Who [Hearts] 2-Shul Communities?

Question: does there exist, anywhere on the planet, a humanoid from a small, OOT community, who would ideally like to live in a small, OOT community?

I ask this because I have dated and befriended many OOTs in the past few years, and they all seem very attached to the in-town axis. Which is to say, greater NYC, Lakewood, Monsey. (Queens is not out of town, sorry folks.) Now, I know that often people think the whole world is better than the specific section that they grew up in, but c’mon. There are people from Flatbush who like it there. I can’t imagine why there aren’t any OOTers who like it out there.

I mean, seriously. Get the average OOTer to stop bashing New York for thirty seconds and ask them where they’d like to live and why they’re not living there. They either don’t know or they haven’t got a very convincing reason.

This suggests that they really do prefer New York. And by that I mean they are attached to something that only New York offers, which is, imho, just as good as loving New York. For eg: If your job/yeshiva only exists in NY, then you clearly don’t prefer OOT enough to switch careers/yeshivos. Your preference for the in-town offering is stronger than your preference for OOT.

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56 thoughts on “Who [Hearts] 2-Shul Communities?

  1. I’m not really “from OOT” as I grew up on LI, but I’ve always hated the city. I became frum in Ithaca, NY (a 1 shul community — even the Chabad Rabbi davened by what was then called Young Israel on Shabbos morning and during the week, although he had his own Friday night minyan) and have lived in Boston (not exactly in-town, but a relatively large OOT community), Worcester, MA (2 1/2 shuls) and now Providence, RI (5 1/2 shuls). I loved living in Boston, but I’m very very happy in Providence.

    Not that I’m an unattached male, and my oldest son isn’t even quite Bar Mitzvah yet, but I would say that there probably are plenty of people who “would ideally like to live in a small, OOT community” — but they don’t date people from NYC, assuming that such would not be interested in moving OOT.

  2. As someone who grew up in a 3 shul town in Ohio, I can say with authority that I would MUCH rather live out of town- in fact, I live in one now. And to agree with Miriam, I very rarely dated anyone from NY or who wanted to stay in NY which assured my preference.

  3. I am an OOTer from a very small community, currently living in NYC. Every guy I date learns that I do not plan to live here, and so far, they have (almost) all been okay–or enthusiastic–about it. I would be happy either returning to my home community or moving to a different OOT community, and though I have resigned myself to the possibility of staying in New York for a minimal number of extra years (if school/job require it), I would be quite unhappy if it were more than a very few years. The majority of my OOTer friends–as well as some of my in-town friends–share my ambition of leaving the area. I find it strange that you have not found this to be the case–I wonder why that is.

  4. I am an OOT originally from LA, CA and I live in NY becuase I have job and Yeshiva here. I would move back in a heartbeat for the weather but it is harder to find a job there… NY doesn’t offer much interms of living space and weather.

  5. Proud Outlander here, and have loved my experience at YU (which is why I’ve been in NY the past few years), but am definitely looking to be elsewhere ASAP (whenever that is, depending on graduate school etc), but I have no plans to live here permanently. Ideally, going back home would be the best, since I really like the small 1-shul-town community, and the weather is oh-so-much nicer. I also believe that I can have a lot of positive communal impact if I settle there, which I would not have in a larger city. For me, the gashmiyus stuff that is available in NY does not compare with the greater life satisfaction that is available in OOT cities – remember that CDC survey? I could survive living in NY if need be, maybe enjoy it a little, but I wouldn’t be very happy overall.

  6. I think there are lots of people who are married with kids that love living OOT, not so many single people though. The main reason I see for that is boredom. OOT communities don’t have as many exciting activities. Even if there are some cool places to go, most of the other singles have already left for NY so who are you going to go with? If you’re married some of that boredom is removed and you usually have someone to do things with. Once you have kids, you probably wish you could be bored again, plus there are benefits to raising kids OOT.

    Personally I love some parts of NY, but if I could live anywhere I’d probably pick somewhere in California.

