Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Ba'al T'shuvas Anonymous

What made you become ba'al tshuvas? What made you want to pack it in? Well, I'm up first, as it is my blog after all.

My name is BTA. I've been a BT for several years now. I've gone from an atheistic background to frum to right back where I started. Can a leopard change its spots?

I was drawn to observance because of my first Shabbos experiences. I liked the family closeness. I liked the absence of electronic stuff ringing and beeping and transfixing me for a whole day.

Then came the kiruv rabbis. They hastened me into observance and used what I later came to realize were old saws e.g. "naaseh vinishma." (This refers to Mount Sinai where the Jews were given the torah and said "we will do and we will hear.") This is a centerpiece in kiruv, because it is twisted to mean "do mitzvahs now, and later you will see how it all fits together perfectly." Of course, the factual distinctions should be enough for any mild sceptic to see. We're sitting in a kollel office or at a shabbaton, not mount sinai, and I'm reading an Artscroll chumash, not listening to God, so why should I say "naaseh vinishma," exactly?!

Well, I did "hear" some good. I had gone from totally secular Jew to a Jew connected with his heritage and people. It helped me toward a healthy family life. But the theology- oy! It seemed to me what Thoreau had in mind when he said: "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes." Orthodoxy puts a premium on new clothes, including new hats. Perhaps that's why kiruv professionals, or as the Godol Hador coined them "kiruv clowns" prefer to focus on young "professionals." You know, they have the clothes already. Just need a black hat and they're set!

Anyway, this is a test balloon of a blog. I want to hear from those of you out there who came to OJ and hear what you think of it so far. I hope that others will acknowledge that going from secular to "frum" requires a drastic life change, one that might in some circles be deemed neurotic. However, I think BT's are simply daring. They aren't afraid of bucking the secular social norms in pursuit of "truth." Unfortunately, there are a whole lot of questionable social norms on this side of the street, too.

Moreover, deciding to switch back, or to stop calling yourself "frum," while it could be viewed as a pathology to some as well, might just be the best way to stay sane for some.

Anyway, no decrees, rulings, or fences here. Just associate away- it's anonymous after all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I'm not a BT, my parents (baby boomers) are BT's.
My Mom and Dad became frum sometime in the early 70's, and along with many of their peers left the US to move to Israel, they never looked back.

What I'd like to point out is that their generartion was the first to feed the mega Kriuv Machines (Aish, Ohr Samech et. al.) These mega Kiruv Machines have since grown more powerful and hungry. Places like these -whcih dominate the Kiruv industry- have set the tone and pace for Kiruv.

The Kiruv Machines devour young searching Jews which are chewed up, blended, washed and bleeched and then hung out to dry. The emphaisis in places like this is changeing you clothes, getting married and dropping out of society.

11/01/2005 8:41 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

So will this blog include just you, BT, or is Hanan a part of it as well? Also - perhaps you should post your background/story... It would be a nice first post.

11/01/2005 9:06 PM  
Blogger BTA said...

Well, I'd like to actually have a gallery of profiles from my own and many others. Hanan hasn't signed on to blogging, just posting. In fact, the first post might even be him...?

I will post my story, but I'll do it later today or tomorrow. Thanks, Ezzie.

11/01/2005 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope. First posting is me..Not Hanan..
Beware: The Kiruv Machine cometh...

11/01/2005 9:22 PM  
Blogger BTA said...

Well, that clears that up.

11/01/2005 9:23 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Smart. Looking forward to hearing more!

11/01/2005 9:23 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

I've written about this blog: Good luck!


11/01/2005 10:05 PM  
Blogger respondingtojblogs said...

Welcome to the wasteland.

I was never a BT (I am an FFB), but when my crisis of faith hit, I took to blogging too (mostly to respond to other blogs, as my title would indicate).

I think that I've come to realize that the search for "truth" and religion are two irreconcilable ideas. Religion is not a search, its a presentation of conclusion.

11/01/2005 10:20 PM  
Blogger BTA said...

R2Blogs- I agree. I've concluded that religion has little to do with truth. What I am trying to figure out and I suspect a lot of the former BT's too- is that we can't go home again. We're permanently changed by having lived a frum lifestyle. There is a constellation of emotions involved. Being a "quitter." Or "am I sure I really looked under every rock?" The doubts basically stem from having an upward trajectory in life to "what do I do now?" It can be disconcerting.

