Thursday, 27 March 2008

Late at night. Two tall figures are walking in the dimly lit streets.

Frum friend: So, Jewish Sceptic! What's new? Going on any shidduchim?
Me: Oh, uhh, umm. Not exactly.

--At this point, an internal struggle takes place. Two minature figures appear in a puff of smoke, each sitting on a different shoulder. One is coloured red and carries a pork chop, and a seedy magazine. The other is dressed in a black bekishe and streimel, armed with a yiddish accent and Torah scroll.--

Evil conscience: You do have a girlfriend! Hahaha! She isn't Jewish either!! HaHaHa! Good job!
Jewish conscience: Oy vey! What would your friend think if he knew that? What do you think Hashem would think?
Me, thinking: My friend would have a heart attack. As for the other question, I'm not having a theological debate with you. Again.
Jewish conscience: Yes, what a chochom you are. Not. It says here in the Torah that...
Me: I know. I know. What do I say now though? Do I lie and say no? Or do I not lie and allow an argument to go ahead, and lose my friend?
Evil conscience: HaHaHa! I don't even need to be here!
Me: No. You don't. Because you don't exist and neither does Reb Yid here. You don't exist.
Consciences together: Oh. You're right.
--They both disappear in a puff of logic.--

Me: Umm...No, I'm not.
FF: are you sure?
Me: Yes.
FF: It would make you happier y'know!
Me: But I'm happy already...

The interesting thing about this discussion is that FF here seemed only to have reason in his life once he was dating. Whilst this isn't strictly true for everyone, I know plenty of young frum people, and it seems their only goal in life is to be old enough to get to go on a shidduch. What are their plans after that? Invariably none. Talking about girls take up so much time and effort in the frum community - at least the people I know - that they haven't given thought to what they're going to do after yeshiva, besides vague plans for college or a shallow committment to a family business somewhere...

Of course, not everyone is like that.

I had a similar discusson with someone a few days ago. I told them I was an atheist.
I told them everything. My doubts, my research of religion, my eventual journey to agnosticism and now atheism. I wanted to see what sort of reaction I would get and lucky for me, I found the right person to tell. There was no yelling, no disowning, no unpleasant stuff at all. In fact, they said "is that all?" and told me it's not such a big deal. I think it is a big deal - I also think I found the most liberal, observant Orthodox Jew in the world. Lucky me!! What would everyone else think though? Family, etc? "Oh, there'll be hell to pay, sure. Maybe literally..."

That would be rather unlucky, wouldn't it?

4 comments:

SB said...

Just wanted to tell you that you are not alone and there is a great many of us frummies who are atheists after much thought. I was brought up very frum, went to yeshiva after high school and then went to University. I married a frum girl and although I was always a skeptic I kept halocho. Together we worked out our life together and are both atheists with very little jewish observance if any at all. I totally agree with you comments on not living in a vacuum. We still have our families and although being intelectually honest with ourselves in the number one priority, family is family. You will certainly face a tough time with a non-jewish partner but it is better to stay with her than to regret the rest of your life. Your family will never will the void that a loving partner leaves.

I haven't got it completely clear, do you walk around looking frum at the moment? Do your parents friends know your situation? - you clearly know how in our communities public opinion is what counts.

good luck, glad to hear you are happy with your choices.

FedUp said...

I can relate to a lot of your posts. I don't have a non jewish lady friend but all the rest of it is like I'm reading my journal. I really enjoy reading your blog. Keep it up!

Jewish Sceptic said...

sb,
Hmm. That's really interesting - you married frum and jewish and became atheists together. That is, in fact, really very lucky...I wish I could have done something like that, it would have been far less stressful initially and I wouldn't have to explain to my family I might marry out...

fedup,
Thank thee, fedup!
I found that to be true of a lot of ex-frum bloggers out here, which is why I sort of started this one. I realised I had lots in common with everyone and we were going through a very similar thing...so I decided to take advantage of other people's experiences and read up on their blogs! Besides, I gained some confidence in knowing I wasn't alone - that others were walking this path right now.

The Candy Man said...

Hey man, just tuning in. Seems like you've been getting a lot off your chest.

Yishar kochacha for thinking for yourself.

I also have a non-Jewish girlfriend and she's awesome. My family and I don't talk about it... they've threatened to cut me off. But things are better now than they were a year ago.

There may be ways around it. E-mail me if you want any advice. At least maybe you can avoid the mistakes I made.