Cognitive Dissonance: My Own OTD story

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    My entire life I lived as shomer torah and mitzvos jew. I attended a religious zionist grade school and went to an all boys yeshiva for high school. I even spent an intense year learning in Israel.

    To categorize my upbrining it would be about 70% Modern Orthodox and 30% Charerdi with the numbers skewing more towards the Charedi part towards the end of high school.

    I did devolpe close relationships with my Rabbanim and could be found at minyan early in the morning during vacations and time off while most of my class mates could be found sleeping.

    NCSY was also a huge part of my teen years as I came from something of a family dynasty. I took to it like a fish to water as I had the knoweledge and backround to answer questions and lead by example but the worldlyness (extensive knowledge of sports/music/movies/and whatever else is categorized in this forum as shmutz) of a “normal” american teenager. Kids with little to no Jewish backround would come to my parents home for Shabbous and it was so rewarding. I never felt my own level in danger and became something of a positive influence.

    Not meaning to paint myself as an angel I did have my own challenges as my Gemara backround was not as strong as my classmates I often struggled to find joy in it and grew resentful. While I never lashed out,I did feel like a square peg in a round hole as the high school was not equipped to deal with an independant thinker as myself. I counted the days till I graduated and never looked back.

    During my year in Israel I reached levels of learning that never had occured to me. All in all I was happy with the person I was becoming.

    Most kids who come back from Israel will tell you that staying at a certain level is near impossible and I found out the hard way. Rather than go into a program that combines learning with college, I set out to accomplish everything on my own and enrolled at an amazing in state school. I was able to hold on to everything I had gained in Israel but found myself unable to succeed academically since all of my energy was focused on “staying frum” I found the whole process to be exahusting and left after 2 semesters to a school closer to home.

    Fast forward a few years. My friends and I had always hung out in mixed company and even though we did that, it was clear to all of the adults around us that we were “good kids” that being said some of my own personal lines ended up being crossed and I found myself unhappy with where I was heading. Most of the people in my group had started dating seriously and I considered the prospect. A girl who was mutual friends with a group member met me and we “dated” for 2 years before getting married. This girl was not frum at all in high school and came to it on her own. We married and life was ideal until financial issues came up and we divorced as the relationship had just deteriorated to the point where we couldnt stand to look at each other

    I remember coming home from work the first friday after and seeing the apartment a mess and not seeing my wife on the couch getting ready and i broke pain was beyond measurable.

    Over a period of weeks I tried to get myself together and went about my days and nights like nothing was wrong but I heard the whispers and felt the stares..”oh they were only married for 18 months i bet she cant have children or he’s an adulter” some of these “rumors” got back to me and in the blink of an eye the beautiful little box of the jewish community had been destroyed in an instant. Shabbous had been ruined too as no one wanted the damaged single guy around at a table filled with fresh meat from seminary.

    I went home after a meal shabbous afternoon and said to my self out loud that I’m done with this life. Over the next few months I put as much distance as I could between my old life and where I was. When I had started a new job I didnt even bother telling them I needed to leave early on fridays, it just didnt concern me.

    I tried to be as closeted as possible as my father is a well respected memeber of the community and his business is tied closely to that. It became an exercize in cognative disonance, walking to shul every few weeks shabbous morning and coming home and turning on the tv. I used to laugh about it and now it doesnt even phase me.

    Thoughout all of this I never cut all ties, I would still attend shuirim, still put on tephilin every day. I still managed to take off for the yamin noramim and other yamim tovinm.

    The other tie I kept was checking this website, especially the coffee room. This is what I saw

    1:New York is the end all be all to Jewish existance

    2:Women are not to be trusted and should have their every breath monitored until they are married and then its their husbands problem.

