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A chat with a teenager about rejecting religion


Library » Mitzvot » Should I do them? | Subscribe | What is RSS?


Rabbi Shlomo Chein: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...what's on your mind?

Shani: can we talk serious a minute?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: we can try

Shani: ok. i dont want to be Frum anymore

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: ok, can you tell me why

Shani: i just think that it's a stupid idea

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: what about it, and why

Shani: its hard to explain. just the idea of shabbos [Ed. note: Shabbat] sounds so ridiculous to me it's not even funny. and i dont get the point.

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: so is it just Shabbos that is is bothering you or all of the things Hashem wants from you?

Shani: well shabbos is the main thing

Shani: i always break it. and tzniut is a stupid rule too, so i dont keep it (well shabbos either) and boys- it all sounds weird

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: ok then, let's deal with that. We don't have to throw all of Judaism into one bag and throw the whole bag away just because you don't like one thing

Shani: shabbos is a big thing

Shani: i cant not keep shabbos and do everything else. its one or the other

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: says who?

Shani: i know

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: what do you mean YOU KNOW (it happens to be wrong)

Shani: so what do you think of not being frum?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: well i think any lifestyle someone chooses, they should have a reason for it. And being that we are talking about LIFE - they should have a VERY good reason

Shani: can you tell me your very good reason for shabbos?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: well, I can try. But first we need to establish why Shabbos = all of Judaism. In other words, just because you don't like shabbos, why should you throw away the rest of judaism. I mean if you didn't like one outfit in your closet, would you throw the whole closet in the garbage

Shani: well do you think that if i keep everything ecept shabbos it will be normal?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: normal is a relative word. However I don't think it is rational to throw away a many because you don't like one

Shani: ok

Shani: i will do as you say

Shani: but one more thing

Shani: is it against Torah in any way to smoke? i'm just wondering

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: According to many, if not most, Halachic opinions, today it is!

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: In addition to that, it is a FOOLISH habit, not to mention that it is expensive - come to think of it is quite an expensive way to kill one self

Shani: true

Shani: that's kind of funny though

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: do you realize that many people your age have a hard time with religion?

Shani: not like me

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: what do you mean

Shani: u must not understand. i know some might go through a rebelious stage or whatever u want to call it. but i know i def dont want to be frum..

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: do you think you are the only girl like that?

Shani: the only one i know

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: :-)

Shani: lol

Shani: do you think i'm bad though?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: You are very smart - that was a very honest way of answering the question

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: let me tell you that i speak to a lot of girls your age who face similar issues

Shani: it's very hard though. because i am open and blunt but to certain people.....

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: let me tell you what I have found, and you tell me if it applies in any sense to you

Shani: ok sure

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.


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Posted by: ari schwartz, jerusalem, israel on Nov 12, 2006

i too used to be religous. its true if a person breaks the shabbos then they are sentenced to death, so how can u say that u chould break shabbos and still lead a normal life it is one or the other there is no middle. also why cant a person smoke on shabbos if they need a ciggaret since they cant focous on one thing, peopole get tense when they dont have a smoke, so how can they enjoy the shabbat if they are tense, and it says it is forrbiden to be tense or unhappy on shabbat.

Editor's Comment

1)See What is the Jewish view on capital punishment?

2) If one is enslaved to a cigarette to the degree that it prevents one from enjoying life without it, maybe consideration should be made to give up smoking. Also, I think this comment has nothing to do with Shabbos, it applies to airplanes and all non-smoking public areas, how can you enjoy life if you constantly require a cigarette? The command to enjoy the Shabbat primarily refers to a more restful pleasure, i.e. the ability to escape all the "necessities" of mundane life, to rest up and recharge the spirit for the upcoming week.
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Pertaining to Jewish Law.
"The Name." Out of respect, we do not explicitly mention G-d's name, unless in the course of prayer. Instead, "Hashem" is substituted.
(Yiddish) Religious.
Modesty of dress and conduct.