"Here's a place, pray you: A path rises in luscious fields opening on languid shores, draining all yearing." -- The Collected Works of Zeno En-Varal
I've been doing some thinking lately. A lot of thinking.
There has been a lot that has been going on in the Jewish world over the last few years. Before I started this blog, I had no idea of the world out there. Sure, I knew that there were some ultra-fundamentalists who had world views that were completely outdated, outmoded and just flat out wrong. But until I started this blog, I was truly sheltered. The degree of fundamentalism that I have encountered since I started the blog has far outweighed anything that I might have encountered only a short three years ago when I was safely ensconced in my own little corner of Brooklyn with no real knowledge of the outside world.
And yet, when I look at the fundamentalist viewpoint of the world, I find a certain... peacefulness about it. One doesn't have to worry about which school to send your kid to - you just follow your leaders and the rest of the community. One doesn't have to worry about which candidate to vote for -- you just vote for whomever your Rosh Yeshiva/Rebbe tells you to vote for. You don't have to worry about whether or not to buy a house -- just ask Da'as Torah. Heck, you don't even have to worry about whether to buy the blue dishtowels or the yellow ones -- just ask your Rav. The possibility of just abdicating any responsibility of thinking and just "go with the flow;" of just letting your Rabbeim and Rabbannan dictate your life for you and relieve you of the obligations of intelligent choice is sometimes very luring and seductive.
I've tried, over the last three years, to show that intelligent choice is the correct way to live life. I've tried to make the point that one has a responsibility to look at the options that are available (within the confines of halacha, of course) that are available to one in life and to become informed and make intelligent choices regarding the path that he or she will follow in life.
But I'm tired. I'm tired of bashing my head against the wall at fundamentalists who insist that Da'as Torah knows better. I've become weary of repeating my points over and over again. I have no more to say. I simply can't go on -- the spirit it done, the fire has gone out, the drive just does not exist anymore. The other side has won -- I've been seduced into ennui, into non-thinking, into abandoning any rational thought process. I don't have the mental strength to engage in the soul-searching that is necessary to live a thoughtful, intelligent life. And so, I am surrendering myself to Rabbinic dictates. No more will I question the words of an ordained Rabbinic authority. No more will I exhibit the trait of independent thought. No more will I complain at decrees that I find unpalatable -- indeed I will render myself incapable of finding them unpalatable. I will completely surrender myself to their will. The faces of the Rabbis loom large over me and I feel my eyes fill with tears of joy and reconciliation. The last lesson had been learnt. I love the Rabbanim.
Even in EY we have a secular calendar. . .but I hope you don't mind my saying that you weren't very convincing. . .
1984, by George Orwell? "I love Big Brother."
The sad part is that each April 2nd, August 12th and December 20th there actually are people who say this and mean it.
1) April First is a goyische holiday, you shouldn't be celebrating it. What next, Xmas?
2) I did have an overwhelming urge to shoot you in the back of the head as you experienced your epiphany. I'm glad you love big brother,uh, big rabbi.
Sounds like "All Clear" in the movie,"The Time Machine".The Morlocks will eat well tonight.(Super Glatt,of course)
I kept waiting for ya to throw in a 'Praise Jebus' while you became born again.
Happy April Fools to you too.
Of course, you know, Da'as Torah would also tell you to give up this blog...
The truth is though that true peace lies not in beating the fundamentalists but in not caring about what they have to say. Do your own thing and live your own life because you will never convince them otherwise. Just remember that there is a large group of like-minded people out there for you.
Did you ask Reb Aharon on CIA before making such a far-reaching decision????
Whew, I was ready to call Hatzalah because I was sure you had over indulged in some magic 'shrooms, until it finally occurred to me from one of the comments that yesterday was April 1. Please, a warning next time.
Well that was interesting.
I know it was 4/1 and all, but it did bring up a certain truth inherent in 1984 and lampooned in Demolition Man and Robocop 2.
It's always easier to let someone else relieve you of the responsibility for thinking, but sooner or later you will want to and be actively discouraged from it and there find out exactly what a blessing it was to be able to before you threw it away.
Since there is still disagreement among Rabbonim on many issues, you still have to make a choice, if only about whose judgment to accept.
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