    3: A child who maybe doesnt fit in an exact mold of a community,school or even family is damaged and should be excommunicated to not damage the “untainted children”

    4: Working is a last resort for men and only “learning boys” should be considered for shiduchim. Working boys get first crack at the bargin bin

    5: Balei Tshuva are only a breath away from being not frum and should be avoided like a bomb about to go off. Converts should be viewed with skepticisim if not completly treated as pariahs

    A friend of mine (my chavrusah from my Israel days) asked me after I told him I wasnt frum anymore “Do you even want to ever be frum again?” I told him “I want to one day want to be frum”

    Thats where I’m at, I want to have that desire to be religious again but I just dont feel it. All I see is discord and hate and bigotry and mistrust of someone who has the slightest difference in either a hashkafa or a mode of dress

    Maybe one day I can look past it and see the beauty of it all, but right now its not possible. The 2nd Beit Hamikdash was destroyed for these reasons and now my connection with Hashem has been damaged as well.

    If your going to comment, try not to lay blame at my parents or my upbringing or the schools I went to. Try to say something constructive


    Part and parcel of being in galus is that there is no clarity; and in this day in age it is especially easy to grow cyncical. (Rabbi Frand has a great tape on this, about leitzanus.) Trite as it is, think of the famous story about Simon Weisenthal and Rav Eliezer Silver. Don’t focus on the people who are selling their souls, focus on the people who nourish their souls and others’.



    You do realize this forum only contains (with few exceptions) the “Yeshivish” world.

    Broaden your horizons; there is much more out there than you would think.



    Clever –

    Your post deserves an undistracted read-thru. (something I cannot do at work)

    Let me do so on the way home, but thanks for sharing your story. It gives us a much needed wake-up call


    Your story is so sad because you let other people get in the middle of your relationship with Hashem. Why should you let the hypocrisy and sinners steal your relationship from you. What a pity, what a shanda. Yiddishkeit is not just a community of Jews and not just a society of people it is a one on one relationship with Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

    Clever, even though you left them behind, Hashem has never left you, and I am sure you know it. He is always by your side and you should never hesitate to reach out to him. No matter what you have done, no matter what you are still doing, he still loves you and he is still looking out for you. Please don’t keep score on what other people do. Hashem is the ultimate score keeper and he is the only one that needs to keep cheshbon. In the end, when everyone has to give their din v’chesbon as they stand before their maker, everyone will get exactly what he feels they deserve.


    You’re right. To a certain extent, the regimented factor has taken over, especially in the NY area and for some reason this has become the norm. Its a very sad fact, and I have a feeling you are not the only one to feel this way. If its possible, even for a short time, make some connections in a smaller community, and visit or even consider moving there. Not only is it a away from NY, but its a chance to start over.

    I told him “I want to one day want to be frum”

    This might surprise you somewhat but to me it seems to me that day is now. Or maybe you really never lost that want. Disappointment just got in the way.

    Why I think so? “Thoughout all of this I never cut all ties, I would still attend shuirim, still put on tephilin every day. I still managed to take off for the yamin noramim and other yamim tovinm.

    The other tie I kept was checking this website, especially the coffee room. “

    May you find happiness and fulfillment in your life.

    And please, keep posting.


    pascha bchochma

    Your story saddened me but I feel that not judging judaism by the jews is very applicable here. You also don’t seem to have reached out for help before. It’s important to reach out for help when you need it – you seem to value independence a lot.


    I think the writer is in pain…and I’m picking up lots of anger. Would be a good idea to talk to a real person and not just the coffee room.


    Unfortunately, the same happened to a friend of mine who was a frum B.T. for over 20 years. She feels that the community was not enough sensitive to her needs in wanting to especially get married. Alot of what you did and are doing on your own on Shabbos is what she does too. Perhaps if the age were the same you should meet and perhaps can rebuild together by slowly picking up where you left.


    I just want to start out by saying that I registered in order to be able to answer this question! I sporadically go on this website and I happened to have glanced at the coffee room table thingy and saw this and said I MUST answer this post.

    I think of the hardest things for a child is to learn that their parent is not perfect. This tends to lead to rebellion and also feelings of dislike towards the parent. This also happens when what we hold dearest turns out to be flawed.

