Sunday, May 24, 2009

Allein Allein

Alone is when you sit at a special gathering, a simche, amongst family and friends, but you are not one of them. You sit at the table with your friends, some even childhood friends with whom no secrets were hidden, no holds barred but now, with nothing to share anymore. Nothing to talk about. You end up listening to the repetitive heroics of shomrim and or hatzolah turning into quotes from this week's Limbaugh drivels chanted in unison only to wish you are truly allein.

Alone is when you sit in shul, passing time while the baal koreh reads and the gabbai pleads for silence. You sit with your friends, but you prefer to read Talmudic passages or Chasidic exegesis over joining the hushed conversation about the latest police chase or the season finale of 24.

Being alone is when you sit at the Shabbos table, test the kids on what they learned in school and you realize that the ones closest and dearest to you share absolutely nothing with what you truly believe in. They don't know you, they won't recognize the true you. Chances are that you may even die alone. Alone with these heretical thoughts.

Alone is something you can achieve with a minyan, a quorum of 10 or more. You are in a group, you fulfill their obligatory need, you pray with them, you are part of them, but you are alone. Only you look around with the same thought scurrying your mind “will they ever know better?”. Only you say the words and think about what they mean, how meaningless they really are. Allein.

Alone is also when you sneak out to be amongst the only people that get you. Former Hasidim, and the very few others who know enough to understand you, but there again you stick out. You are the only one that hasn't shed the garb. You wear the bekishe, Saturday night because changing it is a bigger bother than walking down the streets of Manhattan with it. You are alone because you look so.

Alone is a state achievable even amongst people who speak like you, act like you, and even think like you. Alone is not always a bad place to be in. It's the other times when I'd rather not be allein.


  1. shmoite fune5/24/2009 1:16 AM

    a yid iz keinmol nisht aleins!!!

  2. I strongly identify with this loneliness. i just have nothing in common with most of the people around me. I hate going to simchus, or even just to hang out out with them.

    In my circles it's either about the latest politics, or how the Yankees did last night. The things that are on my mind may never be uttered. This week in shul i just mentioned some news items (sorry i can't get too specific), that relate to topics that can relate to kefira. U should have heard the reaction of the guys on my table! It was just ridiculous.

    Thank god (i mean google) for blogs, and for the few friends that we can actually talk to.

  3. The lonely man of faith. All people with an idea are essentially alone.

  4. >Allein Allein

    Leideh, Leideh.

    >The lonely man of faith. All people with an idea are essentially alone.

    Here's my version of the lonely man.

  5. Absolute perfection, בבחינת וַיִּשָּׂא מְשָׁלוֹ, וַיֹּאמַר:

  6. I am a christian heretic.

    It is the same in my world.

  7. so leave! How many years do you have left in your life, 40? 50? 60? Are you going to waste all of them living some fake double life? There are people out there you can be friends with, you can be spending your time with, people who think like you and have things in common with you. Or you can spend the rest of your life feeling alone surrounded by people who are not like you at all.

    I don't understand why you are choosing to do that...for your kids? your wife? Kids eventually move out, and you don't know what your wife is thinking... you deserve to be happy, I hope you can make some plan that ultimately leads to your happiness, if not immediately then at least sometime soon.

  8. Allein, Allein

  9. gevezener illuy5/24/2009 12:07 PM

    ויהיה מקום מלא בני אדם בעיניך כלא מלא,
    והריק מהם כלא ריק,
    לא תשומם [=תשתעמם] בהיפקדם ולא תדאג בהעדרם,
    חובת הלבבות שער אהבת ה'
    פרק ג

  10. That Chovos Halevovos sentiment is what the holy snobs use.

  11. Awwww...
    Alein zul zein a shtein...

    - S.T.

  12. Abandoning Eden,

    You don't have children. I respectfully request that you don't make such flippant comments about leaving your children.

    Parents give up alot, meaning their own happiness, to remain close to their kids.

    Mother of Four
    Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel

  13. I agree in principle with Abondoing Eden. You should seriously consider leaving your community if indeed you don't get any soical satisfaction from them. It's not like you're mostly through with your life. 30-something is young these days. Some folks only get married at that age.

