by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
Responding to comments on “I am Committed”. (An article explaining how to include the spirituality of the mitzvahs will follow.)
When I wrote the article, “I Am Committed,” I did not think that I would receive the type of responses which I received. Although I received a number of positive responses, the loudest responses were extremely negative, which really surprised me.
This article followed an article posted on Mystical Paths concerning the same subject, written mostly by teens who have left Judaism. The article was called, “Why Judaism Sucks,” and it contained a number of harsh (but true) charges against the religious system. However, there was, to my knowledge, not a single harsh response to that article. After all, who is going to yell at those kids?
“I Am Committed” pointed out, from the inside (really, guys I am on the system’s side) what may very well be the exact reason why those kids (read the vast majority of Jews) want nothing to do with the yeshiva system. And instead of us getting together and addressing these problems, those responders, said, in essence, “Shut up! Burn the article! Do not talk about these things.” In other words, pretend that the problem does not exist, and let’s just keep on going the way we have been going.” But guys, you know what? You got a flat tire, and you are saying to keep on driving.
I imagine half of the Jews who read these articles are somehow involved with the system, and half are somewhat interested in coming closer to a Torah life, and hopefully, the articles will help them. At least, this certainly is the intention. But, if we do not tell those within the system to improve what is obviously wrong, it will not change. And if we tell those who are thinking about coming into the system that they can choose any yeshiva (or shul) they want, and none of these problems will be there waiting for them, then they will join one yeshiva for one week, and run away from all of them forever.
Dear fellow “religious” Jews, if we do not adjust the system, so that it will reveal at least some of the spirituality that is hidden within the Torah, if we do not teach the students how Torah and mitzvahs are truly loving and enjoyable, then we will not be able to help those many hundreds of thousands (actually millions) of Jews who are either entirely secular, or somehow loosely connected to Buddhism, Yogaism, or some “ism,” other than Judaism.
Here are a few of the negative comments:
“This post serves no constructive person (sic?). It creates divisiveness and is bad for the image of yeshivas, Please take it down.”
“I suggest you remove this piece. It only ferments evil gossip and negative press about ‘haredim.”
“This was a mistake.”
Here are a few of the positive comments that came to my home email. The first one is from a rabbi who started a yeshiva in America.
“Touchy subject, but I love what you are doing about it. I totally agree with you here.”
“Who will remind them?”
“G-d bless you. I love you. This is really speaking to me right now.”
You be the judge.