    The Jewish/Frum community IS flawed. There are things, like you mentioned that are true. I remember what broke my heart was when the reality of the sinas chinam that I saw in Israel became clear(when I went back as madricha this past year in a seminary–I took a semester off in college). I felt that the more religious world which is meant to separate themselves from the physical has become so focused on the outside! it doesn’t matter if you are religious, as long as you look it. This issue is very complex and its seen a lot in beis yaakovs and its one of the things I hope to do when I BS”D enhance the jewish education system.

    But I realized that yes, this is part of the system and its unfortunate but that’s not me. And they do not negate the entire beauty of Judaism.

    About you comment on learning vs working. When I was in HS I had thought that the highest level was to marry a kollel guy. But then you start to think for yourself and the whole system is kind of build to fail. Even if there are first parents to support the couple–what will happen to the children? to the next generation? A man’s role is support for his wife. We live in a physical world and that does not mean that its either work or learn. We learn Torah so that we can live it. Do not feel like that’s the attitude everywhere–because its certainly not amongst my group of friends. Kollel and learning for a while is nice and its beautiful–but its not realistic.

    I don’t think there is anyone to “blame” because nothing is a mistake–its a learning experience. The fact that you are even writing this and that you said that you WANT to want to be frum–that in itself shows your core.

    I know that there is a lot of stigma to divorced guys. I remember the first time I got offered to go out with a divorced guy and I was 18 then and I was completely in shock that anyone would even suggest that–something HAD to be wrong. A year later someone suggested the same person again and I decided to look into it. The circumstances of his marriage were different than yours (no one told him his wife was on psychotic medication and had real psychological issues). I am so happy that I went out of with him, even though he wasn’t for me, because he was truly a special person. I realized that things are not to be judged so easily and that every circumstance is more complicated than a simple glance can tell you. So don’t feel like just because you are divorced, no “good girls” will date you. Yes, there is a stigma (think of it if when you were single someone wanted to set you up with a divorced girl) but the kind of girl that is for you and you would want, will accept it.

    I think instead of trying to be frum–just try to connect to Hashem. Build that relationship. I once heard that the first letter of the torah is a “bet” and the last is a “lamed” because the key to the Torah is your heart. What Hashem wants most is “bilvolvi mishkan ebne”—to build a sanctuary in your heart.

    Just talk to Hashem. I don’t know if you have ever done this but write a letter to G-d. Just put music that inspires you or just that relaxes you and just pour your heart out. Every emotion that you have felt–everything that has happened let it out.

    Nothing is a mistake. It’s all a learning experience. Everything you have lived and gone through has shaped who you are today. It will make you will be. You mentioned that you were involved with NCSY—perhaps Hashem is giving you a first hand experience so that in the future (when you find your way back, because I don’t doubt that you will) you will be able to use all of this to help others.

    I hope that this has helped and I’m sorry if its long!

    All the best,


    p.s. I didn’t really get your comment on “women are not to be trusted”—I take offense to that! lol, what do you mean?


    I understand what you’re saying but what I would suggest is to try to look past the negative and focus on the positive. While easier said than done, try to realize the points you mentioned are bumps in what is a beautiful life of being a Jew.

    I think also the fact that you would take off for Yamim Tovim, put on tefillin, and even check this site shows that you do have a desire (however small) to stick to the religion.

    “I want to one day want to be frum”

    I wish you luck and hope this day comes real soon!


    clever, your story really hurts. But as other posters said:

    1) Yiddishkeit is not all about the community of Yidden, its a relationship with Hashem. Hashem is waiting for you and is right by your side with every step you take, no matter what you’ve done, He’s waiting for you.

    2) Unfortunately you do have a point about the labeling in the frum community. However the “yeshivish” community is not all that there is and i really think you should reach out to PEOPLE. (not a coffee room which is not personal.)and i hope that one day you will see the beauty.


    Clever, the Torah is perfect, humans are ALL imperfect.

