November 7, 2013 1:01 pm at 1:01 pm #986445
Its clear many dont get it, You should read the book by Faranak Margolese and she says many of the things here that people are ignoring.
There are things that might be assur in your community , maybe even assur according to most, maybe even a Daas Yachid who only holdit sBdived that it might be not assur.
And even if its its totally assur, Is it better to have someone 80% frum or 0% frum.November 7, 2013 1:57 pm at 1:57 pm #986446popa_bar_abbaParticipant
Zdad: do less kids go OTD in MONTH communities where all this is practiced?November 7, 2013 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm #986447rMember
If we start compromising on Halacha to keep people 80% frum we may as well join the Conservative movement today.
There is a concepts in Halacha of saying nothing when it is being violated to avoid a worse consequence but the OTD crowd (or the blog world for that matter) isn’t going to tell me when to apply it.
I will repeat that I think the motivation of OTD people telling us to lower standards is at least subconsciously an ulterior oneNovember 7, 2013 3:00 pm at 3:00 pm #986448
Its a choice, would you rather have less Jews but who are more committed or more jews some of whom are less committed.
We can discuss these things in the abscract what you think is better. But the reality is in life you will likely come into contact with such people and you will need to make decisions based on that.
If your Kid tells you he wants to listen to Rock Music and have a BF/GF but will keep Shabbos and Kosher will you disown him or give them mussar and perhaps drive them away or would you still love them and let them make those choices and be happy they are shomer shabbos.November 7, 2013 3:03 pm at 3:03 pm #986449
Not related, but if you want my opion of MO communities they are dying. They are dying because moderation is out and people are deciding to either be Charedi or Chiloni. Also the Charedi communmtiies are having alot more kids and are crowding out the more moderates leaving people no choice to stay.
Id say in about 50 years MO will be dead and the only jews left will be charedi communitiesNovember 7, 2013 3:14 pm at 3:14 pm #986450HaLeiViParticipant
Giving a teenager space is a famous rule. You can read or hear about that in any parenting book. You avoid the teen issues by focusing on Chinuch when they are still young and cute. That is the time to instil values. Even then, personality has to be taken into account.
This great secret has not been overlooked. It is the guiding factor in all advice given to parents of teens. Every generation hhad people falling out. Adam Le’amal Yulad. We are here to work, not to have been born perfect. Bad choices, bad parenting, warped thought patterns, and messed up emotions, are as inevitable as pot holes.
There are flaws in all areas of nature. Surely we keep trying to fix things. We constantlly try to fight poverty, beetles, disease, fungus, bad weather, laziness, crime, the Yetzer Hara, ignorance, and decay. And we know that we will never end the fight. New challenges will always come up. However, if we stop the fight we lose everything. But this doesn’t mean it is a lost cause if there are still crime and potholes.November 7, 2013 3:16 pm at 3:16 pm #986451
If your Kid tells you he wants to listen to Rock Music and have a BF/GF but will keep Shabbos and Kosher will you disown him or give them mussar and perhaps drive them away or would you still love them and let them make those choices and be happy they are shomer shabbos.
Unfortunately having a BF/GF is practially asking for Issurei Kares. If my child came home with one, I would probably tell them they have to get engaged on the spot and married in 6 weeks or less.November 7, 2013 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #986452
Unfortunately having a BF/GF is practially asking for Issurei Kares. If my child came home with one, I would probably tell them they have to get engaged on the spot and married in 6 weeks or less.
And what if they refused , would you throw them out of the house?November 7, 2013 3:38 pm at 3:38 pm #986453popa_bar_abbaParticipant
Zdad: of course it is related, because you are precisely arguing that we should become MO to keep our kids frum. So we should see whether that works for MONovember 7, 2013 3:51 pm at 3:51 pm #986454yytzParticipant
Leeba, thanks for sharing and welcome to the CR! Even if the less strict MO do not have a lower OTD rate than charedi Jews (as people on this thread have claimed), there still may be merit to your views and advice about how to prevent people from going off.
Rabbi Lazer Brody and Rabbi Shalom Arush, in their books and lectures, have often chided parents for being too negative with their children, using a harsh or demanding approach rather than a more positive approach focused on love and setting an example with true emunah/bitachon and joy in mitzvos.
