Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A brief thought about things I miss

I want to write a well thought out post on the things I miss about being frum. Unfortunatley, I haven't had time to do so, so I'm just going to put down some brief thoughts for now.

I've been OTD over a year now and the newness of it is wearing off. After a few trief meals, dining out is still fun, but it isn't exciting. I'm not the new person at my new synagogue anymore. I'm starting to pick up on the tensions, grudges and political infighting that takes place at all synagogues.

There are definitely some things I miss about being frum. Shabbos for one - I like going to services at my new synagogue, but the question remains what to do with the rest of the day. I try to spend it in a "Shabbosdik" way, but it's hard when you're on your own. I also miss being able to walk to shul. It's hard for me to be spiritual when I'm stuck in traffic.

Serious learning is another thing I miss. It used to be I would go to a shiur and be the least knowledgable person in the room. Now I attend a Torah study group where every Hebrew word must also be said in English every single time or the same people complain. You would think that after awhile everyone would know that Yitzchok is Issac. I am impatient with people who say they didn't get a Hebrew education growing up. I've been hearing them say it for over a year now, which is more than enough time to learn to read Hebrew phonetically.

What I want to be able to do is take the best of both worlds - the open, welcoming, touchy-feelyness of my new Jewish Renewal synagogue and the dedicated commitment of my old frum shul. But since I can't have both, I will make do in the place where I feel welcome.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Being a Sheliach Tzibbur on the Yamim Noraim

As I am still a closet-OTD, I don't really have something to tell about my past frum side, but I can tell you something about my current frum side (the side that is losing it from reason at the moment)...

I love being a sheliach tzibbur.

Note that I don't like being called a chazan, because: a. They usually have better voices, and b. They tend to bore their audiences more than they inspire them. I love singing in general, but this is something that I know I am doing well and people are very appreciative not to have someone singing that has a bad voice or someone with a good voice that doesn't know how to stop. (Oh yes, and grammatically shaliach tzibbur is incorrect!)

In any case, there is a lot of preparation going into the davvening. Having lived in different parts of the world, I always have the opportunity to learn new melodies. Some are beautiful, others are more painful than having your ... cut off with a blunt knife. But at least now I call the shots and will be able to sing what I think is beatiful.

I have been singing the melodies to myself for weeks in the tram, bus, train, car an on the bike. Once I hold my machzor and mp3 player in front of me, I become oblivious to my environment and drift away...

Nussach is a beautiful thing. But I feel more and more distanced to the meaning of the actual text. This Rosh Hashanah on the 2nd evening when I chanted Yigdal (on a very beautiful melody), a pang of guilt went through me as I realized that the 13 Principles of Faith, so beautifully arranged in this poem, struck me as outlandish and absurd.

And so I am afraid of the day that I will be 'found out' or when I will come out of the closet and the powers-to-be will decide that it 'passt nisht' for a koifer to be their sheliach tzibbur. I guess that will be my sacrifice for a life of freedom.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Just To Say That I Have Nothing To Say :)

Yup, it's officially been forever since we posted anything here. Well, I still like the concept of the blog, even if I have nothing to contribute to it.

Monday, March 9, 2009


You know what sucked about Purim?


For years, I'd go collecting every year with my yeshiva. MAYBE the first year was fun, afterwards, it sucked.

You go for long hours door-to-door shnorring, sweating in these stuffy costumes, and you don't get paid a red cent (it's a "mitzva," of course). Trying this guy's red wine, that guy's white wine. Ugh. Listening to some yutz from your group harassing the baal habayis to cough up more dough. Drunken mishuganas running all over the street, singing at the top of their lungs, and saying the dumbest things. Jesus Christ.

One thing for sure I won't miss about this year's Purim is collecting.

However, I will miss the old days, dressing up, and eating tons of nosh. Those were good times.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ooh, I Know One!

Buying stuff in honor of rosh chodesh! That was fun!
I was reminded of this because it's been exactly a month since the last post :)
I used to buy something special every rosh chodesh in honor of rosh chodesh, I miss doing that. And that reminds me that I also used to buy extra nice stuff/food for shabbos. Great excuse to try that really expensive cheesecake, eh? ;)

Monday, January 19, 2009


By: Margo
You know, when I go to my dashboard, I see the Ballroom blog, with fairly frequent updates. I see the OTD blog, with even more frequent updates. I see the Haven blog, with updates that happen more often than the time it takes to say the Shema Yisroel backwards (anyone else here love Savta Simcha while growing up?). Then I see this Frum blog, with updates more infrequent than the time it's been since I last said Shema Yisroel (well, not really, but in a hyperbolic manner). So I think, and think, and think about what I miss from being frum. The trouble is, I don't miss it. At all. Of course now and then I'll miss something or other, but not often enough to post about it regularly.
However, today, after much effort, a burst of inspiration hit me and I thought of something that I miss!
I miss going OTD! That's part of the life of a frum community, right? People who go OTD.
I've already gone OTD, so I can't go OTD anymore, and I kind of miss that. It felt very intellectually invigorating to attend all those frum classes and dispute the rabbis, challenge everything I heard, talk it over with frum and non-frum friends of mine. It felt freakin' awesome to wear a tank top and pants to the Kotel. Now, I just don't go to frum programs. I don't go to the Kotel (I'm also not in Israel at the moment, which stops me from going, even if I wanted to.) I have better things to do with my life. But that was nice, going OTD. Ah, to be frum again so that I could go OTD again! Lovely thought... :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Recent Thoughts

Okay, my humor's nothing to write home about.

I hope you all don't mind, but I'm going to get a bit more serious here. And yes, I will be turning off comments for now.

My other blog is more of an anti-religious place, while this place can be more pro-religious.

I wanted to discuss reasons why I might want to go back on the derech. No, not to get anyone's hopes up, just to clear my head a little.

Well, I don't believe in God, and I wasn't that happy being frum anyway. However, it's the community I was raised in, and I'm much more familiar with it than anything else. I might even go so far as to say I'm more comfortable there than anywhere else. Maybe.

Mayebe I can be somewhat Orthoprax, and just be a regular frum guy again, with less obligations? Kind of just play the part, without committing too much?

Just thinking.