June 1, 2011 4:16 am at 4:16 am #773814kapustaParticipant
“If I saw the right examples, probably. Judaism (Torah) itself is perfect, the problem is if its not represented the way its supposed to be.”
Suppose you saw the wrong examples, would you be drawn to the truth of Torah? Would you feel life w/o Judaism is empty or meaningless? Would another religion give you fulfillment? Would you even be looking for truth? Would life’s lessons make a difference?
I don’t know. Some people give me a very bad feeling about Judaism even now so if I was offered a life of (basically) doing as I pleased or being told I was headed to a big oven (c’v), well, which one would most people choose? But I will say this, I don’t know what my life would look like today without Yiddishkeit.June 1, 2011 5:31 am at 5:31 am #773815smile66Member
I think the way to answer this question isn’t by measuring your level of frumkeit against that of the outside world, or against that of your childhood environment. If you’re a person who chases truth and does their best to live according to it, if you’re a person who takes tochacha and does their best to work on their middos, if you’re the kind of person who generally tries to do the right thing and push yourself to overall be moving forward, then should you ever be in this hypothetical situation, know that you *would* go towards the Torah and frumkeit. Many people see that Torah is truth, yet they can’t break away from their life – even though they know they should. These are the people who watch the frum world from the outside but don’t have the strength to pick themselves up and do what they know is good. If you are like these people, who sees the truth and sees the areas you should grow in but you can’t bring yourself to work on them, then it’s possible that you would hypothetically act the same way in the frum/not frum situation. Everyone has the power to become frum once they see the truth, it’s the ones who have the drive and the willpower to work who actually take the step and change their lives with it.June 1, 2011 6:33 am at 6:33 am #773816HaLeiViParticipant
Where do you take this this idea from, that it doesn’t matter if Yidden are transgressing Aveiros!?June 1, 2011 7:21 am at 7:21 am #773817ZachKessinMember
I grew up from a secular Jewish family. I’ve been Shomer Shabbos for about 10 or 11 years now.June 1, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am #773818
To those who did make the decision, was it an intellectual discovery, or an inner feeling, or a deeper pull based on both or more?
All of the above. While xtianity isn’t based on (any) logic, logic was something that drew me to Judaism. But it was also an inner feeling/connectedness that I had when I was around the Jewish people. And it was also a “vow” that I made to G-d to follow the path of truth, wherever that path may lead.
I am always awed at Baalei Teshuva and their stories, I can only hope to reach their level
I always hear frum people say something like that. But I always hear BT/Gers say the same thing about FFBs. There are benefits that FFBs have that others don’t. Some things are big, but there are many small things that you would never have thought of that benefit FFBs.
After I wrote what I wrote, I watched a very secular Israeli making sure that he remembered to kiss a mezuza as he walked through a doorway…and Bernie Madoff may have done 1 severe thing wrong, but I am sure that if someone knew him as a neighbor, friend or aquintance that they would have good things to say about him.
You should write books. Can you tell us more? How did your families react? Are you well accepted?
Yes, I keep notes so that, G-d willing I can write a book, since so many people find it fascinating.
My parents don’t mind, since I am improving my middos. However, the xtians that are elsewhere in my family are soooo opposed to it that I had to cut off contact from most of them years ago.
Being accepted hasn’t been an issue (but it doesn’t mean that I don’t have to work hard at it or haven’t had to put up with uncomfortable situations, though). While I am not finished with my conversion, it doesn’t seem to bother even the ultra-orthodox from treating me with much respect. In fact, a few years ago I ate a Purim meal at my friends house in Mea Shearim & the family made me feel like I was a long-lost family member.
I hate to say this, but if my introduction to torah jewery was the yeshiva world coffee room, I would run the opposite way. The invective routinely directed towards others is horrible.
I think I’ve seen much worse in my introduction & it didn’t really stop me & the truth is that it only stops people looking for an excuse to turn away. What I mean is that if a person is focused on getting closer to G-d, then they aren’t going to let people stand in their way.
I believe that he who forgets that he was megayer and not a BT, is the one who succeeded….Besides, we’re all BTs in a way
Can you clarify this? I have been told that a ger is a BT…or maybe they are “like” a BT…but I’m confused as to how this is so. But maybe I am confused.
I don’t see myself as having done anything special, I just corrected something that went wrong at some point in history. It’s no big deal for me and personally
I really don’t see anything special about my story either. However, I came to the conclusion that at certain times, it’s good to tell, since many Jews have told me that they have gained much inspiration from my story. How? I don’t know.
I’ve also always wondered if the coincidence of me finding & appreciating Judaism may have been a tikkun of sorts for my ancestors that didn’t appreciate it & decide to walk away from it.June 1, 2011 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm #773819ZachKessinMember
I have to say that for the most part I am still friends with many of the people I was friends with before I became Dati. I can’t recall anyone (friend or family) giving me grief about it. My folks and I get along quite wellJune 1, 2011 3:00 pm at 3:00 pm #773820
Wow, thanks Tikkun. BTW, why did you choose this SN?June 1, 2011 3:24 pm at 3:24 pm #773821HaLeiViParticipant
That is very insightful, and rings true.
