A letter From The Voice Of Lakewood

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From: The publisher of TVOL

There are vultures circling our neighborhoods, ogling our every twitch, armed with powerful error-optics and mistake-seeking missiles. They lie in wait, searching for a misstep, something to seize, enlarge, and trumpet across town. After giving this reality some thought, I realized how much pride I should take in the community in which I live.

Why does our lifestyle bother people like RUOC and their followers? I think it’s obvious. The vast majority of Jackson and Toms River residents are not commenting on these pages. The people who comment on hateful Facebook pages such as theirs are not exactly examples of ideal humanity. They are generally the people who are bitter and unhappy with their own lives and can’t handle seeing serene, meaningful lives being lived next door. These are the armchair activists who spend hours drooling in front of flickering screens; if they manage to put down the beer long enough to scratch their bellies and pound out a few nasty comments on the keyboard, it has been a very fulfilling and exhausting morning. At least it wasn’t just frittered away on more online gambling and other vices.

“The people who comment on hateful Facebook pages such as theirs are not exactly examples of ideal humanity. They are generally the people who are bitter and unhappy with their own lives and can’t handle seeing serene, meaningful lives being lived next door”

When these bitter Facebook commenters peer through their windows at a complete family unit—a father walking hand-in-hand with a little girl skipping along to school; a mother keeping a watchful eye on her beloved children—you can imagine the flea-bitten angst it causes them.

Even those commenters who live in mansions, with pickups and sports cars in the winding driveways, are unhappy with their own lives and cannot stomach the serenity flashing past their windows as they roar by our neighborhoods, heading back to their own fractious homes. And that is why they will vent this bitterness with their own lives, spewing it across comment sections. Instead of picking themselves up out of their chairs and creating a meaningful life for themselves, they spew their smokestack of hatred at their easiest targets. It gives them great relief to convince themselves that the people who seem to be living meaningful lives are really not as great as they seem. Putting the other guy down instead of trying to pick yourself up is always the easiest way.

Should we be embarrassed? Is there shame in our wholesome, innocent lives, in which crime is nearly nonexistent; children feel comfortable, safe, and loved; people are kind and giving, and life is cherished as an opportunity to accomplish and acquire great wisdom?

We are a community that loves, gives, and studies. Our men use their “free” time to strain over holy words; our women use theirs to nurture and create. What they wouldn’t give to be able to enjoy such success. How grateful we must be to be a part of it.

When a group of nearly 100,000 people are analyzed under a microscope, some imperfections may be found. Is every single person of any community perfect? Impossible; no one claimed otherwise. So, sometimes people make mistakes and sometimes we are imperfect, but when you have people whose sole purpose of looking for your faults is to make their own lives feel better, remember to take everything they say with many grains of salt.

I have begun to look at their criticism of us as a compliment to our meaningful lives.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of GreaterLakewood.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Couldn’t agree more. This is something my non-jewish co-workers tell me all the time when they see the hate on line. They tell me “These people are just jealous of your beautiful lives. Never give up your lifestyle.”

  2. I see this letter has caught the attention of the low IQ RUOC crowd. So let me enlighten those bold enough to crawl out of their caves and visit this site. Classifying someone based on their personal actions is not bias. Calling someone who joins the communist party a communist, is not bias, as they chose that affiliation and support those ideals. However, demonizing a group based on their religious or race is bias. It’s really not that complicated of a concept.

    I don’t think all followers of RUOC are antisemitic. The underlying concerns that it started with, over-development, and congestion, are real, and shared by most members of the Orthodox Community, however, RUOC has moved far beyond those concerns. In fact, most of their recent posts have nothing to do with those topics. Even when they do discuss those topics, they used to assign the blame to the individuals who are actually responsible for it, now, they blame those issues collectively on the entire community. So although the admins, and some of the most active commenters are antisemitic, for many, RUOC pulled a gradual bait and switch, from focusing on specific issues to demonizing an entire community.

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