In fact, many OTD Jews who were turned off by their parents’ harsh approach have come back to Yiddishkeit with R’ Brody and R’ Arush’s encouragement. Although they are chassidic, they have never spoken a negative word about MO — that is not their way. (As an indication of their attitude, R’ Brody often features, or even performs with, MO musicians in videos on his blog.)
Rav Arush is speaking (with R’ Brody as translator) tonight in Queens, at Youn Israel of KGH — I highly recommend you check it out if you’re in NY!November 7, 2013 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm #986455
And what if they refused , would you throw them out of the house?
Why would they refuse if I would be supporting them (they would have to go on BC, but they would probably do that anyway)? Think of it from a teen’s perspecitve; there is no downside.November 7, 2013 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #986456rMember
If ch’v someones child really isn’t giving them a choice about having a b/f or g/f it is a question of smol doche v’yamin m’karav. They really have to weigh their options and ability to deal with the situation.They should also ask advice from others how to proceed.But one thing is certain. They absolutely, definitly should NOT ask the OTD crowd for advice.If anything input from the OTD crowd should influence their behavior to do the oppisiteNovember 7, 2013 4:27 pm at 4:27 pm #986457justsayinMember
This reminds me of ‘The Prince and The Pauper’.
Those lucky enough to be inside the palace but not smart enough to appreciate it, want out. To poverty, to garbage, to unhappiness. But when you talk to those that are unfortunately on the other side of the fence, what wouldn’t they give to become princes.
Even if its hard to go from pauper to prince, from prince to pauper is still the most foolish.
Good luck to all of you, prince s out there.
The palace door is still open though.
Choose life….November 7, 2013 4:48 pm at 4:48 pm #986458
Zdad: of course it is related, because you are precisely arguing that we should become MO to keep our kids frum. So we should see whether that works for MO
Not quite. Plenty of “Yeshivish” people do these things as well (but perhaps not as openly). And one can be “Yeshivish” and not be “Machmir” in various Chumros (such as stockings). One does need to be informed where the line is.November 7, 2013 7:14 pm at 7:14 pm #986459
Gavra, so ZD is arguing that we should become MO b’tzinah?November 7, 2013 7:24 pm at 7:24 pm #986460
I am arguing that for some it might be a solution, for others its not
Each person is different. Not everyone is cut out to learn in Lakewood or be a Satmar Chassid and some MO’s are cut out to be in lakewood or be a Satmar chassid. Each person is different.November 7, 2013 7:53 pm at 7:53 pm #986461
No, we should follow the Ribbono Shel Olam. That means following Halacha, not societal norms. That specific point was that many are what you would call “MO” B’Tzinah. They just call it orthoprax.
“MO” and “Chassidish/Charaidi” can become OTD for two different reasons. Comparing the two clouds the issue. Extremism (poverty, learning at all costs, Chumrahs, etc.) is one side. The other may have lack of interest, the “shver”ness I mentioned earlier and may be there to be “socially” Jewish instead of following the Ribbono Shel Olam (for some). There is a balancing act needed (IMHO, the Yekkies & Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva are about where it is, but that is just one gavra’s opinion) to be Mechanach children on the derech in this day and age. Others will disagree and place it somewhere else.
(P.S. I believe you have mentioned that you live in the Five Towns area. Rabbi Bender’s Yeshiva is there, and I very much respect his opinion (His Chinuch Roundtable responses are usually right on the mark). Do you know what he has to say on the matter? I would be interested in hearing his opinion.)November 7, 2013 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #986462
I haven’t heard directly what R’ Bender thinks is the cause of OTD, nor which mehalech he thinks is best, but I can tell you that most of his kids are Lakewood types, definitely “to the right” of CC and Breuer’s.
I’m surprised that you have also fallen into the trap of oversimplifying the issue, although at least you have the seichel to identify the fact that different factors are involved in different communities.
Since you told me one gavra’s opinion, I’ll share with you this yochid’s daas.
First, we can never completely ignore the concept of bechirah. No matter how difficult a situation one has had to deal with, no matter how bad the mistakes the rebbeim and parents have made, I can always find you people who have had this harder, yet came through with emunah and Yiddishkeit intact. So its always at least partially the fault of the one who chose to stop following the Torah. (I therefore take the blame they always seem to place on others with an ocean full of salt, because human beings tend to blame others instead of themselves for any wrongdoings.)
However, certainly other factors are very influential. The negative experiences someone goes through can make it more challenging to stay faithful, so it’s certainly worthwhile to explore which factors are most likely to negatively impact a child.
