November 14, 2008 6:34 am at 6:34 am #625237arieParticipant
It’s hard not to believe in G-d, belief in G-d is based on common sense. How is it that rain falls and causes flowers, plants and trees to grow, did the plants tell the clouds that they need water? maybe it should rain gasoline, but only water falls, which is the ONLY thing that will make a plant grow. The sun is 93M miles from earth. scientists say that the sun is in the perfect distance from earth in order to let Life exist, if the sun would be a little bit closer it would be too hot, a little bit further, we would freeze. Who put the sun in that perfect position?! It went by itself?! Common sense tells you not. As Albert Einstein said, ‘G-d does not play dice with the universe’. Like the famous analogy; a man walking in the desert and finds a watch, he knows that someone was here before, because the watch can’t make itself. If you just observe our wonderful universe, you will see that everything has a plan and a purpose, and that shows that there is an Intelligent Designer who created this world. You sound like you did research and read some books, maybe read some books from the ‘other’ side. You might find them very enlightening. I would suggest for starters, R’ Avigdor Miller’s wonderful book ‘Rejoice O Youth’ among other books that he wrote on this and related topics. Hatzlacha Rabbah.November 14, 2008 6:35 am at 6:35 am #625238shkoyachMember
one more thing, Gitty. You can roll your eyes if you want or just ignore this. I am curious to know if you are a believer of man to man kindness. Do you feel that midos is what is important in life or doing things to make another happy? I am not here to force you to be frum… thats not my buisness. However I do think that as a hakaras hatov to your parents, just to make them have some sort of nachas, would you be willing to choose one mitzvah, whether it’s not to speak Lashon Hara or whether it is to smile at someone and make them happy or to kiss a mezuzah, no milk and meat together, taharas hamishpacha… your choice of ONE mitzvah that you will hold onto as long as you are able, not for yourself and not for G-d but just to do a justice to your parents who do belive in Hashem, for them to be happy knowing that you chose one thing to keep. Whether you take my advice or not, is irrelevent. It’s just a heartfelt request to repay a kindness to your parents who care about you. Think about it and its ok if you choose not to.November 14, 2008 6:33 pm at 6:33 pm #625239charlie brownMember
I’ve been out of town. However, I have to say that responses like yours frustrate me a lot. What does it say that when a lot of frum Jews get together they create a culture that is so unappealing to intelligent, free thinking people? Your argument is that frum Jews are okay in small groups. Well fine, but excuse me if that’s not good enough for me. I am now part of a group of people that is wonderful to live among – whether the community is large or small.
gitty, nobody said jew are only ok in small groups. What some people were suggesting is that you personally may feel more comfortable in a place where there are small groups. Some like that better while others feel more comfortable in the larger frum communities.
You’ve said that you were turned off from yidishkeit because you are a person who hates structure and being told what to do and when to do it. Although i hope that one day you willl see the simcha of keeping the mitzvos and not just the rigidity involved, I understand that this turned you off and I am not judgemental about this. I have no way of knowing if I would have reacted differently if I was in your shoes.
However I did want to suggest something that I hope that you will consider with an open mind and with objectivity. Perhaps your antipathy towards Judaism (because of your dislike of structure) caused you to see the frum community in a bad light, and not the reverse.
Can I perhaps show you some brighter aspects of the frum community you may have overlooked? You say that the community of secular free thinkers are better to live among than a large community of frum people. If your car gets stuck is there a secular version of chaveirim which will come in minutes to change a tire, unlock the door etc. and not only refuse payment but even try to refuse a thank you? The frum version of chaveirim would be there for you in a heartbeat if you call them even though you aren’t frum anymore. Is there a secular version of hatzoloh whose members will drop everything at any time to run save a life of another human being while not receiving any compensation? When someone is in the hospital, is there a secular organization that provides a pantry stocked with food, free for the taking? And apartments where relatives from out of the area can stay while caring for the patient, all at no charge? Are there secular g’machs which lend out tens of millions of dollars every year to those who need it, and with 0% interest?
Are there problems in the frum community? of course there are, we aren’t all perfect. You’ve mentioned the obsession with materialism. Yes, many people unfortunately can’t control their yetzer horah for materialism but that is not caused by being frum it is in spite of it. Last I checked, Hollywood and the Hamptons which although they are quite materialistic, are kinda secular and not frum to say the least. Yes, I know, you don’t associate with those types of secular people. Well, that brings us back to the out-of-town option, one can remain frum and not associate with the overly materialistic members of the frum society just as you can be secular and not associate with the more materialistic members of that society. And even in Monsey, Brooklyn and Lakewood you can find plenty of non-materialistic people who don’t live for their next custom wig and SUV. You just need to open your eyes and your mind to see them.
I hope you will not take offense by this post, offending you is the last thing I want to do. I just wanted to share another perspective with you about our culture that seems to be so appealing to the thousands of intelligent, free thinking secular jews who have become ba’alei tshuva over the past couple of decades.November 14, 2008 8:31 pm at 8:31 pm #625240shindyMember
wow, very good charlie brown. you give me chizuk!November 15, 2008 5:34 pm at 5:34 pm #625241
gitty – if you would decide to become frum again would all your irreligious or non-jewish freinds mourn you the way your fellow yidden are mourning?