    You should sit down with your family and kids and come out of the closet and say "mi lashem elay". If your wife doesn't want to leave with you, then you divorce her and move on. It is also possible --if you still have custody of your kids-- to take them out of cheder, explain to them that it was all phony until now and put them in a public school. It won't be as much a shock to them as you think. If my parents had done that to me when I was in elementary school, I would have been most appreciative.

  14. A Pusheter Yid,
    That's what got me to hear of this group in the first place. The song just keeps ringing in my ears.

    AE and JaJo,
    While a great part of it is the kids, it isn't just that. Ultimately, and I don't see how anyone can disagree, the only time one leaves is when he thinks life now is unbearable. So far it hasn't happened to me – so no reasoning will work. Of course, had I been attached I would think that to live like this vs. the opportunities on the outside is unbearable, but I do have responsibilities, responsibilities that come with their share of nachas too. Projecting your lives on someone else's isn't always logical – I may not feel the you would, our situations may be different enough to merit different responses, and so on. I'm not criticizing, just clarifying – I hope this is how I sound too.

    And JaJo, I have never given my age here. Don't speculate. :)

  15. > the only time one leaves is when he thinks life now is unbearable.

    I don't think that is true of the few who leave as a family unit.

  16. My heart aches as I read this. I think not only of alone, but of trapped with no foreseeable way out.


  17. gevezener illuy5/24/2009 11:06 PM

    Pen Tivokesh,

    Did i detect a note of jealousy?


    Maybe the superior aryan race didnt have feelings for their families; but we avarage human beings do love our children and sacrifice our lives for them.

  18. PT,
    Is the intermediate family unit everything? What's with parents siblings and friends collected since childhood, don't they count? It makes it easier, no doubt, but it ain't painless. Some might decided that it isn't worth it.

    I appropriate your sympathy, but here's a good time to say what I want to say after every post not dripping with joy: These moments come and go quickly. A fleeting though while on the computer with some time on hand will generate a post that might not really reflect what I think about during the day. Moreover, writing it down and sometimes posting it puts it in perspective where it may not be of a bother any longer. I'm just saying it ain't THAT bad.

    Ohhhh, that's harsh. Look, I had my reservations about that post too, and I posted it and told it to JaJo in person – hey, I love a good argument just as the next guy.

  19. Allein.

    ha, how about ALIEN???



  20. >What's with parents siblings and friends collected since childhood, don't they count? It makes it easier, no doubt, but it ain't painless. Some might decided that it isn't worth it. I am not saying painless, what I am saying is that it is a price well worth paying, for giving our own children a decent chance through education and choice.
    So life now, here, although perhaps tolerable, it is not what we should be doing as responsible parents.

    BTW this is one catchy tune, one of those that stay in your head for a few days.

  21. gevezener illuy, not at all, I just got a flashback of my yeshiva days. Sorry, great tzishtel.

  22. Gevezener Illuy5/25/2009 9:06 AM

    Pen Tivokesh,

    I meant jealousy at the holy snobs serenity.

  23. Dear Streimel, think about God instead of your penis and you'll be less alone.

    Thank you.

  24. Dear Philosopher, oddly enough, YOU seem to think of Shtreimel's penis even more than he does. What gives?

  25. NJNP became a one trick pony. his silly rants are completely irrelevant.

  26. Poor you . Living a life of misery

  27. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  28. You see, I feel alone because I am alone.
    But to be honest: your alone is worse.
    I experienced it also.
    The other way round.

  29. gevezener illuy, of that wise man who has actually achieved that level of serenity, I would have but utmost respect and admiration. Sadly, he may never have existed.

  30. I have been quietly reading Jewish Philosopher's comments on the many many blogs he feels the need to comment on across the world wide web.

    Now, I am no therapist, but I feel I can confidently say that this man has major major issues...

    I feel for his poor innocent children.

    get help.



  31. Anon & So,
    I hate to be repetitive here but there are far worse situations in this very world at this very moment. Being alone has it's merits too.

