Thursday, October 11, 2007

Adults at Risk: The FFB/BT Symbiotic Relationship

Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz posts an interesting and important article written by Rabbis Mordechai Becher and Chanon Gordon, that appeared in the past month's Jewish Observer. I quote from the end of the article, in a section titled "F.F.Bs and B.Ts - A Symbiotic Relationship" :

Much has been written about the importance of ensuring that people from a secular background who have turned to Torah and have committed themselves to Yiddishkeit should aim to become integrated into the mainstream Orthodox community. To that end, the F.F.B community plays a significant function as role models and mentors.

Paradoxically in the case of the Adult at Risk, which occurs almost exclusively within the F.F.B. camp, Baalei Teshuvah can serve as the spark that rekindles the flame of inspiration in the established frum community. Recordings of shiurim by “kiruv” lecturers, reading materials that address questions F.F.B’s so often feel too embarrassed to ask, and the popularity of kiruv type seminars in the heart of frum communities are now common sights …

If there is any positive fall-out from the looming Adult at Risk crisis it seems to be the fact that as the kiruv and teshuvah movements mature and expand, the newly observant and the traditionally observant worlds are becoming more intertwined in a positive and mutually beneficial way … After all, at the end of the day, we all report to the same Boss!

The phenonenon of Adults at Risk has always existed--al t'aamin b'atzmacha ad yom mascha-- but it has different applications in different times.

As far as the connection of BT's and FFB's in this matter, it brings to mind, on a communal level, the passuk in Koheles: shalach lachmecha al pnei hamoyim ki b'rov hayamim timtzaenu(as well as kol yisrael areivim zeh lazeh).

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