From ultra-Orthodox outcast to TikTok sensation: Riki Rotter’s path to freedom

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After being expelled twice from the seminary (once because she watched “HaMerotz LaMillion” – an Israeli adventure reality game show based on the international Amazing Race franchise), Riki (then Rivki) Rotter overheard a secret late-night conversation between her parents.

At the time, she was 18 years old, a daughter to a family from Elad affiliated with the Jerusalem Faction – an extremist and separatist group within the ultra-Orthodox Lithuanian stream of Judaism. “They said, ‘Let’s end this trouble. We’ll marry her off, and everything will be fine,'” recalled Roter, who is now the owner of an online video marketing company and has an impressive track record of turning MK Merav Michaeli, journalist Sivan Cohen, and others into TikTok sensations.“My father told my mother that there is a guy, albeit a bit older, but it’s suitable since I was expelled from the seminary. In our terms, it’s two damaged people together.”

What went through your mind at that moment?

“I couldn’t sleep the whole night. I understood that this was the moment, that if I didn’t leave, I would never do it. From a young age, I fantasized about being secular, but I didn’t think it would actually happen. It was something beyond mountains of darkness for me. I love my parents deeply, and I knew it would hurt them, but I had no choice. It wasn’t a matter of religion, God and I get along. I wanted freedom, I wanted to fulfill myself. I didn’t want any more boundaries.”

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