Thursday, November 4, 2010

I love my Wife!

My wife is the best. I just can't get over how damn lucky I am to have her. I know that changing your worldview from frumkeit is hard and can be very depressing, but for me so far I have been able to handle it pretty well because of her.

She is still frum and doesn't yet know that my view points on Yiddishkeit and religion in general have changed so drastically, but when I speak to her about more OTD type topics she is always very understanding and insightful. She always thinks her views through and never falls back into some of the nonsensical arguments I hear from many frummies.

Not only that but many times she comes home with her own complaints and criticisms of Yiddishkeit. They are honest criticisms and although she tries to see it from anothers perspective, if it is ridiculous she points it out and isn't afraid to challenge it. She is intelligent, thoughtful, determined, caring, understanding, nurturing, dedicated and extremly beautiful.

I am reminded of a time earlier in my life while I was beginning to become frum. It came to the point where I desperately wanted to be seperated from her since she wasn't Jewish at the time and wasn't really interested in an Orthodox conversion. It was very hard for us, and I didn't want to deal with the stress of it, especially knowing I was sinning by dating a non Jew. We ended up breaking up for a couple of months before we got back together again. I just keep wondering what would have happened had I met and married another girl, maybe FFB or something. I couldn't imagine what a mistake that would have been.

I was such a moron for even putting her through all of that hardship and for what really. I regret it yet it brought us closer in a way and now I am in a great relationship with her so I guess it wasn't all that bad.

I still am unsure how she would take the idea of me not believing anymore though. I am glad that we have a good relationship with her family though, and since we got back together after our seperation I have always made a point of making sure that family should come first, even above religion. I think that is mainly what has made it work for us really well.

Before we got back together she told me that she didn't want to be second in my life. She asked that she be set before my faith, before G-d. At the time I was very upset she would ask something like that from me. How could I put my love for G-d behind anything? Anyone? Isn't loving G-d the most important thing?

It took me some time, but after our seperation I realized that she really was very important to me. She gave me purpose, pushed me to be better, and most of all was there for me, was really there for me. Not only that but I wanted to be there for her. I wanted her to be happy. I wanted her to be safe. I came to the conclusion that I really would put her before G-d and my faith.

I think that it is vital to put your family before your faith. Otherwise you will end up putting them through so much negativity for the sake of something that really isn't so important. I have known of a man who went off the derech and left his wife and children, totally abandoned them, and for what? I have the same amount of disdain for that person as I would for a person who rejected their own children for being gay or going off the derech or whatever.

People should really get their priorities straight and know that there are people out there who you really should dedicate your life to, and as a plus they actually exist.


  1. Interesting post. I have been dealing with faith issues of my own. I have been posting at the Richard Dawkins site. Many of the people there, including Dawkins, have suggested that I "come out" to my family, reagrdless of the cost to them. I have made it clear to those people that no matter what my "faith" I will not destroy my family just to make a philosophical point.

  2. I can definitely see your point. It is a very delicate issue and for many atheists outside of the frum community it is kind of hard for them to understand what it is really like going OTD in the frum community.

    I wouldn't necessarily take their advice unless they were in a similar situation as you are in.

    I like Dawkins a lot, but sometimes I think he may go just a tad overboard. I beleive that he thinks there is nothing good about hiding your atheism from certain people, and I think he has a point in that the atheistic community in order to gain strength needs more people coming out of the closet. But there are always options to weigh and everyones situation is different and those different circumstances need to be taken into consideration.

    I would say take your time. It is a big life changing decision and there is no reason you should rush into anything.

    I plan on taking my time.

  3. no one,

    Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Many people do not leave their families voluntarily when they go OTD- they are forced out for just expressing their thoughts, rejected by the people who supposedly loved them, not the other way around.

  5. Ki sarita,

    Oh I agree 100%. I was just explaining one situation where this is not the case. For the most part I would say that OTDers are very good people, but there a few OTDers who I wouldn't mind giving a kick in the tuchos to.

