Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thanks for the invitation.
I would love to come for a visit now. I'm dying to see you.
I know you're waiting, and you've set aside this time for us.
But... I am just so embarrassed.
Last time, I enjoyed being with you so much that I thought I'd never be able to peel away. But since our appointment was ending, we at least made up certain arrangements to keep in touch.
Besides for that, I thought up a whole bunch of things I could do in between to make you happy.
That way, at least we'd have something to talk about next time we could really get together.
But now, as I'm already running late in getting ready for our upcoming meeting, I have no idea how I am going to face you.
Because, I'm ashamed to say, I didn't do a very good job on those things.
I mean, I did think of you... pretty often.
I just didn't act on it very much.
And sometimes, even when I did do something, it... got messed up.
So I'd feel kind of silly giving you that... y'know?
And I'm sorry I wasn't home when you called. I kind of, well, things got busy and... I'm sorry. I guess I should have called back. I mean, I know, but... whatever.

But G-d, do you know what I am going to do?
Since I really, honestly, do want to be close to You,
I am going to make a pretty hard sacrifice.
I am swallowing my pride
and dealing with the embarrassment;
accepting the searing pain of shame
and coming before You
and empty-handed.
Here I am.
Please let me in despite the past.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Disclaimer: Some of you may be what-iffing, but-maybeing, and who-sayzing when reading this post. Please note that this and the below post were written following an actual conversation with a specific person and they are based on my knowledge of her character.
"I'm not what you would call frum," she said.
I didn't answer.

What would I call "frum?" Am I frum?
Am I frum because I dress similarly to many people in Boro Park?
Would I still be frum if I were in Meah Shearim?

If you'd believe me, I'd tell you that as I see it, we're very similar.
But you'd think I'm insincere.
You are absolutely, positively certain that I am judging you.
Yes, so judgemental, her type.

The reality is simply that we both have our strengths and weaknesses.
I was raised with some mitzvot that are now automatic, and there are some I have yet to learn.
Some midot come naturally to me, while others remain a constant battle.
I aim to do good, yet there are constant failures.
I make mistakes.
I'm still growing.
I believe you can say the same.
So who can call one of us "frummer" than the other?

How do you define "frum?" Please comment here. Muse continued below.


Continued from next (above) post.
Some of your strengths are my weaknesses.
Are you calling me frum because I have something you lack?
Well, you have several essentials that I lack. [trust me -ed.]
(and probably more that I don't know about)

That's part of the beauty of being part of Am Yisrael:
If we can truly be as one, we can help make each other whole.

(I need to check my source for the following -- I have it written down at home)
Suppose there is a Jew who wants very much to do the mitzva of hosting guests, but he lacks the means, while another Jew is wealthy enough to host many guests, but he does it grudgingly. Who should get more credit? Neither mitzva is complete.

The Jewish nation is called Adam, a word meaning "man" that has no plural form in the Hebrew language. The connotation is that we are one -- one person with one soul.

Just as a person has both a body and soul, each mitzva has two corresponding components. If one Jew fulfills the "soul" of the mitzva, that is, the pure intentions and desire, and another provides the "body," they combine to form a complete, wholehearted mitzva. (Think of eye-hand coordination -- you may do things with different parts of your body, but it is the same person doing it)

Yes, you really are my soul-sister, and I am not complete without you.
Perhaps it is true that I perform more mitzvot than you, but how many of those are rote, or insincere! Perhaps you quest for Truth, your striving to become closer to HaShem, is the shining flame of our common soul.

Now, do you really think I could possibly write you off as "not frum enough"?!