GITTY WE REALLY love you – come back!November 15, 2008 5:56 pm at 5:56 pm #625242
What does it say that when a lot of frum Jews get together they create a culture that is so unappealing to intelligent, free thinking people?
I am sorry, but I think that you are grossly underestimating the frum world.
The frum world is full of intelligent, free thinking people.
What is more, as I am seeing in the mixed community I am about to leave for a much frummer one, it is the frum people who created a culture that appeals to a lot of intelligent, free thinking people.
However, especially in an open, “kiruv” community, this culture attracts a whole mix of people, from people who are truly sincere to people who are looking for a quick fix of status or feeling respected or whatever, so they are frum on the outside and in reality retain the crude secular culture of the shkootzim who surround us.
The ones who are just along for the ride are the ones who are making a mess of things. They muck up the society which we built, but because we have ahavas Yisroel, and the builders of the community want to be as inclusive as possible, we cannot throw anyone out and we have to find a level where everyone feels welcome (after all, the strongest people can do well on their own whereas the weaker people need to have the feeling that the community institutions give them).
In my particular soon to be former community, it is half-hearted “mekuravim” who want to have their cake and eat it too that bring down the level of the community to the lowest common denominator. Here it is excusable because this is a post-Communist society and the people have for the most part been educated under Communism or during the chaotic early 90’s. The problems will pass in a generation or so as people start to grow and will no longer look up to the present “mekuravim” as role models but rather will follow a small but growing group of more earnest baalei tshuva who in turn will bring up the transition generation (or they will set up new institutions and leave the present ones to the old guard).
In the US the problem is that we have copied the materialistic ways of the gaudy, new today old tomorrow McSociety around us and some have taken it to the point that the McSociety is the ikar and Yiddishkeit is the tofel even though they look like frum Yidden on the outside.
Basically, then, it is people who are just going through the motions who are making the mess. And that makes it far harder for sincere people to shine through; the noisiest people are always the ones doing the wrong thing and a tiny bit of this group are even “frummer than thou”, making it a point of keeping some very public mitzvah behiddur while keeping very unexemplary standards of Yiddishkeit behind closed doors.
You may not have learned in a school that was right for you, and maybe it was geared toward or dominated by the frum-for-show crowd (that was the case in a lot of places because that crowd had the very illusory gelt before the credit crunch hit their mortgage schemes and left them high and dry and unable to pay the monthly lease on their Lexuses), but if you go to a place where there are a LOT of sincere, frum people who indeed think and are truly ehrlich, you will not be able to make the statement which I quoted above.
Gitty, from what I heard, though I was never there, I think you would be well served to give Aish Kodesh in Woodmere a try. (Caveat: I cannot read a map for the life of me and I could be way off as to the distance between where I think you are and Woodmere, L.I. but I am sure you could find a place to stay there for a Shabbos if they do not actually have a Shabbaton from time to time).
No “box” of conformity there, no rigidity, people are not overly materialistic, and it is a place where people think and explore and grow together.November 15, 2008 5:58 pm at 5:58 pm #625243
If your car gets stuck is there a secular version of chaveirim which will come in minutes to change a tire, unlock the door etc. and not only refuse payment but even try to refuse a thank you?
Can’t resist this one:
Why, yes there is, especially in large urban areas. Difference is that these volunteers will also take your car with them!November 16, 2008 12:27 am at 12:27 am #625244oomisParticipant
AS the saying goes, “You’re a good man, Charlie Brown!”November 16, 2008 5:08 am at 5:08 am #625245shkoyachMember
Itzik… you say wise words… the wisest was your last words 😉November 16, 2008 6:28 am at 6:28 am #625246
Is there a secular version of hatzoloh whose members will drop everything at any time to run save a life of another human being while not receiving any compensation?
yup, any local ambulance corp like in monsey rvac (tamapo valley ambulance corps0 and spring hill. none receive compensation, they all volunteer.
anyway to get back to the topic, i get where gittys coming from and you all trying to convince her of the beauty when she doesnt see it doesnt do anything just makes her feel like you dont get it cause you dont, and you cant cause you werent in that position its just gona make her feel like you dont get her. as ive said before, im back on the derech but i still dont see the beauty of it no matter how hard i try. charlie brown pointed out that the jewish community does a ton of chesed which is very true but theres still so many scandals and undercover dirt going on that i see so clearly and that the community turns a blind eye to that turns me and other kids off. also every time ive gotten close to a frum person who tried to convince me how wondeful being frum is and so on and so forth when they finally open up to me, every single one has told me their life problems and how really they dislike being frum and their whole messed up story that has made me think no one really likes it just isnt open like meNovember 16, 2008 2:43 pm at 2:43 pm #625247
Thanks for all the responses. I am not going to argue religion here, but I’d like to address everything else.
Shkoyach – Individuality may be stressed by rabbis today, but the nation or community was the focus before the 20th century. No, I have not listened to Rabbi Mechanic. I am sure he is very persuasive and intelligent. But if you don’t believe in the foundation, no fancy rhetoric can change that.
