Eiron ha yakar, rav shlomot:

I have read with deep emotion your life story published in TOI as “My Exodus From the Orthodox World”. Your honesty and openness is very impressive and your writing skills are descriptive and stylish.

You have revealed more of your life than many others would have the courage to do. You must always be proud of your honesty.

Do not be disappointed with God. He is not disappointed with you. He is your constant companion in joy and in sorrow, in good times and bad times. He will never desert you, just as you have not deserted Him.

Your departure from the strictness of the Orthodox world does not make you less of a religious Jew. There is a distinction between being religious and observant.

An Orthodox Jew must be both. But those of us who do not follow Orthodox practices can be deeply religious spiritually without the trappings of formal observance.

My God is found not only in the pages of the siddur from which I recite my daily morning prayers. He is also found in the trees which whisper to me through leaves and branches. I find Him in the morning dew, in the rain drops and in the crystal-like forms of snow flakes. I find Him in the smiles of little children running in the playground. In fact, there is no place where I do not find Him.

I have written some 206 articles published in TOI and have enjoyed reading many articles written by fellow bloggers whose writing I have admired.

But very few have touched my soul to its depths as has the article which you published today. It took great courage to write under your own name and you need to be proud of your honesty and ability to be an open book.

Never despair, Eiron. Believe in yourself and in the paths you have chosen. Find true love where you can. Accept it and hope for positive retaliation.

All my life I have lived by a simple Talmudic comment: “o chevruta o mituta”…. Give me friendship or give me death. For in truth, a life without genuine friendship is not life.

I hope that you have many fine friends in your community with whom you can share feelings and emotions. You will never be alone.

I thank you again for the privilege you gave me to read your touching and heart-warming story. May Hashem continue to bless you with good health, length of days and success in all that you do to contribute to your own happiness and to the happiness of others.