Faigy Mayer Slammed Hasidic Lifestyle in Essay — Week Before Suicide by the Forward

Faigy Mayer Slammed Hasidic Lifestyle in Essay — Week Before Suicide

Faigy Mayer, an ex-Hasid who leapt to her death, had recently shared with a friend “the first draft of an opinion article” outlining her problems with Hasidic Judaism.

Mayer’s friend Chaim Levin shared the 1,500-word draft with the media on Tuesday, one day after Mayer, 30, jumped from a rooftop bar in Manhattan.

Mayer opened the essay by detailing her difficulty making friends as a child, writing that “until I left the religion of Hasidic Judaism at the age of 24, I would not have any friends.”

The piece, which uses adjectives like “austere” and “harsh” to describe Hasidic life, argued that Hasidic boys are “subjected to the torture of learning Yiddish all day” and recalled her skepticism while attending a required class on the laws of kashrut.

“Without knowing I was agnostic, I refused to study rules that were clearly not applicable to 2001,” she wrote.

Mayer argued that “Hasidic Judaism shouldn’t exist at all,” and that “it is not fair” to her three nephews that they are being raised subject to the community’s strict rules.

“Basic joys that American kids get on a daily basis my nephews don’t have,” she wrote. “Instead, they have long hours at a Cheder, which is a boys’ school, where they are forced to sit in one place and study Jewish laws and history with ZERO time for sports.”

The Internet, Mayer theorized, will eventually eliminate Hasidic Judaism because as applying for basic government services requires online access, Hasidic individuals will have to go online, where they might be exposed to new ideas.


Mayer concluded: “Thinking analytically when it comes to basic life decisions is something new to me and something I still struggle with, 5 years after leaving.”


Faigy Mayer Slammed Hasidic Lifestyle in Essay — Week Before Suicide

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Faigy Mayer Slammed Hasidic Lifestyle in Essay — Week Before Suicide

Thank you!

This article has been sent!