You mention benefits of being FFB. That is no doubt true. Being FFB gives you the background to be able to maneuver uncharted situations much better, since there he was brought up with the big picture.
However, the point is that while an FFB is luckier, a BT/Ger is more awe inspiring.
Thanks for answering my question. The idea of ‘feeling right’ seems to be when many small, subtle, things fall into place, so you get that ‘click’ from all around. The difference between navigating an area based on instructions and navigating an area that you recognize is that in the latter, although you might not be able to point to specific landmarks, you have many small insignificant points that together are much more that landmarks.
Here too, a proof here and a proof there doesn’t come close to every small thing falling into place.
Having said that, it’s for a person to rationalize a life changing decision without being able to point to solid specific reasons.June 1, 2011 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm #773822
Tikun, Baruch Habah to Klal Yisrael. May your conversion go smoothly.
I forgot to say “thank you. Thank you.
Wow, thanks Tikkun. BTW, why did you choose this SN?
What’s SN?June 1, 2011 4:26 pm at 4:26 pm #773823
Screen name.June 1, 2011 4:43 pm at 4:43 pm #773824anon1m0usParticipant
Probably not. I would believe in G-d but not follow any religion.June 1, 2011 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #773825adorableParticipant
i dont mean to sound “bad” but there is no way that I would become frum. I would maybe become a little more religious than my family but def not as religious as i am nowJune 1, 2011 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #773826Pac-ManMember
anon1m0us and adorable: Why not?June 1, 2011 5:22 pm at 5:22 pm #773827tomim tihyeMember
Popa: BCE.June 1, 2011 5:35 pm at 5:35 pm #773828mikehall12382Member
adorable…why do you dislike it so much?June 1, 2011 7:45 pm at 7:45 pm #773830
Halivei – “Health,
Where do you take this this idea from, that it doesn’t matter if Yidden are transgressing Aveiros!?”
I never said that. Anytime any creation isn’t following Hashem’s will it’s a Chesoron in the Briah. I just said you aren’t really required to do anything about it.June 1, 2011 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #773831ashmorris613Participant
Someone wanted to know how my parents reacted to my conversion and how it feels to be a Black and Jewish.
My parents at first believed that I was joining some kind of cult. They were angry and thought that I was being brainwashed. They had had the exact same response a few years earlier when I had become a more religious Christian as a teenager.This time, however I was an adult so they were mean and and hurtful, but couldn’t do anything about it. My father is the racist, anti semitic , blame everything on “the man” type which compounded the issue. Things really came to a head when I became engaged and was about to make aliyah. They were upset about “losing me” and had a fit at my vort. Things settled down a bit after I began to have children and they realized that it’s not a faze, that this is my life and that they have to work with me if they want a relationship. Things are better now, my mother has taken it upon herself to learn a bit about Yiddishkeit so that she can relate to us a little better. My father is being civil but there is still a lot of tension. Both are very resentful, but have toned it down a lot. Being Black really hasn’t been an issue. I see myself as a Jewish person who just happens to have dark skin. I haven’t really run into problems because of it. A couple of times I’ve heard kids say something, but that’s how kids are. Since I live in Israel a lot of people at first think I’m Ethiopian and are shocked when hear me speak English. Ethiopians don’t understand why I draw a blank when they speak to me in Amharic.June 2, 2011 2:02 am at 2:02 am #773832
Thanks, Ash. ??? ??? ??????.June 2, 2011 2:35 am at 2:35 am #773833BSDMember
Beruchim habo’im to all who sacrificed so much. It is an inspiration.
Personally, I don’t think I would have made the move, or even felt I was missing some thing during my late teens and early adulthood. I would have had to have settled down, be married with children, see how profound life is, how limited and vulnerable we are and learned some of life’s lessons before I would even realize I was missing something. At that point I believe I would have searched intensively and determinedly for truth and meaning and that would inevitably lead me to yiddishkeit.
I grew up taking yiddishkeit as a given(as I think it should be). There was a time when I started to question why I am Jewish and what it means to me- whether it should mean something to me and why. I was fortunate that a group of my friends were joining a kiruv seminar in Israel and asked me to join. The speakers were fascinating and logical, and while they taught us what to say to the unaffiliated, I learned the answers to my own questions. It really strengthened my yiddishkeit. Reading R’ Avigdor Miller ZT”L’s books also made me proud and set things straight.June 2, 2011 3:28 am at 3:28 am #773834whatelseisleftMember
Didn’t read whole thing.