For my part, I still live in a frum community. The folks here probably know I'm not too frum since I go to shul on Shabbos at most. Also, I'm married and have a family. How will I raise my kids? I learned some valuable lessons from frumkeit, I admit. But I can't stomach reform/conservative. Too wishy-washy for me.

Anyway, it's a BT thing- would you understand?

On one hand, BT's have the advantage of their families saying "thank god! he's not frum anymore!" Whereas it doesn't seem too likely on the FFB side.

11/01/2005 10:38 PM  
Blogger respondingtojblogs said...

I'm not sure if it's a BT thing at all.

I was a really good Yeshiva kid, never made any sort of trouble, got really good grades and all the rest of it. But at this point in my life I have zero faith in the system in which I was raised. The aggregation of all the little (and big) questions starts to snowball and the whole edifice comes crashing down.

But you know something, I still can't stop. There is a great pizza place around the block from me. Since my crisis kicked into high gear, I cannot articulate what is keeping me from walking in there, but I can't. The socialization you get from an FFB upbringing is similar to the pressure you feel to maintain your adopted lifestyle.

I think we face a very similar dilemna as to where you go from here. Orthodox Judaism is not something you can easily walk away from if you are a rational, stable person.

One more point that addresses the difference between a FFB and a BT going off the derech, and I guess you can tell me if this happened to you. The absolutely worse part about losing your faith is that you suddenly assume the identity of the "other." Like through out my Yeshiva years, we would hear about the "other." The secular scientist hellbent on disproving religion, the rebellious teenager who falls into drugs and promiscuous sex, and the middle-aged man who suddenly divorced his wife, left his kids and the derech. And upon hearing each horror story, you pat yourself on the back, smile at your buddies and think, "Gee, thank God I am not like them. I'll never be so evil. Suns may rise and also set, but at least I will never do that."

And after the turning point in the crisis of faith (when you realize that using religion to search for the answer is of no use, since the answer is right in front of you, but you don't want to accept it) you realize that you came to the same conclusions "they" did, and while some may have had problems, and perhaps they used faulty reasoning to get where they did, ultimately you and "they" are now in the same boat, or in what I like to dramatically refer to as the Wasteland.

11/01/2005 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aargh, this template is almost unreadable. Can you get a tech/ design consultant?

11/01/2005 11:24 PM  
Blogger respondingtojblogs said...

BTW, BTA, not to pry too much, but is your spouse on the same page as you? Frankly, that is my biggest concern, although I've come to realize that many of my friends (male and female) have either drawn the same conclusions I have, or aren't overly concerned whether or not their religion is "true," or "right."

11/01/2005 11:40 PM  
Blogger BTA said...

"Can you get a tech/ design consultant?"

lol, anon- sorry, but that would put me over budget. I will rearrange things in due time. Meanwhile try to make yourself at home.

11/02/2005 2:41 AM  
Blogger BTA said...

R2Blogs- your first paragraph just hits so hard. It is exactly why I decided not to live a lie (although, I do live a public lie to some extent still). I don't want my children to go through that. All I really wanted out of this was a stable wholesome and fulfilling family life. But there is so much more to it.

I just can't lie to my kids. If they ever "found out" how could they ever trust me? What kind of relationship would we have from there? It's not about kavod, I know they'll embarrass me or trouble me somehow as teens and the like. It's about being real.

I think the biggest disappointment for me in the frum world, is that no one is straight. Pashtus is a concept that exists but that is never employed. Everything is baruch hashem this and chas v'sholom or lo aleinu that. No one admits to questions or doubts.

I think the interesting thing about frumkeit is that the mental challenge of learning or just thinking halachically takes up all the processing power and mental energy of frum guys. At least, that seems to be the goal.

You are talking very straight here and I appreciate it. But, as you say, it's very difficult to act on your gut feelings sometimes. Take your pizza place example- OJ raises one's sensitivities to what's truly important in life. And eating that slice, "is it really soooo important?" That's the OCD-like nature of yiddishkeit. You are trained to second guess yourself about everything that you exercise independent thought about and you find it's so much easier just to fall back on solid ground of halacha, or at least halacha as everyone else does it.

To get back to my initial thought, I have to seriously think of how to handle education/chinuch. That's the biggest weight on me. In fact, that was one of the main buttons the kiruv clown rabbis here pushed on me "your kids will be ashamed of you if you don't learn. Besides, how are you going to teach them if you don't know X or Y?" I hated them for that for a long time, but I have some distance from it by now.

