Sunday, January 30, 2005

It ain't all bad

I know there are plenty of people in much worse situations than me. People who doubt but are stuck in the deep dark depths of thought-controlled cultish communities like New Square or Boro Park. These people are being controlled right down to every minutiae of their lives. I sympathize with these people because one slip up for them might bring shame to their whole families’ and oust them from their lives. Their future lies only in the cult and I can feel their frustration. It’s palpable.

Thankfully, for me I have more options open to me. I’m going to explain my position and what I envision will be my type of life in the Jewish community. I don't plan on being a black-hatter, nor one who needs to say a dvar torah at every shabbos and holiday meal. Nor will I be a person who every afternoon needs to rush to a shul to say mincha or maariv. I can't see myself regularly davening with a minyan more than shacharis shabbos and holidays. I won't be crazy about saying brachot over everything or of benching after most meals.

As of today, some of my better friends already know I'm highly skeptical. Some of those I've spoken on the matter in great detail. I can't imagine not telling my (future) wife. I couldn't lie to her every day like that.

I have no problem living at the fringes of the Jewish community. Having my personal beliefs set in ambiguity. Most people simply ignorant of them. Because the fringes of the Jewish community are also the fringes of the secular world. And I think I'd feel most comfortable living in-between like that. Being comfortable in both.

I don't want to stand out so much that people will think I'm strange coming to a Shabbos meal. Or when I send my kids to yeshivah. Or why the hell I'm buying so much matzah. Nor do I want the secular world so shocked that I want the kosher meal and that I won't work on the holidays. In between. I don't think this is so unusual after all.

No comments: