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Running on Jewish Time

Sunday, January 08, 2006

A Lonely Man of No Faith

[Number 4 of the Jew and the University: A series of vingettes from my college life, don't worry there will be a point to these in the end.]
I used to be Jewish.

But then one day my parents asked me if I wanted to go to temple. I said no and then went out and had a ham and cheese sandwhich.

That day was Yom Kippur.
Straddling a chair, he leans forward to make sure he's heard. Emphaszing each statement with the blade of his hand marking the table between us, as if it were drawing the space in which he must live.
I can't ignore religon, because I have no faith.
Because, you have faith. You have meaning in this world.
I don't.
There is no reason for me to get up in the morning. I just get up. There is no purpose. There is no meaning.
He is intense; gaze fixed on his hand, fixed on the space he's drawn out. Softly, slightly bewildered at this pronoucement that emerged from nowhere, I answer
Then why are we even having this disscussion?
Why was it this boy, who had walked away, deliberately, willfully, needed to explain himself.

This conversation still troubles me. I wrote a private rebutal, but never reopened the discussion. My job at college is not to be mekarev all my lost brethern, I would dare to pretend to such strength.

How did it come to this? That a boy could reject 3500 years of Judaism with a $3.50 sandwich. That a boy would think that he could.

And yet he still can't walk away from it.


  • My father tells me that I'm Jewish until the day I die because its in my blood. If I eat ham or praise JC as the Lord or HEAVEN FORBID marry a shixah. This is why I come back. That as well as the fact that I hear there is a shortage of sexy frum boys (though I don't understand this..there seems to be plenty of sexy Israeli men around nice and tan and up to their knees with X from Tel-Aviv) hence making me a wanted commidity. This is as well as the fact that I'd be breaking a Long Long Long line of Jewish men in my family that have sacraficed much for many many generations because of their faith in Hashem (which is a lot on one's head). If none of these arguments work for your friend, remind me the ultimate argument about how beautiful the Torah is (and why so).

    So if he doesn't respond well to any of these, keep in mind this whole "no reason to get up thing" sounds very depressing - tell him to read some Vonnegut, Plato, and find something he's madly in love with about life (everyone has something trust me). If all else fails (and you've tried compassionately) yell at him for paying too much for his sandwich.

    By Blogger yakki, at 12:22 AM, January 09, 2006  

  • If you spend too much time trying to ponder such things you will drive yourself mad, Masmida

    By Blogger Semgirl, at 7:38 AM, January 09, 2006  

  • Semgirl-

    I'm starting to realize that. But its getting stuffed in my face so often that I can't help but wonder if G-d's trying to get something through my head.

    By Blogger Masmida, at 9:12 AM, January 09, 2006  

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