I didn’t say I don’t believe in reward and punishment. I said I don’t believe in heaven or hell. If I slack off at work, I will likely get fired. If I do a good job, I can expect a nice bonus at the end of the year. Human behavior is certainly affected by reward and punishment. Therefore, it makes sense that people would imagine a system whereby in some afterlife people would get their just deserts. It appeals to our sense of fairness. It is also appealing to the poor who don’t have much to live for in this world.
I smiled when I read your argument about Moshiach. Don’t you realize that this argument could be used by Christians? “Don’t you realize that Jesus is God and that if you don’t believe in him you won’t go to heaven when you die? / you’ll be left behind during the Rapture?” No, I don’t believe in any of that nonsense. And Pascal’s Wager really isn’t any reason any all to be religious.
I do believe in kindness. However I will not change my lifestyle just to make my parents happy. That won’t serve anyone in the end. However, I am thankful to them.
Charlie Brown – My proclivity to do my own thing was not the only factor that led me “off”. I grew up frum and I would have stayed that way if I hadn’t seen the things I saw. Frum people can be hypocritical and cruel. It’s one thing when people don’t profess to be perfect, but the “elites” of the frum community do.
For example, a well known rabbi who lives nearby was accused by several women of sexual abuse. I have to say that it was certainly a nail in the coffin.
As for frum people helping their own, yes that is one advantage of living in a close knit community. However that kind of attitude can have its disadvantages. There is little respect for privacy in the frum world. In the secular world, no one would wonder out loud, in front of you why your daughter isn’t married off yet. People tend to be in each other’s business all the time. I would rather call AAA and maintain my privacy.
You are correct that frum people have varying degrees of materialism. However the Hamptons and Hollywood are hardly examples of what intelligent secular people value. Why is it that frum schools have pathetic art and music programs if they have them at all? They don’t encourage creativity or self development beyond “daven harder”. Perhaps they have a school production (the practice time for which is cut yearly). I understand that they are underfunded, but if frum schools really valued self development, maybe they’d teach one less course in dikduk or safah and introduce an elective art/music/creative writing/dance course.
More later.November 16, 2008 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm #625248
also every time ive gotten close to a frum person who tried to convince me how wondeful being frum is and so on and so forth when they finally open up to me, every single one has told me their life problems and how really they dislike being frum and their whole messed up story that has made me think no one really likes it just isnt open like me
I do not know who you are hanging around with, or who you are speaking to.
There are frum people who may tell you they would be financially better off had they not chosen to be/remain frum (not true anymore with this crisis), but then they will show you their families and tell you how much more they appreciate what they do have compared to the money they could have had. I was once at a simcha where the (rather eccentric) remaining frei member of the mostly frum family tried to show how much better off he is than his frum brother who was the baal hasimcha and who had a chance at a “successful” career before his tshuva, and he was shot down and laughed off by family and guests alike (this was in EY where people speak their minds). It was very easy to see who was truly happy and successful and who needed a good psychiatrist, regardless of the fact that the baal hasimcha was struggling financially and the frei brother was not.
If, on the other hand, you are hanging around with marginals, of course they will reinforce your confusion because they are as confused as you are if not more so.
I was a semi-counselor on a “kiruv” shabbaton once and I went with one of the teen participants to a family that never should have been allowed to host shabbaton guests.
The couple went on and on about how bad the system and the community is (and they did not match up to standards bein adam lechaveiro or bein adam lamakom themselves) and ended up reinforcing the wavering teen’s decision to stay in public school. I was only 23 at the time and my words hardly carried any weight against those of this semi-dysfunctional couple. This teen is not a frum adult today (nor is he particularly successful), and I do not know what became of the family either.
If he had been exposed to the right people, he probably would have participated in more shabbatonim and would have found his place in the frum world as he was earnestly searching but just at the beginning of his journey; these menuvelach helped him lose interest fast as he was not able to discern the difference between their rantings and the real situation in our world.November 16, 2008 4:13 pm at 4:13 pm #625249
I do not know who you are hanging around with, or who you are speaking to.
see the thing is now i am sort of back ont track and hanging out and speaking to good people (some from this site) and i am still seeing this false facadeNovember 16, 2008 5:01 pm at 5:01 pm #625250I can only tryMember
IMHO you made the right decision to return to posting here.
Keep up the good work.
I wish you hatzlocha in your personal life (shiduch, etc).
Your story is amazing. Thank you for sharing it.
I can only echo what oomis1105 said.
I have know of people who got back on the derech, sometimes many years later.
May you and your mishpacha be zocha to that as well.November 16, 2008 5:58 pm at 5:58 pm #625251
see the thing is now i am sort of back ont track and hanging out and speaking to good people (some from this site) and i am still seeing this false facade
Perhaps you are looking for the false facade where none exists.
If you spoke to me when I was rushing out of Shacharis or Mincha to go back to work, you might think I was putting on a show and just rushing through davening or trying to spend as little time in shul as possible. I’ve run into people I haven’t seen in 10 years or who I see maybe once a year and the best I can tell them when I am in shul during the week is sholom aleichem – will you be around Shabbos – here’s my card (with my phone and e-mail) as I just about run out the door.