Here’s where I’ll do the oversimplifying: the single most important challenge faced by kids is emotional trauma. I once heard an amazing stat: 80% of kids who leave Yiddishkeit were sexually abused in one form or another. Of course without a comparison to those who weren’t, we can’t accurately gauge the numbers, but it’s still an eye opening number. I think that it’s not the specific nature of the abuse which causes the problem; any type of abuse is dangerous to spiritual health, including physical and emotional abuse. Some types of abuse are more traumatic than others, but a life of emotional abuse by the parents, which can itself take many forms, can make it very difficult for a child to remain frum.
When excessive chumras are made the scapegoat for OTD, I think the main point is being missed. Often, it’s completely a scapegoat, and sometimes, it’s merely a trigger. It’s not the religion itself – not halacha meikar hadin, and not chumra – which is to blame. In some cases, the way it is implemented might be emotionally abusive. (In those cases, I would assume that the emotional abuse isn’t limited to areas of Yiddishkeit, but its a great defense mechanism for a child who rebelled against religion to lay the blame at the foot of religion.) However, healthy parents, with siyata dishmaya and seichel (b’ikar, the siyata dishmaya is needed to give the parents seichel) can, have, and will continue to be mechanech their children, without compromise.November 7, 2013 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #986463YacMoMember
To Leeba- I commend your comments and your thought out perspective on the issue. Many people who go OTD are normally doing so from an emotional place of anger against the idealism of their parents. Although you mentioned this as the catalyst for your own journey, it seems that at least at some point, it took an intellectual route. I hope you can perhaps listen to my thoughts as someone who also went OTD at a time and my analysis as to the flawed logic which normally goes on here. Although my situation differs from yours as I was lured out from my MO hyper-intellectual upbringing as opposed to the assumed derech you took away from a more frum environment, my analysis for both I believe holds some weight.
I’ve personally found that the root for OTD comes from a much deeper place than the claims on the outside. Even my friends who joined in the rebellion from more RW homes shared the same feelings that I was going through at the time. So what was it? Was it really the stifling atmosphere? Was it the anger, the teenage angst to turn away from controlling parents? Or maybe that was all just a mask to a deeper problem. My friends liked complaining about their prospective environments just as my friends and I liked complaining about ours. But after a little hisbonenus, I realized that the problem wasn’t the parents failing to choose their battles. It didn’t matter what type of Yarmulke you wore, we all went off and it was all for the same reason. We all said that we needed to find ourselves. We claimed to not be able to fit in the mold our parents had set up for us (whatever mold that may have been, RW, Hasidic, MO, etc..), and we therefore felt an anger at being forced to be who we essentially weren’t.
Therein lies the problem. Everything else is just a mask. The prblem is that teenagers aren’t taught how to define their “I”. They don’t know who they really are! They feel as I have felt that the system doesn’t fit and therefore a rebellion is in order. However,the real problem that needs fixing isn’t the the fights to choose, rather its the ability to give children and teenagers a proper sense of self. nce they have something like this, the anger at their “forced” essence doesn’t start. If they’re able to define themselves in association with religiosity, then every chumra you can possibly place on them is met with an added level of simcha.
The question now remains as to what your status is. You claim to be someone who, after the anger subsided, made an intellectual choice that religion is not for you. Really? Who defines you? According to Freudian thought, you define yourselves based on your most animalistic desires. So was that the catalyst for your decision? According to Rav Yisrael Salanter, who YOU are is the spark of light inside you. If that’s your definition, then that clearly didn’t make a decision to remain further from G-d. So to this I ask you- You made an emotionally charged decision based on a lack of a sense of self to turn away from religion. You felt that it didn’t fit. But now what? You intellectually chose not to be close to G-d…. Was that an intellectually honest decision, or was it coming from that same root- the lack of the sense of self, yet now you can use a supposed intellectualism to justify it?November 7, 2013 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #986464
Question for the OTD posters: To what extent does having taking a position, a stand against religious practice, prevent you from returning when you would otherwise want to? This is a question about being able to say, I was wrong, I really want to be part of the Jewish world. Is that a deterrent?November 7, 2013 8:54 pm at 8:54 pm #986465
*taken a position*November 7, 2013 9:39 pm at 9:39 pm #986466
DY, that was actually quite a good answer
What you did not say is sometimes “frumkite” can be abusive. Lets say someone doesnt like Gemorah and is forced to learn it (Dont say everyone loves learning its not true) and while being forced to learn he daydreams a bit and the Rebbe hits him. It is now has a real negative association
I know people who were forced to eat chulent on Shabbos. ive seen it myself, The kid didnt want to be Fleshig and the father forced the kid to eat it. I know many love Chulent, but forcing someone to eat something is not a good idea.November 7, 2013 9:41 pm at 9:41 pm #986467FFGParticipant
It’s an interesting question, and one that I’ve heard before. I think a fitting bit of imagery that helps explain this is that of a mountain. Imagine “frumkeit” on one side, and “OTD” on the other side. Going up the mountain in either direction can be very difficult, but once you get over the top, sliding down the rest of the way to the other side is much easier. Yes, now that I’m not frum, I don’t think it would be very easy to somehow persuade me that I’m wrong (though of course, nothing is impossible). But on the other hand, it was also very difficult when I was leaving frumkeit – certainly not an easy overnight decision.
