Shavuah Tov

I don’t like the phrase “shavuah tov”.

I’ve not used it in so long that I’m not entirely sure if I even spelled it correctly. Yiddish has always seemed more authentic to me, more in tune with my beliefs and lifestyle. But as I learn more and more Hebrew phrases, and hear them spoken by those around me, I begin to realise that my choice of words reflects where I’m going.

Am I becoming more liberal?

Decidedly not. And yet I do feel I’m becoming less conservative. A paradox if there ever was one. But it’s not at all pretty. I’m lost. Wherever I go, I feel alone, a stranger, as if I don’t fit in. Within the reform community, I feel angry at the sermons, at the lack of mesorah. And those around me shun me, too.

But what of orthodoxy?

Does it no longer suit me? I’m not sure. Was it ever about me? Wasn’t it about my Creator? I want to say yes, I think so. But it was me. Once upon a time it was the light in my life and now it feels cold, wrong, unhappy. Perhaps it’s the season. Perhaps I’m genuinely not wanted. I spent years trying to fit into the frum community. And now I’m not sure if I want to.

So am I not Chabad anymore?

A better question, was I ever? In my eyes, yes. In Chabad’s eyes, no. The Kiruv professionals, the FFB chabadniks- they laughed when I called myself chabad. They humoured me. But I was never one of them. And it’s sad because I loved Chabad so much. I don’t think I ever looked up to anyone the way I looked up to my rav. The way I still look up to my rav.

So maybe there’s hope.


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