  7. I always disliked my oot city until the past few years when i have spent a considerable amount of time in brooklyn /ny. (obviously dating) Bottom line is BROOKLYN STINKS!!! It takes twenty minutes to drive around the block to the pizza shop, grocery store, or wherever you are going. Another twenty minutes to park if you are lucky. Then upon entering the store you are greeted by people who don’t know the meaning of the word SMILE and who treat you like a piece of garbage.
    The only plus that ny has in my opinion is the city- (which most brooklyners never visit or have any clue how to navigate around in)!!!!
    I now am very happy to be in my oot (its not like a one shul town) city where the people are friendly, plenty of shopping with parking, and just the right amount of traffic. Problem is I don’t think most of the boys I am dating share this feeling, but i do make it VERY clear that there is no way I am ever going to live in brooklyn.

  8. i used to dislike my oot city that Im from until the past few years where necessity has driven me to spend time in Brooklyn/Ny. Bottom line is that Brooklyn stinks!!! It takes twenty minutes to crawl around the block by car to the grocery, pizza shop or wherever. Another fifteen to find parking – if you are really lucky that day. Then upon entering the store you are greeted by a bunch of people who do not know the meaning of the word SMILE! and who treat you like garbage.
    The only plus about NY is the city (and most brooklyners never go and have no idea how to navigate themselves around)
    So now im very content in my oot (not just one shul) city where there are friendly people, shopping with parking, and just the right amount of traffic.
    However, I dont think most boys i date share this feeling but I do make it very clear I WILL NOT EVER LIVE IN BROOKLYN from date one.

  9. I spent the first two decades+ of my life living in town (and my whole family is basically still there) and then my entire married life (the last 25 years)OOT. So I think I have a pretty good perspective. Not shockingly, like everything in life there are pluses and minuses of both. I still love NY and my family and friends that are there, love visiting and every now and then think about moving back (my family and friends still can’t figure it out).

    Obviously on a certain level, NY has more “pluses” than OOT, but also many more minuses. The flip-side is that OOT may have fewer affirmative positive resources but also has far fewer minuses — these are too many things that people in NYC just assume have to be that way (why housing, taxes, tuition have to be so expensive, why commuting has to take forever, why people work so hard, why there only is one way to do things, etc etc). Living OOT gives you freedom for all that and lets you live more. The other major benefit and challenge of OOT is that not everyone living there is exactly the same background, school, camp, hashkafa, life goals, etc. That’s good for your kids to see (and for you too). IYH by you Bad4 — that is, that you should be zocheh to live OOT one day.

  10. Correction to last post — only been married 15 years. Points are all the same.

    One final point – perhaps for someone growing up OOT it is harder to appreciate than someone who grew up in NY.

  11. I think that many young single people are in NYC for social reasons. Like another commenter mentioned, even if there are things to do OOT, there’s really no one to do those things with. Personally, I know that my reasons for being in NYC right now are social/dating, but I certainly don’t want to stay here forever.

  12. I am also a NY-er (actually from North Jersey, but it’s still NY!!) who loves being in a mid-sized community. I like multiple minyan options and the freedom to go away without worrying that there won’t be enough people left, but I also like the possibility that most of the people in shul know your name.

    My wife is an OOT-er; she always wanted to settle somewhere that was NOT New York, yet she has grown to appreciate many NY benefits – job, family, etc.

    I had always said I was “open” to leaving the City… and after six years of marriage, we are doing it.

    (And BTW, I’ll take schoolgirl and raise her – we didn’t want to live in Brooklyn, Queens, or the Five Towns! And definitely not Manhattan! And Lakewood isn’t even on the radar…)

    So to answer Bad4’s question, yes: my wife is a humanoid who is from OOT and wants to return. She is from a city with more than one shul, though, but not many restaurants…

  13. I’m from Baltimore, definitely not a 2-shul community, but very much OOT. I would return in a heartbeat, although my heart belongs to Israel 🙂
    I am only living in NY because all my friends in Baltimore could talk to me about was tuition and carpools.

  14. en, I wouldn’t classify LA as OOT. To be OOT, you have to have lots of patience and not know how to park. I don’t think LA has that homey factor that other OOT communities have.

    I’ve been asked if I have a preference to in-towners vs. Out of towners, and I think it’s a silly question. There are snappy OOTers and slow-paced in-towners. Ask me whether I like slow vs. fast paced personalities – I think that’s a more relevant question.

  15. Chan: Still LA is not NY, it may be a big city but nothing compared to NY. From my experience the Valley, has a very friendly OOT feel. I agree about the snappy vs slow paced personalities, although most snappy people who live in my city were originally NYers.