The truth is that I am making a very meaningful and even often enjoyable sacrifice any time I can pull myself to minyan during the week or attend anything going on in the community on a weekday, but life is life and I am in a hurry as soon as davening ends.
If on the other hand, you took the time to tell me that you need to speak to me about something, I’d give you my mobile number or my E-mail and I would make it a point to be able to speak to you some other time during the day.
And are you really listening to what people are telling you without assuming they are saying what you want them to say?
Just because someone is complaining about his broken car or washing machine or computer and wishes he had more money to buy a better one does not mean he is fed up with being frum. It means he is angry at high prices and low quality and he would be that way no matter his beliefs. And just because someone is fed up with some issue in his shul or his childrens’ school does not mean he wants to throw it all away. He wants the situation to be resolved in a way that is truly befitting the ben Torah that he is and that all involved in the situation should be.November 16, 2008 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #625252NobodyMember
Teenager, unfortunately throughout life you will meet the good people and the bad. The honest and the dishonest and those will amaze you or totally stagger you It’ll be up to you to make the wise choice who to follow, who to listen to and who to ignore.
We have all come across those who have disapointed us but that doesn’t mean we just give up and go off elsewhere. No. What it shows us is that there are weaker people and stronger people and these episodes in life are a way to show us how to be stronger as people, as individuals.
You say you are back on track but I ‘see’ in your posts that you still have some disillusionment. Please, perk up and in time you will see clearer. I know I’ve said it before and I must sound like I’m ancient but maturity comes with living life and living life gives us the hindsight to see how we could have done things differently, but to our benefit.
Gitty, there is very little I can say to you. I am sorry you feel being frum is such a burden to your otherwise fabulous life. But we make of life what we want to. If you want to see things negatively, that’s your choice. If you see being frum as such a negative that is your choice.
We all have choice and the wise man is he who chooses the right path. It takes a wise man to know which is the right path and a fool to take the easy one.November 16, 2008 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm #625253
Why is it that frum schools have pathetic art and music programs if they have them at all?
You had to have attended the pathetic art and music programs in my suburban public school, and that was years ago before they started to teach tagging and rap and who knows what else.
I have long since blocked the music program out of my mind (I probably spent most music classes in the beis kisse or in “detention”), but I remember that the art teacher’s idea of art was a bunch of auto engine parts sprayed in different colors. Huh?
Also, as you well know, the rabbi who was accused of abuse was not what you would call a respected figure in the community; if anything he was far more in touch with and a part of the modern world and its values than most in your community.
Privacy in the secular world? Wait until you join the professional workforce and see how much privacy there is at the “water cooler”.November 16, 2008 6:49 pm at 6:49 pm #625254
i don’t mean this in the wrong way, i’m really just asking you a yes or no question – not meaning to be close-minded, stuck-up or condesending. Just a simple question.
Do you really believe that the Chofetz Chaim & R’ Moshe Feinstien missed the boat in life but you’ve hit upon the real truth?November 16, 2008 7:24 pm at 7:24 pm #625255000646Participant
your statement is the logical equivelent of a cristian asking a Jew do you really beleive that saint peter and pope Jhon paul missed the point in life but you hit upon the answer.November 16, 2008 7:57 pm at 7:57 pm #625256
you are certainly correct. just here it’s a jew asking a jewNovember 16, 2008 8:32 pm at 8:32 pm #625257
Notpashut – I think there have been many great rabbis from whom a lot can be learned. However there are great people of many different religions. The only reason you feel so strongly about say Rav Moshe Feinstien is because you grew up as an Orthodox Jew. Children who grew up with different belief systems admire their great religious leaders with equal passion.November 16, 2008 9:01 pm at 9:01 pm #625258
i am not looking for a facade, i am looking so hard to find the turth and beauty but i dont see it, i thought maybe i wasnt looking in the right places but now im starting to think that maybe its just not there. i know millions of people can not be folllowing something so blindly, its not logical but it jsut seems so hypocritcal to me. ive seen such horibble things and scandals happen in the frum communites that have jsut turned me off, ive been told not to judge judiasm by jews but i cant see what judiasm is meant to be when its misrepresented. the things i am talking about are nothing like your examples, they wouldnt bother ne in the least.
im back on track meaning i keep kosher and shabbos, and tznius and dont talk to guys, drink or do drugs anymore but i still have the meesed up mindset. im working on it, but the frum society isnt making it easy on em to change itNovember 16, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm #625260
Have you finished high school yet? Sem? If not then now is the perfect time for you to experience another community. Go away if you can, so long as you know you will not run into trouble away from your family.
Something tells me you are spending time with some of the marginal or disillusioned elements of your community and they are turning you off, or that you are looking in the sewer of the community and finding the sewer rats.
There are a handful of sewer rats in every community, and sometimes they do occupy positions of power or respect, often because their betters are not searching for kovod, or have no time, or because of some fluke in the community structure.
