Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Facing the Future: Life, Judaism, & Graduation

It's been a bit busy this week, so I have yet to recap graduation [or the parts I want to]. But graduation puts you in a certain mood, so... here are a few things I've written to various people the last couple of days that you may find interesting.

In an e-mail about Holy Hyrax's post:
Life isn’t always heavy – it just is sometimes. HH got real, heartfelt responses by people who aren’t used to spewing rhetoric. It’s much more valuable that way. I think the best comment may have been the person who advised just forgetting about it all for a while – sometimes, getting away from it all lets you see it more clearly.

Good analogy: Play a game of chess. It’s much easier to see the board from the side than it is from behind your pieces, or especially if you’re one of the pieces on the board. Sometimes, looking at everything from the outside makes it that much more clear.
In a comment on Xvi's post:
The realization I came to on Sunday, sitting through my own graduation after not intending to go at all: Time to finish up and move on. No more of these games.

Your situation is far different, with more options ahead of you in some ways. But the philosophy is still the same - don't keep avoiding the future, embrace it. You don't have a choice anyway, so may as well make the most of it.

It's actually the flaw in the poem/essay. It is the unknown, it is scary. But the time has come to face it head on. The lesson from the past is that stuff happens for a reason, and we need to make the most of what comes to us. Just as we have done in the past, whether it is taking advantage of our opportunities or learning from the ones we blew, we now know better how to act in the future.

Sure it's the unknown, sure it's scary. But so was the past, until it happened.
In a comment to Holy Hyrax:
It's impossible to find the answers to everything. If we could, there wouldn't be debates on whether or not God exists, whether Judaism is the right religion, etc. There *are* holes in the Mesorah, and some are easily identifiable. Much like you, I had quick responses in my head to many of the points people were making above. And I recognize the difference in the way I (or Chardal, or Jameel, or GH...) can approach this as FFBs versus how you can as a BT. But I still think you're approaching this from the wrong direction.

I also think the best advice anyone gave here was remarkably simplistic: Take a step back for a bit.

... [sic]

In your case, I think taking a couple months off thinking about this stuff is a good idea. I also don't think the blogs are where you're going to find your answers: Not only do the blogs lack many serious experts on Torah, but a blog by nature generally debates and debates without coming to a conclusion. Afterwards, come back with a different approach - looking for that which *does* make sense, not by eliminating what does not but by evaluating what's there. Recognize that not all the answers are out there - no matter which way you approach it from. If skepticism were a religion, people would have trouble believing in it, simply because it's got so many holes.

I don't think religion is measured by how many or few holes it has. It's measured by the content of what it does have, instead.
Curious what people think... the floor (popup?) is yours.

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