But recently came across a geriut application
really don’t know i would passJune 2, 2011 4:24 am at 4:24 am #773835
Health, like I said, speak to a Rov.June 2, 2011 4:37 am at 4:37 am #773836
Health, you asked me why I said that you seem to think that you own Yiddishkeit? I’ll tell you. Your attitude seems to be:”We have our FFB club here. Do not spoil it by bringing other Yidden in . It is not my problem if they do not keep mitsvos”.June 2, 2011 6:35 am at 6:35 am #773837
mdd – I’m not interested in speaking to my Rov -I have no Shailos, just opinions. If you want to prove me wrong -go to your Rov and post what he says here. Maybe I’ll agree, maybe I won’t.
I don’t belong to any FFB club anymore than you belong to a BT club. And just because I said there isn’t a great big mitzvah to make people frum, doesn’t mean I don’t want all Jews and Goyim to keep the Torah. As a matter of fact, some of my best friends are BT’s. I even married a BT and would still be married to her if not that someone convinced her to leave. Why couldn’t you be Dan L’caf Zecus? Do you have something against FFB’s?June 2, 2011 7:57 am at 7:57 am #773839
Because after I visited Jerusalem on Purim a few years ago, I went to daven at the Kotel late at night. And I fell in love with this time of day (the time to say Tikkun Hatzot & after)
I found that there is an amazing amount of clarity in davening at this time & that there is a different type of energy. I wish I could explain it, but if you ever wake up after midnight & study or daven, you will see what I am talking about. I believe the Shulchan Aruch mentions this clarity & such.June 2, 2011 8:45 am at 8:45 am #773840basket of radishesParticipant
Would you become Jewish if you were a non Jew? I think that is the question…
I say it depends on what you think your providence really is…
If you identify with the Jewish people and then spend your time reading their books etc, especially the Jewish Tanakh as well you have a firm G-d beleif, I say you give it a go.
If you learn about the universe and realize that the Jews are like a tree in a forest and the non jews are like the plants and weeds and you just want to do it to be like the Jews, I think your plan is going to be see-through. I don’t think you could genuinely become Jewish, but if you really found meaning in the Jewish religion, you might want to give it a go too.
As for being a Jew and wanting to become religious, I say who knows what our children of non-affiliated movements will do in their lifetimes. If you are non- affiliated, your priority in life is to your job and family. That said, it is not to your own religious background per se. If you suddenly become more frum, that is great. It is going to be a challenge, and G-d willing a learning process.
But I suspect that true Ba’al Tschuvahs are very rare indeed. Some modifications of the Jewish way of life do not seem to “jive” with some of the careers of these previously non-affiliated individuals. It also has a big family ramification. Imagine growing a full beard if you really wish. That does not immediately get approval by many of those who hate facial hair of any significant length.
But given a good G-d orientation, give it to Hashem to guide our people into their futures.June 2, 2011 1:06 pm at 1:06 pm #773841LSHMember
“If you were brought up in a non-religious home, and later in life you became acquainted with religious Jews, would you care to understand what it’s all about? Would you make the drastic life changing decision of becoming religious?”
–>From my personal experience the connection to religious people doesn’t happen unless 1. Someone is praying for you 2. When Hashem calls you, you move towards Him (ie. open wide your mouth and I will fill it).
And no matter what position you’re in the service involves constantly noticing what Hashem is saying and not ignoring what He wants.
So, I’m saying that I believe or have faith/trust that Hashem gives everyone a chance to get close but some part of me feels sorry for people who have not gotten close because for many years I didn’t see the need to be religious and it could only be that someone was praying for me that I would even agree or consider changing my life. Now after many years of living Jewishly I partly understand our role and mission and how our lives are contributing to the betterment of the world but I also see that because the Torah is so powerful that Hashem has the right to discipline us when we don’t listen to Him or show insolence. When we are in a state of being disciplined this requires faith/trust as well.June 2, 2011 1:59 pm at 1:59 pm #773842
Health, it is not a matter of opinions, it is a matter of what the Torah says about it. And I do resent your (and of the like-minded individuals’) attitude. And you did imply that you wish many BTs remained non-frum and not be around to annoy others( re-read your original post).June 2, 2011 5:49 pm at 5:49 pm #773843
Ah. Beautiful name, TH, though not one I’d suggest you take IRL upon your gerus.June 2, 2011 6:32 pm at 6:32 pm #773844
mdd – “it is a matter of what the Torah says about it.”
Exactly; and I feel my opinions coincide with the Torahs’!
“And I do resent your (and of the like-minded individuals’) attitude. And you did imply that you wish many BTs remained non-frum and not be around to annoy others( re-read your original post).”
You resent my attitude because you aren’t being Dan L’caf Zecus and you have Sinas Chinum. Yes, I do believe some BT’s should have remained non-religious. Simply because they aren’t Ehrlich, not the ones whom are! People become BT’s for a myriad of reasons, not just because they have all “seen the light”! Some people have mental problems or family problems and become frum because of it -these type of people we don’t need in the frum community. If a Frei person is made aware of Hashem and his Torah and this is the reason he/she joins up, then by all means -the more- the merrier!June 2, 2011 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm #773845YW Moderator-80Member
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