The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Confessions of a Ba'al Tshuva.

This post has been floating in the back of my mind for some time now .
. . for various reasons, however, I never seemed to get around to
writing it.
A Ba'al Tshuva should not be ashamed of who he is; indeed, it is
something to be proud of -there's a story with R' Noftoli of Ropshitz
that a group of Chassidim were once comparing their yichus . . .
One of the Chassidim finally said,
"I have a greater Yichus then all of you, for I am the only one in my family that puts on tefillin . . ."
R' Noftoli agreed with the Chosid.
Being a Ba'al Tshuva is who I am. Period. I can't change who I am, nor would I want to.
That being said, however, I am not apt to advertise my background . . . indeed, I try to hide it.
I am not interested in the thoughts of others -why should someone have a label, a category, in which to file me away.
'Oh, Mottel? He's that BT.'
Perhaps it is due to my own paradoxical view of Ba'al Tshuva . . . the whole BT 'look' annoys me. The image of a person with a long beard, old messed up hat, white sneakers and a broken evri bothers me to no end.
I judge myself, therefore I judge others.
When people look at me, I don't want them to see me as A B or C . . .
Will not bringing up my connection to my past categorize me?
It merely moves me to some other group, in the minds of others.
Had I been in group B or C, I might long to be A
But that works for me.
We all want the unattainable . . . I will never be anything besides A
-so if others view me as B or C for awhile then I have both I can be
happy that I am perceived (or at least not confined to) anyone spot . . .
and let things go from there.

There is one (though there are more) ma'aleh of being a Ba'al Tshuva - I get a sick pleasure out of seeing those of Gezhe Anash break their teeth on Yiddish . . .
What will they ever do with me?
I guess it's not too late . . . I can still due Tshuva.


chanie said...

hehehe, very cute....nope, im a jew and im proud, and im a bt and im prud of that too...but i dont care who knows about it, and hey, if they categorize you because of that, thats their issue, not yours! why should it bother you?

Mottel said...

It bothers me b/c I judge myself . . . i.e. the problem is merely because I choose to let it -one of things that bothers us though we know it ought not to. It's as I said, a paradox. I'm not ashamed of who I am . . . but why should someone be able to look at me and read me like a book. Why should I give room to let some moron think poorly of me if I could avoid it.

California said...

Nice to know that someone else shares similar feelings on this topic..
It's not that I'm ashamed of BT or anything for that matter, but I cannot stand lables. Why should people put me in a box and lable me and think that I'm something that I am, and sometimes I'm not... Even if I am BT, I've now become a Chossid. I'm proud of how far I've come but then I think about how there are so many people who became BT's at later ages, do I even deserve the "lable"?