January 4, 2012 7:34 pm at 7:34 pm #601500
It seems to me that there is an unspoken promise. When that promise is unfulfilled, it can be frustrating and drive a person OTD, or at least to be less frum.
The promise is like this. Many people see that living a frum way of life comes with benefits such as: better chance of getting married (especially true in today’s age), more family harmony, better family structure, a community for support, etc. Overall, the perception is giving up “the fun life” for a wholesome, fulfilling life. The Torah does tell us of rewards that the we will receive if we keep it.
BUT, there are no guarantees in life, and what happens for many others might not happen for everyone. I have seen people go OTD or become less frum when their dreams from Yeshiva or seminary (like getting married and raising a family) don’t materialize years later. Here in the CR, we had an example of a broken unspoken promise. cleverjewishpun told us about how he went OTD after his divorce and loneliness.
Do you find that there is an unspoken promise? What is your opinon?January 4, 2012 8:47 pm at 8:47 pm #841894HaLeiViParticipant
I was never promised anything, spoken or not, for being Frum. In fact, I was never instructed to be Frum. I was told to learn, Daven and be an Ehrliche Yid, though.January 4, 2012 9:19 pm at 9:19 pm #841895zahavasdadParticipant
Someone gave a story how his Rebbe told him about the amazing power of Amen and before the Siyum hashas he practiced all night and couldnt sleep so 40,000 people could say Amen Yeha shema rabba.
He was certain moshaich would come then and of course it didnt and he went OTD.
Sorry if I forgot who told the storyJanuary 4, 2012 9:52 pm at 9:52 pm #841896
The serenity that comes with being frum (whatever brand you’re comfortable with) is a SPOKEN promise. Chazal tell us so, contemporary gedolim tell us so.
The problem is, we try to “cash the check” at the mall, the office, the car showroom, the street, ect, and in general, chase the “dream” that Madison Ave tells us we NEED in order to be happy.
Are all the boxes checked within x years of joining? No.
Is there an alternative for us to consider? Again, no.
Will we eventually get our just rewards? BET ON IT!January 4, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm #841897cpnoMember
Makes sense that people naturally want a good life. By being raised frum, you’re automatically pushed into the wholesome life. If that doesn’t work out for some reason, some might stray to another type of good life.January 4, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm #841898estrapadeMember
That’s a very interesting way of looking at it. I think I can most definitely say yes. For me, it was the breaking of the unspoken promise that sent me OTD, for the most part.January 4, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm #841899cleverjewishpunMember
For the record, I didnt think that being frum was some magic trick that ensured me a happy life then left when it wasnt true.
I made the choices I made because there was no room for me in the community and the huge sacrifices I made being frum no longer seemed worth it.January 4, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm #841900
The serenity that comes with being frum (whatever brand you’re comfortable with) is a SPOKEN promise.
The problem is, we try to “cash the check” at the mall, the office, the car showroom, the street, etc, and in general, chase the “dream” that Madison Ave tells us we NEED in order to be happy.
I am also including unspoken social and family life that AFAIK the Torah does not directly address. If it does please enlighten me.
Like I said originally, some get despondent when they can’t get married, feel alienated from their community, have no friends, etc. Not that they want the best clothes and car.January 5, 2012 3:20 pm at 3:20 pm #841901DovidMMember
Another thing that I have seen drive people OTD is poor health. If you see your health declining, it may be hard to accept this as a challenge rather than a punishment. For a few, this can lead them to question the effectiveness of prayer and teshuvah. When you reach that point, you may not even want to hear words of consolation or advice from chavrusim. Better to separate yourself from the frum community than to be reminded of the gulf between you and the others.January 5, 2012 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm #841902
“family life that AFAIK the Torah does not directly address”
Sorry, I’m not sure what AFAIK means. Please rephrase.
“can’t get married, feel alienated…, have no friends”
This, I cannot accept. No one “cannot” get married, find a community that is suitable, or make friends. True, you might not be a good fit in XYZ community, but nothing is stopping you from finding the place that is right for you.
Same goes for friends. You may not be able to run with the A++ crowd, but so what? Neither can I, and I have several friends. Perhaps not the ones that make headlines, but ones who are happy to hear from me and vice versa.
Lastly, finding a shidduch:
EVERYONE has a match. As long as you are clear about what YOU want in life (and not what the neighbors, Sem teachers say you should want), the process is much eaiser.
(and please tell me what AFAIK means, as I really want to address that question)January 5, 2012 4:03 pm at 4:03 pm #841903apushatayidParticipant
Doesnt the gemara tell us that Acher had the same problem addressed by the OP, (or was it Tzadok and Baytus)? He/they witnessed someone performing the mitzvah of kibbud av and shiluach hakan, mitzvos the torah says straight out “viharachta yamim” and the person fell off the ladder and died, whereupon he/they “concluded” Les Din Vles Dayan”? It is not a new phenomenom.January 5, 2012 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #841904soliekMember
“Ani maamin b’emuna sh’leima shehaborei yisbarach shemo hu borei umanhig l’chal hab’ruim v’hu l’vado asah oseh v’yaaseh l’chal hamaasim.”
what do those words mean to you? what they should mean, if the dont already, is that God is the creator and overseer of everything. kind of embodies the point of judaism…but your point is an important point to be addressed as it is a common misconception.
