Find The Balance

It is motzei shabbos and I’m on a train from another city in the Netherlands to my home in a little city.
I’m calling my boyfriend in London to wish him a good week and I’m glad I hear his voice after the silence.
He needs to make Havdalah and he hung up on me.

A few minutes later my mom calls me, she saw my message before Shabbos on Whatsapp but she didn’t respond to me. Is she upset I was there this Shabbos with Chabad Sluchim? I know they really love me, sometimes I do not agree with them, but they feel like family. They raised me in to Yiddishkeit as I was their daughter, sometimes guests think I’m their daughter. In that house I’m familiar. I have the same rest there as I have with my parents. Is my mom upset that I like them? Is she jealous? Doesn’t she think I love her so much? And my dad? And my grandparents? The sluchim can tell I talk a lot about my parents and my grandparents on Shabbos.

But it is not that. My mom calls me that my grandfather is in the hospital. He broke his leg. He is in his 90s and he can barely walk. He doesn’t have the balance anymore, so he fell. And now he broke his leg. And it is a very complex fracture. He gets a surgery Sunday.

I’m in shock. I don’t want to lose my grandfather, although I know I can’t have him forever. I know at some point the Creator will take him to somewhere else. I text my boyfriend ”Will you please call me?”

I don’t know what to do. I hear my mom saying what she said a year ago ”We can’t reach you when something bad happened. That is really hard for us!”

I feel guilty. I feel guilty I choose this lifestyle, but I know I can’t live a half frum life. I can’t make exceptions for my family and be like ”Ok I’m going to break Shabbos for you.” I know that.

My boyfriend says that every second something can happen and I can’t do anything about that. And it is true, I can do laundry while chas ve shalom my mom falls over her bike. I can’t do anything. I was not there if my mom would fall off her bike chas ve shalom. I can’t rescue her. I can’t rescue my grandfather. I can’t rescue anyone.

The stress is big about this issue whole motzei sabbos. How will I enter Rosh Hashana? I feel kinda obligated to break Yom Tov. I feel guilty. My boyfriend tells me it won’t work between us if I would not stand my ground. I know it and I don’t want to lose him, but I don’t want to hurt my family either and I don’t want to disappoint Hashem.
I feel I’m just a joke. I feel I can’t do anything right and that every choice I will make will disappoint my family or my boyfriend or Hashem.

Why did my boyfriend want me? He is better off with a girl who is from a heimishe family who will never break Shabbos or Yom Tov. If someone chas ve shalom died, they just would place the deceased on the ground and afterward the whole funeral will take place on a Jewish way. He doesn’t need me for what big spiritual thing I bring him. Now I just feel I’m bringing him problems he would not have dealt with if I was from an observant family and by the way, a girl needs to bring the man to a higher level, now it seems I bring him to a lower. I’m not good for him…

And why, why did I became religious? I had a good life as a non-observant Jew. I ate bacon, shrimps and everything. I never held shabbos, but I knew I was Jewish, and even while I didn’t keep anything, I was curious about that part ”You are just a quarter Jewish.” But I’m halachic Jewish… I would not have brought my parents this sorrows and problems if I was staying secular. But then, I knew the Jewish blood, the Yiddishkeit, would stop. I was the only one from my in-the-Shoah-killed great-grandparents who can give the Jewish life. Even they weren’t religious, but I feel responsible for this legacy, the Jewish legacy, and maybe that will bring struggle. And Hashem? I don’t know, I’m just some girl, how can I understand Hashem or even think or understand what He wants from me?

I need to find the balance, but I don’t know how I’m alone in this, I feel so alone in this and by knowing it feels like no one will or can understand me. I don’t want to disappoint my parents, my boyfriend or Hashem. I love them, I love them all so much. How can I be the right person for all of them?

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1 Comment

  1. Been there September 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    As a BT who pushed away her family when I became frum- it was the biggest regret of my life. I realize now that I’m older, friends, shluchim, mashpias, teachers are all temporary on your life journey. They are helping many people get religious and have their interests and attention spread out but your family are the most important people in your life that hashem chose for you!

    If you choose to be frum focus on baby steps no need to rush into. Don’t alienate or push away the people who have been there for you.

    Maybe find your balance in the MO community like I did. I once experienced all your guilt and found my balance there. I don’t think Hashem ever intended religion to get in the way of family if not honoring your parents wouldn’t be one of the most important mitzvot. Focus on middos and not so much on dissapointing everyone.


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