I am me. You are you. I can live my life. You can live yours. That would be ideal. We are humans however, and as such we cannot always contain certain feelings we may have about another persons lifestyle. This plays out interestingly. Old friend calls me up. Well actually he isnt an old friend, he’s just some guy I sorta knew and then met again by a family event. He then became instantly my “best friend” once he found out that I was no longer a good yeshiva boy. After all, SOMEONE must make me frum again. Lest that someone go to hell for lack of trying, chas v’shalom.
Anyway, this guy calls me and says he’s coming into NY lets chill. Ok so he drops by my house, we’re talking about his date he just went on with some girl from flatbush. Within maybe 5 minutes, the conversation turns to my being not religious. I can’t even recall exactly what it was about. I think the conversation was something like would I date non jewish girls, and the usual ‘would-I-speak-to-a-rabbi-if-he-can-convince-me-the-truth-of-the-Jewish-religion.’ The truth is I don’t remember if we spoke about the rabbi thing but it comes up often enough with old ‘friends’.
So here’s this person who clearly feels he will get olam haba or perhaps a good story to tell on shidduchim if he convices me to become frum again. Maybe he can even marry the Rosh Yeshiva’s daughter. Now don’t get me wrong. I have friends who speak to me about religion. Real friends shouldn’t worry about saying the wrong thing, because that’s what real friends are for. Being honest about what they think. So to all you friends reading this you know who you are and don’t start being all self conscious.
But seriously what’s with that? I recently heard a woman ask my dad if she should be in contact with someone she used to know who became not religious. She felt maybe by becoming frineds with her again she can reconnect and maybe have an influence on her direction in life. It’s funny, almost comical. The woman who became not religious will know why that woman got in contact with her. You’ve got to be a damn good actor to pull that one off. Funny how everyone thinks that they’re gonna appear out of the woodwork with an agenda in hand and become her best friend. Really??
Speaking of actors brings me to another topic. Brad Pitt. Man must be mad depressed. Was with one Jennifer Aniston. Now he’s with Angelina. From the very reliable sources like People Magazine we know his marriage is rocky. He adopted kids from all over the place. Must be he’s trying to show off. He has lots of money and we all know money brings headaches. And worst of all he’s in the profession of faking people out. After all thats what actors do, isn’t it? So yes, he’s depressed.
This argument is told by every single yeshivish person that knows who Brad Pitt is. Every single one. Without fail. Then they proceed to tell me so how do you think you are going to be happy without Judaism. Now lets understand one thing. Brad Pitt is quite a happy man. He’s doing what makes him happy. He is acting. He has worked for years to become a successful actor. Of course there may be things that disturb the peace, but that’s life.
There was a Rabbi from the last yeshiva I went to who I never had anything to do with. A relative of mine who recently joined the family is related to this rabbi. I was told he asked about me, the only guy at the wedding who didn’t have earmuff peyos. He wanted to know who I was, and upon finding out I had spent some time in the yeshiva where he worked he wanted to speak to me. He seemed full of himself and very conceited. Apparently he felt bad he hadn’t noticed a guy becoming not religious in his yeshiva. So I agreed to speak to him.
Him: You believe in god?
Him: Okay so there’s nothing to argue about.
Me: We’re here to argue??
Him: Yea you’re a brilliant debater. You can’t lose if you agree to your opponent.
Him: So what profession do you want to get into?
I tell him
Him: So that makes you happy?
Him: Maybe religion will make you happier? I have no money, a whole bunch of kids and I PROMISE yo I’m the happiest man alive.
Me: Could be, but right now I’m interested in this specific field. So right now I don’t want to force myself to pick up new interests, I’d prefer to stick with what naturally makes me happy.
Him: If I tell you I can make you into the most successful in your field overnight, but first you have to kill a nursery of babies in the hospital would you do it?
Me: Wtf? No!
Him: Well say three years after you gave up the opportunity to instantly become the most successful person in your field, you meet the mothers of the babies that you didn’t kill. Will you be happy?
Him: You’ll feel a bit wistful maybe that you could’ve been instantly successful but you’ll be very happy. Happier than you would have been had you killed the babies.
Me: Correct (as always the brilliant debater agreeing with my presumed opponent.)
Him: So your field isn’t the thing that makes you most happy, because had it been you would’ve killed the babies. So religion would make you happy. (I hadn’t been religious for some 20 odd years of my life and not loving it apparently)
Me: It’s something that would prevent happiness. Not killing babies isn’t something TO be happy about. Everybody has things that make them happy. Then there are things that prevent that happiness.
This rabbi believes religion makes him the happiest man alive. Would he kill babies to attain religion? Of course he wouldn’t. Well then religion isn’t what makes him most happy. There must be something else that makes him happier. Oh but religion won’t let him kill babies so it’s part of the religion itslef so by not killing babies he’s being religious. Convenient. And sick.