Sunday, November 15, 2009
I finally made it to Palo Alto. I called Rina from a pay phone. I was glad to know anybody. My father knew her from a long time ago. I needed a compassionate heart and it sounded like she would understand. She cared and she seemed to understand that I was exhausted and that I had so much to learn and that I was scared. It was nice to spend time in her home. She was not orthodox, so for the Shabbat that I stayed in Palo Alto, I went to the Orthodox Rabbi. In retrospect, I find it strange that I didn't spend Shabbat with them. I just wasn't ready to be with people who were not orthodox. I needed to break in slowly. She gave me a red small Yarmulka, it was hand made and this would be one step towards my establishing my new identity. I was confused. Wearing a small yarmulka seemed rediculous. I hated my Judaism thoroughly. I didnt want a small yarmulka, I wanted no yarmulka. Then I wondered why? Why did I hate it so much. Why couldn't I just be a Jew who didn't like it but didn't hate it? Why couldn't I be like so many Jews who just didn't practice so much, or didn't practice at all, but had an appreciationd for their herritage. What had happened to me? How could it be, that up until recently, I had been studying the Torah so devotedly and it was my most favorite endeavor and now, I can't stand to even think about it? What has gone wrong and will things ever make sense? I had no words for this kind of pain and I had never heard of this phenomenon happening. The only logical conclusion I was able to entertain was one of utter failure. I have tried, I have given this endeavor, my very best and somehow, it has flopped, it has not worked. I have been left with no love, nothing that I can do, fear, confusion and a whole lot of unanswered questions. On top of that I was 25. In my mental books, I should have been married a couple years back. I didn't understand why my life was different than that of my friends. I rarely heard of a bachur not being married by age 25 and the only ones I heard about where strange, usually there was something wrong with them. I knew that I couldn't possibly be one of them, or at least I refused to believe that I could possibly be an exception to the rule. I had tried so hard to be normal, to be hidden and conform, I knew that, no matter what was the matter, it could not possibly be that I was going to be an exception to the rule. I couldn't let myself be seen. I knew that whatever was the matter, I would do anything I could to be normal and stay within acceptable forms of behavior. There was only a certain amount of change that I could afford, and I surely could not afford to look or be different than anyone else. I needed to be safe.