    Shani: Not all OOT communities have nice weather. Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee and St Louis all have pretty lousy weather. They’re not all friendlier either.

  16. I am from a midsize OOT community with multiple shuls, restaurants, schools, etc. The thing I liked about it was the fact that you knew people in your neighborhood which is good for creating a sense of community and the feeling of contributing to it. I do not want to move back to my hometown, however I do not want to live in NY.

    For me I want somewhere warmer than where I grew up, but not somewhere where its hot year round. Thinking somewhere in the south where its normal to have a wrap-around porch, a slow-paced simple lifestyle, which is growing and I can contribute to its growth.

    As for your point of living currently in NY while single, starting off; outside of the mid-atlantic region (stretching from NY to Baltimore) there are very few yeshivos to learn in for college-aged/dating guys. (Chofetz Chaim’s don’t count, unless you started off in a CC affiliate) Chicago and Miami have, but not any other cities I could think of. If a guy feels its important to learn for a few years (while going or not going to college) his choices are limited and cause him to stay bunched up on the east coast. That they stay in the greater NY area may be more inertia than preference.

  17. Displaced oot who for 40+ years has dreamed of finally getting out of NY and back to “normal.” Hopefully will be moving out in the next 6 months. And yes, hubby is a born and bred Boro Park boy who saw the rest of the country and is more than willing to leave NY. We got stuck in NY–wasn’t a choice we made.

    Our oot relatives’ kids and friends’ kids who are here in NY all consider it as very temporary and many have already left the area. Some are here for school, some to date and a few for business. None love the place.

  18. Three months ago, the Hamodia had an expose on Queens. That means that the HoMdia found it necessary to inform their readers that there exists a nice community right here in New York that you may not know about. It was the best thing that ever happened. The HaModia successfully took Queens out of the New York circle with that article. Queens should not be grouped together with “classic New York towns” such as Brooklyn, Monsey, Passaic, Lower East Side, Five Towns, Teaneck, etc. It’s not OOT, but as I’ve said throughout much of my adult life, it’s the closest you can get in New York to OOT.

  19. I’m in Brooklyn and loving it. I appreciate the community I am part of and would not want to leave it, and I feel very comfortable here. For all those who complain about the driving and the people — come on, is it really such a big deal? Sure, there are plenty of obnoxious drivers and a lot of traffic (especially around the Jewish neighborhoods and commercial streets) but I somehow don’t think it is as bad as most people make it out to be. As for the ‘obnoxious’ people — most of them can be easily disarmed if you just smile instead of acting frustrated and annoyed.

    Another thing I like about Brooklyn is that it is only a 45-minute train ride away from the city and it is easy to get there whenever you want.

  20. I don’t like city life in general so I’d be uncomfortable in NYC (but also Baltimore, Atlanta, etc). I’d prefer to live in the suburbs so for me it’s not an anti-NYC thing. City life has it’s perks but you also have to deal with inflated prices for everything which I don’t like.

  21. another plus about oot is that you can live your life how you want with out getting death stares from others.
    Although one can argue that this is a negative aspect i think it allows the people who grow up here to make real life decisions on their own and not bec everyone else will shun them. I think thats very important.
    Also you gain exposure to people who are not all like you and thats a def advantage for later on in life.
    AND yes ppl are more friendly oot and NO it has nothing to do with the weather bec we have the same weather as NY>

  22. I have lived OOT my entire life and would never want to live “in town” as you call it 😛 theres an atmposphere out of town that is imposible to get in the big city where half the things you do are because your neighbors do it and everything is “bad for shidduchim”! when I was in high school me and my friends would always talk about how we would never ever live in town, and only about 5 girls from my class ended up in NY/NJ.

  23. Schoolgirl — Why, are ‘death stares’ from others so intimidating that they would affect the way you think/act even when you know that your own path is the right one? Seriously, who cares how others look at you as long as you know that what you’re doing is right for you? At some point in your life you have to learn how to combat social pressure and be your own person — and not by just running away from city folk.

  24. This discussion really gets me nervous. Who decides what’s called oot? Why do NYers think the world revolves around them?