Note that this really would only apply to those who leave due to intellectual reasons. This would not be a fitting analogy for someone who decides they don’t want to be frum because they are angry, or trying to hurt someone, or simply want a less restrictive lifestyle. But again, for those of us who are no longer frum because we couldn’t make it fit with how we see the world, it often was a very difficult and excruciatingly slow process that led us to leaving, and would therefore be very difficult to reverse.
At least that’s how it was for me and several others that I know. Maybe someone else has a different way of seeing it.November 7, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm #986468TRUEBTParticipant
Please do me a favor and go to Shabbat.com, and try eating a Shabbos Seuda somewhere. If it feels good, then keep doing it. If it doesn’t, then you are no worse off then you are now.
Look at the posts – even Da’as Yachid. We all love you – yet we will never know who you are. There are many things that are difficult to understand about Yiddishkeit. Add that one to the list and maybe your perspective will change.November 8, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm #986469
ZD, your examples are not really about religion being abusive, they’re about religion being used as a tool for abuse. Think about it.November 8, 2013 2:02 pm at 2:02 pm #986470
DY : What would you call people who withold Gets?November 8, 2013 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #986471whats_in_a_nameMember
ZD: someone who withholds Gets is using religion as a tool for abuse. He is using the fact that the woman is following halacha against her (as opposed to the Halacha simply working against her, which it wouldn’t if the husband gave the Get in the first place)November 8, 2013 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #986472
DaasYochid: I’m sure they are. Most Roshei Yeshiva’s children go into the Family business (with the exclusion of the one who does Achiezer, which I heard was a lifesaver during Hurricane Sandy).
As for your points:
First, we can never completely ignore the concept of bechirah.
Agreed to a point. It is basically accepted by most (even in the Charaidi world) that Holocaust survivors are “Kedoshim”, even if they are not Frum. The Gemorah in Bava Basra (first perek) says that Iyov was not punished for Kefirah during his time of Tzaar. If someone is sexually abused by a Rebbe, or in the Mikvah, etc. I don’t believe the Ribbono Shel Olam will punish him/her for actions that are a reaction to those acts. From there, it is only a matter of degree. As I’ve said before, I refuse to tell the Ribbono Shel Olam that he needs to punish anyone. Judge not.
Here’s where I’ll do the oversimplifying: the single most important challenge faced by kids is emotional trauma
When does forcing a child to keep things (Halacha or Chumra) start being “emotional trauma”? Yes it depends on how it is done. But when a child logically refuses to wear a hat and jacket during the summer, or wants to have a BF/GF in their teens, or wants to eat a cheeseburger, and you tell them no, is that “emotional trauma”? Parents need to parent.
That being said, when the war becomes never giving in an inch, that would be “emotional trauma”. When you can’t have what others have because you have nothing and the father is sitting and learning, that is “emotional trauma” (besides being extremely selfish on the part of the father (or parents). Why would a child want to continue on that path?
When excessive chumras are made the scapegoat for OTD, I think the main point is being missed. Often, it’s completely a scapegoat, and sometimes, it’s merely a trigger. It’s not the religion itself – not halacha meikar hadin, and not chumra – which is to blame. In some cases, the way it is implemented might be emotionally abusive. (In those cases, I would assume that the emotional abuse isn’t limited to areas of Yiddishkeit, but its a great defense mechanism for a child who rebelled against religion to lay the blame at the foot of religion.) However, healthy parents, with siyata dishmaya and seichel (b’ikar, the siyata dishmaya is needed to give the parents seichel) can, have, and will continue to be mechanech their children, without compromise.
