Thursday, March 31, 2005

Free will

I do not understand it. Some of you are saying I am a tzadekes and an inspiration when I am blogging about wishing I had an emotionally satisfying way to break this halacha and am thinking about starting to date non-Orthodox men! I do not understand that. Certainly there were times in my twenties that I almost broke the halacha with my boyfriends and would have if we would have gone out longer. If I am a tzadekes it is only because I have not had a lengthy enough relationship to have much of an opportunity to be otherwise. With some of my boyfriends, if we would have gone out a few more weeks then probably I would not have been S.N. with them anymore. The only halachic choice I have made is in dating men who were Orthodox and not getting into physical relationships too quickly. After that my story is one of happenstance not holiness.

Perhaps the other small impressive thing is just that it has taken me this long to start falling apart emotionally because of the long-term sexual deprivation. That is a point of my blog: that different people may get to the point at different times but it is understandable if eventually a single person decides they are not strong enough to keep this halacha. I do not think I am any religiously better than an otherwise Torah-committed woman who is 24, ten years younger than me, who decides with some feelings of religious guilt to make out with her boyfriend or even have sex. How can I judge her for that when I know that if she denies herself she may end up like me, fantasizing about suicide and drowning her pain in Zoloft?

Yes it is true that by succumbing she is breaking the halacha and we are obligated to keep halacha, and also she is taking different emotional risks and may also end up unhappy about it. She may also feel very guilty. But we have free will to sin or not sin. I cannot judge such a woman for taking her chance to quench her physical needs, even if it is only a temporary solution. Only God can do that and personally I think God is more merciful than some other people make Him out to be. I would encourage her to think carefully about why she is doing it, and how much does she trust the man, and to consider how she will feel if they break up and to try to do the Jewish thing instead, but if she cannot, I would not blame her or think she is any less Orthodox than me (assuming she believes that being S.N. is the halacha and that she should be following it even if it is too hard for her at that time).

If she succumbs to temptation she is taking an emotional and spiritual risk and if she does not she is taking a physiological risk. I have made my choices about which risks to take in the circumstances which I have had and do not truly regret them as much as it may seem. But I cannot blame others for choosing a different set of risks. Every Orthodox person has some halachot that are too hard for them or that they just ignore or where the emotional costs demotivate the person from keeping the halacha even though they know they should keep it. We all have different challenges. Let he who is 34 and never been kissed cast the first stone.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

personally, i'm impressed with your perseverance. there are a million different ways you could have messed up till now. you haven't.

you're writing a blog to (as I see it) try and gain some comfort over your tough situation; others might have taken a different path. Not that i would 'cast a stone' against them. that's not my place. but when you see someone succeed at something -- even if just barely and even if it's something that is expected of the person -- that is something to be impressed by.

not to mention your other convictions which you're still strong about, for example, dating orthodox and looking for a real relationship, not just to have your body used cheaply.

I think you should give yourself more credit and realize how much you've managed to whether the storms of trouble.

~~~
and yes. everyone has their own tests. and sometimes they're pretty difficult. (i'm not going to try and weigh in my issues against yours. but let's just say that each person has their own tests. and yes, everyone does not do as well as they'd like all the time.)

b,h,and Empathy.

p.s. still davening for you (and i plan to continue). I truly hope that some dates arrive soon and that you meet the right guy.

3/31/2005 08:47:00 AM  
Anonymous cloojew said...

Lulei demistafina, you are not giving yourself enough credit. One of the sharpest arrows in the devil's quiver is aimed at your self-esteem.

It is the very struggle that makes you a tzadeikes. "Sheva yipol tzaddik vekam." The reason he is a tzaddik is that he continues to get up and fight another day; and that is after falling. You have yet to fall!

The gemara tells a wonderful story about yemos hamashiach when the yeitzer hara will be destroyed and the righteous and the wicked will both burst out crying. The wicked will ask, How could we have succumbed to something so insignificant? The righteous will ask, How were we able to overcome something so powerful?

You don't have to wait for Mashiach's arrival to feel that way--both ways--sometimes.

PS Is there a way for us to keep you in mind in our tefilos without compromising your identity? Nice Jewish Girl bas Blogspot, perhaps?

3/31/2005 07:49:00 PM  
Anonymous cloojew said...

Lulei demistafina, you are not giving yourself enough credit. One of the sharpest arrows in the devil's quiver is aimed at your self-esteem.

It is the very struggle that makes you a tzadeikes. "Sheva yipol tzaddik vekam." The reason he is a tzaddik is that he continues to get up and fight another day; and that is after falling. You have yet to fall!

The gemara tells a wonderful story about yemos hamashiach when the yeitzer hara will be destroyed and the righteous and the wicked will both burst out crying. The wicked will ask, How could we have succumbed to something so insignificant? The righteous will ask, How were we able to overcome something so powerful?

You don't have to wait for Mashiach's arrival to feel that way--both ways--sometimes.

PS Is there a way for us to keep you in mind in our tefilos without compromising your identity? Nice Jewish Girl bas Blogspot, perhaps?

3/31/2005 07:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Another Nice Jewish Girl said...

When I felt that I had made various decisions in my life not-because-I-wanted-to, but because of circumstances, I was also upset when I was praised by others as a "tzadekes" or a "strong person." Like when I managed to survive a rotten childhood. Does that make me a tzadekes? I doubt it. So I sympathize with your reaction to such posts. I will not call you a tzadekes for being SN.

However, I will call you a tzadekes, or at least a Very Good Person, for being brave and open enough to start, and continue, with this blog. I enjoy reading it very much. So, thank you!

4/05/2005 02:22:00 AM  
Anonymous shaiky said...

People, you don't have to be Yosef Hatzadik to be a tzadik, you are not one of the shevatim. Do I say to myself everyday, good job Shaiky, now just go spend forty years in the desert and then maybe we will consider you to be not a rasha.

The tests you pass should boost you to continued growth.

4/07/2005 04:52:00 PM  
Anonymous just another said...

you have had a choice, and you still have choices.
the choice was to be the person you are.

You did not try re-writing the rules because you believed in them.

this is a choice.

Do you not realise that with maybe 2000+ posts on this website you have actually given a little to those people in the world who actually wish to be strong but set a deadline of maybe 22, 25, 33, 34 or even 44.

Your true struggle is between yourself.

I do not judge, perhaps check it what i wrote in june, but you may agree with me that
making a choice because we are pissed off cant make for a good decision. work out a positive plan. I may not get married. I may adopt.
If you ask ever why me G'd, well i say to you thanks for your blog. I know you believe in Hashem. You need a positive relationship withyourself. be proud of who you ARE. YOU ARE A RARE PERSON.
Make the right choice for you, that you always wanted to be.
Perhaps this is still possible.
I mean to say, who here really knows you at all.

there is a guy that is looking, i know this because there is no way Hashem would leave you out in the cold. and if you doubt this then forget all other issues and go read your diary from 10 years ago:) but look at its strengths it reminds you of. look at it in the same way that you wrote it.
- this could even just be a metaphorical diary.
- you only have to be True to yourself. This is so hard. Trust me.

9/12/2005 10:16:00 PM  

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