Posted on | January 24, 2006 | By Rabbi Alter Klein | 34 Comments
I’ve noticed along with others that there sometimes is an anti FFB sentiment running through some comments. I’d like to dispel people’s beliefs for a moment.
First of all let’s realize that if it wasn’t for the FFB world, we wouldn’t be here today on this website (obviously Hashem is the ultimate reason we are here). After all, the first BT’s of this past generation were merkaraved by Aish, Ohr Samayach, Neve, etc. All started by FFB’s. So we owe a tremendous hakaros hatov to the FFB world. Did we ever stop and think who kept the light of Torah burning the last 2000 years? That’s right, those FFB’s.
I know at least in my own experiences, I gained so much and grew so much due to FFB’s that were maspia (influencing) on me. That’s not to say that I didn’t have any BT role models. I did. However the FFB role models out number the BT ones (I am not talking qualitatively, just quantitatively now). Every day that I go daven and I see businessmen coming to shul (FFB’s), I think to myself how Hashem must be smiling. The world is a sewer, with a pull so strong that even the mightiest have fallen and yet still these FFB’s that are so involved in the outside world come early in the morning to thank Hashem. Let’s not judge them, whether it is habit that brings them there, etc. Only Hashem is the true judge. The fact is that they are there every morning, afternoon and evening.
I have met a number of FFBs that grew up “modern” and then moved to the right. I think they are incredible. They have the right perspective (excited about their Judaism) while yet for the most part still pure (most didn’t “treif” themselves up so bad). I envy them.
Most BT’s went through college, the secular world for some part of their life. We unfortunately have seen too much (in terms of the forbidden). No matter how much we remove ourselves from it now, it still lurks in the backs of our minds, rearing it ugly head at various points in our lives. I am speaking about those that have done sincere Teshuva, even then the mind’s memory system doesn’t forget too easily. We know that we always need to regret what we have done before. These things haunt us to this day. Whether we are talking about how we see the world-through the Torah’s eyes or that of the western world. You can’t erase 25 years of influence too easily. (I am not discussing now what we should throw out and what we should keep, however we know everything needs to be looked at through a Torah perspective as opposed to the western ideals, etc.). The “modern” kid turned “fanatic” usually doesn’t have as many skeletons in his/her closet.
Let’s also realize how many BT’s never real go the whole way in their Teshuva process. They get stuck in both worlds. We aren’t all Tzaddikim. I didn’t write this to knock any one group. I want us all to be aware of our pluses and minuses and realize that Hashem wants us each to help each other come closer to him.
Just remember, I hope that each and everyone of us look forward to the moment (if not already) when they can say that their children are true FFBs.