But, how do you feel about your father now? Should he have done differently with you? Would you have been able to function in day school if you weren't hook, line and sinker?

I really don't want to send my kids to public school or a secular private school. I don't mind them learning torah stories as parables even if they're taught it really happened. But, I noticed early on, when the frummies would have their kids read the parsha sheets at the shabbos table, that midrash, oral law, and a lot of other stuff was thoroughly integrated. I could see the cult like socialization taking place in front of my eyes and I hated it.

I hated seeing parents force kids to say brachas and wear yarmulkes and sit in shul for hours at age 8. I mean, let kids be kids!

But, perhaps you folks were more lenient. Still, how do you feel towards them now, if I am not prying, that is. (and thank you for your sensitivity re: my wife).

You would really be helping me by letting me know how you feel about the whole chinuch issue. If you prefer, you can email me.

But I'd prefer to keep this on the blog, because this is just the kind of stuff a LOT of BT guys are worried about.

As for my wife and I, I am very very fortunate. We became BT's together. She has an innate belief in god but I hastened her taking on orthodoxy. She was not happy that the thing I was a jazzed about years ago is a source of contempt for me now. I've yapped her ear off for hours. She is very patient. She is not nutty about it and secretly thinking "Hashem would want me to divorce him and marry a ben toyrah!" At least, I hope not!

Still, we have to work it out. I don't want to foist my lack of belief on her. In fact, it's not just frummies that have sexist double standards- I actually like her having yiras shamayim.

But I guess that's what makes her an ezer kenegdah. She brings me down to what's important, but she understands my reasoning.

And, this is the topic for another megilla, er- blog, but I have come to the conclusion that by far most women are never going to get as sceptical about yiddishkeit as men without prompting. They don't have yiddishekeit in their faces like we do. They don't have to daven 3x per day. They don't have to learn. Their issues are more along feminist lines if they have issues at all- why can't I work? why do I have to have kids, etc?

The rabbis probably understood that if women had to do all the stuff we did, the religion would just evaporate!

Most BT women are very fulfilled, because they essentially chose to be homemakers, realizing the rat race wasn't so hot. And the frum world is just about the only place where you can feel accepted, let alone exalted, "just" for raising children and being with them and being there for your husband. I don't blame them. If I were a woman, this would be for me, too, with modifications of course.

Also, woman get away from the catty competitiveness with other women for men's eyes. No obsessive working out and shopping for the latest styles, etc. Of course there is some of that in the frum world, but what you look like doesn't equate to who you are.

Anyway, this is getting quite long. To answer your question, my wife and I are trying to find a comfort zone. That might entail moving somewhere to avoid all the baggage. I think I see myself as keeping kosher and shabbos and holidays rather strictly. I might bend the rules from time to time when I'm out, but not with her. (don't ask don't tell). but I don't really crave a lot of treife food. I'd just like to be able to eat something convenient that I know is just a gezerah anyway. Picking and choosing 101.

But the kids- that's the big dilemma. So, help me with some insights if you can. I'll be indebted.

11/02/2005 3:19 AM  
Anonymous Hanan said...

geez B.T.A hog the blog why don't you. You always manage to talk about the things I want to talk about and the problems I'm facing first :)

11/02/2005 4:17 AM  
Blogger respondingtojblogs said...

I am extremely flattered that you think me capable of offering insight. I am in my twenties and single, so i may not be much use in that area.

As far as my upbringing, the UO have it exactly right- to remain frum, you have to adopt every insane chumra and sit in Yeshiva all day. When I was in Yeshiva, the environment simply did not allow for any deviation from the presented model of Judaism. This was the way it was and it was reinforced throught my chinuch. The one bad habit I picked up was reading anything I could get my hands on (I found a copy of Exodus in the Yeshiva library- a big no no). Although when I was in Yeshiva, this wasn't much of a problem, once you leave its environs and start to live on your own (which I did fairly early), you lose the constant reinforcement of the irrational, and it starts to slip.

You skip a Shabbos meal, sleep past minyan, and before you know it, you come to the relaization that it's not Shabbos that creates that Shabbosdik feeling, but the act of going to shul and having a family meal.

Then you pick up a book that addresses a fundamental question and realize the version spoonfed to you makes no sense on stricter scrutiny. And so on.

I guess my point in all this is that the environment (or chinuch) environment is absolutely essential, IMO, to staying religious. The separate questions are whether there is some middle ground, that GH seems to occupy, or whether it is worth going through all this nonsense to be frum.