I know because that is what happened to me years ago. I stayed in a truly RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) run community, the worst of the worst, even though I had alternatives available as close as a 25 minute walk away, and in the end I went off.
I knew better, because I knew I believed in Hashem and His Torah. I also knew full well that these people were not representative of anything but their own collective yetzer horo, and my bad decision cost me a lot of lost opportunities in every way imaginable.November 16, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm #625261
Teenager – I think you have a distorted view of “messed-up” and right vs. wrong in general. If you decide to stop being frum, that doesn’t mean that doing drugs or abusing alcohol are part of the package. Your goal should be to figure out what you truly believe. Feelings of anger and frustration won’t lead you to the truth.November 17, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am #625262oomisParticipant
I was happy to share my family’s story, and it was only one among many amazing things that happened during the shiva week and at an extremely unusual occurrence that was repeated and witnessed by all the guests at every family simcha we attended after the aveilus period was over. What happened to us gave each of my siblings and me incredible chizuk, and I said after that I no longer believe in Olam Haba, now I KNOW there is Olam Haba.November 17, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am #625263talMember
I typically only respond to science things. But, I wanted to share some of my story with you.
I’m not trying to preach. The idea of ‘making someone see the light’ is stupid and pointless to me. I just felt you were in pain and wanted you to know other people have gone through it too.November 17, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am #625264TOHIGHSCHOOLGUYMember
Gitty … can I ask you 2 questions?
1) How old are you?
2) Have you ever spoken to anyone who is considered an “expert” in these area, outside of the people who post on the Yeshiva World?
I am not enough of an expert myself to answer all of your questions, but a lot of the points that you are raising are issues that I myself have struggled with, and have had pretty much all of them answered. While most of the people on YWN are very sincere and well meaning, I personally do not think (even though I comment just like everyone else) that a such a public forum is the most opportune place to discuss such deep and relevant issues.
I don’t know if anyone agrees with me on this, and let me reiterate that I am just as guilty of this as everyone else, but at least consider what I saidNovember 17, 2008 1:21 am at 1:21 am #625265
I agree with gitty”s sentiments on not discussing religion during this coffee break. I just like to make a few points and recommendations. (Disclaimer- this is textual based so please hold of on your cynicsm until Im through) In the beginning of creation, god was there. He came to adam and adam knew there was a god. Fast forward a couple generations noah knew there was a god. Remember he came to him, or didnt he? Shem and Ever, two grat scholars mentioned in the generations between noah and avraham alo knew there was a god. So waht was Avraham credited for? What was his new revelation? If it was know so long before him, how was he original? To answer this glaring question, I qoute a rashi. Rashi tells of how avraham looked into the world and saw there was a god. SEEING is a strong concept. Every jewish nursery student knows how avraham looked up at the sun and stars and and oceans and trees and all the other butiful hugongous things in the whole wide world and saw there was a god (nursery spelling added for
emphasis). What do we see from this whole story? What is the deeper meaning of this fable? Rashi tells us that Avraham saw in the raw physical world- GOD. He saw god. He didnt just believe, he saw. Judaism isnt accredited to admam and eve, but rather avraham. Why? Because he came up with the novel idea of actually seeing not only believing. This rashi teaches us many lessons. But I will choose to focus on two. 1) Judaism is based on a dual personality: tradition/belief/mesora AND, I stress, and reality/seeing/understanding. Avraham saw, lets take his lead and try to see for ourselves. 2) Although we may not understand, we dont have to be afraid of brainwashing because rashi tells us that judaism is about your own SEEING. If you are ever giving an interiew you know I dont need an answer to all my questions as long as I see that the applicant isnt avoiding to give you answer that means there is an answer. So too here if you dont understandd the answer, know that there is an answer cuz rashi is telling us
is one. For all the cynics in this coffee room: I challenge you to look into the world like your forefather before you, to SEE the truth not just to believe. If you are having a hard time coming up with your own ideas you are in trouble because you dont trust anyone else. For everyone else: I refer you back to the nursery story before or on a more serious note Rabbi Avigdor Miller has an unbelievable series, including “awake my glory” and “Rejoice oh youth”. He describes vividly how to come to your own realizations. Beware: He may try to brainwash you so be really critical or you will fall into his trap. But only do this on the condition that you are open to his real concepts. To conclude, we are left with a glaring question. If judaism is seeing based why is there this concept of believing? Of the emperor’s clothes? You are the answer. There are those that assume that they unlike the “fools” before them know better. Many great jews fell in the line of duty aside for those that prospered as jews for a stupi
