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12.7.15

There is certain amount of critique that one hears from people who joined the insane religious world  and then were treated baldly and then left. It is hard to evaluate what this means. After all there are things that they are doing that seem related to Torah, at least on the surface. Also what makes this hard to judge is the unusual aspect that smaller groups of similar nature don't see to exist.   What I think cause the problem is the general treatment of people that join.
They are actively recruited under the idea that, "We are all one family." Then they are treated as garbage when they cease to be useful. It means that joining them is certainly a bad idea as many Jews have found out. But it also means making any kind of alliance with them seems like a bad idea.--If that is how they treat their friends, it does not seem to be worth much to be their friend. It even calls into question if they are in fact really keeping the Torah or not. And the answer seems to be negative.
And that leaves people like myself wondering then how best in fact to keep the Torah --if the the insane religious world  can't be used as a metric.

For that reason I try to keep Torah in the way my parents did which seems to me to be the meaning of the verse in the Ten Commandments, "Honor your Father and your Mother." Naphtali Troup brings from the Rambam that there is an actual obligation to obey your parents-- not just to honor them in some vague superficial manner. But you get the idea.  I try to keep things as simple as possible. If any question comes up, I look at the Torah. Most of the time the Torah is perfectly clear. But sometimes there is some issue that is ambiguous. If the Torah is clear, then full stop. If not, then I go to the Mishna. If that is not clear, then I go to the Talmud. If that is not clear then I go to the Rambam and the traditional books of Musar.
The evil custom of the the insane religious world  is to make a blank statement about Torah and Talmud  "Do you think you understand them better than___?" Fill in the blank.  They attempt to make every clear statement in Torah to be ambiguous, so that they can go to some charismatic lunatic to guide them.
This causes the effect that we have people that actually think they are keeping the Torah while doing the opposite and then criticizing others for not following them.
It is not that they keep Torah in some polarized extreme fashion. It is rather that they don't keep Torah at all, but think they do.