Posted by: colloquiallyspeaking | March 7, 2011

I Am Doubt, Hear Me Roar

It was about bechira, naturally.

I was in third grade.  I asked the usual question and got called an apikorus because I said it didn’t make sense.

In fourth grade it was about nevuah in fifth grade, har sinai, in sixth, yetzer hara, and in seventh I got tired so I stopped asking with my voice.

Instead, I would roll my eyes or grunt in utter annoyance and get the same comments about my obviously heretic ways.

I was mocking the very core of our religion.  I was juvenile in my beliefs.  I was looking for a way out.  I had a lack of faith.

Ah, but they didn’t know wherein lay the real issue.

Call me what you will, I would think in that defiant inner voice of mine.  You know nothing of my beliefs.  My beliefs were formed when you refused to answer.  My distrust became apparent when you showed yourselves to me.  For I, I do not believe in YOU!

Well, I grew up, grew out and moved on.

I have a very strong belief in God, the Torah and how that translates into practical living.

But that niggling voice in my mind, that girl they called heretic, speaks up every once in a while.

She screams at me.

I DO NOT BELIEVE!

I give her all the answers and she still persists.

Take it with a grain of salt, you can’t believe him, he has faults.

I proceed with caution.  She’s not satisfied.

Can’t you hear me?  Do you even listen to me at all?

I stop.  I listen.  I hear.

I am doubt, hear me roar.

But, no one can.  No one can.

Her voice is getting smaller, and in the distance, I hear her say, I don’t believe in YOU, I don’t believe in you…

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Responses

  1. I don’t remember ever having questions in 3rd or 4th grade. But I do have them now. And I believe in Hashem and the Torah…very strongly. But I have questions. Doesn’t everyone?

  2. i think questions are an integral part of judaism – however, my issue is that i don’t believe in asking the questions to people…i lost a lot of faith in the whole teacher/student aspect of learning.
    the thing about everyone having questions – i’m sure they do, but do they voice them?

  3. something i believe very strongly is that every family needs a Rav to ask every kind of question. halachah, but also spiritual. my father never asked, he just decided for himself and i think that’s why it’s hard for me to fathom asking a Rav my questions. R’ Avigdor Miller used to have the longest lines of people waiting to ask him all sorts of thinking questions, and he would answer as much as he could to each and every one. no matter what age, take your questions, your doubt, and go to a big Rav. don’t think your questions are any less important than any other person waiting in line to see a holy big Tzaddik.

    • there is no such thing as an all encompassing rav these days. the best advice i ever got was from someone who was so disenchanted by each rav he had that showed his faulty side, that he went to the steipler to complain about the lack of a solid rav who could guide him in every way. the steipler told him there was no such thing – we have to see people as people, with all the characteristics a human has. it is within our right to go to different people for different things and we should be able to accept that someone can only give advice in what he has mastered. there is no one who has mastered it all.
      i am learning that i should have heeded that advice when it was given to me, instead of having to muddle through all the contrasting opinions that were given to me when i listened to EVERYTHING different rabbis said. i could have benefitted a bit from each of them; now i’m overloaded by all of them.

  4. I never really had doubts but I do have questions.

    And what bothers me most is that I don’t think I’d be able to answer other’s questions.

    I know that there are books out there that supposedly explain a lot of concepts that we were taught when we were younger along with unspoken rule not to ask questions. I don’t have any recommendations though. 😦

  5. I always had questions. i was the one the teachers were scared to have in class. But I did finally meet a teacher who did not have all the answers, but was unafraid to say so. And also validated my questions.

    I do, however, think that one should have one Rav to ask questions to, while knowing that if this Rav does not know the answer, he will ask HIS rav.


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