    I sense compassion for you from all the above CR posts. Many of us have had our doubts, some big, some small. While many of the Klal’s issues definitely need prompt AND serious attention and perhaps some new, vibrant and inspiring leadership, IMHO the pluses far outweigh the minuses.


    I always tell myself like Kennedy said -Ask what you could do for Hashem, not what Hashem and certainly not every so-called “frum” person can do for you!



    I think what you need most is to get in touch with an intelligent and compassionate Rabbi who is open minded and can help you get back on track. I reccomend you check out the link I provided. There’s a phone number there to get in touch with Rabbi Suchard the founder of Gateways. He can likely help you or direct you to one of his staff Rabbanim who can help you get past what you are going through.


    Clever, it was truly saddening to read your personal story, and I hope Hashem blesses you with happiness and success from here on.

    I also am impressed and commend you that your attitude is to hope to one day be frum. Hashem certainty doesn’t give up, and haba litaher misayin oso; when one tries to better himself, he is granted special help from Hashem to do so.

    A good and trustworthy Rabbi would definitely be a tremendous asset and sounding board and source of advice, IMHO.

    In addition to “not judging Judaism by its members”, I wanted to touch on some of your points you made, as I have been reading the coffee room more than usual, myself, recently, and wanted to give you my impressions on what you wrote.

    “1:New York is the end all be all to Jewish existence”

    Having been in a number of communities around the country and beyond, I would say that New York definitely has an infrastructure that is unmatched elsewhere and there are realities that reflect that. There is also a certain influence that the uniquely dynamic and busy nature of New York has on everyone, and that is also not duplicated elsewhere, in my experience.

    But, no, New York is not the be all and end all, and there is actually much more to even New York than the stereotypical Boro Park and Flatbush.

    However, I think that people who grow up with everything within 2 blocks of their homes simply do not have the mindset of specifically getting to be familiar with other places. Whereas if you’re used to, say, getting meat from this city and your benchers from New York, you are much more likely to have a “global village” mindset than if everything is around the corner or a block away.

    “2:Women are not to be trusted and should have their every breath monitored until they are married and then its their husbands problem.”

    I’m not sure what you’re referring to, but I certainly hope that’s not the case. Young women are trusted to do chesed in various places, to go to school alone and/or with friends, among other “trust” placed in them. There may be odd cases in certain sects, but that’s certainly very far from being representative of observant Judaism.

    “3: A child who maybe doesn’t fit in an exact mold of a community, school or even family is damaged and should be excommunicated to not damage the “untainted children””

    I have personally seen the opposite, in more than one instance, and even if the child is (beyond) not Shomer Shabbos at that point. I believe parenting takes a tremendous amount of siyata dishmaya and some parents, when given this incredible challenge, R”L L”A, may have a hard time handling it. But please know there are lots of good people out there who do not at all do what you describe, and their kids ultimately become tremendous assets to society.

    “4: Working is a last resort for men and only “learning boys” should be considered for shiduchim. Working boys get first crack at the bargain bin.”

    I think this attitude (again, not at all a hard and fast rule) is slowly changing, and also I happen to know many “working boys” who have (as far as I can tell) spouses that anyone would be proud to have and, most importantly, that they are proud to have.

    “5: Balei Tshuva are only a breath away from being not frum and should be avoided like a bomb about to go off. Converts should be viewed with skepticisim if not completely treated as pariahs.”

    Again, I know countless examples where this is not true and where Baalei Teshuva are, in fact, treated with even more respect due to their impressive journey. The few converts I know are well-respected, too.

    I guess the bottom line is that there are all types of people in this world, and I believe that while not everyone is perfect, our people have much to admire in each other.

    Hatzlacha Rabba and all the best.

    Feif Un

    clever, people can recommend Rabbis to talk to and other advice all they want, but the first thing is that YOU need to want it. If you’re not interested, it won’t work.