Is stability worth reason? Are there no alternatives?

Friends of mine who have the same problemsanswer yes. While they cannt intellectually justify anything in the religion, they recognize that their own life would be upended if they were to leve the fold, so it is the superficialities that reinforced the religion in the first place, become the only the sole justifiation of it.

As far as where to send the kids to school, the consensus seems to be to send them to as liberal a Yeshiva as possible and make damn sure they know Charles Darwins contribution to science was NOT that we descended from monkeys.

The best endgame I can envision for my putative kids is that they are given the tools they need to choose their own way. For instance I, nor any of my friends, would ever discuss their lack of faith with their parents. Really, all it would do is bother them. For my kids, I would like to monitor their growth, allow them to make their choices, but always with an eye to the time when they have matured (like mid-30's) and want to ask me about the unanswerables. I would hope that they would feel comfortable with approaching me.

Anything useful here? If not, life is very long and we have some time to kick it around.

11/02/2005 4:35 AM  
Anonymous hayim said...

Good luck for the new blog.

This discussion about women is quite interesting - in my experience, it's not just that women are less skeptical than men about yiddishkeit, it goes the other way too. You have far more male BT than female - we seem to have a more adventurous intellectual nature.

11/02/2005 5:32 AM  
Blogger Cosmic X said...


The Mishnah in Berachot says, "Why did the Torah write "Shma" before "Vehaya Im Shamoa"? Because a person should first take upon himself the yoke of Heaven and afterwards the yoke of mitzvot.

Unfortunately, some of the kiruv groups are too anxious to get the person to do mitzvot. The Mishnah says a person must first accept upon himself the yoke of Heaven, i.e. he must first have a firm faith in Hashem. Once we firmly believe in the Commander we can fulfill his commandments. This is the proper way.

BTW, I'm a BT too.

11/02/2005 5:39 AM  
Blogger BTA said...

R2Blogs- I value your input because it can help me hel my kids possibly avoid some of that confusion you went through.

(Btw, it was ironic on multiple levels that you said they left "Exodus" out in the library.)

What I really long for is a movement of Ultra conservatives who don't drive on shabbos, have a 1 hour shabbos day minyan, with a 2 hour kiddush. Perhaps, read the parsha and discuss it, have an uplifting shiur from time to time.

I think I've just come up with the next topic- alternatives.

Hayim, thanks. I may probe this further soon.

Cosmic- it really is a chicken/egg dilemma, isn't it? The yoke of heaven, what does "yoke" mean if not mitzvahs? There must be some heavy lifting involved! What do you think? It couldn't mean simply "believing," since chazzal wouldn't use a word like yoke for nothing.

Hanan- please send me your guest post(s) and you're in. you're the one who got me in the mess in the first place.

Mis-nagid, S., Ezzie- suggestions, please. This is not as easy as you promised! But it is great to hear from these guys in this non-theological, non-halachic context.

11/02/2005 6:19 AM  
Anonymous The Hedyot said...

Good luck on the new blog. You might want to know that there is website called www.offthederech.com which is from the author of a book with the same title. I actually just wrote a review of it on my site.

PS - Put the comment security feature of image verification on your blog to prevent getting inundated with comment spam.

11/02/2005 8:10 AM  
Anonymous The Hedyot said...

Wow! I just read through all the comments and I have to say, this looks very promising (my other comment was just a quickie when I first found the blog). Your refreshing openness and insight (and also of the commenters) is really inspiring. Looking forward to hearing more of your perspectives and thoughts.

11/02/2005 8:34 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

BT(A) - I think the posts will come from issues that come up in the comments, as I see they are. Perhaps also you should have a couple more bloggers - BTs who remained frum (Cosmic X?), who may have gone through the same issues but come to different conclusions. But so far, it is clear that the discussion is both highly interesting and blatantly open and honest - the keys to any good blog :)

11/02/2005 12:26 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Oh, and put in a comment verification - good advice from whomever said it.

Thanks for the link!

(LOL - you can pull a DovBear and put blurbs on the right, I'm sure there's a good one in my post...)

11/02/2005 12:27 PM  
Blogger BTA said...

thanks Ezzie and Hedyot. I'm open to any guest bloggers, as you suggest. It's a good idea. I don't intend to get "blogged" down like godol, even if it were possible.

11/02/2005 1:49 PM  
Blogger Mis-nagid said...

