Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Disbelief, Cleave, or Leave

He said you shouldn't taste the forbidden fruit while in the fold?

Recently, Blogosphere explored the motives for Hasidic dissention, and it attempted to address the apparent gender factor in rebellion. Jewish Philosopher, a somewhat weird Hasidic-convert blogger, triggered the debate by proposing that all the idealistic-atheistic chatter is mere rubbish and a disguise for the inner urges for freedom of sex. He rationalizes this conclusion by the fact that the overwhelming majority of exes are men, which he contributes the licentious nature of the male. The theory goes that skeptics are immoral and crave sin, which they believe is accessible only by leaving the fold. An offended Shtreimel posted to refute this logic, and has attracted an unusual large number of comments.

Before hypotheses can be offered to phenomena, there must be an accurate observation. JP failed to reveal any sources that demonstrate the difference between men and women rebels exceeds the margin of coincidence. As far as known, the US Census Bureau releases no official statistics on the trend of Hasidic dissention. Personal accounts do not suffice, because it is likely the evaluator is not acquainted with a significant number of instances.
Even if the assumption will hold true, there is no basis for a claim that the sexual aspect of masculinity is the culprit. Two related variables do not necessarily show cause and effect; both variables might as well be the dual effect of a third-variable cause. The gender-causing variable can be solved as the 23rd chromosome, so who can exclude behavioral distinctions as not being coded in the miles of tangled-so-called-junk genes?

Naturally, the many differences in behavior between the sexes are not all attributed to erotic motives. Women are known to be loquacious, emotional, and of a flimsy structure. Men generally shower in the mornings, while their counterparts bath before bed. (Evolutionists: Screech between your teeth that it’s millennia of preparations for the evening at play.) Therefore, even if testosterone is indeed the explanation as JP claims, rebellion could be a male characteristic independent of eroticism.

However, Hasidic men are more prone to the influences of the outside world than are their wives. The sophistication of men rests on the tripod of interaction, accountability, and mobility. The ratio of men to women in the workforce is still high in Hasidic communities. Business contacts are not regulated by the authorities of the ghetto, and people are introduced to new ideas in the workplace. What’s more, husbands can easily deceive their wives as spending time in job or at shul, while being somewhere else. Mothers, however, cannot leave their homes without asking their husbands to babysit and thus report in detail what, where, and when. Finally, Hasidic women don’t drive; it’s a taboo. Men can cruise around as they wish, while women have their wings chopped.

Nonetheless, the reason why skeptics leave for the secular world is so clear that one may question the need to state the obvious. People want a better life for themselves, and will pursue it wherever they believe they can find it. Why would skeptics deny themselves a better life for reasons in which they don’t believe? Dissidents weigh the alluring street and painful rift on one side of the equation against an increasingly intolerable ghetto and the coziness of the accustomed on the other side. Different situations cause different minds to come to different conclusions; some decide to stay and others decide to break away.
posted by Renaissance at 1:29 PM on Aug 3, 2008

Hoezentragerin said...
Another obvious variable you failed to mention;
How many Chasidishe women are financially independent? If they chose to leave, who will provide for them and their children?

August 3, 2008 3:38 PM

The Chief said...

Even if we are currently financially independent, we are very likely to lose our job, if we leave. (Seriously, who of us works for a non frum firm or a frum firm that would tolerate such a drastic life change?!)

August 3, 2008 9:45 PM

Hasidic Rebel said...
Renaissance -- good discussion. I had a few points to make in response, but what was to be a few short comments ended up being a full essay on the subject. Aside from its length, it's a bit dense, and I didn't want to hog your comment space.

For those interested, my thoughts are on my blog: Unexplored Perspectives on Sexual Motivation for Hasidic Rebellion.

August 3, 2008 10:41 PM

jewish philosopher said...
“a somewhat weird Hasidic-convert blogger”

Look who’s talking.

Atheists are merely self deluded libertines.

To borrow a phrase from the immortal James Carville “It’s the sex, stupid.”

August 4, 2008 9:37 AM

Renaissance said...
I mentioned three reasons why Hasidic men are susceptible to the influences of the outside world more then Hasidic women. Financial independence is what makes it easier for them to leave after they were influenced.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Act will back you.

I shall comment there.

I’m neither an atheist nor a libertine. What made you believe I’m?’
Be honest, if the slightest remark from every schmuck on the internet makes you jump, aren’t you weird?

August 4, 2008 10:05 AM

jewish philosopher said...
"I’m neither an atheist nor a libertine. What made you believe I’m?"

What made you think I think you are?

"Be honest, if the slightest remark from every schmuck on the internet makes you jump, aren’t you weird?"

Who's jumping?

August 4, 2008 10:31 AM

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Articulate post; loved your points. The question of the male to female ratio in the rebel society is not as much about chassidiology or physiology as it is one of sociology. The same problem - on a broader spectrum - has been bothering scholars and feminists for years. Why is the literary canon nearly devoid of female authors? Why is the history philosophy absent of many female thinkers? Why is politics dominated by male figures? The answer is a collective understanding of evolutionary biology, cultural suppression and gender diversity.

Certainly, no one would argue that any of the aforementioned male dominated categories are in any way related to testosterone (unless you are inclined to say Bill Clinton’s oval office motivations were Lewinsky; which may be the case if you’re Jacob Stein, but then again, Hillary has been looking for oval office goodies too). There’s obviously a more complex issue at hand which isn’t as conveniently explained as some might hope.

August 4, 2008 11:01 AM

velvel chusid said...
There is an entire chapter in shulchun oruch on Hilchus Yichud. How many men and women may be in a room (2 men 3 women etc.) the ages. what about if the husband is in the same city etc. etc. You all want to understand all this on one foot it doesn't go this way. Talmudei Chachumim are 'Huravening' days and nights on this subject.

August 4, 2008 12:59 PM

Renaissance said...
I agree with your general point that broader evolutionary and social implications favored the male.
Testosterone, however, is not only responsible for lustrous urges. Testosterone is the male sex hormone; it’s the messenger of the male gene to make the body masculine for all that it includes.
With all due respect, I think you are off topic. You heard me claim I wish to understand the subject on one foot?

August 5, 2008 9:35 PM

shlomohamelech said...
To those whose religion is Darwin's natural selection: how can you say that leaving the fold is not about sex? Natural selection is all about procreation. The fact that we have birth control does not change the fact that animal behavior, according to the theory of natural selectoin, is all about sex and procreation. In so far, Darwinists aslways have to explain and find a reason for why animals behave the way they do when there is no apparent connection to sex and procreation. To this end we can all agree that of of the bases in religion is to counter the sexual urges. See, Miller, G.F., (2007). SEXUAL SELECTION FOR MORAL VIRTUES. The Quarterly Review of Biology., 82 (2), 97.

August 6, 2008 2:25 PM


Anonymous said...

what happened???

is chief next to comeback????

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