September 19, 2011 4:05 am at 4:05 am #599451
so my friend has been becoming frum for a few years now, and basically was put into the situation of the mashal that says when s/o’s becoming frum they should not be put in the rubberband situation which is if u stretch a rubberband to far its gonna bounce right back. meaning if s/o takes on too much at once they will very possibly drop e/t yiddishkeit. bh’ she has not dropped e/t chash vishalom,. she is really trying but she used to keep shabbos but now feels she just cant.she knows that its important but she just feels its really not interesting and she said shes tryed a bunch of times but just doesnt feel she can, shell just be so bored and feel she has to do something.i have tried to give her tons of advice on not taking too much upon herself at once but to maybe try little by little to keep shabbos, and soon enough itll feel normal again. not growing up with keeping shabbos and other mitzvos that seem so normal to us is very hard to all of a suddenjump into and seem normal.especialy alot of people try to make her feel that its eitherv e/t or nothing not realizing how hard it is for her, probably because they dont have much experience in kiruv and how it feels to go from one extreme to the other. if anyone has any advice on any of this or especially how to help her have an interest in shaboss , anything is aprteciated especialy if anyone knows from personal experiences or kiruv work! thankyou!September 19, 2011 4:38 am at 4:38 am #812381kapustaParticipant
I’m not a rav, so I don’t know if this is in line with Halacha (please ask before doing anything) and I have no experience in Kiruv (not yet anyway 🙁 ) but maybe its possible to build up a little bit at a time. For example if she feels Shabbos is too much, maybe she can keep one part and then add to it over time. The benefit is that mentally it might seem easier and it gives her time to get used to it. Either way, tell her not to stop lighting candles.
HatzlachaSeptember 19, 2011 6:07 am at 6:07 am #812382CallMeDaveParticipant
I am not saying that my approach is right and I don’t have much experience but the thought that occurred to me is that most importantly I think she would have to see the beauty in Shabbos in order for her to want to observe it more. I don’t really have any suggestions on specific books but sometimes a good book that explains the beauty and importance of Shabbos and what it means in terms of it being a special day where one can connect to his/her creator on a higher level. Also I would suggest if applicable, if she can somehow get involved with a Shabbos program that deals with children, i.e an oneg Shabbos or b’nos etc… where she will see the childrens joy in partaking in the beauty of Shabbos. Once the connection is in place I think things will fall more into place and she might be more interested in observing shabbos. Also I would suggest that as much as possible if she could somehow be invited to other peoples houses for Shabbos meals it would probably be good for her. Once again I don’t really have any experience just my thought. Hatzlacha.September 19, 2011 8:55 am at 8:55 am #812383welldressed007Participant
I became ‘frum’ about 42 years ago when it was not in fashion. It is not about the mitzvos she is or not keeping but her emunah/belief in the Ribono Shel olam. If the doubts are there there then mitzvos are an issue however if emunah is strong work with that.September 19, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am #812384AstrixParticipant
Is she married?If she is single and older Shabbos sometimes isnt fun.She should get a husband be’ezer hashem and Shabbos will be spent with him not some random family feeling akward for her.September 19, 2011 1:05 pm at 1:05 pm #812385bombmaniacParticipant
“I became ‘frum’ about 42 years ago when it was not in fashion.”
beg pardon?September 19, 2011 1:06 pm at 1:06 pm #812386YaacovMember
you said: she used to keep shabbos but now feels she just cant.she knows that its important but she just feels its really not interesting and she said shes tryed a bunch of times but just doesnt feel she can, shell just be so bored and feel she has to do something.
The most important thing here is that she should know that she has support. if you are her friend, then you should be inviting her for shabbos as often as possible, let her know that you’re there for her for whatever she needs, support her, encourage her, NEVER make her feel obligated to anything, and make sure she knows that no matter what happens, you will keep doing that. if her family doesn’t keep shabbos, then obviously its going to be incredibly hard for her. so open your home, make it a ‘safe haven’ and show her the beauty of shabbos with your family, and do whatever it is u do to entertain yourselves on shabbos, and I’m sure things will work out.
for the record, Im not a rav or anything, just a baal techuva whose been through a kiruv organization, who has done some kiruv. work, and thats what I think.September 19, 2011 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm #812387AinOhdMilvadoParticipant
“”I became ‘frum’ about 42 years ago when it was not in fashion.”