cause, one based on lies? This lie was so good, in fact, many genious minds failed to see the truth? For those geniuses in our midst, or can I say better optometrists, can you sell me those glasses? No!!!!!!! That is a resounding no!. I dont want your glasses because my BELIEF tells me that there answers. My BELIEF tells me that there is more than I can see. My BELIEF screams delve, explore, and see what hashem wants from us, for us and for all of mankind. It doesnt tell me to ignore it, or shun it. The torah tells us to see in the physical world, THE god. Know that we established there is a god go figure on your own which one to believe in. Thats a whole different argument but I can recommend an awesome read. Ever heard of Uri Zohar? He integrates humor cynicsm and everything else in your perspective. Suggestion for all. Even if you live and grew up frum, its awesome!!! Disclaimer, once again: He may try to brainwash you, but dont worry you now know that you can question, but keep in mind that there are
answers!! Hatzlacha to all, till next time. For all those that feel they need to daven for my mind to straighten out: I’ll include my hebrew name upon request….November 17, 2008 1:32 am at 1:32 am #625266
I must add that I agree with tohighschoolguy that this is not the place cuz although we dont shun questions (see my earlier post) we dont look for questions. Our questions may end up defining us so we dont look for questions. There may be unassuming teenagers reading this coffeeroom which my now have questions swirling around in their heads without competent people involved in their lives there to answer them. I know for myself that alot of the negative exposure I had came from indirect venues. I do not want to start a whole forum on sheltering, lets please keep to the topic at hand. See internet and etc (another coffee room) for that issue.November 17, 2008 2:25 am at 2:25 am #625267arieParticipant
The question boils down to this: R’ Chaim Brisker said, for questions I have teirutzim, but for teirutzim I don’t have answers. Meaning to say, if you are looking sincerely for answers to your questions, there definitely are, but if you’re looking for questions as a means of an excuse for the lifestyle that you chose, for that there are no answers.November 17, 2008 2:45 am at 2:45 am #625268
Oh!!!!!! we couldnt think of that one yet. there’s a reason why there is 130 posts. cuz everyone writes the same thing in different words. Now for you the brisker rav heistus was a groiise lamdan and you should learn to be mechadesh a duver from him. Ayin Rav chaim al harambam for more info.November 17, 2008 3:15 am at 3:15 am #625270TOHIGHSCHOOLGUYMember
How about listening to what Gitty has to say instead of jumping on her? Why is the assumption that she is doing it to cause “trouble?”November 17, 2008 3:38 am at 3:38 am #625271
Tal – When I think about my teenage years I do feel some pain. However my life was nothing like the hell you described. I think that what it comes down to is that deep down inside you always believed. Nothing could shake that, and that’s admirable. However I always had doubts, and those doubts became louder and louder as my outrage mounted. Eventually I became free and my life has dramatically improved ever since.
TOHIGHSCHOOLGUY: I understand that you have not read the whole thread, however I already answered your questions. I am 21 and I did not make the decision go to “off the derech” lightly. I have certainly spoken with people. In fact, I had a chavrusah for several years. I stopped believing before I stopped practicing. I made sure I was sure.
To everyone else: I grew up frum so I know all of the mashals you can throw at me. I have heard them all. I know it’s hard for you to understand my decision, but please accept that I did what was right for me.November 17, 2008 4:29 am at 4:29 am #625272JosephParticipant
Just a thought. Why don’t you print out all the 130 + posts on this thread. Then when you have some spare time, when your not on the computer and perhaps a bit harried, read the posts people wrote to you, at your leasure – with no need to even respond.
Afterall, all the posts on this thread — is about Gitty.November 17, 2008 6:42 am at 6:42 am #625273
Itzik- Yes, I am out of h.s and sem, i am a sophmore in college. i have experienced shabbos elesewhere especially while in israel and i spent shabbos with some amazing people, they are out there but if i am not surrounded by them what does it matter. ive been told im a magent for the people with issues and stuff so maybe i am missing out on good stuff, i live in a normal community i jsut see so much stuff going on that i feel everyone is blind to and that i want to help but i am incapable of doing anything.
Gitty- there are two types of not being frum, one is the kids at risk who do drugs drink and stuff and than people like you who live a healthy and happy lifestyle minus judiasm, it took me a while to realize that cause when i went off i went all the way off, but than i met a couple of people a lit bit older than me who grew up frum but chose to forgo most of judiasm, they are still in the jewish worls and are succesfful amazing people and they are people i emulate and want to follow them. I know what I believe but sometimes with everyone telling me differently its hard to stand uo for what i believe.November 17, 2008 6:43 am at 6:43 am #625274lakewoodbubbyParticipant
Gitty, I am amazed at your intelligence and knowledge. You seem to have really thought things through before you made your decision.Of course, I beleive your conclusions are eronious, but I don’t even know what to say to convince you of that. I just know that my heart broke as I realized that you don’t even believe! My fellow Yidden, what are we doing wrong? Why have we been unable to transmit the truth and beauty of Yiddishkeit to so many of our children? Gitty and teenager and so many others that I meet in person just break my heart.November 17, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm #625275
You didn’t answer my question. I did not ask you who you admire, I simply asked if you really believe that when R’ Moshe Feinstein & the Chofetz Chaim davened to Hashem for the welfare of all their fellow jews they were making a silly mistake & missed the boat. Because after thinking it through you came to the truth – that there is no g-d.
It’s a yes or no question.
