Sunday, December 18, 2011
The spark that broke the camels hay stack
it was a hot july afternoon. i had been preparing for this day, from the moment i started lying to myself and others about what i really want in life. how was I to know. no one ever spoke about wants and desires and aspirations, loves and feelings, just chaos, and fear, uncertainty and whether we would make our carpools. i had done the right thing the whole time, because that was the only thing i knew how to do. i knew that if i did the right thing, all would be ok, and that's all i really wanted. i wanted to be safe. i knew that if i did something wrong, like think the wrong thoughts during shmoneh esray, god, would come down from his mighty throne and kill us all out again, the way he does from time to time when he gets pissed. of course, some of that was a little hard to fathom. i wondered how exactly he calculated when he would get upset. Was there an algorithm. Was this a precise science that he had worked out? how many Jews needed to be mechalel shabbos in order for him to bring a holocaust? How many for a pogrom? how many for the ordinary steet assult? Math was never my strength, and neither was figuring out Gods mind. Not my niche. By the time i was 21 i was sick. yes, i was so sick and blind that i didn't know how far i was from the truth, as a matter of fact, i didn't put down the gemara because i thought there was anything else that was better. i was simply in so much pain that my arms, particular my left shoulder wouldn't let me. My hands shook so much. i never knew this could possibly happen to a person. What could I have done wrong? All i wanted to do was to be a devoted eved hashem. I had kept everything and beyond. I davened with such kavana that Rabbeim either commented to me themselves or sent others to let me know that I could tone it down on the kavana. I crunched my face so much when I davened that the impression could be seen for hours after. It was obvious how many hours had gone bye since my lest shmoneh esray (then it was only 18. Maybe by now they have added some). Of course, I didn't listen, "who are they to tell me how to daven?" I thought. my prayers finally came true. In the middle of July. I was a learning Rebbe at a camp. i could feel it in my body. something was wrong. Even for a person like me who was so out of touch with the mind and body, i just had to admit that something was wrong. Can this possibly be. No, of course not. I would not admit it. I just couldn't. I had invested way too much time and energy into being the talmid chacham that I was. This simply could not be true. I had struggled so hard until I had begun to grasp gemara. now that it had become easy. i was so proud. i was so happy. i was finally feeling the pride and joy and confidence which comes with reaching my dream. i had always wanted to be a leader, a Rebbe, a magid shiur, maybe even a rosh yeshiva, and in the recent years. i saw myself coming close to that realm. i had become really talented not only at learning gemara, but breaking it down, and finding interesting ways of explaining it to others. i had a deep satisfaction from these endeavors and felt, knew that my life was on the right track. There was much joy and satisfaction in this knowing. i was so far from the truth that only eight years of torture were to allow me to see a new way again...a path that may actually be my path, the one that I was destined to follow, the path into the desert, where nothing is sure, but all is fascinating.