  6. Skeptitcher and Ki sarita,

    I have personally witnessed both tragedies and am aware of many cases in each category. It is never pleasant, but the best cases always involve the family being supportive of the OTDer, and the OTDer being supportive of the continued religiosity of the others. I have been blessed with a best friend, chevrusa, and a full support network who are all wonderful and understanding. We are respectful and accepting of each other. I still cook for them (I know kashrus better than most of my friends), and they still invite me for Shabbos. You are lucky to have such a wonderful wife, and I hope she will be as supportive as my friends have been. And maybe I'll be lucky enough to one day find someone as amazing as her to share my life with.

  7. After much torment, I came out to my wife. It worked out better than in my wildest dreams. She was very understanding of what I had been going through, and after 3 or 4 years, without any pushing on my part, she came around totally to my way of thinking. All I did was expose to some of the literature I had been reading, science, philosophy, bibilical criticism, etc.

    But I must caution you, we had a very good relationship to begin with (married more than 25 years). I don't think everyone has such a good outcome. Unfortunately, it's way too late to change course in life, with married frum children and all. Your mileage may vary and good luck.

  8. "el panav ashalem lo."

    Agnostics, atheists, rejoice. You'll have your day in court. Good luck.

    How odd of God to choose the Jews.

    Those who aren't ffb have incentive to return to the womb, their milieu. For those whose beliefs are based upon group think, mindless frum people, da'as toireh etc. all should know better. To reject belief based upon biblical criticism is shoddy spirituality. We are more than the sum of our parts.

    If you leave the community, nobody will be shocked. But, offering encouragement to others to follow your example is not righteousness, reb.

  9. Anon,

    Your comment is rather confusing. I don't know why you think you know me well enough to say that no one will be shocked if I left the community. I have a feeling that many people would be shocked. Also I have no intention of leaving at this stage of my life, and it is possible I never will. Although I notice problems in the community that isn't to say that there aren't similar or additional problems outside the community.

    I don't push people to follow in my footsteps. These are my own personal opinions about my situation and what I experienced. I don't think anyone should follow in my footsteps or anyone elses for that matter, they should decide for themselves what life they wish to live, and if that means being religious then I fully support that. If it means leaving religion then I fully support that as well. Life is confusing and difficult and I am not about to tell others how they should deal with it in their own personal way.

    Also I don't reject belief based on biblical criticism. Biblical criticism seems to make sense given the circumstances but I don't hold it up as evidence against belief in the Torah's divinity/truth.

  10. What say ye then, reb, to what Rashi cites on "im bechukotai telechu: "lo lamad, lo 'asah etc." Does this pattern conform to your own?

  11. Of those seven things enumerated by Rashi I will tell you that this pattern didn't conform to my own.

    1) [First, a person] does not learn [the Torah]

    I did learn Torah and still do.

    2) then, he [subsequently] does not fulfill [the commandments]

    I did fulfill the commandments, and still do.

    3) he then despises others who do [fulfill them]

    I most definitely don't despise others who fulfill the commandments, many of my best and most trusted friends fulfill the commands, including my wife.

    4) then, he hates the Sages,

    Totally not true.

    5) prevents others from fulfilling [the commandments]

    Again, totally not true and I haven't prevented anyone from fulfilling the commandments.

    6) denies the [authenticity of the] commandments

    This is true.

    7) and [finally] denies the very omnipotence of God.

    This is also true.

    This is not the path I have taken to denying the authenticity of the Torah and of Yiddishkeit.

    The path I took was through continual study and reasoning to decide that I no longer believed in the precepts in the Torah and Yiddishkeit. I never hated Frum Jews, still don't, and I never wish to stop Frum Jews from doing mitzvahs, if anything I help promote it in my daily life. I still keep the mitzvahs and I still learn Torah daily.

    I hope that answers your question.