Again please understand, I’m not trying to be hurtful.November 17, 2008 2:39 pm at 2:39 pm #625276jewishfeminist02Member
Teenager, if you are a sophomore in college, how are you still a teenager? Or is your username a misnomer?November 17, 2008 2:44 pm at 2:44 pm #625277JosephParticipant
18 – Freshman (teenager)
19 – Sophomore (teenager)
20 – Junior
21 – SeniorNovember 17, 2008 2:50 pm at 2:50 pm #625278
jewishfeminist02- im 19 and still a teenager, but i guess i have to change my username in 10 monthsNovember 17, 2008 2:51 pm at 2:51 pm #625279noitallmrParticipant
“Or is your username a misnomer? “
And your username???November 17, 2008 3:17 pm at 3:17 pm #625280tzippiMember
LakewoodBubby, one of Rabbi Avigdor Miller’s grandsons, I think Rabbi Brog, quoted his zeide as having said that when he was raising his children, he davened that they should keep kosher and know how to learn a lttle mishnayos (or something along these lines); he couldn’t imagine being zoche to more than that.
We’ve come full circle. I don’t get the people who are raising children to be gedolei hador. If my children are shomer Shabbos, have an enthusiasm for Yiddishkeit and love each other I will be greatful beyond belief. We can’t take anything for granted.
I have to say that as has been mentioned, you can say that there are two kinds of ways of going off the derech. To see a child grow up focused and aware of his/her dignity is no small potatoes in this day and age either.
There are two excellent tapes/essays by Rabbi Frand. One is on cynicism-leitzanus. The other, not exacly apropos to this thread but still magnificent, is an essay called To Give is Divine.November 17, 2008 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm #625282smartcookieMember
TAL! WOW! You are one strong person!!! You are so very special. May Hashem continue giving you the Koich to do what is right, and may he reward you for your good actions.November 17, 2008 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #625283lakewoodbubbyParticipant
Tzippi,the key phrase in your post is “enthusiasm for Yiddishkeit”? Why aren’t we giving this over properly? They say there is now a problem of “adults at risk”–adults who never really felt that enthsiasm and just went through the motions become at risk when they come across any adversity.Those adults will certainly not give over any love for Yiddishkeit. But what about the rest of us who hope they have strong feelings for Yiddishkeit, and most important, don’t even consider any alternatives? What are we doing wrong? Are you saying we’re pressuring the kids because we raise them to be gedolei hador? Somehow, I don’t know if that’s the answer.November 17, 2008 4:57 pm at 4:57 pm #625284SJSinNYCMember
Gitty I just want to add that I understand where you are coming from. I understand why you came to your conclusion.
Lakewoodbubby – I think there is a very serious problem is the Jewish community today. The communities preach so much about being perfect on the outside – Whats not nice we dont show! And then many Jews cheat on their taxes or do cash busineses…the Jewish people are not living as Jews. Many people are living as hypocrites as their children see this. Being a talmid chacham is only great if you PRACTICE what you are learning. You could know shas by heart and know NOTHING.
Also, we are raising a generation where everything is more forbidden then ever before. Kids are not allowed TVs, computers, time to run outside and be kids! Everything is NO. Instead of showing them that there are more and less stringent opinions, they go with the “everything to the left is NO” philosophy. Sometimes kids do better with options – Judaism rarely is unified on psak halacha. It doesnt mean someone is a bad person for following a less stringent psak more than someone following a more stringent psak is a better person. Kids need to understand that Judaism is about choice and freedom, within limits.
I understand where Gitty and all the others who are off the derech are coming from. Although I never considered leaving Judaism, there are many aspects that just dont feel comfortable to me and keep me disconnected. Organized prayer for one – saying the words written by others does not make me feel connected to Hashem. Praying in my OWN words really does. I’m thankful I am not a man and obligated to daven 3 times a day with a minyan because I wouldnt gain anything from that and just resent it. Shabbos is particularly restrictive when you want to do other things. Its taken me to working a full time job that would require weekend work (that I luckily get out of saturday duty) to really appreciate the break in reality so to speak.
This is somewhat of a ramble…I hope I am being clear.November 17, 2008 5:52 pm at 5:52 pm #625285
Teenager, it seems that you are busy trying to save the world rather than saving yourself!
There is a community leadership which is basically paid (in either cash or kovod) to take care of these issues, and if they cannot get their act together or they are the problem themselves, just move on ASAP. In 2 years you will have to move on anyway, and you will never see many of the people you are in contact with now, so don’t worry about problems that you will never be able to solve.
Don’t worry about the problems in your community if it means getting too deeply involved and being discouraged. And don’t think that being a magnet for problem cases is the same as chessed. These people need far more than you can ever give them unless you get proper training, and they are needy and take advantage of whoever tries to help them. Only a professional (and that does not even include most rabbonim) can help these people, and the best you can or should do is help them find a qualified professional.
Those who get into problem situations as we all do and just need encouragement to get through hard times are another story altogether, but it takes experience and training to know the difference, and when you have that, there are many proper outlets through which you can help those who can really benefit from your help.
When the time comes, you can get involved in the right way, or you can decide you are just not cut out to solve the world and therefore choose the path of a professional or business person who leads a Torah life and therefore quietly sets an example for the community without making a lot of noise or having an official title in some organization.
