Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Rationalizations of Impropriety
You're all right. It's all about blazing my own trail -- doing as much as I can within my abilities at this moment.
I'm not so freakish as I was this morning. I feel okay with having the beard, and with hiking down this slippery slope.
I feel excited because I can feel that this is one of those transition points where one gets the opportunity to strengthen his position with G-d from his weakened state. I believe that following halacha (Jewish law) out of bittul (self-nullification) and kabbalas oyl (accepting the yolk of G-d's commandments, as an ox carries a large burden) is the proper way and the best way to observe Judaism, however in my case, it is not working unilaterally. I'm testing the waters here to see where I can slip and where I have firm ground, and I will tread carefully.
This is a journey of self-exploration that I should have done some time ago before becoming frum all at once without questioning or asking questions. I went with the flow and let the rabbis mould me into whoever they wanted me to be. But some parts just clearly weren't me. I tried on the lifestyle as if it was a garment, and now I feel that some parts don't fit. So I consider this as if I am going to a tailor to get alterations.
I do plan on going out again tomorrow, although part of me thinks that maybe this is not a good idea because of the whispers. Many people at school have noticed that I went out [people who saw me out told other people, etc.], and suddenly people are telling me that I'm the topic of a lot of conversations. I don't think this is a good thing because I fear that I might be a bad role model for others. Keep in mind that while I don't quite care what people think, my ultimate intention is to do good and not harm, and if I am harming other people's observance or respect for Jewish people, that would be reason enough to think twice about my actions.
On the positive side, perhaps I'm teaching people that one can be religious and can keep most of the commandments while living a relatively normal life at the same time. Maybe I'm finding a balance between good and evil. Personally, I don't know what I'll do next or how far I'll go. Now it's just a drink and a dance. I don't plan on going further. I have moral boundaries. Yet I wouldn't openly want to test them because I can't be sure that I could trust myself if the situation arose, and then all my work and effort and abstaining would have been for nothing.
Yet, it is important for me to stay level-headed and not to get overly excited. I'm just meeting with a few friends from class. I shouldn't be there because its a bar, I know, but maybe some good can come from this. I believe that the truth will show its face from this course of action very soon, and I will know 1) whether I have made a big mistake by going out, and 2) whether this is a good thing in my development as a Jew.
Emotionally, [and I know this is TOTALLY WRONG], I made a contract with G-d in May, telling him that I was tired of being single and waiting for my rabbis and shadchanim (matchmakers) to find a shidduch. I told G-d that if my shidduch that happened in May didn't work out, then I would resume ballroom dancing and going out. In my heart I feel a bit of peace because the shidduch didn't work out -- in fact, as you have read it was a disaster -- and now by going out, I have fulfilled my end of the bargain.
I had a friend in Yeshiva who was on the path that I was on. He went out, drank, had a bit of fun, and then he found a girl, mekarev'd her (influenced her to become religious), and then he married her. His story echoed through the Yeshiva -- as bochurim (yeshiva students), we were very impressed with the story. Maybe I'm on that path. That would be a cool twist to the story.