  25. inkstainedhands
    I honestly would rather live and bring up my children in a place thats friendly and devoid of deathstares. Why should I have to deal with that everyday where everyone thinks they are better, richer, or frummer than the next. WHy should there be an unspoken dressing competition in school or the bagel shop? What do I need that for? Is there anything positive about that ? I think not.
    Don’t worry I can handle social pressures just fine and I could care less what random people think about me but unless you are an antisocial and negative person I cant understand why you would want to put yourself in that kind of environment.

  26. I just don’t buy into the whole idea that New Yorkers are a bunch of unfriendly, anti-social people. I live in Brooklyn. I feel that I am a part of a very close-knit, friendly community, and I choose to look at what I do have instead of thinking about all the ‘other’ people. I don’t need all of Brooklyn/NY to approve of me; I honestly do not care whether I get glared at by a few or not. (And truth be told, I don’t notice that many death glares. I just see a bunch of New Yorkers who might be looking curiously at me without smiling. It is our choice how we interpret the way people look at us — whether we want to be hyper-sensitive about every look or not.)

    And I’m really quite perplexed about your saying that you would have to deal ‘everyday’ with ‘everyone’ thinking that they are better than you. Is that really how you look at it?

    I know a few girls from out of town who come in to NY every single day to go to school here. Apparently they think it’s worth it despite the ‘unspoken dressing competition’ and whatever else it is NY is accused of.

  27. I’m inclined to agree with ISH. Without knowing what a person is thinking, you have no idea whether they’re glaring at you for not-sure-what or just trying to figure out if you’re wearing the sweater they saw in Macys last week.

    And why is it any worse to be the weirdo in the NYC Jewish community who, f’rinstance, wears long denim skirts, versus the weirdo in the OOT non-Jewish community who wears (long denim) skirts? Let’s face it – someone somewhere is always going to think you’re weird.

  28. “Who decides what’s called oot? Why do NYers think the world revolves around them?” – Quoted for truth. Some “OOTers” get defensive precisely because of NYers who think that the Hudson River is the boundry of the civilized world and that somehow people from New Jersey, Atlanta, Baltimore, Miami, Philadelphia, Denver and Chicago aren’t as good. NYC isn’t the extent of the civilized world.

  29. “And why is it any worse to be the weirdo in the NYC Jewish community who, f’rinstance, wears long denim skirts, versus the weirdo in the OOT non-Jewish community who wears (long denim) skirts?” You’ve articulated one reason in your statement b4, although one of the premises is wrong. In NYC for the most part you are looked at as a weirdo if you wear that long denim skirt (and the pony tail to go with it). Oot, for the vast majority, nobody cares if your skirt is denim or satin, long, longer or longest. Your hairstyle is your business. There is simply not the intrusion into the privacy of the home and the private decisions of the individual that you see in most of NYC. Individualism is alive and well, but lives oot.

  30. I don’t think you got what I was saying. In NYC, most everyone in the places you’re going to are familiar with the concept of orthodox Jews (or at least weird ethnic subcultures), and therefore, the only people who think your long skirt is strange will be a subsector of orthodox Jews.

    OOT, very few people are familiar with the mores of Jews, and thus, though your dress may be acceptable to the local Jews, it will get you strange looks from the non-Jews, who are by far the majority. Also, the smaller and more remote the town, the less diversity there is, the less knowledge and acceptance of weird subcultures.

    It’s not a matter of judging your dress, per se, so much as finding it odd. A non-Jew wonders why you’d wear that long skirt instead of, say, jeans (more practical, more comfortable); a Jew would wonder why you’re wearing that long skirt instead of, say, a nicer, knee-length one (more presentable).

  31. bad4shidduchim you’re not going to believe this, but people (goyim included) outside of the tri-state area are really nice and ACCEPTING of other people and their cultural differences!
    And also-just because a place is OOT doesn’t mean its a hick-town. Most urban areas in the US today have a lot of diversity, so you wouldn’t be the only one sticking out. I grew up in a very OOT area, and although people stared at my kipah and tzitzis, nothing bad happened to me…

  32. I didn’t say they were going to give you death stares or ostracize you or beat you up on street corners. I said they would think it’s weird for you to be different because they can’t figure out why. And, as you mentioned – you got stares. You wouldn’t get that in most of Brooklyn or Manhattan, not to mention large swaths of the other boroughs.

