"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 Sure, I knew that there were some ultra-fundamentalists who had world views that were completely outdated, outmoded and just flat out wrong.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.