    Some posters made a fair point earlier – Judaism is about your relationship with Hashem, not with the people around you. I also went through a time where I wasn’t frum because of difficulties I went through. Many of the things you mentioned that you “learned” here were causes of it. Ultimately, I learned that the yeshivish world is not the only option – and, in my opinion, is far from the proper path of Judaism. I found a derech that works for me, and I am happy with.

    You need to find a path that fits you. Instead if focusing on what you’re not doing, focus on what you are doing. When you get home from shul, you’re putting on your TV? Focus on the fact that you are at least going to shul. Does it feel right to go? If it does, and you concentrate on that, it will lead to your taking on more things. Keep focusing on the positives, and when you are ready for it, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you grow.


    Raq, I don’t think clever is misogynistic but is picking up on that in some parts of the frum world.

    Also, it’s entirely possible that one will find that the stereotypical yeshivish milieu isn’t for him/her, but let’s not deny that there is great beauty there. There may be many narrow-minded people but there are also people who are narrow (in insulating themselves and editing their exposure) without being narrow-minded, who are full of ahavas Yisrael. The read deal IS out there.


    please, D9, could you quote for us the Chafetz Chaim’s that you are referring to? You know where he speaks about asking about people’s financial situation over a shabbos table (!) and how horrible a girl is for wanting learned husband?

    Please, the chafetz chaim also speaks of condemning an entire community – or entire Jewish people – and he does not speak kindly of it.


    Just because we discuss our problems and flaws doesn’t mean that we’re worse than others. Aberaba, this shows we’re trying to improve while others don’t even care. Don’t be like the Christians who read the tochacha and neviim and conclude that the Jews are the worst sinners. Every community is strongest in the sins they decry the most. The way American patriots carry on about our freedoms being snatched from us, you could think the US is the worst tyranny while in fact it’s the freest country. Why? Because we carry on about our freedoms being snatched from us! Chassidim rail about pritzus in their midst while their women are dressed the most tzniusdik – takeh because of the constant railing! Same goes for loshon hora in the yeshivish community. Self-criticism is proof of greatness davka in the area of the criticism, not the opposite.


    Dear Clever –

    I read and re-read your post, and am glad that I did. From what you wrote, its obvious that much soul-searching and insight went into your post. While each point you noted deserves comment, I will focus on one in particular.

    You said that one of the links you still maintain is YNW, and coffee room in particular. While I cannot comment on what is said on YNW as a whole, (as I rarely visit the general site) the CR is where I spend a good portion of my day. That said, you are correct; there is petty fighting and name-calling. But for every teaspoon of divisiveness, there are buckets full of supportive and caring commentary to be found among us as well. True, the critical voices make more noise and ruffle more feathers, than do the voices of reason and sympathy, but we do our part to heal and help as best we can.

    By the time you reach my post, there have been more than 20 replies, so that in and of itself, shows that when we hear the call for help, we respond.

    You taught us a lesson worth learning.

    Thanks, and I look forward to your future posts.


    BP, well said!


    My question to administration – is there a way to erase my postings? Because it clearly didn’t deliver the message I intended. If you can – please do. Thank you.


    dear clever –

    your story and the pain with it pierces to the core.

    It truly is a story of galus, the distance between us and Hashem, as much as we want to be close, there is more and more that distances us.

    It is true that your loneliness makes you feel that your situation has set you apart. But as you aptly noted, many others feel that way each due to their own situation.

    BTW – there are plenty of yeshivish people, chassidish people… who are not treated right. There is a reason that the Bais Hamikdash isn’t here, yet.

    Wonderful people in the above posts made beautiful suggestions on how to get back to Hashem. You can do this, and once you do, you will find that it is only this connection that any body really “has” in this world.

