Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"You're a chill Jew"

I had a recent conversation with a friend of my wife and I. This friend who had recently become religious referred to my wife and I as "chill Jews". Now such a statement has a forked road the size of Kentucky in the middle of it. Either we are chill Jews because we are welcoming and can make any Jew of any walk of life feel comfortable ooooooooooor.... we are chill because we are lenient in Halacha and are influenced by the modern excitement of Los Angeles and the world over. I didn't give off the impression of being insulted because I didn't want to argue with someone who I haven't seen in at least 2 years and at that point they were most likely eating a cheeseburger on Shabbos. The question was part of a larger conversation based around them interested in a shidduch with someone who was a baal teshuvah as well and completely swore against going to the movies. This friend of ours still couldn't shake the habit and this was really a pressing issue. I always laugh at such statements like hearing someone at Aish saying they don't go to movies anymore after being "religious" for a summer. I just don't understand how the baal teshuvah mind works sometimes. It could be because I lived in a frum house for 4 years with religious parents before I myself became religious, but I hold learning of Hilchos Shabbos higher than staying away from the movie theater. Well this potential shidduch had been religious for 3 years and was very shtark and isn't in touch with the reality of the modern world "like my wife and i". Whaaaaaa? 3 years and their mea sharim mindset is in full effect? Sounds like one holy person to me. My Rav once told me "We are more modern than someone in Borough Park, but we are not Modern Orthodox". Its a powerful statement for me because although I work in the Ad Graphic Modern World, I do not indulge in it. I don't own a TV and I have been to 1 movie in 2 years and I really wish I picked a better movie. (Do not see Indiana Jones it was bad.) Chumrahs and Minhagim aren't going to bring Moshiach and I have yet to find in any seforim advice to focus on them more than Halacha. My writings are not a platform to brag about how religious I am but to comment on an important misconception in the Baal Teshuvah world and that is that going to the Movies will send you to gehenom but performing a malacha on Shabbos eh...B'Shogeg. Maybe when we invite this friend for Shabbos they will realize their err in judgement. It just goes to show you that you shouldn't judge a Jew by their cover. Its the one criticism I have for the baal teshuvah yeshivas is that they don't keep Baal Teshuvah Syndrome in check and make sure these Jews don't think they are poskim for the masses or that going to the movies or not should be #2 on their shidduch qualification list.

G-d willing we will all including myself realize that we need to serve Hashem for his sake and inspire others to do so and with that bring Moshiach who will rebuild the Beis Hamikdash before tomorrow and we will dance in Yerushalayim AMEN!!!

1 comment:

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