web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Finding Emunah

Respler-031513-Emunah

Dear Dr. Yael:

I recently concluded that I don’t believe in G-d.

One day, while davening with kavanah for yiras Shamayim, I found material flaws in my reasons for believing in G-d and Judaism. I have felt this way for pretty much my whole life, with much introspection and debate. Finally, in one instant, my entire belief system fell away.

Over the following few weeks, I remained hopeful that I could undo this break in emunah. But the more I read and learned, the more skeptical I became. Though I am open to the possibility that G-d exists and that Judaism is true, I consider both to be unlikely.

I seek your advice because with an amazing marriage and three beautiful children, my next move will impact all of us.

Right now, I am doing nothing about this. I am telling no one. I am continuing to practice a frum lifestyle. I don’t particularly mind observing halacha and definitely don’t want to lose my family. As healthy as my marriage is and as much as my wife loves me, she is probably more committed to building a bayis ne’eman than she is committed to me. Were I to divulge my secret, she would probably divorce me. And even if she couldn’t bear to divorce me, she would probably distrust and resent me – to the detriment of our family.

There are definitely negatives to this approach. I hate keeping a secret, especially one so significant, from my best friend with whom I share everything.

Also, to protect my wife from the pain of our children going off the derech, I join her in educating our children about Yiddishkeit as a definite truth and not as a possibility. However, I feel that this approach to religious education, heavily influences children through “status quo bias” and makes disbelief extremely inconvenient since it would be alienating and would hurt loved ones.

I am uneasy about prejudicing their decision-making regarding such an important topic, which may prove to be the house of cards upon which they’ve built their lives. When it comes to other major decisions, such as choosing a spouse or a career, I will encourage them to be as open-minded and investigative as possible. But I will not do so for the arguably more important decision of what to believe in and how to lead their lives.

Can you draw on your experience to help me understand the merits and risks of my decision?

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous:

You seem to be a very sensitive and caring person, able to conduct a loving marriage. It must be very difficult for you to live your life in a way that you feel is not based on the truth. While you are doing the right thing now, namely ignoring these powerful feelings in order to keep your family together, it is imperative that you speak with rabbanim who specialize in these issues.

There are many ways to explain and understand the Torah, along with many proofs that Judaism and its history are based on truths. By continuing to ignore these powerful feelings, you will begin to resent your way of living and possibly, chas v’shalom, your beautiful family. There are programs geared toward helping people strengthen their emunah and bitachon; these programs explain how the Torah is genuine. Perhaps you can join one of them or listen to shiurim that may help you in this realm.Respler-031513-Tashlich

If, for whatever reason, you are committed to keeping mitzvos and remaining a Torah-observant Jew (even if right now the reason is not due to personal emunah and bitachon), you will continue to strengthen your relationship with Hashem.

That being said, it is important for you to think about what has transpired and its effect on your relationship with Him. Further, how is your relationship with your parents? People who have difficult relationships with their parents may often struggle with their relationship with Hashem. And since you have a self-described amazing marriage with a woman committed to Torah u’mitzvos, what makes you think that your wife would divorce you if she was aware of your feelings vis-à-vis Hashem and Judaism? Is something else going on in your relationship that makes you believe that your wife – without seeking joint help – would make such a monumental life decision and divorce you?

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Finding Emunah

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS Released Map
The Ally No One Wants In War Against ISIS: The Jews
Latest Sections Stories
Calmer Times. Breslov chassidim on erev Rosh Hashanah in 2012 at the grave of Rav Nachman in Uman.

As optimistic as Menachem Rosenberg is – and he said he is going to Uman – he’s sure that this year, most of the travelers will not tour other religious sites or places in Ukraine.

Three sets of three-day Yomim Tovim can seem overwhelming – especially when we are trying to stay healthy.

Plotkin-092614

Is a missed opportunity to do a mitzvah considered a sin?

Teens-Twenties-logo

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

Not enjoying saying no, I often succumbed to requests viewing them as demands I couldn’t refuse.

His entire life was dedicated to Torah and he became a pivotal figure in the transmittal of the Oral Torah to the next generation.

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-092614

Not enjoying saying no, I often succumbed to requests viewing them as demands I couldn’t refuse.

Respler-091214

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

I recently met a wonderful woman who writes poetry. With her permission, I am sharing a poem she wrote about time.

What can we do to help him stop feeling so sad all the time?

Perhaps you can reach a compromise during this news frenzy, whereby you will feel more comfortable while he can still follow the latest events.

There could be no Jewish-themed books and, as such, the lack of knowledge these boys displayed in regards to many of the topics we read about was clear.

Upon hearing that he did, the owner sent him the atarah – all shiny and new – to be returned to me. I was reunited with my father’s precious gift.

A prominent shadchan recently articulated a dilemma she’s facing.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/finding-emunah/2013/03/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: