Saturday, January 21, 2006

Frumkeit..or Frumism – Religion or Culture?

There is this great misconception about our society. This misconception is both false and harmful and it has led many off the derech.
Have you ever asked yourself ...How can a frum person do that? How can a frum person behave that way?
Then you are under this false impression as well.

Frumism (anyone else have a better term?) is not a religion.. it’s a culture.
It is a culture that incubates a religion.
We dress a certain way, we listen to our own music, we have our own lingo, and we teach a certain lifestyle but we can’t force thousands of people to think a certain way and to believe in certain things.
Religion is strictly between God and the individual.

It just so happens to be..that of all the cultures in the world, it’s easiest to practice Frum Judaism in this Frum culture.

After all, they share so many similarities. This culture has you going to shul anyhow ...and it has you refraining from work on Shabbos.

But ultimately it’s up to all individuals to decide whether or not they choose to do so. Sometimes a person will go through the motions and go daven for an entire year and will only have kavannah once or twice. There’s the example of how the culture is an incubator for the religion. In order for our religion to survive in America a Culture had to be created to surround it. To keep us going through the motions during our weak moments and generational lapses.

However our Education System does not focus enough on the individual, on every persons relationship with Hashem as an individual..and instead it allows us a glimpse of Hashem through the prism of the community. This is something that I believe should change..

If one realizes this he will not become disoriented by “Frum” Jews not utilizing their personal choice of tapping in to the Religion within.