As someone who became frum about Forty SEVEN years ago, I believe what “welldressed007” meant was, NOT that being frum was not in fashion, but that kiruv and baal teshuva movements and programs were not in fashion.September 19, 2011 7:47 pm at 7:47 pm #812388showerzingerMember
I have a close friend who went from 0-60 and unfortunately only lasted about a year and a half before falling back into old habits. BUT he still lets me know weeks where he DOES keep Shabbos because he knows there’s something there! I’m just supportive and hope that with time he will gradually get back on track. The danger of “all or nothing” for someone who wasn’t raised frum is real. I have a chavrusa who went more gradually and now is one of the best guys in Yeshiva because he was able to grow at his own pace.September 19, 2011 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #812389adorableParticipant
I know someone who became frum with her husband and had a couple more children before she divorced him and is frei again. so sad for the kids you cannot imagine. i actually think she is a giyores and her husband is a baal teshuva. my parents made her wedding in our house. really sad!September 19, 2011 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm #812390
Thankyou for everyone that replied and or had any suggestions. i apreciate it so much!
KAPUSTA-thankyou! thats exactly what i told her and im sure its definatly halachicly correct because its obviously better than not keeping it at all.
YAACOV- thankyou for your advice! I did tell her that no matter what she will ofcourse! always be my friend and that she does not have to do anything she doesnt feel ready for, we are great friends. I have tried to show her how beautiful it is but shes not the type to be amazed abt. “wow it just feels so holy”she knows its very important so i think she is trying she just feels she cant do it.I really did want to know from a BTs point of view. How did you learn to apreciate shabbos and realize that you dont need to have your computer or phone ect. on shabbos,ik its really hard for her and i just dont completly understand because i was frum from birth so its hard to feel like ik exactly what she is feeling.I was actually trying to think of different things that she/we could do on shabbos together so that it wouldnt seem boring to her and it would feel the same as any other day if not more kodesh rather than feeling just boring.if anyone has any ideas i think that would be a great way for her to get into apreciating shabbos 🙂
SHOWERZINGER-thats very similair to this situation actually and im trying to convince her to just start from the beginning and take gradual “baby steps”September 20, 2011 1:22 am at 1:22 am #812391EzratHashemMember
First, I think she is struggling with the practical matter of how do I fill the hours (esp. summer) on Shabbos. The answer of course depends on whether she is married/with kids, or single. If single, she needs to find groups of singles in her community that get together on Shabbos, attend davening and shiurim, etc. Maybe try to make connections in other communities so she can vary her surroundings on Shabbos sometimes. Then, you bring up the issue of how to “disconnect” from electronics on Shabbos, this is neither a BT nor FFB issue, it is a 21st century issue. I believe it is Naaleh who has a campaign now to try to encourage people to separate from their devices for a period of time, to experiment and see if they can actually survive without the ipad, etc. This is a separate issue from Shabbos and if a person is so addicted that they cannot face life without the device, then the problem will extend into Shabbos.September 20, 2011 2:59 am at 2:59 am #812392
Thats very interesting abt. the naaleh thing, but she is still in her teens so shes not really in a “singles” group yet or married.September 20, 2011 3:08 am at 3:08 am #812393farrockgrandmaParticipant
If a family member is OTD, we need to express our disapproval and disappointment, but with a friend or acquaintance, we can be more open-minded and welcoming.
I have several acquaintances who are from the former Soviet Union, with very little contact with yiddishkeit before they came here. Anyway, I tell them that Judaism is something that is their birthright, and they should make it a part of their life. I encourage them to light Shabbos candles, and make Shabbos special. Restrictions and limitations can follow later.September 20, 2011 3:10 am at 3:10 am #812394kapustaParticipant
Would something like NCSY be for her? I know Aish has something for college age but maybe if you contact them theres something for teens. (Unless you want to start something…? :))September 20, 2011 6:05 am at 6:05 am #812395HereWeGoMember
I’m also a BT… I’d say learning is the way to go. She might not see the beauty of Shabbos (or Yiddishkeit) right now, but that vision can fade at times anyway. Why not focus on the fact that it’s the emes and we are here to improve ourselves and grow closer to HaKadosh Baruch Hu by living a life full of Torah? If she were a bit older, I’d say send her to a BT seminary. Maybe there’s some sort of BT teen learning program she can attend during a school vacation time? Gateways? Oorah? Reading something on basic emunah might help as well. She’s a lucky girl to have such caring friends to lean on!September 20, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am #812396ToiParticipant
i think the right approach is to help her do the positive, fun, enveloping aspects of shabbos. ie seudos, zemiros, going to shul. the ‘donts’ can be worked on after a positive association/relationship with shabbos has developed.September 21, 2011 1:28 am at 1:28 am #812397
herewego- thankyou :), we were talking alot abt. having emunas hashem and how thats the most important thing and that you can grow from there once you feel a closeness to hashem and that u just have to think of how much hashkacha pratsi thereis.