many people, from the religious to the irreligious and everything in between has some weird idea that by accepting ol malchus shamayim in theory, they are somehow entitled to everything that they want. it doesnt quite work like that. judaism isnt a benefit club where you pay membership for good deals once a month, identifying as a religious jew doesnt make your or life perfect simply as a result of that identification. its a lifelong process.
someone who asks a question like you asked is clearly lacking in emuna because the question is not like a tefillah where we ask hashem to give us what is best or us, its more of compalaint like “ok…im wearing the velvet on my head, not flipping lights on saturday…wheres my lightning bolt” or “HEY! GOD! WHATS THE HOLDUP!” the alternative being “assuming i get what i want ill believe, assuming i dont im splitting”
and im not judging…emuna and bitachon are lifelong challenges, but the way you’re approaching the problem is a bit off.January 5, 2012 7:43 pm at 7:43 pm #841905
“and im not judging…emuna and bitachon are lifelong challenges, but the way you’re approaching the problem is a bit off. “
It’s not my way of thinking, but it seems to me that others have that notion. The Torah does mention reward and punishment. Like apushatayid said, one of the Tanayim, Elish ben Abuya – later called Acher, went OTD when he saw that the rewards were not there (at least not as he thought they should be). I have had friends that this has happened to.
I did not mean to imply that you had such a simple faith. I was implying that there is a cost/benefit analysis that if one does the work then one gets the reward. As you said “being frum no longer seemed worth it.” It seems to me that in your case, it seemed worth it until a point.
AFAIK = as far as I know (which in my case might not be that much)January 5, 2012 8:34 pm at 8:34 pm #841906soliekMember
yeah i know ive spoken to people who were like this…theyre religious when things go wellJanuary 5, 2012 8:57 pm at 8:57 pm #841907
” If it does please enlighten me. “
The 1st place I can think of is the 2nd parsha of Shema.In a nutshell, its spells out what we can expect for being a team member.
As far a guarrantees, no, nothing is a really a cause-effect ratio, becuase that would preclude free choice (and hinder your ability to enjoy the reward, which you would otherwise earn on your own.)
The 2nd best indicator of how well our system works is our past performance. Look at any funtioning, loving family and you’ll see that for the most part, its the roots that a religion give you, that keep you steady.
Sounds like a ad line, but fact is, once you’re in (meaning: have your own family), you’ll see there really is no better vehicle to get you to the finish line.
3500+ successful years can’t all be a smokescreen.January 5, 2012 9:14 pm at 9:14 pm #841908yungerman1Participant
mghanooni- I agree that that mindset exists; but its obviously grossly incorrect. As the Mishna in Avos says, we should do mitvos not for the sake of reward.January 5, 2012 9:27 pm at 9:27 pm #841909littleappleMember
The Torah does mention reward and punishment.
Many times the reward and punishment is for the nation as a whole like in the second paragraph of the Shema or it also is meant as in the next world as in the reward for shiluach haken or cibud av.
I see the mistake as a misunderstanding of the tremendous peace and calm that deep emunah and bitachon can bring to people who would not be expected to be peaceful or calm! Is it really a reward if only good things happen to a person and he is happy as a result? I don’t think this can compare to happiness of a maamin even in the midst of many struggles. Sheva yipol tzadik v’kum.January 5, 2012 9:41 pm at 9:41 pm #841910mddMember
Cleverjewishpun, that’s the problem. One has to be frum because of his/her relationship with HaShem.January 5, 2012 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm #841911
Let me play devil’s advocate. How does one know that one has a relationship with Hashem? A relationship is a two way street (at least in human terms). If I don’t feel the love, maybe the relationship is not what I think it was.
Yes, I know that everything that we have is a gift of love from Hashem, but a person in a difficult situation can lose sight of that.January 5, 2012 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm #841912cleverjewishpunMember
My relationship with Hashem was just fine
I just didnt see the need to keep up apperences if everyone around me already thought the worst of me.January 6, 2012 2:57 am at 2:57 am #841913mddMember
Cleverjewishpun, if you have a relathionship with HKB”H. you love and fear him, it brings you to keep his mitsvos. At least, out of fear of punishment.
Mghanooni, everyone has a relathionship with HaShem. By definition.January 6, 2012 6:25 am at 6:25 am #841914HealthParticipant
cleverjewishpun -“I made the choices I made because there was no room for me in the community and the huge sacrifices I made being frum no longer seemed worth it.
I just didnt see the need to keep up apperences if everyone around me already thought the worst of me.”
Let me ask you a question -Do you have kids? Do you want them to be Frum? Do you want them to suffer Forever? You are setting an example for them.
Even if you don’t, I’m more or less in the same place that you are/where -ya know divorce, loneliness, etc. E/o also thinks the worse of me, but you know what I said to myself -“that’s their problem”. Some people have the need to constantly bash others. IMHO, these are the ones Not Frum. Before my divorce -I cared a lot about others’ opinions -Now I don’t -I (try to) only care about Hashem’s opinion. In reality -that’s all that matters. People are so scared what others will think about them, but Hashem’s opinion – not that much. That’s why there are lot more Ganavim, then Gazlonim, esp. in the Frum community. I never heard of a Frum bank robber! By not having to listen to as many rank outs as I used to when I was married, my self-esteem has grown tremendously. Your value is Not dependent on others’ opinions!
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