    I’ve been OOT, believe it or not, and I could tell when people were wondering, and when they slowly got up the courage to ask, sometimes in a very circular way. And when I’d say “I’m an orthodox Jew” you’d see the lightbulb go on over their head and they’d say “Oh!” in a very that-explains-everything kind of way.

  33. and yes, it is that simple.

    no more stares, no more tuition, no more two day – three day yontoff, or whatever you call it,

    but, but, but, but….., no buts, it’s time to come home

  34. I guess mostly its the attitude and your perception of it. Obviously those of you who grew up in Brooklyn can no longer understand or comprehend that people in NY are unfriendly and rude. You are just too used to it 🙂 THis is part of the problem.
    BAD4 i hear what you are saying but i think a major distinction should be made. There are non jews in brooklyn and oot. They may all look at you funny but the problem is when other frum ppl look down at you….As far as why they are staring at you either way its rude to stare. I think they left that out of the regents in kindergarten.
    now personally when I am in Brooklyn you wouold have no idea that Im from oot ( im not a long denim skirter type) In fact I may dress more “withit” than most at a Brooklyn wedding. My problem is not that people look down at me bec of the way Im dressed. I do however feel that all ( ok most) Nyers I have encountered have MASSIVE ATTITUDE ISSUES. It is TRUE! for some reason the people in my local grocery store SMILE at you and offer assistance if you look lost. When someone drops something people run to pick it up for you. People hold doors open for others.
    Ny has a fast paced rhythm to it which honestly I enjoy but can’t imagine ever wanting to live there. Everyone is in a rush. THe incessant honking is ridiculos. Everytime I hear a honk I look up expecting an accident or something bec thats why ppl honk here, not bec the car in front of them paused for a millisecond.
    I have endless examples but bottom line if you like it great but know there is a friendly, calm world out there devoid of blasting horns and angry commuters.

  35. I’m with schoolgirl on this one, Bad4 and Inkstainedhands. Even though I’m from the bible-belt (and I don’t mean some big city like Atlanta) – I’ve had nothing but pleasant interactions with non-Jews throughout my life. Is it uncomfortable to get stares sometimes? A bit – but then you get some very respectful inquiries from people who appreciate educated, thought-out answers. We may be very different (and I’ve been approached in Wal-Mart, Best Buy, the air port, and while filling up my car at the gas station), the gentiles are generally pretty friendly about these things. No one has yet to spit on me, try to violently convert me, or otherwise make me feel uncomfortable for being Jewish. Having said that, I also haven’t been to any real red-neck/hick places (and I hope not to).

    Jews, on the other hand, have a tendency to be extremely judgmental. True, there is a sense of helping out a fellow Jew in need, should such an occasion arise – like the time I got into a car accident while visiting another OOT friend in their hometown, almost all of the Orthodox community saw me (it happened near their shul) and offered to give me a place to stay, etc. Nevertheless, there is way too much divisiveness in Orthodox Judaism in America these days – Rabbi Sacks spoke about this issue on several occasions this past week. We unfortunately tend to use our religious observance to look down on others for very superficial things (and some not to superficial), which really doesn’t help in the achdus department.

    Living in a place like Brooklyn and getting by just means you’re not being flagrantly different enough to warrant criticism – but should you do something ever so “off” – watch out for shoes flying from some hashkafic group. I don’t think anyone can deny this phenomenon. Being from there just means you know how to blend in better than most, but that doesn’t negate the fact that this stuff happens all the time.

    True that out of town places may have a more single-track hashkafic perspective, but the greater laid-back attitude tolerates/accepts/works with variants much better. I honestly didn’t know different kippot meant different things or were/weren’t acceptable in different degrees until I left my hometown for Israel and YU. The not-so-frum (and not frum) people are greatly welcomed by their more observant co-religionists, and are encouraged to increase their involvment in shul/communal activities. They also turn to us for advice in matters when they want/need it, such as exploring further observance, or lo aleinu when dealing with something negative like a loss in the family. Overall, the cohesiveness and family feeling of my community is unmatched when compared to any city/community in “in-town” area (that I have seen).