The key word there is “Mechanech”. I agree with you, but note that trying to push square children into round holes is not chinuch.November 8, 2013 3:01 pm at 3:01 pm #986473
When it’s done maliciously, reshoim.November 8, 2013 3:34 pm at 3:34 pm #986475
I apologize, in my response before the “he” sould be “He” when refering to the RBSO. I ask that the mods fix that.November 8, 2013 4:00 pm at 4:00 pm #986476
all I can say after following this thread for a few days is “Heaven help us”. with all the skewed hashkafos and twisted priorities present in the Jewish community, it is no wonder people are going off the derech.
and oh my gosh, lowering standards is not gonna keep people from looking outwards. Don’t we see that that doesn’t work???? yes, when a child is going off you need to show them that you care and that you love them regardless, but letting go of your morals is not gonna make them be like, “oh this lifestyle looks more tempting now.”
You can tell your child, “this is wrong, if this is the choice you are going to make, we don’t agree but we still love you.” showing children that Torah is flexible is not good. YOU can be flexible with your children but you cannot be flexible with the torah. that’s how the reform movement starts.
sometimes you need to choose your battles and maybe you will decide not to fight with your child over short socks, but that doesn’t mean you should give over to your child that wearing short socks is the right thing to do. TOLEARNCE VS. ACCEPTANCE PEOPLE!!!!!November 8, 2013 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #986477
live right: No one is saying to be flexible with the Torah (I think). The issue is how to be flexible within the Torah’s guidelines. I think my idea of making a GF/BF pair get married is a good example of how to work within the Torah to prevent Issurim. Another case is when the issue is really outside the Torah itself (such as wearing a hat, or going to the Mikvah every day). There one can certainly be flexible if that is appropriate Chinuch. That is not the lowering the Ribbono Shel Olam’s standards.
P.S. Are you Joe?November 8, 2013 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #986478
getting a bf/gf married is a nice suggestion but many a time, the pair is not even a shidduch so it may not be the best idea. And what I was really focusing on was a parent’s attitude towards the action of the child rather than what to do about it.
and no, im not joeNovember 8, 2013 7:46 pm at 7:46 pm #986479OhTeeDeeParticipant
I am Joe, although i dont know why that came up.
EzratHashem – why do you think OTD people think they are wrong?November 10, 2013 12:05 am at 12:05 am #986481
1) Chessed is very much part of the family business.
2) The rest I won’t comment on because it would mostly be nitpicking, but I think you missed my main point, that religious coercion is a convenient scapegoat but is hardly the actual culprit. Therefore, the choice between taking a more halachically lenient approach, and keeping your kids frum, is a false choice. You can have your (pas Yisroel/yoshon) cake and eat it too.
3) The OP was, possibly inadvertantly, talking about behavior which is outside of the Torah’s guidelines.November 10, 2013 1:13 am at 1:13 am #986482
The fact that Modern Orthodox children go off the derech is part of a completely different problem. If I were advocating that frum people become less strict in their own observance to better accommodate diversity, you’d have a point. But I’m not. I am not asking anyone to become lax in their own observance.
What I am saying is that it’s better to allow your teen to lapse a little in their own observance – particularly if the thing in question is a chumra – than to come down on them during a vulnerable time and inadvertently push them further away.
It takes time to grow up, become comfortable with yourself and choose one’s path in life. Being strict forces a teen – and we’re talking about only a certain subset of teens in the frum community – to make choices and define themselves too quickly. The flexibility I am advocating for just gives the teen a little bit of room so they can figure things out.
As an example, imagine a fourteen year old girl named Ahuva who isn’t following the rules of tznius as closely as her parents would like. Ahuva wears brightly colored nailpolish and sandals outside without socks. Other than that, she is a model student, participates in chesed in the community and is generally a good girl. This is her way of experimenting and doing a tiny bit of “rebelling”.
Then Ahuva’s parents confront her and suddenly it becomes this big deal. Her relationship with her parents deteriorates quickly, Ahuva ends up dropping out of high school and going to community college. Two years later she is completely not frum. Now Ahuva wasn’t making a religious statement. She didn’t even have any religious doubts. But when she pushed back against her parents and then ended up getting defined as OTD, that sent her on a different path.
