Once they’ve gone off the path, for a variety of reasons including loss of faith, distaste for the lifestyle, and longing to educate themselves beyond the Jewish texts, OTD’ers are like immigrants in the secular world, unsure of the language and customs of dating, battling the voices of their parents and rabbis, who warned them that touching the opposite sex before marriage would incur God’s wrath.“There are three problems specific to the ex-religious when they first try to date,” Irenstein says.“Inexperience, having no identity, and having no understanding of the opposite sex.” That makes sense when you consider how insular the Orthodox communities are.Premarital sex, even premarital touching, is prohibited.She annually volunteers on behalf of many Jewish organizations including Jr.Neshei Agudah, the Bialystoker Shul, the Lower East Side Mikvah, Tomche Shabbos, Kaporos and coordinates the LES Community Calendar.
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In Vayikra Chapter 25 verse 17, the Torah commands: “And you shall not hurt (the feelings of) one another and you shall fear Hashem, for I, Hashem, am thy Lord.” Rav Hirsch explains that since the prohibition in an earlier verse (14) refers to hurting another financially, this verse cannot possibly mean the same.
Therefore, Rav Hirsch concludes that it is an extension of the prohibition of hurting someone in business dealings, which includes the prohibition of hurting someone’s feelings either by words or by deeds.
- Gateways gives Jewish men and women opportunities to unlock the treasure of their heritage through dynamic educational and social programs, including retreats and events with other Jewish organizations.
Gateway Connections, its successful matchmaking service, employs a team of talented, sensitive and energetic matchmakers who work day and night connecting couples, and following up on every date with a call, to discuss, advise, and provide encouragement to participants. Tens of thousands of Jewish singles and marrieds alike have done so through Rebbetzen Esther Jungreis' Hineini organization.