Monday, November 9, 2009

Summer of Change

That summer would be one that I could never forget. Changes arrived and were forced upon me that I could never have imagined happening in my wildest dreams. Until that summer, I knew that my future lay in being a Rosh Yeshiva of Magid Shiur. I knew that I liked teaching. I knew that I had struggled to know how to learn. All my friends were bnei torah and I never intended or even conceived of doing anything else with my life other than learn Torah. This is what I knew how to do, this is what I liked to do and this was the only thing that I felt was right to do. Although during pesach zman, I had been feeling stress around learning, I must have convinced myself that it was a passing faze and that with a good summer break, I would be ready for the next zman. Summer break? I became a learning Rebbe in a Sleep away camp. I was so frustrated. Technically, I enjoy teaching but I was having so much trouble preparing for my classes. We were learning mishnayos brachos. Nervous feelings were flying through my body like electricity. I was barely holding it together. I noticed other learning Rabbeim and how easily they handled their responsibilities. I wondered what was wrong. Why can't I just be like everyone else? What can I do? I had a seder. I had a commitment to learn one halacha of Shulchan Aruch every day. I had begun to feel that I was losing my grip on my rigorous self imposed learning regimen and this was my last hope. I had committed to myself that no matter what would happen, I would learn my one halacha every day. Somehow, someday, I would finish Shulchan Aruch. As you can imagine, the terrifying day came when even that one halacha was too much. I knew something was wrong. No of course, I could not possibly know at that time that something had been wrong for as long as I knew that I was me, never the less, the wheel was beginning to turn against me. My will power was only able to do so much. I was only able to hide so much from all the things that I wanted to do and all the feelings that I wanted to feel . It was time. Yes it was time to grow, it was time to become, it was time to feel but by now, I had so much extra disappointment and disillusionment piled onto my original anger and fear that it would take so much longer to get reaquainted with that man, boy, child hiding inside. Many tears would need to b shed and honesties spoken before I would begin to feel some of what it could have been like to be a kid, a child and adolescent.