    May you truly be zocheh to reconnecting with Hashem, and may your life be a fulfillment of “Samchainu Keyimos Inisonu”


    i know im not the first one but i actually made an account just to post here. im a young girl just entering shidduchim from a good frum family in a typical jewish neighborhood. i was always an independent thinker and did what i felt was right and never just followed friends and older siblings…like with choosing a high school and seminary and now what kind of boy i wanna marry. firstly my parents are hard working ehrlich yidden and although they do earn a comfortable living…they can by no means afford to shell out minmum 2000 dollars a month to support me. (thus i hear is the going rate). now i would love to marry a learning boy and i think its beautiful but i am human and im not on the level to just give up my current lifestyle to live like the gedolim without any desire for materialisic pleasures. and so i have no problem with working boys who enjoy what they do and earn an honest living just as my father did all the years. and believe me my father is a tzaddik and a talmid chochom and is respected by esteemed rabannim. so now i sit here while friends and shadchanim talk behind our backs and look at me like a nebach case – like someone of a lesser society because i want a working boy. i dont want to speak l”h on klal yisroel because in many ways we are truly amazing!! but let me ask a question. is it normal that i feel shunned and looked down upon because i dont want to make my hard working parents feel obligated to support me and rake them of ever last dollar they might want to enjoy in their older years…clever – there are unfortunately too many times iv’e been turned off by our people and i guess thats a problem with being an independant thinker and not just going with the flow…but seriously…if i were you i would just think that after 120 you have to face hashem and what other people did or said is not going to be an excuse for your actions. you know whats right like evrey yid does inside! and as turned off as u may be by your surroundings – think about the wonderful chesed there is and remember thats what keeping the world in existence. we may not be perfect but other peoples imperfections are no excuse for you to do the wrong thing. someone wise once told me – theres room in gehenom for everyone. you get the idea….



    if you want to be an independent thinker and liver then you shouldnt dwell on how you perceive others attitudes towards you. they also have their way of doing things. and it may or may not be what you judge them to be.

    you should be doing what you have determined to be correct and not be writing long diatribes about how others view you.


    mr. 80

    its a little hard not to dwell when its all you hear about all day. and i dont get what u mean by judging them…their judging me! and i am doing what i feel is correct which is exactly my point!!!!


    how do you know what is in their hearts and behind their actions?

    do you think, (of course you do), that you can be objective?

    you are judging their actions towards you and they may not be at all what you have determined.

    you sound to me to be the critical one

    maybe THEY are doing what they feel is correct.


    its not a matter of actions. its a matter of things they said which are a little hard to interperit wrong!! and im sure they do believe what their doing is correct and i respect that in every way but u seemed to have missed the point…


    i thought your point was that you want to do things differently than those around you, and so you were upset at their reaction to you.

    if that isnt right, then indeed i missed your point.



    You shouldn’t give a darn what people say. Especially if you are truly an independent thinker as you say. You are contradicting yourself as Mod-80 pointed out.

    There is no shortage of people who talk Loshon Hara, today its about you tomorrow its about someone else. Don’t give in to the pressure of Shadchanim. You have to be true to yourself and to who you really are inside.

    If you do what you are supposed to then Hashem will take care of you. I would recommend that you should have some Rebbetzin that you respect to give you shidduch guidance because its not as simple as we want it to be and sometimes we need someone older wiser and more experienced to bounce our thoughts off.


    ok so u missed the point by a long shot 🙁



    A few random thoughts, some may be critical:

    I agree with others that your religiosity is about your connection with Hashem. But if rude comments about you hurt you relationship with Hashem, then maybe your relationship was based on peer pressure or should I say the rewards of a being called a “good kid”. No where in your original post, when talking about your religious life, do you talk about your relationship with Hashem.

    You wrote “All I see is discord and hate and bigotry and mistrust of someone who has the slightest difference in either a hashkafa or a mode of dress” Again you are letting others define your relationship with G()D.

    You wrote “I tried to be as closeted as possible as my father is a well respected memeber of the community and his business is tied closely to that.” Public image again. Not that I’m suggesting to hurt your father’s interests, but look at your perspective that keeps coming up.


