In some ways, I was still so trapped in the Rabbi ring. I had not options, I was too scared to wander away from the nest. I called a Rabbi in Long Beach to ask him if I could stay for a night. He said yes. He didn't know me, I was happy that I'd have a place to stay for a night. The One was breathtaking, I had never seen such an expanse of gleaming water. Oh, how I wished that the beauty could melt away my lost heart. Somehow I imagined that such an expanse of power, beauty and glory, must have the ability to make me feel better, but no, it seemed like my heart would wait until I had the time to spend some time with it, look inside, and do things differently. I got to Santa Monica, I saw a sign for the College. I felt a feeling of hope. College, that meant I would get a new start. It also meant girls and I looked forward to that too. Now I was free.
I arrived at the Rabbi's house late at night. I knocked at the door but there was no answer. I went around back and saw that he was speaking to his wife in the dining room. I noticed that he was speaking very strongly. He seemed angry. I was shocked at how he was talking to his wife. Suddenly I had this ironic feeling of regret. I had come all these miles to have hope and peace. I had hoped to see family life in a new way. I had thought that a Rabbi in California is much more relaxed. I had hoped that things in California would be fresh and different. Instead, I was stuck for tonight with a man who spoke harshly to his wife. 'This is crazy', I thought 'I just want to be somewhere, where people talk nicely to each other'. Finally, somehow, I got into the house and got to bed. I was awoken at 6:00 AM for davening. I was so appalled. I hated davening so much, I was hoping that this Rabbi would have a little bit of consideration for the fact that I really didn't care about davening and on top of that I was tired from my trip. 'Why can't he just let me be?' I thought. This was the price I payed for putting my lodging in the hands of a man. The good side was that at the davening, I met someone who was going to become a great friend and blessing over the next couple of years, Shachar. He had long curly hair like Tarzan, and wore a cap, (which he made) that said Frum but Funky. He really was quite cool, playful and fun and he let me stay in his house for a couple of days and I got to know him. He really had an extraordinarily fun and exciting relationship with his Judaism. I spent the next couple years of our relationship in awe, wonderment, and bewilderment as to how he was able to have so much fun and laughter in his devotedness to being a Jew while I had only, fear, anxiety and terror in mine. How can these two exist. I hated my Judaism and wanted to do anything I could to eradicate it from my mind and body. I wished I could destroy the existence of the Jew in me. At the same time, I did have some pleasurable memories and associations with being a Jew and really, all I wanted, was for the bad associations to go away. As long as Shachar existed, I would have to constantly ask mysel the question. What's wrong with me? What happened to me? Why am I so angry at and scared of being a Jew? The answers for these questions were not far away. I knew that we Jews had sinned. We had been exiled and tortured because we were bad. I knew that this was our destiny. I Knew that, that's all I could hope for. I knew that the burden of being a Jew were harsh. There were many commandments that had to be done right. I knew that death could come at any time and I needed to be ready. I knew that there was nothing else I was taking with me to the next world other than Torah and Mitzvos. I also knew that it was virtually impossible to do them right. I knew that for a person to merit Olam Haba, he had to believe and I was not a believer. I knew that in order to merit the most lofty hights of tzidkus, a person needed to do mitzvos lishmah. I knew that I had tried so hard to do all these things and I had failed. I knew that I wanted girls and I was on the way to Hell. I just had the feeling from the greatness of my desires that there was no way that I'd be able to hold back for long. I had to do it, there was just no question. There was no way in hell that I was getting married, or waiting for sex until I got married because both of those would be hell and I'd had enough hell so far that now I was hoping to get some pleasure. Yes, what I really want is just a little bit of pleasure. Is that OK?