I'm trying to get a sense of how the people of Monsey responded to the call for a community-wide fast today. Please send this post to anyone you know who might live in Monsey and ask them to register their reaction in the comments. Those who don't live in Monsey are, of course, welcome to join the conversation.
Today I called four friends who live in Monsey. Not one of them are fasting. Their reasons:
1 - "I didn't eat anything from that store, and because I am not a Hasid I don't consider myself a part of that community. This is their fast, not mine."
2 - "This disaster was the mashgiach's fault, and we know that it was the mashgiach's fault because as soon as someone walked into the store the whole fraud was discovered. If anyone should fast, he should fast. All I did was rely on him. I didn't do anything contrary to the halacha so I am not fasting."
3 - "I already shelled out over $100 on new kitchenware, and I disposed of over $100 worth of meat. Plus I spent hours kashering. I've suffered enough. That's my kaparah."
4 - "This is all political. The top Rabbis are calling for a fast to distract attention from their own failing, and useful idiots like my shul Rabbi are going along with it because they are too timid to challenge the power structure. By telling us to fast, they are putting the blame on us, instead of on themselves where it belongs."
Are these attitudes typical? If you're a Monsey person please share your point of view in the comments. Your anonymity is guaranteed.