Confessions of a Neurotic Jew

2 Aug

My Baalei Teshuvah friends might already suspect this, so I’ll just get it out there: you piss me off. There, I said it. No, I’m not racist. That’s not it at all. I actually like you a lot. You just do certain things that irk me. They irk me and let me know that we’ll never truly connect. I mean, honestly, just look at yourself. Davening out loud, or quietly with that deep-kavanah look on your face. Talking about how inspiring the Rabbi’s drasha was. Spicing up Judaism with all your modern twists. Reading your long Torah print-outs on Shabbos from some BT place online. I mean, come on Shmuel/Sean, seriously?

You know, I liked you at first so I put up with the games. And I thought you’d get over it after a while. But enough is enough. Don’t you know what real Judaism is about? I mean, when you go into a non-Jewish barbershop, do the words, “Makif” and “Nikif” blare inside your head? Do you guilt-learn so you can watch a movie afterwards? Do you have no kavanah in Shul, but can’t tolerate the kid making noise behind you because of Kedushas Beis Haknesses? Do “Richtig” and “Takah” escape unbidden from your mouth when you meet your old Yeshivah friends?

Of course not. And that’s why you, a full-grown adult with a child’s wide-eyed view of Yiddishkeit will never understand me. But children are the future they say, so I guess I’ll just keep this inside till it burns a whole through my stomach.

Backstory: I wrote this a while back and showed it to a pretty chilled out BT friend who took offense. I still don’t know why -I intended it to be self-deprecating if anything- but I’m hoping that my Judaism Mashal the other day preempted this piece and took out any offensive bite it might have. (If it’s still offensive, let me know. I’m very curious about this whole thing.)

Not related: You can hit this site by going to now, without the .wordpress in the middle. I forked over the $12.


10 Responses to “Confessions of a Neurotic Jew”

  1. Anonymous August 2, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    you need therapy man

  2. guest August 2, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    you need therapy man

  3. Lirehagi August 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    It’s like eating a steak in front of a vegetarian

    As much of a joke as it is (and it’s funny), you are telling them that their newfound obsession/joy in life/meaning isn’t all that cracked up to be. You are insulting their passion, not to mention their judgement. It also makes them nervous that they’ll end up like you-cynical about Jewish stuff- but they’ve given up too much to be wrong at this point

    they also happen to follow a different judaism than FFBs. While I’ve never been to a kiruv seminar(y), I’m guessing they never mention any of the bad stuff- they are selling a product. So I’m guessing that their version is happier and less annoying. They might regard your above opinion as a perversion of Judaism.

  4. Gutman Braun August 3, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    Its really old, but just in case you’ve never seen it:

    • itchemeyer August 3, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

      Thanks. Never saw it. He’s great.

  5. gutman braun August 3, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    Yeah, it’s a classic (until he kills it with those closing remarks 😉

  6. 1000 walmart gift card youtube survey August 5, 2011 at 3:49 am #

    Do you have a Facebook page or Twitter? Would love to follow you there, I’m on my iPhone and love reading your stuff!

  7. hotshot bald cop August 29, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    Now that is some magnificent journalism.

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