In the meantime, don’t get influenced by those who have thrown it off if you have already decided to come back.
Sorry to be so blunt, but Gitty has as little of an idea of the real world as you do; she is not someone who should be giving anyone advice, and you should not be taking advice from her or from others like her. Find the kinds of people you want to meet in the Torah world, not outside it. Whatever problems there are in our world, there are 10 times as many in the secular world, and the difference is that because no one believes in anything but themselves in the secular world, you can literally be left to die alone once your problems get too far out of hand. While not everyone can or should help in our world, unless you antagonize everyone around you, you are never alone.
That is because we know that we are never alone and that Hashem is always here for us, and we try our best to copy Hashem and do what He wants for us in this world.
And the only reason those who seem not to be doing what is expected of them stand out in the frum world is that we have higher standards. For instance, in the secular world, it is expected that when a man travels abroad on business on a regular basis, he has a girlfriend waiting for him regardless of the fact that he is a married father. When someone in our world does that, and yes, it does happen, it is a scandal of the first order as it should be.
When people in certain businesses and professions are caught for white collar crime it is considered typical behavior by his peers who are doing the same but have had better luck and have avoided prosecution. And if the convict is Jewish, the only support he gets comes from Torah organizations such as Aleph, as his own have disowned him, simply because he got caught and they did not (yet). When it happens in our community, it is an embarrassment, but nevertheless we try to help the person who is caught navigate the legal system and deal with prison because he is still a Jew and we know we, too, are not perfect and can succumb to the yetzer horo as he did.November 17, 2008 5:56 pm at 5:56 pm #625286myopinionMember
Gitty, I think what you like is independence and doing something you feel good about and that’s why you feel happy. But is life about independence or were we created for another purpose?
I like the moshul about the person going down a hill and he saw someone carrying a heavy item up the hill, panting and near tears. Then, he saw another person coming up the hill with an item of equal weight but the person was smiling. When asked why the person was smiling, the person responded that the item being carried was diamonds that the person had gotten.View the Torah as a burden and it will feel like a burden; view it as a treasure, it will (eventually) feel like it. It’s all in how you view things and in your attitude.November 17, 2008 6:09 pm at 6:09 pm #625287
I hate to say it, but sometimes I think that there is a time to say “shygetz aross”. Part of the problem is that there are some in our communities who are indeed so far from Torah both bein adam lamakom and bein adam lachaveiroi that they literally need to be run out of town.
Instead, they often control the communities because they have those cash businesses – and because they keep the TV’s in the closet and the rest of the aveirois for when they are “unter vegens” or on vacation and no one sees them.
Was it Reb Michoel Ber Weissmandl ZYA who required “emmes” as a prerequisite for living in his community (Mt Kisco)? Maybe a group of people ought to come together and form a similar community today.
On the other hand, the idea of a “religious” person not committing any sins is an Xian one! All of us are living as imperfect Jews because we are imperfect people. For one it may be a problem with watching what she shouldn’t on TV, for the other he has a cash business, and yes, for the 3rd his shortcoming has to do with what used to be called 42nd Street. Yes, you can become a naval birshus hatoirah – but that is not what we aspire to and those who are at that level are really not regarded very highly in most communities – even if they have money, they are often the subject of much “mikve nayes” that is not very positive.
Nowhere does it say that if you keep kashrus lemehadrin you will not cheat on your taxes. The difference is that if you are keeping kashrus lemehadrin you (probably) know what you are doing is wrong and you do it only because you are tempted and think you will not be caught, or you think you are back in the old country where the poritz is out to get you and therefore you want to get him first. If you have secular values of anything goes, and no right or wrong, or right and wrong being what society decides is right and wrong rather than what Hashem has told us is right and wrong, then why not cheat? The problem for a secular person with a secular mindset is only that he will be caught and go to jail and lose everything, not that what he is doing is wrong, because he does not have a sense of absolute right or wrong. I know many secular people, and most are law-abiding only because they don’t have the guts to break the law – when you speak to them they say, well, what that lawyer did with the escrow is the same as I would have done if I were a lawyer and had access to client monies.
As for kids playing outside being regarded the same way as TV, where is this the case? Nowhere that I know, and that includes Satmar.November 17, 2008 6:16 pm at 6:16 pm #625288Feif UnParticipant
teenager, after this semester is over, you might want to take a break for a bit and go to a good school in Israel. You said that you need to surround yourself with the right people; you can do that. I recommend going to Neve Yerushalayim for a few months. I know girls who went there, swearing they were done with Judaism, who are now completely frum – some of them even married kollel guys! The teachers there give over their knowledge with such caring and warmth, and they can represent the best of Judaism. I highly recommend you try it out.November 17, 2008 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm #625289SJSinNYCMember
Itzik, I didnt mean playing outside = TV. I meant that these kids dont get a chance to be kids. Everything is a NO including more time to run about and have fun. When I was a kid, my friends and I would spend hours on a weeknight playing ball. Now, kids seem to have school from 7-6 and then mishmar and homework. So, they dont watch TV, they cant use the internet and they have no time to have fun in other ways. Does that make sense? Its so hard to be clear via the internet.
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