Revenge of the Myth - part V
After all, on the one hand, he has been handed a dose of old fashioned reality. On the other hand, he has laid down roots and he wants that part of frumkeit that he was striving for, the community, the egalite', the common goals of reaching G-d, by recognizing that we are all humbled before a higher source. He was willing to believe it was practical and achievable, but he finds that business is conducted in the frum community in the same way that it is conducted in the rest of the world, a world with ways that he spent years learning to reject and ridicule. He realizes that certain philosophical and theological problems have returned to haunt him. The beliefs that he is expected to promote are no longer the same as his true beliefs. In yeshiva, he was told that his common sense was just secular thinking, and if he truly trusted in G-d, he would proceed without calculations, based on mesiras nefesh and G-d would take care. And most of all, he realizes that he does not know who he can trust.
But, in our shteibel, there is also a non-kiruv FFB, call him Yitz. By non-kiruv, I mean that he has no real interest, other than a very mild acknowledgement of its theoretical value, in m'kareving Jews to Judaism. He keeps Torah and mitzvos and many chumras, just as he was taught since he was a child. Lack of secular education and disdain of the secular world has not enhanced his professional ambitions, but he has some holdings that his grandparents invested in for him, not much but something, and he is happy. He sits across from Noam, and overhears him telling someone about some of his concerns. He needs to go outside for a smoke, anything to get away from this kvetching.
He tries to concentrate on his brother's upcoming bris, when the family will all gather and celebrate together. His own son's bar mitzvah is coming up as well, and Yitz's father is already learning mishnayos, laining and helping the boy to commit his learning to memory. Yitz's mother, were she still among the living, would be beaming with pride. His sisters and nieces will take care of everything. None of them could be happier with all of the upcoming family simchas. And the SD always has some good funny story to lead off, often about his goyishe in laws. In-law stories are always the best.
He wonders why this Noam is such a downer lately. How could he not sense the joy in yiddishkeit? Our KPs forsake their own interests to m'karev guys like this, they take him into their home, when they have their own kids to deal with, their kids get a Jewish education, our KPs teach them how to connect with G-d, and here they are complaining about what they DON'T have. They come take our resources and then they are ungrateful. It is likely some personal problem, disguised as some question in frumkeit. It is well known that he and his wife often fight about money, he and his kids do not show up to some events when the entire community comes, and he shushes us during k'riah. Definitely, there is something wrong with that guy. If he doesn't like it here, who made him come? Let him go and stop whining. It is not like everyone doesn't have problems. We don't go whining about everything and blaming it on the next chair. Maybe he has some personal problem with the SD. WHO CARES! The guy was always a bit off.
He finishes his cigarette and returns to the room, avoiding eye contact with anyone.
Update: The first comment will testify to the point. It was entered by Shneur, the source of much fabulous information, on mentalblog.com.