Reply To: Kid Off The Derech

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Feif Un

As I’ve written before, I wasn’t frum for a while. I was lucky enough to find my way back, although not in a way my family always approves of (most of my brothers went to Brisk, Lakewood, etc.)

Believe me, at the time when you decide to not be frum, you really do thin you’re happy. After all, being frum obviously didn’t work for you, and compared to that, you’re really happy. I had Rabbeim who publicly humiliated me, told me I was wasting my life, etc. I asked many questions, and rarely got answers. I was miserable. I decided I didn’t want to be frum. No drugs, no alcohol (aside from an occasional beer, but no heavy drinking), just not frum. I thought I was happy. I was in college, was working, had a girlfriend – what was I lacking? It took me a while to realize I wasn’t really happy. Yes, during the day, while I was doing things, I felt great. But at night, lying in my bed, I just felt wrong. I knew I was missing something.

It wasn’t easy coming back. Many things were difficult to stop, and I still have difficulty with many issues. Breaking up with the girl I was dating was incredibly tough. Going back to kosher, keeping Shabbos, they were all hard. But I kept pushing, and while I’m not where I want to eventually be, I think I’m well on my way.

Telling people, like muchcommonsense did, that they’re not happy just helps push people farther away. Being judgmental, like Joseph always is, and always looking for the wrong in people’s actions, also just pushes people away. I always say that Yeshivish people dress in black and white because that’s how they see the world – no gray area at all.

Not being frum often seems great, especially when you compare it to the bad experience you might have had being frum. It takes a strong will, and some good examples of what a good, frum person is like, to find your way back. It also takes time, until you realize that you’re ready for it.