    You mentioned that you and your wife split because of financial problems which caused other problems. It seems that you are working now (as you mentioned working late on Fridays). Does your job pay well now? Could there be a chance of getting back together? Don’t you think that she also had immeasurable pain when you two divorced? I know what I’m suggesting is unusual, but it may be worth a try.


    It sounds like you live in/near the community that you grew up in (you said that you don’t want to shame your father). Maybe you should find a different community to develop yourself. Lech Lecha – go for yourself and your own growth.


    I’d like to mention that I am impressed that you “still attend shuirim, still put on tephilin every day. [You] still managed to take off for the yamin noramim and other yamim tovinm.” But please don’t care about my being impressed.


    My suggestion is that you should pray a lot, but in your own words, your own feelings. Hisbodidus. Create and grow your own relationship with Hashem.


    ok maybe i shouldnt have used the term independent thinker… but i do what i feel is best for me…but i also am human and i am effected by peer pressure and by what people say …that still wont make me change my mind but it can hurt.

    wiy – i dont need to speak to a rebbetzin. i know what i want.


    You have lots of company in your feelings. The book Off The Derech by Faranak Margolese explores why observant Jews Leave Judaism and all of the reasons you presented are the same reasons other formerly religious Jews have expressed. I too am struggling so I really understand your feelings.



    i sincerely apologize

    i dont know what got into me

    i dont know your situation but it must be difficult for you

    i imagine you just wanted to vent to some friendly ears

    i hope things work out for you



    “wiy – i dont need to speak to a rebbetzin. i know what i want.”

    That doesnt mean you shouldnt speak things through. I know plenty of people including myself who “thought” they knew what they wanted, then had a heart to heart with someone older and wiser who explained some things that we hadnt thought of and made us realize that maybe some of ideas are wrong or misguided. Im not saying you dont know what you want, but what you “think” you may want is not necessarily what you really want and may be clouded by emotions or whatever.

    You can do whatever you feel like but you can only gain by talking things through thoroughly with a Rebbitzen, (former sem teacher whatever…)



    being in the parsha is unfortunately a very difficult place to be. Again, as I said before, you would be surprised how many people who would seem to “have it all”, and have the right CV are shlepped through the mud and could be made to feel not very good about themselves. Another function of the galus.

    Keep davening, Hashem is listening to you, and will bring you to a wonderful shidduch. You sound like a gevaldig girl.

    Hatzlocha vebrocha


    Thank you for everyones response

    I’ve read and re-read all of the posts and yes I do realize that I am letting other people define my relationship with Hashem. It’s something that might take a while but I will try and start building my own connections that might help me block out all of the “bad behaviour” I see our brethern taking part in.

    I know that there is never a case that is a lost cause but there is something I am wondering. During my journey I’ve committed some sins and have developed a taste for them. It seems like certain preferences have been hardwired into my brain and I dont see myself having a good relationship with whatever woman I end up with due to them. I’m not talking about anything like ‘toeiva’ just behavior that no “aidel maidel” would ever consider engaging in or admitting to liking. I’m wondering if there is a shadchan or someone that deals with cases like mine.

    If I knew there was hope I could somehow return to a “mainstream religious” community, it would help strengthen my resolve to return


    I’ll not address the “preference” comment, but the “can I return to the community” question, the answer is YES! I deliberatly left off the “mainstream” part, as each of us have a different idea of what “mainstream” means.

    OK, I will address the “preference” comment. Take it from a former sinner; you only feel this way, becuase the yetzer horoh is telling you, you’re beyond hope. IGNORE HIM! You’re beyond hope when they start shoveling dirt on your coffin.

    Till then, you are always able to come back.



    You are normal.

    Let’s repeat:

    You are normal.

    Take a look at the Gemorah Nedarim 20B with the questions asked to Rav & Rebbainu HaKadosh. (can’t post here due to the MPAA rating).

    BPT is correct. The Yetzer Hara is getting you by saying you are beyond the pale, when that is just simply not true.

    Just like he did to Chava with the Eitz Ha’Daas, to get her husband to eat.

