A comment on my last post:
PT-I have to say that I just don't buy this. Up until your pop passed away, you came to minyan when you could, certainly davened, but were not in up to your neck with doing all sorts of public worship type things (at least that is what it seemed like to me). And I thought that was cool, because evidently you had come to a level of Yiddishkeit that worked for you, your family, and your place in the community. I thought it was even cooler because you did NOT hop on the bandwagon like everyone else here and shave your head, grow payos down to your bellybutton, wear garb from the 1800s, and somehow discover that you were the scion of a lost dynasty and reclaim your rightful heritage.
But then your pop passes away. Okay. I get trying to make minyan and say kaddish, but why feel bad if you miss one or two? Or you cannot make minyan for once and have to daven b'yichidus? And this leining thing - what is up with that? What is making you say that your Yiddishkeit as it was before your father's passing was not good enough? (Bad grammar)
Maybe just as big a question to me is why the need to PUBLICLY express this newfound Yiddishkeit (assuming that there is justification for it - see my questions above)? That is something that really bothers me - why can't people have a good relationship with Hashem and leave it at that? Why do they need to flaunt (sp?) so that we can all see it? I am not inspired by them; my connection to Hashem comes from my own awareness, knowledge, and learning. It almost is like they are trying to prove to me that they are frum.
Whatever. I sign this as anonymous but I think you might know who this is. If so, when you see me in the AM (not in either minyan but learning) then we can schmooze about it, although probably not then since you need to get to work and so do I.Sorry for being such a party-popper. Maybe it is that time of month for me.
Anonymous: “I sign this as anonymous but I think you might know who this is. If so, when you see me in the AM”
I THINK I know who it is but I’m a little thick and I may be wrong. I’m confused because the person I think it is had more positive things to say the last time I wrote about layning. I’m sorry I didn’t see you this AM; we had trouble getting a minyan in the beginning.
“Up until your pop passed away, you came to minyan when you could, certainly davened, but were not in up to your neck with doing all sorts of public worship type things (at least that is what it seemed like to me). And I thought that was cool, because evidently you had come to a level of Yiddishkeit that worked for you, your family, and your place in the community.”
You were wrong about me. I was in a bad place. I tried to act like that was the practice of Judaism that I preferred because I was too lazy to do anything about it and too resistant to change. There were a lot of inconsistencies about me that were eating away at me and having negative influence on my family. I needed to change. My father’s death was the kick in the butt that I needed.
“I thought it was even cooler because you did NOT hop on the bandwagon like everyone else here and shave your head, grow payos down to your bellybutton, wear garb from the 1800s, and somehow discover that you were the scion of a lost dynasty and reclaim your rightful heritage.”
Scroll down a few posts and read the one about my new HDTV, and go over to DovBear and read my post about hats, and tell me if you really think that I’m “flipping out.” Because I’m not. The problem is that I think YOU have bought into the program a little more than you realize. You’re starting to think that putting on a uniform equates with higher frumkeit, and you’re confused about me being more stringent with certain things while still not adopting the “levush.” Well the truth is that I allowed my resentment of that attitude to be a barrier that prevented me from observing Judaism correctly. I came from a background of Modern Orthodoxy, where people who went to movies and rock concerts still managed to make it to minyan twice a day and could layn and lead the services, and from that perspective I have been a disappointment. It’s not a matter of me being yeshivish or chassidish and failing to live up to THOSE standards. It’s that I have my OWN standards and have failed to live up to even those. I’m sorry if I can’t be as much of an inspiration to slackers as you’d like me to be.
Go back to the beginning of this post and read why I think that layning is important to ME. It’s because I have a certain potential and I’ve used all kinds of excuses to avoid reaching it. I’m not saying that layning=higher observance. For me it is something that I was once good at, and that serves the community, and therefore I think for my own benefit (and yes, maybe to serve as an example to my children) I should try to maintain. To quote our favorite alternative rabbi, "It's not for everyone."
“It almost is like they are trying to prove to me that they are frum.”
You’ll get no arguments with me there. I have written over and over on this blog and elsewhere what I think of that attitude. Your actions tell people who you are, not your hat.
“why feel bad if you miss one or two?”
Because that’s just the way I am. I am a creature of habit. I know that it’s either all the way or not at all. If I take a very lackadaisical approach to minyan, I will have plenty of excuses to blow it off, and eventually I will stop going altogether. I am capable of looking at myself analytically and realizing what my strengths and weaknesses are and addressing them (no matter what some of my relatives might say). I may be wrong, but I think most people are this way about habits and momentum. Employ a little intellectual honesty.
“why the need to PUBLICLY express this newfound Yiddishkeit”
Other than the fact that tfilla betzibur is by definition “public”, I don’t think that I’m publicly flaunting anything. Aderaba (on the contrary), I am painfully aware that the other people who make up my minyan (and you, too) have been doing all this for years, and without the excuse of having to say kaddish. If anything, I still have a ways to go to make it to their level.
If by “public” you mean putting it on this blog, maybe you have a point. Except that this blog is still MY private home on the web, and nobody is forcing anyone to be here. Also I have found that the blog by its nature has helped me to reexamine myself, my priorities, my excuses, and by holding them up to the light, see which were valid and which were empty. The blog keeps me honest.
I’ve made many changes in my life that go beyond shul. I’m exercising, I’m taking care of my health better, and there are other aspects that still need a lot of work.
Look, as a human being, you’re either growing or you’re dying. You have to decide which side of the line you want to be on. My father spent his last 20 years on the wrong side of that line. I’m not going to let that happen to me.