Q & A Board - View Post
Author:  Lenny
E-mail:  anon@anon.com
Date:  10/21/2003 6:32:00 PM
Subject:  Re: Manny
Message:  I read with much interst your answer to Manny's "frum" issues. What do you mean by "First shed your life of all the excess restriction and bogus laws. Stick to the basics. Make a list of what you need to keep. It should be real short. " What if I've shed most excess resriction and I'm still unhappy? Being in a community filled with people who exist solely to find new resrictions makes things worse. What if davening just doesn't do anything for me? What if it's the bare basics I just can't deal with anymore?

And what does this mean? "Even if you are Frum from birth, act like a Baal Teshuva. Allow yourself to indulge. To enjoy those things you were trained to think is not allowed, and then start your own Baal Teshuva movement."
Indulge in what? Does this mean I can go to Jamaica and party and then do"teshuvah" when I come back? Most of the stuff I was trained to think is not allowed, ISN'T allowed. Then what? And what if my wife feels the same way? What, she should not cover her hair until she feels happy from it? We are really confused. Do we just do the things we HAVE to do even though it makes us miserable?

Reply:  No! You got it all wrong.
First let me clear up this Jamaica thing. I was saying indulge in what is allowed, but became restricted by excess Chumrot, not approved by Halachah. Often the restrictions and tight control can stifle us. Throw the hat and jacket in the garbage can, put on a tee shirt and Jeans, and go to your nearest Subway for a Tuna Sub. Get the craziness out of your blood. That's what I meant.

Act like a Baal Teshuva.... means to go through the why's, where's, what's, and who said's, just like someone starting from scratch would. This is not easy within the "system," but the most essential part to keeping the Mitzvot for the right reasons, not as a robot.

If you thought about these things and learned a bit about your religion, and understood who God is, and why you must follow, then your whole life would be different. You don't understand now why you must do these things, because your reasons have been that you were a robot. You followed what you were programmed to do. Look into the truth. Determine for yourself the big questions and look into them, and when you get the facts straight, your motivation will be powerful, and meaningful.

Remember, your biggest concern was not feeling happy, but rather feeling miserable about the religion, or many aspects of it. If there is a God, and he said you must cover your hair, then you better cover it. Tough luck! ......However, if you covered your hair out of a motivation that came from a belief in God and that he gave us these rules and I want to do what he says, because I understand the concepts of this religion, then you will get those feelings working. First, it will be tough, but as you conquer and succeed each day, doing the true laws, because of God, then you will continuously feel the power & strength that you are building and the motivation to keep strong till the big day, when we come upstairs and put our stuff on the table.   Don't risk going there with the excuse, "my dog ate the homework," or "I didn't feel happy about doing them. On one side of the coin, you have a lot to lose, and on the other side, you have a lot to gain. Read up on the basic background of who is God? Why must I follow? What does he want? and so on. Get the thinking going & then come back here with some presentable snags in your work & we'll gladly set you straight.

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