Think this is crazy? It happens more often than you might think.November 10, 2013 3:12 am at 3:12 am #986483
Just to clarify, I was asking if an OTD comes to feel it was wrong to separate completely from family/community/Jewish life, despite having conflict about religious practice; are they unable to return or try to reestablish connections because of having taken a public stand–not wanting the appearance of having changed their mind?November 10, 2013 3:31 am at 3:31 am #986484
I can’t speak for others, but personally I think it would be a little silly to be not frum and live a lie just for the sake of a little pride. If I were in a situation where deep down I was a believer but for various reasons strayed, I would definitely come back. My parents would welcome me back with open arms. They are wonderful people, and I hate that my lifestyle causes them pain. My life would be easier if I went back – especially in terms of family issues. But the truth is that I just don’t believe, and faking it would make me miserable.November 10, 2013 3:37 am at 3:37 am #986485
leebaw- its the labeling that tends to be the problem. once you are labeled in a certain way your path is kinda chosen for you…. its an unfortunate thingNovember 10, 2013 3:57 am at 3:57 am #986486FFGParticipant
I can only echo Leeba – there are definitely aspects of life that would be much simpler for an OTD person if they chose to at least outwardly conform with being frum. But the trade-off, living a life that is the complete opposite of one’s beliefs, often outweighs the potential benefits.November 10, 2013 4:00 am at 4:00 am #986487
Labeling is a very big issue. I’ve heard it said that a young woman’s reputation is like China – if you shatter it then you can try gluing the pieces back together but it will never be the same. There really isn’t much room for teens, especially girls, to act out for a bit and then come back and go on as if nothing has happened. For boys, it seems that a quick trip to yeshiva is all it takes and then all is well with the world.November 10, 2013 4:23 am at 4:23 am #986488
Leeba, I think you’re grossly underestimating the power of pride.November 10, 2013 5:13 am at 5:13 am #986489OURtorahParticipant
Leeba, first of all welcome to the CR. I’m going to try to keep this short!
As someone who has moved completly away from Torah and Hashem, I was wondering who you rely on when your life gets rough. It’s always easy to see past Hashem’s doings in this world when you are in a good state and everything is going well (you don’t have to keep the hard halachas, you don’t have to daven and are not obligated in anything etc.) But what about when the goings get hard. You surley cannot blame yourself, or you may be self destructive. Who do you fall back on then? Also what do you feel like you are living for now, if not to have a beliefe in a God, who gives you challenges to make your life even greater than it was before!?(this was not to be attacking, rather I am curious on your perspective now!)November 10, 2013 2:14 pm at 2:14 pm #986490
A little rebelliousness in teens is normal and healthy. Its a healthy part of growing up and beconming indenpendent from your parents.
The challenge is how to allow some rebelliousness but not let it get too far. Stifling rebelliousness can backfire so for some thats not really a healthy option.November 10, 2013 3:16 pm at 3:16 pm #986491Anonymous1000Participant
1. Thanks for starting this thread its an important topic. We should treat people how we want to be treated. If I am struggling in something I don’t think it would be helpful if someone tried to make me do it. I think the main way is to be a good role model.
2. LeebaW “the truth is that I just don’t believe”. This is exactly what I said in my previous post. The reason someone would stay off is either a. they don’t believe b. teivos.
If there are specific things you don’t believe in or have specific problems would you like to share them here?November 10, 2013 3:25 pm at 3:25 pm #986493
Anonymous1000, I don’t think this is the place to go into the specific intellectual reasons why I don’t believe. I think that it would probably end up being censored, but more importantly I don’t think it’s appropriate for a frum board. I am in Rome, as it were, and I don’t want to be disrespectful to the Romans.November 10, 2013 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #986494breslovornothingParticipant
I thank you very much for your post. I think your post and what it brought up is something so important that has been a very large and painful part of my life for very long. But not only in my life. Everywhere, Israel America, Modern, Charedi, there is a slow yet definite breaking down that is happening and I will get to that soon.
I grew up in a very charedi family and for various reasons had the need to rebel. Overall i would most resonate with what someone mentioned here regarding “finding myself”. The thing is that again for various reasons that wasn’t so easy for me. My family moved around alot making it hard for me to have a group of friends to rebel with. Furthermore i was on the one hand very much connected to the emotional side of Judaism in my early teens. IT would be hard to explain but I’m sure some will understand, on the one hand a deep feeling that Judaism and Torah makes life meaningful as opposed to the world “out there”, on the other hand a very deep seeded feeling that I just wasn’t really expressing myself and I was being someone because that what is expected. Obviously, most of this is somewhat typical but here is where i come to my main point, which again i thank leeba for bringing up.
