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Tuesday, July 28, 2015 

Another ex-Haredi commits suicide

A woman named Faigy Mayer, who'd left the Haredi Belz clan at least 5 years ago, committed suicide by jumping from a building. And from a last letter she wrote to a friend, it's clear they did enough to aggravate her:
On July 12, Faigy Mayer, a 30-year-old New Yorker who left Hasidic Judaism five years ago, sent one of her last messages to a close friend. She tried to explain how foreign the world was to her — even though she grew up in Borough Park, Brooklyn.

“I feel as though Hasidic Judaism shouldn’t exist at all,” Mayer wrote.

She went on to detail things about the ultra-Orthodox that most secular people know — “arranged marriages, strict segregation of the genders, the wife shaving her head, the couple having sex with the wife wearing a bra in the complete dark (hole in the sheet, anyone) but still producing thirteen children generally throughout her lifetime, working for cash only so that Uncle Sam can help with food stamps, Section 8 and Medicaid.”

Then there are things the secular world doesn’t know, things that make leaving seem insurmountable. Imagine not knowing that the sun is a star, or that there’s a solar system. Imagine not knowing what a human cell is, or what menstruation is, or, until you’re 18 and three weeks away from your arranged marriage, what sex is and how it works. Imagine never asking for a puppy growing up, because dogs bark, and that means they are beasts and demons. Imagine you have been told for your entire life that in the secular world, people mainly rape, pillage and murder, that it’s all a lawless meaningless free-for-all, and you are safe only in your little enclave, where these things do not happen.

You do not have an iPad, a TV, a battery-powered radio, because all secular culture is forbidden.
It's not often I see ex-Haredis who're this disgusted. And the Belz will have to come to terms with how their isolationist approach that's oppressive to women and insults their intellect led her to think this about them. I'd noticed in a fuller version of the letter that she seems to think the Belz are "right-wing". Unless something was changed by the press sources publishing it, I just don't understand how they conclude that a community using food stamps is "right-wing", when it's living on a socialist concept of welfare.

There's more about Mayer on The Forward. If we don't want ex-Haredis to commit suicide because they're devastated over excommunication, that's why more effort needs to be made to help them, and let them know why they shouldn't be too bothered about their families shunning them because they chose another path.

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