Are Jews Brainwashed?

At the Bronx Youth Poetry Slam, a young Jew defends his beliefs.

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Comments (35)

(30) Inbar, October 24, 2013 6:48 PM

Wow! Leading by example!

Any child should be blessed with such parents and all parents with such kids as you have shown yourself to be!

(29) Elle, October 24, 2013 12:12 PM

What a wonderful Kiddush Hashem

You make us all so proud.

David S, October 24, 2013 3:56 PM

come uppance to Anti Semite?

One who doesn't stand for something, stands for nothing.

teaching by wrote has a place in younger years. Included in that wrote is we are all G-d's children. We look different, sound different, behave different. But never forget who another person's father is, when they do good, or when they do bad.

(28) Isaac, October 22, 2013 4:48 PM

2 pairs of shoes.

From the very onset (and throughout) he is judging his cretic. But at the conclusion of his performance he states that he was taught not to judge someone until you walked a mile in their shoes.

On a performance rating I give him a 10, but on substance, well that depends on in who's shoes you are standing.

If one grows up in a fanatical religious environment he/she will indeed be susceptible to fanatical religious brainwashing. Knowing this I rate him a 0 for substance.

If on the other hand one grows up in a normal religious (based on pure morals) environment, and not knowing what it means to live in the former's shoes I then rate him a 10 for substance. Because ignorance is bliss.

Anonymous, October 27, 2013 4:40 AM

First: Judging someone and defending/explaining yourself are two entirely different things. He is not judging his critic; his critic, by very definition of the word, is judging him.
Second: Jewish lifestyle not based on Torah values can not be called religious. We live by what the Hashem wants, what the Torah says and not by what we decide is right.
Third: Ignorance may be bliss, but one can not live a life of ignorance and it is only blissful until one's ignorance gets him into pain and trouble. One has to think and understand what he is doing.
We are not robots.

Isaac, October 30, 2013 4:36 PM

Firstly, I agree with your third point.
But on your first point, not only is he judging his cretic, but he is also very much so mocking him. Everyone who grew up in the orthodox Jewish world and who dares to think. Acknowledges that there is a substantial degree of brainwashing. Due to the lack of understanding by those who relate Torah to their students. We simply need better teachers.
On your second point. For example, if one prays because he is brainwashed into doing so, he is praying most likely without true desire, and will not be affective. As is stated in Psalm 145v16, "You (God) open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living being." Therefore I ask. Which is truly based on Torah values?

(27) wynn, October 22, 2013 12:37 PM


I give you my hand in friendship,this young men has hoospah.
some of us will make comments but will also like to hide behind the
"anonymous banner"

(26) Anonymous, October 22, 2013 8:26 AM

Thanks for standing up and proving the truth!!! You opened the eyes of the "blind". Very well said!!!

(25) Aliza, October 22, 2013 3:42 AM


As a poet and a believer i greatly appreciated this very well written piece. Thank you

(24) Elisheva, October 21, 2013 9:22 PM

What a powerful response!

Yasher koach!

(23) Dvirah, October 21, 2013 4:37 PM

All Parent "Brainwash"

Since all parents who are not utterly negligent teach their children their own values, this argument holds for ALL children.

Anonymous, October 21, 2013 7:58 PM

SO encouraging to hear!

Well said young man! I applaud you and your parents! My hope is renewed hearing you today. My husband and I have vigilantly worked to do the same "brainwashing" in our own children's lives. We continue, no matter the fact they are now young adults because we love them and God.

(22) Antonio Perez, October 21, 2013 4:11 PM

Teaching righteousness

Very well said. Thank this young man for standing up for righteousness and truth.

(21) Yves, October 21, 2013 1:29 PM

Wow !!!! Great!

(20) Anonymous, October 21, 2013 3:16 AM


What an inspiration. Wish this young man could go to learn at Aish hatorah!

(19) Britany Hill, October 21, 2013 2:37 AM

Well Said!

What a great response to such a ridiculous question. I've seen so many younger people, and even adults, who care not for religion or integrity, or even morals, and that's just saddening. This young man was definitely raised right and his response was just amazing!

(18) Suzy, October 20, 2013 11:43 PM

Loved this !

Very well said ! I'm showing this to my teens !

(17) Andrea Eller, October 20, 2013 9:17 PM


What a wonderful response from a thinker to a non-thinker. And the way the poetry group reacted means that this young man got his point across even to those who are not Jewish. We're proud of him.

(16) Laurence Cohn, October 20, 2013 6:24 PM

Two thumbs up for telling it the way it should be!

If we had more parents "teaching" as this young fellow said we would have a better country!

(15) Anonymous, October 20, 2013 6:09 PM

Wow! Well done!

Congratulations to you and your parents- what an eloquent , articulate response. I hope my own children feel the same way about me someday!

(14) Andrew Stiller, October 20, 2013 6:08 PM

That was excellent

We should all have such strength of character and great conviction!

(13) B'chayil Ben Dan, October 20, 2013 6:04 PM

Kol HaKavod and well played!

What an inspiring talk that was by a young man who obviously was raised correctly. In this age of egotism, me, me, me, selfishness, hedonism, paganism and idolatry, here we have a young Jewish man who was "brainwashed" the right way. He hit the nail on the head, either we are brainwashed the right way or the wrong way. Nothing in between It makes me proud to see a young Jewish person stand up for what is right. Sadly, so many young Jews today care not for HaShem or Torah, but the things of this world. Kol HaKavod!

(12) Barry, October 20, 2013 5:57 PM

The kid summed it up -- Judiasm is taught by example.

I like the way the Jewish school kid explained how he was grateful for being taught the laws and traditions of Jadaism from his Parents. It was not forced on him. He chose what to adopt as his own belief system and his chidren will do the same. Jews are not brainwashed as some other religions do to their children. They do not need to strap-on a bomb to gain favor from their families.

(11) Anonymous, October 20, 2013 4:31 PM

Kol ha kavod!

(10) Anonymous, October 20, 2013 4:14 PM


I wish I could express myself with such conviction!

(9) Anonymous, October 20, 2013 3:57 PM

Wow!!! what a Kiddo... I could say yes, your parents really brainwashed and taught you very well ... very inspiring indeed!

(8) mETROPOLITAN ePHRAEM, October 20, 2013 3:41 PM



(7) R, October 20, 2013 1:05 AM

that was perfectly stated and extremely impressive!

(6) Anonymous, October 19, 2013 10:10 PM

very inspirational !

(5) roxanne, October 18, 2013 10:29 PM

Excellent !!!

(4) Yehudis M, October 18, 2013 9:19 PM


This guy is amazing. Simple as that. Everything he says has a ring of truth to it and he has such courage to openly say what he thinks.

(3) Galia Berry, October 18, 2013 5:48 PM

What a kiddush Hashem! True greatness. And what nachas!

(2) nechami, October 18, 2013 4:28 PM


Fantastic, that was awesome! Very creative and just so refreshing, thank you for standing up for your beliefs in a world turned upside down.

Alan S., October 20, 2013 8:11 AM

Enough said.

Nechami, this is a perfect comment.

(1) Anonymous, October 18, 2013 2:41 PM

Kol HaKavod!Thank you! It is wonderful.

You must have terrific parents who are Shepping lots of Nachas from you. Would it be possible to post a hard copy of it?


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