When I was younger, i saw as my role models the kids who went off and eventually came back on giving them a nice blend of “cool” and living the truth. I never imagined that it wouldn’t be the same for me, all this I think more on a subconscious level of thinking.
What happens though sometimes is: especially for deeper thinkers and people who just didn’t have the right people at the right time, is you start to have deeper questions about life, Judaism and yourself. After many many years I can say that the truth is that some of this type of questioning just doesn’t have simple answers if at all. I would definitely say that your typical Rebbe in Yeshiva and even in Yeshivos that deal with these types of kids is not equipped to handle these types of dilemmas.
Sometimes life can bring you to a place where your questioning of reality is so intense that Judaism and sometimes belief n God period becomes so foreign to you that 99% of the answers given will not help you.
I personally have been very attracted to Breslov. One of R Nachman’s main teachings is that a person must believe that every single thought, action, experience including sins that has happened to him until this very moment was all god’s exact plan for him/her! Only now his specific mission is to do Teshuva in a specific way meant for him. This if internalized gives a very individualistic approach to religion. It also deals with ” God would want me to be a certain way when others just sat in
Yeshiva and it worked for them?”
Another idea and I don’t know if this will help you Leeba or if you care at all, just thought i would share: Anybody who has been through this kind of hell of mind will realize that there is no real way to “prove”, because it all depends on the definition of proof etc.. etc.. Whatever…. In R Nachman’s world: EMuna is above Mind/Emotion etc……. It is a choice to throw out all knowledge that you have accumulated from a very confusing postmodern world and choose to know one thing only: that you were born to a tradition and that being close to that tradition is who you really are at core. R Nachman foresaw this generation as having the most confusion and it’s no wonder that so many people are finding themselves attracted to his teachings.
To summarize, my main point is that people do not realize how much of a problem we have in our world of people who are losing their belief system. Whether or not it starts from emotional problems (which i believe that it does) people in a crumbling society where there is much confusion are becoming more and more confused philosophically to a point where intellectually and personally there is no way back or its at least very hard to get if there is any will at all. And all talk about how they really want to go back and it’s all pride is sometimes taken to be typical Jewish propaganda which the OTD individual hates so much to begin with.
We need to start really caring about the people. the person, the individual, because sometimes they will find themselves in a place where there is no way back. Oh and we need to really daven. And be happy 🙂November 10, 2013 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #986495Anonymous1000Participant
There are other threads on here with pretty heretical stuff that have not been censored. This first of the asseres hadibros is anochi Hashem, belief in Hashem. So I think its pretty appropriate to discuss the topic on a frum board. You may not get the highest quality conversation though.
I don’t normally like getting unsolicited advice and try to avoid giving it but I’d like to provide a suggestion if you would be open to it. There are a lot of arguments on both sides of the issue and it may be worth while to speak to a rav who is familiar with these topics like some kiruv rabbis or rebetzins. They just may have other ideas that you haven’t considered. I’m just suggesting it because I assume you have already read books like beyond a reasonable doubt and listen to R’ Dovid Gottlieb’s shiurim and aish etc. But then once you have a question there is no one to ask.
The other part is that when examining a topic especially one has emotionally charged as this it helps to really be willing to live with what you will find whether that is that Torah is true or not.November 10, 2013 6:23 pm at 6:23 pm #986496Menachem MelamedParticipant
The posters have offered many good pieces of advice, and some that are not so good. I would like to focus on a couple of points. I think that when parents and teachers find joy in Torah and mitzvos their children and students will be more likely to follow in their footsteps. When parents and teachers don’t fulfill mitzvos with love, the next generation will be less likely to adhere to a Torah way of life. I believe that that it is also important that parents and teachers discuss points of hashkafa and belief according to the best of their ability. It is critical that every person have a solid foundation in emunah. Even though many students are afraid to ask questions, we must supply the answers. The more solid a person’s emunah is the more simcha he/she will find in Torah and mitzvos. Perhaps the CR can open a moderated forum for the discussion of emunah topics. It is critical that it be moderated by a capable person.November 10, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm #986498breslovornothingParticipant
I say that the real reason you opened this thread is a cast out to people here maybe they can get you a connection to who you are inside.
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