Thursday, February 22, 2007

If i can choose my own religion?

Last week I asked briefly in one of my posts, if I was born a catholic would I do things according to that religion. I just want to explain a little more of the way my mind works. If I grew up another religion or even unorthodox, would I “find” my jewishness on my own? Would I learn on my own that this is the correct way of living and this I the right religion, while believing all others are false. I still have plenty of questions on the religion. The only reason why im a frum jew, is the way I was raised. I was only taught to be jewish, I was never taught any other way of living. My rebbeim and parents engrave this way of life without giving me any open mind. This is a very biased approach. Im not a self hating jew or thinking of becoming not frum. But it makes me wonder if I would have figured it on my own, would I be able to believe in it by myself. Would I be ok with all of the laws Judaism entails and believe in our belief system.

If I was born a catholic and had the ministers all teach their way of living, which is what I would’ve become. I am not jewish or frum by choice, it was the only way I was taught to be, which is how many religious families are. They teach their young ones about their religion, while leaving everything else out of the equation. If we had every being brought up with out any religion, then by a certain age we have some one try and sell them their religion, and this is way their going to live for the rest of their lives. How many do you think would choose Judaism? It’s a tough question, eh.


khia said...

i have thought about this quite often and have decided that if i were raised not frum, i may have become more religious but most likely would just be a socially active tikun olamy type of yid. if i were non jewish i would most likely just be happy going to church on christmas and easter and call it a day.

i love judaism for the most part but honestly don't feel this "orthodox is the right thing" that many many frummies do.

i think they feel that way to make themselves feel better about living a lifestyle that can make you fucking miserable

tf- said...

to me the beauty of learning and the depth and endlessness of torah shows me that torah and judaism is the truth.
as a law school student i m exposed to what the non jewish world considers one of the most analytical and and deepest areas of study and in no way does it compare to a sugya in learning. never.

Lance said...

I once heard some Rabbi say that if we were given some magic lever to pull that would make us not Jewish with no repercussions, practically everyone would pull it.
That being said, I'd really miss cholent, rolling into davening at 10:30, and getting trashed on purim.

Dofan Akuma said...

Very important issue! Thanks for the post. (Hope you don't mind if I ramble on a bit.)
There are two parts to our acceptance of Hashem's Kingdom. There is the part that we can understand (which we are encouraged to expand) and there is the part we cannot understand, which we must accept on faith. [This is hinted at in Elokainu v'Elokay Avosainu, Elokainu because we have reached our own understanding and Elokay Avosainu because we accept what our fathers have taught us.]
OK, enough preaching. It follows from this that it is natural and expected to accept the religion one was brought up into. So, if you were born Catholic, it is perfectly reasonable to assume you would remain one.
To my mind it is very important to realize that we are accepting on faith to a degree. It is even more important to realize that we may have motives that are entirely impure for remaining frum. Like, it is much more convenient than repudiating your entire family, friends, tradition, etc.
If you don't realize that, and fool yourself into thinking that you only act and believe on rational proven grounds you are setting yourself up for problems that always accompany self-deception.