  32. Its hurt me to see you write like this. When was back in my day i was a nonconformist, due to me not believing that the rebbe is G-d. I actually believed that there hass got to be somthing different.
    I will not go into details, but!!! i will say that it got to point where i was not sure of myself and what direction in life to take.
    By the time i was twenty i had it all figuered out. I am a jew and a very proud one. Yes i live in an area where there is alot of pressure to look, feel and express in a certain way.
    I dont.
    And when it comes to Simchas etc... I found some like minded people and we actually have a grand time.
    I once read this quote. "Big people talk about ideas. Regular people talk about things. Little people talk about people".
    Guess what we talk about ideas".
    I took this quote and ran with it. I found other big people to talk to. So can you.
    Its gotten to point where i will even to talk to people whos believe is diametrically oppisite as to my belief system, but ideas are ideas.

  33. If it's any consolation, I get you.
    Nisht ahein, nisht aher.

    Jonas H.

  34. Of course Streimel is lonely. He's a self centered ass hole.

  35. We all experience the same feelings in various forms. It's the result of choosing to remain living in their world. THEY are so consumed with the minutia. I can just hear the quips after I have left the room. My Uncle Tzvi is probably saying " I don't think he's wearng tztizis" & cousin Shmuley is saying " he's carrying his keys". They seem to think that they have the exclusive rights to authentic Judaism.

  36. Jewish Philosopher, I don't know shtreimel, therefore I can't know if what you say is true or not.. However, I watched the clips of your kids and as a mom I have to tell you that when your daughter is screaming and all you do is film your stupid clip - you're a self-centered asshole. (thats one word by the way). Take care of your children, dude!!


  37. ST,
    I love deleting NJNPs comment and leaving it for everyone to see that it was erased. But often I love it even more to leave the comment un-moderated for everyone to see how far a goy can get after a snip and a dip.

  38. Oh, Shtreimel, deutsche Popmusik? What is becoming out of this world? :)

  39. Ich bin auch allein, sometimes, both at a festival of neohippies, as well as if I were to go to shul. Even at Chulent, sometimes I feel allein. But that's okay. There's someplace in between. One day, I will meet more people who go there.

  40. your blog only makes yidden into goyim!


  41. Allen,
    Why would that trouble me?

  42. Really Allien (all of you know me)6/01/2009 10:07 AM

    I need help desperatly! Somebody is blackmailing me about legal issues that has an irreversible impact on my heimishe life (read death), and I need legal guidance. I can't afford a lawer, so please help

  43. Really Allien,
    Why don't you post an email if say, someone here can help you? (Create one if you need.)

  44. hey- just wanted to say that I didn't mean leave your kids, but there are such things as co-parenting, and you can also wait until they grow up and move out and then make your move then.

    It's true, I only found the courage in myself to leave the community because I found it so unbearable to be in it. The post you write here echoes so many of the things that i felt when I was still in the jewish community that made it unbearable to me. I wish you happiness on whatever path you take.

  45. really allein6/02/2009 9:51 AM

    MY email is

  46. Shtreimel: You aren't alone, that's for sure! while I'm thankfully not chassidish, the general feelings are the same and are painful as hell.

  47. long time no blog. wazzup?

  48. Shtreimel: I just stumbled onto this blog, and this particular post really spoke to my experience. I've actually had to teach myself to quell my typical outspokenness when it comes to arguing with the rationale in many divrei torah, just so I don't expose my true inner self and alienate my 'friends' while embarrassing my family.

    Yeah, it's a mess.

    Anonymous: Smart people talk about ideas, regular people talk about things, stupid people talk about people. Although often attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, it was actually Admiral Hyman G. Rickover (1900-1986) who first said, "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."


  49. That is why you need chasidus chabad!!!

  50. יהודי לעולם אינו לבד.
    קרוב ה' לכל קוראיו.
    אין יותר קרוב לאדם מאשר השי"ת
    והוא משתקוקק שכל יהודי ידבר עמו
    בן של הקב"ה נשאר תמיד בן, לא פחות מבן ביולוגי.
    תתמיד לדבר אתו ותראה נפלאות

  51. In general i really enjoy this blog if you want to see some similiar feelings from a lubavitcher, check out



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