Wow. This blog is simply amazing. I'm afraid to "touch" it lest Heisenberg rear up and change it.

11/02/2005 2:31 PM  
Blogger BTA said...

Thanks, mis-nagid, really. Kol hakavod to the blend of posters here. I might have to rename the blog "pashtus, please" because that's the thing that I find most lacking in face to face conversations with virtually all in my community. This is a forum where people can talk straight about their hopes as well as disappointments. And hopefully, a forum for all of us to come closer to our hopes.

So, what is your take on chinuch/childrearing? I don't want to get personal, so feel free to post somewhere under a different name. But I am intrigued by you, an FFB with a lot of diverse study under your belt, including torah study. What was your childhood yeshiva experience like? Did your parents foist views on you, or were they more laissez faire?

Again, not to make this all about me, but that's the input I seek from as many thoughtful folks as are willing. It will be most beneficial to others similarly situated to myself.

11/02/2005 3:59 PM  
Blogger Cosmic X said...


I think the original is "ol malchut shamayim", the yoke of the kingdom of heaven. It can't be the same as mitzvot because the mishna says "and afterwards "ol mitzvot".

11/03/2005 9:09 AM  
Blogger BTA said...

Right, so I guess that raises an interesting question: did chazzal consider belief in God a burden?

Or another take might be that they considered it a choice, which surprises me. Then again, the ox doesn't "choose" to have the yolk put on him, it just is.

11/03/2005 5:15 PM  
Anonymous willendorf said...

Hayim wrote:

"You have far more male BT than female - we seem to have a more adventurous intellectual nature."

Oh. Puh. Leeze.

You think more women don't become BTs because we have a less adventurous intellectual nature than men? Give me a big break. As a woman who was raised secular and now wanders back and forth between Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism, I have to say that from the outside, OJ looks like it could be great fun -- for a man. It seems to me that a non-FFB woman who has an intellectual interest in Judaism is wise to shun the frum world. Do I really need to surround myself with people who think it's assur for me to learn Gemara, who act like I'm a complete nonentity in shul and want to hide me behind a mechitza? Who think I need to wear long sleeves and seamed stockings all summer lest I awaken some poor bochur's yetzer hara? With men who not only refuse to shake my hand, but won't even look me in the eye? How would it be intellectually adventurous for me to choose that? Doesn't it make sense that a woman who is intellectually curious about Judaism would be more drawn to a movement that will encourage her to study and to take on any role she feels comfortable with, whether it is traditional for women or not?

Obviously, some women choose a frum life and are happy with it. But it shouldn't surprise anyone if this is unusual.

11/07/2005 6:33 PM  
Blogger BTA said...

"OJ looks like it could be great fun -- for a man."

Oh Phu-leeeze! ;) Trust me, it's no better on our side of the mehitza. IN fact it's so boring, chazzal knew we'd be distracted by anything other than the endless davening and mumbling, so they kept out the biggest distraction of all- the opposite sex.

Anyway, that is an excellent post, Willendorf. I would say however that you fine tuned Hayim's point, but did not disprove it.

What he should have said is that BT men are more inquiring than BT women for the most part. As I've said elsewhere, just look at the male OJ blogs and commentators (99%). There's no mechitza on the internet, so where are the ladies?

However, in reform and conservative, yes I'm sure you get lots of women, and most of them intellectual. In fact, I'm surprised the men stick with it, as it becomes more and more feminized. I just think men need a certain amount of "masculine" activities to stay balanced and healthy. Shul can provide some of that. Learning with a chavrusa might, although I was never much for learning, I acknowledge that a bond is formed.

OJ Women are simply not having OJ dogmas stuffed in their face other than the classic status issues you mentioned. But men have to "learn" and daven all the time and if you can't turn off your mind, you quickly become frustrated with it.

Women are free to have a private experience. True, they should have more public opportunities and if you're unmarried, then the parenting and marriage classes aren't of much use to you.

Of course, one thing is frequently left out of these discussions and that is, what is god's role in this, if any.

Do you believe in god? Do you believe the rabbis were vested with the power to legislate according to god's will? If not, you probably don't belong in an orthodox shul whatsoever.

Yet, you seem to like something about it. If you'd like to guest post about your thoughts, rather than get boxed in here, just send me your post in email form and I'll put it up. It would be very refreshing to hear from the other side of the mechitza. :)

11/07/2005 9:00 PM  
Blogger blueenclave said...