    Ittisa and I had this discussion, and we still don’t agree on all points, but she had a great line.

    Don’t attempt for a grand slam while there is no one one base, and you really want to hit a home run. You are getting the home run, and the grand slam will come in time.



    The GR”A pointed out (I saw it many years ago, so forgive me if I’m not quoting perfectly) that if one doesn’t satisfy his urges the normal way, then he will try to satisfy them in an unusual way. I believe that goes for both extremes. For example, a regular person eats a sandwich for lunch, a street bum might steal to get his bread or look in the garbage, and a spoiled rich man will look for more and more titillating food. Neither the street bum nor the spoiled rich man are normal.

    Because you were “starving” you went after the unusual. Once you get back to eating a normal lunch, you should get rid of most of your desires. I think that you will still have some Yetser Hara to overcome.


    Mamarochelcry, I applaud your concern for your parents and your choice to be self supporting. Your evident common sense, strength of character, and kind heart are wonderful traits.I hope you continue to believe in yourself and disregard all the outside pressures.


    <i>If I knew there was hope I could somehow return to a “mainstream religious” community, it would help strengthen my resolve to return </i>

    The Rambam at the end of Issurai Bia (22:17) ???? ??? ???? ??? ??? ??? ????, ???? ??? ?????? ?????? ??????? ??????. At that rate one should not be surprised when one hears of various impropriety. So don’t think of yourself as such a big sinner that could not be accepted to the Kehilla.

    We don’t know what others do, but we generally assume a Chezkat Kashrut for people. You are no different.


    Clever, I don’t know how I’d missed this thread previously, and admit, beyond your initial post, didn’t read all the responses. But the day you hope is the day is probably the day you cried out here. You’re nowhere near as far away as you perceive.

    You probably can surmise by my screen name that I share your feelings about Brooklyn being the be all and end all of Yiddishkeit. There are many communities out there that don’t fall into that mentality.

    Remember, we as Jews are constantly striving to grow, and compete with the Yetza Hora. We can do tshuva at any time, and Hashem is always there to welcome us home.


    Just last night, I read an excerpt of a shmuez given by R’ Henoch Leibowitz, Shlita:

    Noach was criticized for not having done enought to try and influence his dor about the pending diaster and the need to do teshuvah. Why, though, should Noach be faulted? The dor ha’mabul was the most corrupt ever, so much so, that Hashem deemed it necessary to wipe them out and start all over.

    The answer is, while a person is still alive, THE TZELEM ELOKIM IN EACH PERSON can always be salvaged.

    Never give up! (cleverjew, I hope you’re still checking back on this thread)


    Cleverjewishphun, for takonas ha’shavim: there are things which are not eidel-maidel type of things, which are allowed by Halocha between spouses either completely or in modified form. If one of the spouses wants them ,the other has to comply. Many frum women would not have a problem with these things.

    Secondly, in addition to what people have already said here, remember chilul Shabbos is very hamur — both, for one’s olam ha’ba, and safety in this world. Please, consider this information.


    Clever: There are some advertisements around for help with internet addiction (I’m assuming your problem developed with the assistance of the internet)–you probably should speak to someone with a specialty in dealing with this kind of thing. I would venture to say this is much more prevalent than anyone is letting on yet. Maybe the next big bombshell in the frum world, now that everyone seems to be on the web.


    @MDG – The “normal lunch” theory might be correct but at the same time, I know how my body and mind function in this respect

    (I had been married for 18 months along with some indiscretions during the courting phase)

    @MDD – you are right that some things might “technically” be allowed, but it would still seen as “not normal” to even ask. I dont need to put myself into a situation with someone who wouldnt be comftorable with the physical aspect of a relationship

    @EzratHashem your assumption is incorrect.


    Cleverjewishpun, there are groups within the frum world, where one can venture to expect that it won’t be a problem. Plus, what’s the other choice?

    On the second thought, I guess, it is possible to inquire through the shadchan.

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