  36. ProfK I wish that
    “Oot, for the vast majority, nobody cares if your skirt is denim or satin, long, longer or longest. Your hairstyle is your business. There is simply not the intrusion into the privacy of the home and the private decisions of the individual that you see in most of NYC. Individualism is alive and well, but lives oot.”

    were true. While I won’t speak for every community (just as no one should speak for every NYC / large city community), but I have seen lots of this kind of thing. Some people are more tolerant and some communities are more tolerant. And, I have found that there is no correlation between location and toletance, unless the person doing the observing starts with an attitude.

  37. Listen to yourselves discussing the merits of different locations in galut. Don’t you feel just the teeniest bit ashamed.

    Big news, the exile is over, Jews you have your own country now.

  38. With all due respect, Anin, from a wanna-be aliyah person originally from OOT,

    a)some people actually can’t go. They are taking care of parents or siblings or children who cannot or are not going anywhere, or trying to do their education in a language they understand, or who knows.

    b)if the discussion is divisiveness among dofferent sects of Jews, Israel is king in so many ways. Many many families from OOT communities have made aliyah, only to find that the “we’re all Jews” attitude they’ve always loved from their smaller communities seems to be gone. They have to choose a niche and stay there.

    BTW, to me, one of the biggest differences between OOT and in town is the expectations of what you will have available to you. I grew up with one pizza shop and one shul. We had no specific shoe store or frum clothes store and why on earth would anyone want a sock store? My in town neighbors cannot imagine not having a million resources in the frum world. They don’t understand all the girls in yur class having the same skirt in three colors because a skirt that was tznius actually showed up in Sears and everone’s mother went to get it. Of course, the internet has changed a lot of this, and many OOT communities are much bigger than they were, bu the magiah li attitude difference still seems to pervade.

    Oh, and robes. Till I got to NY, I never saw a robe that looked like a dress. A dress was what you wore to a Shabbos meal and outside.

  39. With all due respect, staying afloat, not everyone who stays in galut is taking care of someone, etc. Most are not, but everyone has their “reason” why they can’t come. How many times have I heard the “galut is great” sentiment from frum jews in exile, if not the actual words themselves. As for your point (b), it also applies to NY jews, no OOT all jews together attitude there, and as for Israel, what a surprise, Israel is not a small OOT community. Here, you could get to be president of the whole country, not just of your sisterhood. Yes, making aliyah requires making changes, internal ones too, but what exactly are you davening for every day, if not for this? And the “waiting for moshiach” argument doesn’t wash. Hashem has returned us to our country, and for the most part frum jews in exile prefer to stay there and discuss their favorite galut location. It is truly heartbreaking.

  40. Specifically with regards to the frum communities, OOT cities are not always friendlier. In some ways they are worse than NY, everyone knows each others business and the gossip is never ending. I prefer the relaxed atmosphere and I like that most people will say “good shabbos” to you on the streets, but I could live without people talking about me behind my back.

    Anin: The exile has not ended, do you really think Hashem intended for his people to return to rocket and terrorist attacks? Anyone who does not want to move their family to EY in the current political climate, is justified and should feel no guilt.

  41. I know the exile has not ended. You’re still there. According to you hiding out till things get better, apparently knowing what Hashem wants from us better than what the Torah says. We are a mainly lucky and spoiled generation. Keeping most of the mitzvot is not that hard. No-one is stopping us. Not so long ago some of our ancestors went through hell to keep shabbat, kashrut, etc. The Torah doesn’t say keep mitzvot, unless it inconveniences you. Just keep them.

    As for your safety argument:
    a) My friend from Chicago won’t drive after 9pm for fear of a carjacking. Yet I can walk around most areas of Jerusalem any time of day or night.
    b)I remember waiting to see Rav Kaduri zatsal. There was a couple from NY with their 12 year old son. The boy wandered off and when the parents realized the mother became hysterical. Nearly pulling her hair out. As the only other English speaker I unsuccessfully tried to calm her down. I figured he probably got lost and someone would help him. In the end the police had picked him up and taken him to his hotel. I’m guessing her hysterical reaction was based on how she would have felt at home, because people in Israel would not have assumed the worst in a few minutes.
    c)safety for your children? it took me a while to realise what little children were doing standing on street corners in Israel. They are allowed out by themselves but just not to cross the road. They’re waiting for a random adult to help them. Can you imagine in America letting a four or five year old child out alone. That would constitute abuse.