This is an interesting blog. I told my story to mis-nagid, but he deleted all the comments when he quit. Every human being needs the work of constructing meaning in life. Part of where Noach went wrong was that he wanted to go back to Gan Eden where you didn't have to think about meaning in life. Human beings have a choice whether to ascribe meaning to man or to G-d. Ascribing meaning to G-d means that it is difficult to be satisfied, but the search for meaning is worthwhile. Ascribing meaning to man makes it too easy to give up and believe in nothing or in fashion. I like thinking that I am searching for G-d in the midst of a continuous rabbinic tradition. I am skeptical about treating midrash as pshat, too. I have been trying to learn "The Midrash Says" for the past year and have difficulty finding any emet in it, because it is written to close off questions. But I have found some of what is there in Rashi, so there are levels of pshat :) And I can see where the interpretation takes off from in some cases. I came to being BT because I felt strongly that it was better to find out about my own tradition and see if there was any wisdom in it than to go with the wisdom of the nations which Christianity has distorted. I still feel that way, because I can see how much Torah I have learned and how far I have to go to be a mensch.

11/10/2005 2:10 PM  
Blogger blueenclave said...

I meant ethical wisdom. I have no reason not to believe that science has many truth claims and gets out of the dichotomy between G-d and relativism. But human beings also need to reckon with the consequences of being self-conscious and having culture.

11/10/2005 2:11 PM  
Blogger blueenclave said...

And it is better to know G-d than to rejoice in one's wisdom :)

11/10/2005 2:12 PM  
Blogger blueenclave said...

My husband has very strong belief in G-d, but I am stricter about the halacha I actually know than he is, so we make a decent pair. We could possibly migrate to a Conservative shul if we can't afford our house anymore.

11/10/2005 2:15 PM  
Blogger blueenclave said...

Also, I am aware that I.B. Singer had less than emunah pshutah, but he could see no better than the tradition in which he was raised.

11/10/2005 2:26 PM  
Blogger BTA said...

"I told my story to mis-nagid, but he deleted all the comments when he quit."

Mis-nagid, that reminds me- did you archive your blog? I'd love to see it, as I came along too late.

11/10/2005 7:44 PM  
Anonymous joshua said...

Great blog !!

11/16/2005 12:19 AM  
Blogger BTA said...

thanks! I don't keep up with it every day. I just want it "out there" for people to see. I will keep adding as often as possible, but I don't want to go nuts either. It's been helpful to me already just to do it.

11/16/2005 4:52 AM  
Blogger mushroomjew said...

BTA, Welcome!
I just found your blog from a link on jewish atheist. I am really excited to read it. You sound pretty much like me- ba'al tshuvah- got married- not ba'al tshuvah.
I am totally consumed with all this kiruv stuff. I am so angry that they sucked me in and I fell for it. Of course I was much younger (late teens) and I wanted to feel good about myself. I just hate the kirum clowns. I wish we could have some type of public debate between them and us so we could prove how silly they are. I've emailed dovid gottleib and debated rabbis but I never seem to get anywhere. They just aren't educated about the secular world, especially science. It's kind of like debating sports with my wife.
Anyway, i'm very exasperated. Why do I have such hate towards the kiruv clowns? Why can't I go on with my life? Let kirum clowns do their work, as long as they don't bother me. Sometimes I just with i could move to boise, idaho and be away from all this nonsense, but I want to keep my family.
I know i'm just rambling but your blog hit a raw nerve.
I wish there were a way for all of us rational thinkers- misnagid, you, ben avuya, jewish atheist, to do something besides blogging. I wish we could take real action and do something about it.
Unfortunatly the kiruv clowns are well-funded and do it full-time. Nebech, we skeptics must toil away at our normal careers and somehow find time to fight the frum nonsense.
Anyway good luck, and i'll be reading you regularly, right after (or maybe before) jewish atheist.
-Mushroom Jew

11/17/2005 12:10 PM  
Blogger BTA said...

Welcome- mushroom jew! you are so right- there's not enough time.

11/18/2005 1:34 PM  
Blogger Juan Valdez said...


I know I am about 2 years 2 late, but I just found this blog and identified with it right away. I became a BT in my late teens. Got married. Had a kid and now grappling with similar problems and several people on this blog:
How do I raise my kid?
I want to quit, but can't tear myself from the community. Etc. It will take me some time to read through the archives as I am starting from he beginning. It's nice to find like minded individuals.

7/08/2007 9:01 PM  

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