog, have told me that they were utterly repulsed by Orthodox Judaism. Is this your purpose?

jewish philosopher said...

I think I have a few fans too.