kapusta- thasts actually a great idea idk why i didnt think of it, when i feel i can i may try to suggest it but the thing is her family is a little involved with oorah and she already decided not to go to girlz zone so i dont know if itll work out but ncsy is different and just for a shabbos and is for many diff. levels so that might be a really good option thankyou! 🙂
toi- thats true, thats a good ideaSeptember 21, 2011 3:53 am at 3:53 am #812398NechomahParticipant
Why did she originally decide to become frum? I would suggest going to a Discovery weekend. I think they are provided by Aish, sorry not sure, been in EY too long. I came from a background where my sisters did teshuva more than 10 years before me, but I thought they were ??? (not normal in the head). Then I went to Discovery (didn’t know what it was or I might actually not have gone) and when I heard the talk about the codes and realized that it was all emes, I knew I had no choice but to do what was written. A lot of times people think they want to be frum on one level, but then the yetzer hara comes in and starts giving them excuses from making progress. Understanding the reasons for being frum help us be able to fight the YH.September 23, 2011 9:41 pm at 9:41 pm #812400YaacovMember
happym19 – how did i realize that I didn’t need it… Baruch Hashem, I was involved with a great organization who showed me that I didn’t need it. it was hard at first, but I managed… things to do….?
go for a walk…
i think its going to be hard to make her feel like its a regular day, because she knows its not… chesed might be your best bet…September 25, 2011 12:51 am at 12:51 am #812401
thankyou so much! thats a great suggestion, i guess hopefully after a while it will become more normalSeptember 25, 2011 1:22 am at 1:22 am #812402welldressed007Participant
B”H we have organizations who are more than adequately equipped to help deal with these types of situations, turn to them, they experts in this field proven time and time again. If you are sick do you ask your car mechanic what to do?September 25, 2011 7:17 am at 7:17 am #812403aries2756Participant
Kiruv is NOT for everyone and people should know what they are doing before getting started. Unfortunately some people push too hard and make things too difficult to keep up with. The best thing you can do for your friend is hook her up with great kiruv programs that can “turn her on” to Yiddishkeit since she already has the interest.
Something you might tell her in the meantime is how people often try to connect with nature so they shut their electronics and go into the woods just to connect with Hashem and his natural habitat and they aren’t even Jewish. They go out camping in the woods for a week at a time. How do you think they do that? They actually talk to each other, relax, sleep, eat fresh food, take long walks, read books. Hey, we do that on Shabbos too!
What about people who can’t afford cell phones, tv’s or even to pay for electricity? What do they do? Isn’t it nice to take a break from all these technologies and go back to human connections? What do other people your age do? Bikur Cholim? Visit friends? Go to shul? Read books? Take walks? Talk to family?
It is important to keep young people who are making these changes engaged in interesting and enjoyable Shabbos projects. Hatzlocha.September 25, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm #812404
How would you deal with someone who refuses to listen and does not want to keep Shabbos and has in the past!?!?!? No, this person wants no part of such as Partners in Torah.September 25, 2011 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #812405aries2756Participant
Ms. Critiique, in my humble experience that person is dealing with eternal pain and s/he has to work on their relationship with Hashem. There is no point in you pushing Shabbos on them because Shabbos is NOT the issue. The source of their pain is the issue and that is what they need to address and deal with. Whoever was that source has caused this person to give up his Torah and Mitzvos that is how huge the pain he is carrying actually is. He is running away from the pain and doesn’t realize that the person that hurt him so badly does not represent Yiddishkeit. That person represents his own bad choices and his weakness that can’t control his own yetzer horah. It is possible that this person was humiliated, abused, physically hurt, or any number of things that you just don’t know and don’t understand. If you are close enough to him to ask him why he is running away from himself and everything that he really is from the inside out, or what tremendous pain he is carrying within, you might be able to have a logical dialogue with him and direct him to the right person that will help him. If you are not that close you can just say, you understand that he is going through something huge that you are not privy to, but that you love him as a friend and fellow Jew regardless and the best thing you can tell him is to reach toward Hashem and not away from Hashem for the answers.
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