20 February 2007


Jewish Philosopher asks me:

If Judaism is such crap and being a goy is so wonderful, what is everyone afraid of? So leave the Jewish community and start a new life in the wonderful American society.

On one hand it's a good question, but on the other hand it displays in the questioner a short-sighted selfishness.

I'll address this from three perspectives. (I'm sure other Frum Hidden Skeptics have good reasons besides the ones stated below.)

A)"Judaism is crap" - Who said that? "Being a goy is wonderful". Who said that? (Though I wouldn't mind spending 99 cents on a burger instead of 5 bucks.)

On the contrary Judaism has great utility. It gives the community a strong sense of purpose and promotes a decent society. Of course, it only evolved that way. It could have been very different. It could have gone the way of violent fanaticism. See Shimon Ben Shotach and the witches. (And look at the violence between rival factions of Chassidim) But right now, Frum society is pretty good. Being a Jew is not so bad. I find no compelling reason to chuck it all.

So why should I leave?

Am I a parasite? No, on many counts. Yes, I do benefit from my friends and family. But it's a two way street. I actively participate in several ways, one of which must be unnamed. I donate to communal organizations and I'm a vibrant, active, even enthusiastic, participating member of my Shul.

B)Even if some people do feel that "Judaism is Crap", people don't want to leave for fear of hurting their loved ones.

Is that really so crazy?

You can't seem to fathom that there are individuals who don't want to hurt the people around them and are willing to undergo living in a constricted environment.

So why should I leave?

Am I a coward?

Maybe. But, there's more to life than following your own impulses. In this regard, I know I may be different that others before me that have left the path. Everyone has their own threshold. In a moment of weakness, I revealed my secret to my wife. But I only did that because I knew we'd survive. Yet things could have been different. Had I been younger and my frum lifestyle not been so ingrained, I very well may have made a differnt choice. So I won't judge other people. But for me, chucking it all would devastate the people that matter the most to me.

C) My own self interest. I like my friends, social life and am somewhat comfortable in the OJ cocoon. I have been acclimated to like a good Dvar Torah. I have been acclimated to like a shiur. I have been acclimated to like going to shul (I just don't like the davening). I like my family, wife & kids, etc.

So why should I leave?

Am I a hypocrite?

Then so be it. It is not I that created this crazy society where people are afraid to voice their opinion even to their own parents and children. In this sense, Judaism and the community is getting it's payback. It faked me out for it's own survival and I'm just returning the favor.

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