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.


  1. Pick a sefer with English translation that's available online. Let's learn. (I'm not frum; I am not being mekarev anyone; I eat treif and am on the internet on shabbos. I like to learn. All the people I know who learn are guys, and they don't learn with women -- it's so nice to be an temptation, not a person. /facetious)

    I don't know how anyone feels comfortable on Shabbos without a shower (after Friday night). I don't. Takes the joy out of Shabbos (for me) when I don't feel clean. But, you're right. Can't show up for shul looking like you're fresh out of the shower unless you're going to a Conservative or more liberal shul.

  2. I feel for you my friend and I understand your dilemma. I would say to you to simply do whatever you are comfortable with and whatever makes you happy.

    If you want to go to a Frum shul and then go iceskating and then go a conservative Shul to get inspired by a speech about Feminisim in 1985 - then do it.

    Leaving the community is no easy task and this pull in two directions, surrounded by guilt creeping in etc, can be unsettling.

    You may be more comfortable hanging out with fellow exfrum intelligent ppl, footsteps is a good place to go to find such ppl.

  3. *I am impatient with people who say they didn't get a Hebrew education growing up.*-i more then agree with you. that is why i really hate atmosphere of ashdod. people who live in israel for like 10-15 years and hardly can say *toda raba* demonstrate pretty unrespectful relation to the state they live in. i started to speak hebrew fluently two years after my aliya.