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If you are looking to support a safety net for people who left the orthodox world, you can direct funds to "Our Place".
« Last edited by ShlockDoc on August 31, 2015, 06:56:31 PM »

Poll

Footsteps Friend or For?

Friend
4 (6.3%)
Foe
50 (79.4%)
Never heard of them
9 (14.3%)

Total Members Voted: 63

Author Topic: Footsteps - Friend or Foe?  (Read 13962 times)

Offline ShlockDoc

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Footsteps - Friend or Foe?
« on: August 30, 2015, 02:19:25 AM »
While I am a shomer torah umitzvos Orthodox Jew, I've always been a financial supporter of footsteps because I understood that they provided a safety net for people who left the orthodox world.  I thought that's a great cause, ie helping a Jew in their time of need even if I personally disagree with that persons decision to leave. 

People in a separate thread and via PM told me that they view Footsteps in a negative light. Since I'm an outsider to the communities that these people are leaving I genuinely don't understand the objections to the organization. 

I consider myself relatively open minded (don't we all) so can someone please tell me what this organization does wrong? Are there instances of them trying to convince people to leave the derech as opposed to just supporting them if they do? I think that would be inappropriate if it happens.

Offline Aj3042

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Re: Footsteps - Friend or Foe?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2015, 02:29:27 AM »
Terrible. Here's a quote from their mission statement:
Footsteps provides educational, vocational and social support to those seeking to enter or explore the world beyond the insular ultra-religious communities in which they were raised.

As the Gemara says, it's "not the mouse that's the thief, it's hole"-meaning that supporters of thieves, for example, are the real culprits, because without backup and support thieves wouldn't steal. So supporting people who do the wrong thing and giving them an opportunity to do so is wrong and enables bad to continue and flourish.

You seem to be well meaning but I'm sorry to inform you that being "open minded" at the expense of the Torah is not "open mindedness"-it's closed mindedness.

ETA- if their actions were limited to keeping people frum but "more open" that's perfectly fine. However it's my understand that this is not the case and that they support people leaving religion completely (or people becoming less observant about any real mitzvah).
« Last Edit: August 30, 2015, 02:34:31 AM by Aj3042 »

Offline MosheD

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Re: Footsteps - Friend or Foe?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2015, 02:32:40 AM »
No opinion on the matter, never heard of organization, but AJ reminded me of great line.
"you are being close-minded with an open-minded brain"

Offline snapit

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Re: Footsteps - Friend or Foe?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2015, 02:34:49 AM »
Terrible. Here's a quote from their mission statement:
Footsteps provides educational, vocational and social support to those seeking to enter or explore the world beyond the insular ultra-religious communities in which they were raised.

As the Gemara says, it's "not the mouse that's the thief, it's hole"-meaning that supporters of thieves, for example, are the real culprits, because without backup and support thieves wouldn't steal. So supporting people who do the wrong thing and giving them an opportunity to do so is wrong and enables bad to continue and flourish.

You seem to be well meaning but I'm sorry to inform you that being "open minded" at the expense of the Torah is not "open mindedness"-it's closed mindedness.

ETA- if their actions were limited to keeping people frum but "more open" that's perfectly fine. However it's my understand that this is not the case and that they support people leaving religion completely (or prople becoming looser on any real mitzvah).
As my dad would say "if you're to open minded your brains will fall out"

Offline ShlockDoc

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Re: Footsteps - Friend or Foe?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2015, 02:36:58 AM »
As the Gemara says, it's "not the mouse that's the thief, it's hole"-meaning that supporters of thieves, for example, are the real culprits, because without backup and support thieves wouldn't steal. So supporting people who do the wrong thing and giving them an opportunity to do so is wrong and enables bad to continue and flourish.

So you think that if Footsteps didn't exist, fewer people would leave Torah observance? So it's not that they reach out to try to convince people to leave its that just their existence gives people who have doubts in their mind an easier decision to leave.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2015, 02:40:17 AM by ShlockDoc »

Offline Aj3042

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Re: Footsteps - Friend or Foe?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2015, 02:38:54 AM »
No opinion on the matter, never heard of organization, but AJ reminded me of great line.
"you are being close-minded with an open-minded brain"
You're right. Look around and see-often those who profess to being "open minded" are in fact extremely closed minded because they're totally closed minded in their opinions about people they consider closed minded. Take a look at that coffee container picture thread and you'll see this in action. The great Amerivan rule of "live and let live" is suddenly cast aside in favor of "how dare these people be so closed minded?". I'm sure had the situation been reversed and frum people had been complaining about something they perceived others to have done wrong we would have heard this open minded voices clamping for tolerance and open mindedness.

Offline Aj3042

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Re: Footsteps - Friend or Foe?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2015, 02:40:16 AM »
So you think that if Footsteps didn't exist, fewer people would leave Torah observance?
That's a logical conclusion I can draw. If they support, encourage, and embolden people leaving the fd, then they probably have some effect on how many people leave and how quickly they put their old lives of observance behind them.

Offline Freddie

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Re: Footsteps - Friend or Foe?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2015, 02:44:47 AM »
I'm predicting that this thread is gonna be stupid.

Offline ShlockDoc

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Re: Footsteps - Friend or Foe?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2015, 02:45:09 AM »
That's a logical conclusion I can draw. If they support, encourage, and embolden people leaving the fd, then they probably have some effect on how many people leave and how quickly they put their old lives of observance behind them.

I hear that for people who are on the fence about leaving.  My question is for those that don't have emunah or for whatever reason decide to leave. They just aren't going to be frum anymore.  Before footsteps they were really in a bad situation.  No family, no friends, no education, no community.  That's what I have in mind when I say that they help Jews in need.   The question is how to have the best of both worlds, help those that have decided to leave without the unintended consequence of making leaving more attractive.

Offline ShlockDoc

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Re: Footsteps - Friend or Foe?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2015, 02:45:42 AM »
I'm predicting that this thread is gonna be stupid.

I'm actually trying to really understand the other side. 

Offline Freddie

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Re: Footsteps - Friend or Foe?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2015, 02:50:45 AM »
I'm actually trying to really understand the other side.
This is not the place where that's gonna happen. Everyone is just going to end up more entrenched in their original position. You included.

Offline Aj3042

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Re: Footsteps - Friend or Foe?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2015, 02:51:50 AM »
I hear that for people who are on the fence about leaving.  My question is for those that don't have emunah or for whatever reason decide to leave. They just aren't going to be frum anymore.  Before footsteps they were really in a bad situation.  No family, no friends, no education, no community.  That's what I have in mind when I say that they help Jews in need.   The question is how to have the best of both worlds, help those that have decided to leave without the unintended consequence of making leaving more attractive.
Well you just nailed it-its impossible. If one were possible without the other, then maybe you'd have a point.

Offline gozalim

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Re: Footsteps - Friend or Foe?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2015, 02:53:39 AM »
I was under the impression that there is actual encouraging of 'leaving the fold' not just support once leaving. I don't have actual data though.

Offline Aj3042

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Re: Footsteps - Friend or Foe?
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2015, 02:53:56 AM »
This is not the place where that's gonna happen. Everyone is just going to end up more entrenched in their original position. You included.
This is true.

Offline ShlockDoc

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Re: Footsteps - Friend or Foe?
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2015, 02:56:44 AM »
I was under the impression that there is actual encouraging of 'leaving the fold' not just support once leaving. I don't have actual data though.

That's a very significant distinction and one that would stop me from supporting them.