Private Orthoprax - Continued.
Orthopraxy continued from here .
I carried on day to day without any change, like a robot.
I didn't fully trust my thought processes. Adherence to Halacha was a form of Pascal's Wager. I like to call it Pascal's insurance. The odds of a modern day building burning is slim, but you get insurance, just in case. OJ was a lie, but just in case, why rock the boat.
You would have thought that I would have spent lots of energy on trying to prove/disprove Judaism. I didn't do that. I was certain that would lead me off the derech. I had no desire to be any more convinced than I already was.
I just bided my time and waited to see how things turn out.
I threw myself into career, simchas, family, tsures, etc and was content to put up with the inconvenience of OJ practice. Which is really another reason I stayed OP. I did not find most of it terribly burdensome. A lifelong set of practices and habits remained doable.
I even started learning again, it is a social and intellectual activity that's cool with me.
But as I mentioned, my wife is unaware of my true opinion of OJ.
So no matter what, how much of a Sheigets can I be in my own home? I need to go to shul or else family and friends would notice. Treife food? Certainly not at home. So I stayed completely Orthoprax. I even poured the hot water before the coffee on Shabbos.
Now, heres the kicker. Eventually, after many years, my mistrust of my judgment wore off. Just the fact that I was able to stay completely frum for 6 years while not even believing it, refuted the Chazal's adage of Lo Uvdo Avoda Zara.
Ironically, that realization set me free.
Some things did fall away, like hot water first on shabbos. But nothing that would be considered a real no-no.
To be honest, there was one extenuating halachic event that is beyond the scope of this blog. It was not done for my own sake, you could say L'tsorech Tsibbur. (Maybe one day I'll get into it if I'm in a good mood.)
Then I knew I was truly free. Free to practice or not. And I do practice, without many mis-givings about it. I have a good life so why not.
Will I always stay this way? Who knows. If I learned one thing is that we don't know what tomorrow brings.
(I hate Shabbos shul though, I can't take the hours.)
I have no compelling need to practice. On the other hand, I have no compelling need to violate Halacha just to prove a point.
Am I still stuck in a Pascal's Wager mode? Possibly. I don't think so, but sometimes we deceive ourselves.
So I'm free; thats wonderful, right? Well not exactly, because I traded freedom for a new set of burdens.
PS. I re-read this post several times and I'm just not 100% happy with it. I think it might come across as if I'm trying to beg the believers for permission to doubt and deny. Well I'm not. By definition a believer cannot grant me that.
So what do I want? I want the skeptics approval for why I do not violate Halacha and I want other frum skeptics out there to know "you are not alone". BHB