The first time I experienced it I was shocked. We had invited a lovely family over for a Shabbat meal. We had a lively intriguing conversation at our table. The husband/father, a bearded man with long paot tucked neatly behind his ears, made it clear throughout the conversation that he seriously doubted many fundamentals of our faith. I was taken aback. I had indeed heard all of his arguments before countless times, but never from someone who looked so “frum”. I couldn’t understand why he’d bother with the charade of wearing the mask and playing the part when he didn’t “buy into” any of it. I’ve since encountered many more march out of the “I don’t believe” closet for one reason or another and learned that they hang around “passing” with the rest of us for various reasons.
Fast forward a few years later where I find myself entrenched in Facebook land where it seems not only common, but fashionable not to believe in an active G-d. I am constantly told how rational they are, and how puerile I am, for accepting this almost ridiculous notion. I have also been told I believe because I need to, as if I’m some dependent delusional woman hooked on fantasy and they are the independent enlightened ones of science and reason.
I have a news flash I’d like to share, I believe in science and my logic skills have been proven to be up to par. I don’t believe there is only one kind of intelligence or wisdom that belongs solely to the laws of science and nature. There are other forms of wisdom that exist. Some of these are ignored or cast aside as irrelevant for they do not fulfill the requirements to be scrutinized by empirical study. It is a shame that people limit the dimensions of the world to measurements and scientific calculations.
I feel sad and alone. I feel we are a dying breed. I feel deeply connected and socially rejected. I feel mocked and scorned because of my belief in G-d. When I forget myself and mention a G-d experience, I get a blank stare, an eye roll, or an attempt at a quick exit from the conversation. I’m pulled toward G-d everyday and yet as I get closer to Him it distances me intellectually from others. It’s a lonely place. A place they think I imagine. My world, my reality, mocked and scorned. I will not hide for fear of what “enlightened” man thinks. I will be as Yaakov is described, “ish tam, yoshev baohalim” a simple woman residing in my tent of perfect faith. I will remain faithful forever to G-d, for it is G-d I see wherever I look and that is a reality I cannot deny.