Friday, January 29, 2010

I Did This...

I made these choices. My parents will tell you it was because it was my need to be modest and cover a body I was always self conscience about, my own lack of self-esteem about myself as a person, or even my need to feel like a part of a group. I sought out Lubavitch. I connected with their dogma, and no matter where I could have been geographically, I would have always found a Chabad House. I cut myself off from the world. I don't know my reasons. I have many ideas as to why I did this but none that I can see as being a good enough reason to walk away from life.
As a young child I was always interested in religion. I love learning about other cultures and their religious perspectives.I suppose as I look back now if I had lived in a community where Buddhism was prevalent, I would have become a devout Buddhist. I have always looked at the world in a very idealist manner, often only looking at the good and refusing to see the bad. When I decided to be "Lubavitch" I only looked at the good and refused admittedly to not see the bad or even recognize the possibility that there was bad. I can now see the error in my ways.
When I think about God and religion, I have a hard time with the dogma that is often imposed upon myself and others as a way to honor God. Now we know from my other posts that I am in no way interested in honoring God at this time. However, there was a time in my life when I did want to honor him. "Lubavitch" taught me how to honor God. Or I should say how they honor God. I now realize that everyone needs to honor God in their own way. How am I honoring God if I am doing something that I do not agree with, do not understand, or that does not make me happy.
In Judaism we are each connected to God and have a part of him inside of us. Everything we do or say is directly connected to God. And it is for us to decide with God how our lives will play out. The only person we have to answer to is ourselves and the only being we have to answer to is God and he will essentially understand our choices. However, in "Lubavitch" there are more connections than just simply to God. One is expected to not only answer to God, but to the Rebbe and to the community. I respect both the Rebbe and the community but I do not feel that I have to answer to them. I no longer feel a connection to the Rebbe. I think his teachings are beautiful to read about but not to live by. And I now see the contradictions to the life I was living under the Rebbe's teachings. I also respect my community. However, I do not fit here and I certainly do not feel I should have to answer to them. This is not the shtetl and this is not a dictatorship. I have free choice and others cannot make my decisions for me, and no longer can I let that happen. I will respect my community but I will live my own life.
I have taken time to talk to many people from all walks of Judaism about the Rebbe and "Lubavitch." One of the hardest things for me to understand is Moshiach. As a "Lubavitcher," I was taught that the Rebbe would be Moshiach. However it clearly states that Moshiach will be a living person. The Rebbe is dead. Someone said to me recently that all "Lubavitchers" believe the Rebbe is Moshiach, as if you must think that or you can not be "Lubavitch." For years I had always understood that there are those that believe this and those that do not. However, while discussing this, I was told that those who are "anti," still believe the Rebbe is Moshiach, they just do not agree with all the craziness. IE sitting around the Rebbe's chair, which is empty to get Kos Shel Brocha. Guess what he is not there and cannot give it to you. Nor will he walk through 770. I was also told that while living, the Rebbe was a definite candidate to be Moshiach. However, I did not know we were holding elections for Moshiach, if that were the case, can we get this over with already. I believe that the Rebbe just like other great rabbaim was a tzaddik. However, I cannot connect with the controversy.
I was a young innocent child when I became lubavitch. I was brainwashed. I love Chasidus, but I have come to a conclusion that Chasidus is just the same as any spiritual work whether it be Buddhism or Jainism. It's a motivational teaching that has many good aspects but practically those teachings are simply a guide. NOT A LAW. No where does it say that living according to Chasidus is Halacha. I have now come to the realization that Chabad is a beautiful theology and commentary on life and Lubavitch is a cult. Yes there I said it and it may anger those who are close to me. But "Lubavitch" took me in and is now prepared to spit me out. All because I no longer fit in. The only difference is that I can walk away and still appreciate some of what I have learned. I have learned to be a good person, but "Lubavitch" is not the only way to be a good person. I can still be a good Jew and not be "Lubavitch."

1 comment:

  1. Any idology that borders the fanatical, solicites and cloisters it's members, and dictates that idiology is a cult. Having said that, it is true, that there are MANY good people, who practice Lubivitch Chassidism. It is also true, that when your family had to run, not walk away from the politics of organized religion, specifically Orthodox Judaism, in our community, for our sheer survival, we turned to those young men and women, new to the community and practicioners of Lubavitch, who warmly offered assistance in your religious education. It was, however, with the caveat, that they not preach to us, or try and convert us, but simply, do the good work of preparing you and your brother in the aspects of higher education, within the Jewish ideal, that was necessary for you to complete your training, such that you could make a value judgement about how to live your adult life. Knowing you and your prepensity for "diving in first and asking questions later," your parents knew the risk, when you felt the warmth at a Shabbos table filled with the joys of Chassidus. It was imperative, that your teachers be told, hands off, let her make her own decisions, and we will stay close at hand to guide her, pick her up when she falls, support her, and love her unconditionally. There are many other ways you could have chosen to explore yourself, religion seemed the most benign. You asked me, yesterday, when I told you the toll this took on all of us, why we did not just walk away. You were not austensibly doing anything wrong. You continued your secular education and growth. You did as we insisted, and continued to be a safe, healthy, productive member of society. Ultimately, we knew you would come home. If we forced that, however, we would have pushed you further into it and today, you would be uneducated, the mother of five children and etc. etc. etc. That you know that you CAN be a GOOD Jew, and not be lubavitch, is the most important life lesson you could have learned. Yes, you can...and we are here to continue to love you, support you, guide you, and celebrate who you are!