Slate Magazine: How ex-Orthodox men Learn About Relating to Women (and it's not via Talmud)

The Talmud has seven whole Tractates in the division called "Women" and one of them is over 1000 pages in the English Translation. For starters check out tractates Yebamoth and Kethuboth (Soncino Babylonian Talmud Yebamoth, 1072 pages  and Soncino Babylonian Talmud Kethuboth, 877 pages in the Kindle editions).

And remember that about the contents of the Talmud, the saying goes, "Turn and turn it for you will find everything in it" -- presumably including some really good advice about relating to women.

That's why we cannot understand how come ex-Orthodox men need any dating advice at all.

(Hat tip to Rebecca...) On Facebook we found a link to this article in Slate, "Hey Baby, What’s Your Sinai? - Teaching ex-Orthodox Jews how to date in New York" by Diana Spechler.

As you can see from this quote below, in a heartwarming story, Diana thinks that some formerly Orthodox men are clueless about women and need coaching. All we can say is perhaps these guys skipped their Talmud classes at the Yeshiva.
...According to Irenstein, lack of self-confidence pervades the recently ex-Orthodox, who refer to themselves as OTD, or “Off the Derech” (derech is Hebrew for path). 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. And there is a rule for everything, including which shoelace to tie first and what to do with one’s facial hair. OTD’ers who come to Irenstein never had the awkward, albeit formative, experiences the rest of us had—slow-dancing with some height-inappropriate partner in seventh grade, locking braces with someone in the back of a movie theater, getting to “second base.” Their questions for Irenstein range from the peculiar such as, “Is it OK to pay a girl $80 to go out with me?” to the commonplace concerns of men on the New York dating scene: “How many dates before I should allow her to split the check?”

Irenstein doesn’t just answer their questions about the game; he shoves the men out onto the field. By the end of his session with Sam, he’ll have Sam approaching girls, trying to score a phone number, or at least to touch an elbow during some flirtatious banter.

At 29, Irenstein was married with two daughters, living in the Hasidic community he’d grown up in. He remembers his 6-year-old coming home from school and telling him that non-Jews existed solely to witness the good deeds of the Jews. He’d wanted out of Hasidism for a while, but that was the day he pulled his kids out of school and laid plans to move. “I would have done anything,” says Irenstein, “even given up my own life, to make sure my kids weren’t forced into cult living.”

Having grown up in Israel and Brooklyn, Irenstein landed in secular New York with a third-grade-level education and a mediocre grasp of English. When he and his wife divorced, he found himself on foreign ground. “I had no idea how to talk to women,” he says. “I’d never even looked one in the eye.” Irenstein’s former Hasidic community, Gur, is one of the strictest sects, as well as one of the most sexually squeamish. Even married couples aren’t supposed to kiss, and they’re allowed sex only for purposes of procreation....

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