    Life expectancy in Israel is much higher than in America (including factoring out all the “lifestyle” early deaths in the US). And personally having visited over 25 countries, apart from the Ukraine, I felt the least safe in America. So if it’s safety and longevity you’re after, you’re in the wrong place.

    Apologies to Bad4, love your blog, but these responses just got my goat.

  42. While some people have legitimate reasons for staying in Israel many more Jews in the diaspora could make aliyah if they wanted to (I’m talking to myself as much as anyone else). Especially since this is a blog frequented mostly by singles in their early 20’s or young married people (who probably don’t have a kid already). If any group of Jews is liable for not making aliyah it’s the 18-26 group in College who are either single or recently married (w/out kids) because we’ve got the least amount of reason to be in the diaspora.

  43. leibel and anin- Perhaps those people can’t come at the moment because they wish to be educated and there are fewer opportunities for that in Israel at the moment. Try (as I did) applying for a psychology degree in Israel? Even NBN dissuades foreigners from coming to Israel expecting to get in. They only take the 99th percentile into the 3 or 4 programs in the country. So a young single (newly married) decide to wait until the degree is over, get caught up with life and stay longer than they intend.

    Or they want to come but there is no community that will accept a young oleh who are educated but still committed Jews, who feel more comfortable with the Black-hat community. I learned in an Israeli-Chareidi yeshiva, and my Israeli chavrusa told me that he was always looked down on because not only did his father work, but his father had a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Whether its bad or not is immaterial. The REALITY of the situation is that there are no communities in Israel that people like me would move to that we could fit into

  44. Anin: I didn’t say EY is less safe than America, I don’t know if it is or not. All I was saying is that if the exile was over, you wouldn’t have such attacks.
    Sure, we are a spoiled generation, life is fairly easy, it’s also easier than it ever has been to get access to bad things so in a way so some would say it’s harder than ever to keep all of the mitzot. There are quite a few gedolim that say it’s ok to live in America, in fact a lot of them do live here. Who do you think you are to judge all of us? You too Leibel, none of us are “liable” for not making aliyah, plus single people might have a pretty good reason to stay here, finding someone to marry.

  45. anin
    you gotta do a little more research on the term GALUS
    just bec you live in E”Y does not mean your not in galus- you may b pretending your not but in fact sad as it is the jewish ppl will be in galus until mashiach arrives. Galus is a time of hester panim and tzarus.
    Ask any rav and he’ll tell you !
    Moving to E’Y does not take you out of galus!
    and your friend from chicago ( no offense intended) is quite silly bec I have been there many times and its quite safe to drive past nine at night unless of course you are planning on driving to the non safe areas which would I guess compare to the dangers of driving into an arab village at nine at night. sameeeee idea

  46. I’m with schoolgirl on this one. (Hey look, we agree on something.)

    As she said, just because you pick yourself up and make aliyah does not mean you are ‘out of exile.’ Galut is not just location but the state of existence, and the fact is that until G-d chooses to lead us out of galut, we are very much in it, whether we live in Israel or here in New York. Putting people down for discussing the pros and cons of the city vs. OOT is really quite pointless. Some of the greatest sages of previous generations lived in countries other than Israel and they brought more Torah to the Jews than you can imagine — the yeshivot of Bavel, Sfarad, Poland, etc. So you can’t just insinuate that a Torah life anywhere outside of Israel is of a lower quality.

  47. Anin – feel free to say what you please as long as it’s decent in all senses.

    I’m with Harryer. My #1 reason for not moving to Israel is that the religious communities there are segmented in a way that makes Boro Park and Flatbush look like a welcome wagon.

  48. This was mentioned above, but I’ll chime in, too. Personally, I think using the term “OOT” is an abhorrent practice, and I tend to avoid anyone who bothers to make a distinction.

  49. I don’t know about “average” OOTs but I have an OOT son-in-law and the last place he wanted to live was in NYC. As soon as he was able he got out to a small not so distant OOT community.

  50. I’m a BT from OOT (Denver, love the hiking!) and am only in NYC to date and find the one and then hopefully get out of IT sooner than a bachur meeting the parents on a first date wants to get out of that living room.

    I personally would love to either work oot or learn and teach in a small oot community kollel

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