Tuesday, January 7, 2014
The holy in the daily
The degree to which my life orbits religion is mind-blowing. Take for example: I had a religious existential conversation over pizza bagels with my sister, a boy from Hillel asked if I would lead a learning session because "you could draw a lot of people," I had to consult the grocery mashgiach because the Milk Chocolate Dunkin Hines Brownies were labeled OU pareve, and my niece asked me what a soul is.
While each event occurred independently, these events each led me closer to a most worrisome conclusion: how little I really know about the very thing that has been the rock, center, essence of my life--my religion.
At the end of the day I exist just as a bagel, sauce, and cheese do. At the end of the day I'm just a nineteen year old kid with one-hour's worth of ancient scripture modge-podgery. Whom am I going to "draw."
At the end of the day we are measured on the "frum scale by whether we have the OU on speed dial and if we wait into the eleventh hour between meat and dairy. At the end of the day I tell my niece it's the spark G-d gave her that makes her unique from every other person; She's that spark that tells me I'm not "playing house correctly" and informs me that the lion I am coloring, is a mammal that lives in the Savannah.
According to Wikipedia (rule number 1:always got to cite your sources), "Orthos" is Greek for "straight" and "doxa" means "belief." Noone has "straight belief," and if one says he does, he's lying through his teeth. I think someone is truely Orthodox only when he has questions and is brave enough to seek answers. Only those who seek to deepen their faith not through being a complacent follower and mindless automaton, but through introspection and personal prayer, is looking for spirituality.
Prayer is supposed to be difficult. Sometimes it comes naturally, sometimes, it doesn't.
When all else fails.. I like to eat some self-confused brownies.
The Orthodox Paradox