Free Advice

Recently, I was in Israel visiting friends of mine. Some of these friends I haven’t seen since May, and others I haven’t seen since LAST May (i.e. Over a year and a half ago.). Obviously, everyone had their piece to say about me after seeing how much I “changed” from Bais Yaakov High School, to Darchei Binah, and now University of Maryland.

The following comments were each said by different people, at different times:

* “You should speak to Rabbis about your classes” (she was referring to my Judaic Studies classes)

* “You should read more mussar sforim

* “You should speak with ______, she’s an EXCELLENT psychologist

*”How’s your emunas chachamim?” (This was asked by a teacher that I was pretty close to last year, and I wrote a paper in which the conclusion of the paper was that emunas chachamim is a concept made up by the rabbis in order for them to maintain their authority, and today’s version of emunas chachamim is actually the opposite of what God intended when He wrote “lo tasur min haDavar yamin u’smol.” I couldn’t actually hand in that paper to the head of the school, who was grading them, but this particular teacher was the one who helped me edit it, and told me what I could hand in and what I couldn’t. Maybe I’ll post that original paper one of these days.)

*After telling a friend who stayed shana bet that I’m not sure I want to make aaliyah anymore, she said “OH no. That’s it. America is too dangerous. I’m filling out the Nefesh B’Nefesh papers tomorrow. I wasn’t sure if I should do it this year or next, but this just proves that I need to do it NOW!”

I wanted to scream at them “I’M FINE. Really. Don’t worry-I’m not planning on going off the derech anytime soon.” It’s weird, because they all know me pretty well. All I could think of on the plane home was “Are they right?”

UPDATED TO ADD: A friend wanted to set me up with a guy who is theologically Conservative. I am truly baffled by this.

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2 comments on “Free Advice

  1. tmeishar says:

    Bev, You’re not going “off the derech,” however, I do think you should educate yourself a bit more before adopting such radical positions on so many things. This is ME telling you this… I find that you often make comments about how people say that so and so teacher is very controversial and you roll your eyes and say it’s fine. -TMP.S. I was doing a search and one of your posts from your old blog came up and it made me really sad because you were talking about me and our relationship.

  2. beverly says:

    I do think it’s fine. Nothing that I’ve heard yet in any of my Jewish Studies classes is kefirah, except once when he was explaining the different theories of how man got the torah (one author, many authors, or God). He didn’t automatically rule out God, he just said that there are other views that are popular with historians. I don’t think that’s a reason not to take the class, or not to stay in the major. I know that it’s coming from a secular point of view, and I’m OK with that. Plus, the fact that it comes from a secular point of view is refreshing and inspiring sometimes (i.e. showing us artifacts that support the claims of miracles in Torah.)I’m in the process of writing you an email about my old blog and that post. I don’t really want to get into it in public.

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