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Heritage Florida Jewish News
Fern Park , Florida
April 4, 1980     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 4, 1980

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Pqs 10, HERITAGE, Florida Jewish News. April 4, 1980 Rabbi Frank Fischer WarmB Orlando Audience Cults: Warm, Loving, Secure.. But Love, warmth and security are the weapons used by cults "...and they are dangerous," according to Rabbi Frank Fischer, newly appointed regional Hillel director who informed an Orlando audience last week that 20 to 40 percent of various cult membership is Jewish. Pointing out that cults--under different guises--provide a family for people, Fischer, considered an expert on the subject, strongly implied that the Jewish family Of today lacks a sense of warmth and sharing that cults can provide. Most vulnerable to cults are young people "about to change their life style and senior citizens uprooted from their former eilvironment and relocated in life," he said. People embarked on a spiritual search often join cults because the leaders provided fundamental answers--"answers to questions rabbis and preachers never talk about," Fischer said. "Their answers are sim plistic, but they provide i nsta nt g rati- fication to unanswered questions." People also join a cult to overcome a drug or alcohol problem, for adventure, to get attention, as a sense of idealism, to look for meaning in life or as a result of a family or community crisis. People stay with such groups "as long as their needs are being met or they have a good, warm interpersonal relationship," the Rabbi said. "Cults are even crutches for some and others are just plain afraid to leave. Members are so programmed, some don't have the emotional or physical strength to leave." Those who do leave a cult, do so because they become disillusioned. "The radical way to leave is by a kidnap rescue," Fischer said, "but, as soon as these people are deprogrammed you better have something else to replace the security the cult provided or this person won't be able to function." The way to combat cults, he stressed, is not to defensively attack them, but to use the same weapons--love, warmth and security and right now the Jewish com- munity is not succeeding. "It establishes institutions and in the process we become sterile and impersonal," he said. "Many rabbis don't communicate with the young." The greatest threat is in the weakness of the Jewish scene. "We are very good with facts and knowledge and very poor in warmth and experience," out, "The family can no create Jewish experiences--it's 11 the community. "The community needs to aware of its young people citizens. It needs to creatq a sense of belonging. The young models--the community reexamine the role and synagogues so youngsters after bar or bat mitzvah age." The community needs to ating a family atmosphere, Fischer pointed out, help the problem of cults, but itv less likely that a person will elsewhere if we provide it right O O CALL VICI at 677-4084 or 834-8277 before Tuesday Noon for Friday's paper s4 for first 3 lines, 50( each additional line. Less discounts for frequency' appearances. Classifieds are payable in advance. * SERVICES * - I I JOHNS HARDWARE STORES 2208 Edgewater Drive Orlando 422-0913 Forest CRy Rd. at Edgewater Drive 295-2951 _ * SERVICES * | "..rej)o# co 1= out specJW." CAM,: REIL WITTSTEIN Hardware Housewares . Fertilizer Giftware Clyde l:'els Paint & Supplies Pluzzing, ]nc. Serving CollegePark Palomar Rosemont Kingswood 422-8702 l _ GA3 & rJCZllZC WA l.nt j."- ...................... "1 Hr.ATZJS.SWBSr.RWCJ I A-AARON LOCKSMITH I -==-'--== F I l& SECURITY SYSTEMS! !. s |e Cleaned Polished Repaired Iwhile you wait or the same day I ' I L'mSl ls p i Residential Industrial. 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