A guest post from Baruch Pelta
There's a new kiruv website out there called sellmeyourjewishsoul.com . Authored by a talmid of Rabbi Yossi Mizrachi (remember these classics?) by the name of Eliyakum Cohen, the concept is rather unique. Eliyakum posts some videos about how Judaism must be true and he is so sure that you'll be convinced that your previous positions are false that -- and I quote, in his words -- "if you get nothing out of these video lectures and are 100% convinced that there is no G-d, no Torah, no afterworld, then [he'll] buy your pathetic soul and all the good deeds that you have done in your life." He doesn't give an estimate of how much he's willing to pay. The site itself is fascinating and full of interesting tidbits about our beautiful religion, like "If you're not Torah Observant then, YOU'RE LIVING LIFE WRONG, YOURE GOING TO GEHINNOM (Jewish Hell)."
In any event, here's what I find interesting about this website: there's a Facebook group surrounding it. Not only does the Facebook group have nearly 600 members, but it has administrators, officers, and hosts an active discussion (largely by frum people) surrounding Eliyakum's website and its content. I think most frum Jews who've heard about this probably don't think this is a good idea, but the fact that the Facebook group is as active as it is this early on is interesting, at least.
I met Eliyakum at a Shabbos table once where we were both mutual guests of a rabbi. Before the meal, he talked about the special powers of the autistics and a story from Rabbi Mizrachi where an autistic "said" something to Rabbi Mizrachi that nobody could've known. What disturbed me as we sat down to eat was that ideas that I've espoused in the past (and al achas kama vikama the ideas people like, say, Rabbi Slifkin have publicized!) are seen as more controversial than what he was saying. His take on the autistics has haskamas.
It will be interesting to see if Eliyakum can get his kiruv site off the ground and perhaps even -- so crazy it might just happen -- get haskamas and be considered somewhat mainstream. Probably not, but it's something to keep an eye out for; I wouldn't be shocked if it happened.