Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Big Questions. Answer at Will.

Life is hard. Life is tough. My father says, "Life's a bitch, and then you die." Sometimes, I think his approach is accurate. I try to maintain my optimism, and Tuvia is a great help. But sometimes, it's difficult to see through the clouds. So let's pose a question. I'm asking for some full-frontal here, so feel free to respond anonymously -- I won't be hurt!

If you're a ba'al teshuvah, or if you hate that term but are still someone who has returned to Orthodox roots, or even non-Orthodox roots, but has found some type of active Jewish lifestyle contrary to how you might have grown up, or if you're a convert, how has your family dealt with your lifestyle choices?

How has your family dealt with your wedding or simchas that might be out of the bounds of what they are familiar or comfortable with? What do you do when family events -- weddings, graduations -- are on Shabbat and you simply can't make it and family doesn't understand?

Maybe you changed your  name, or go by a different name, what has been the reaction to that?

And most importantly: How do you cope with all of these things? Or do you not? Are you closer, less close, with your family? How much can you say, "this is my life, and this is how I choose to live and be," and how much do you feel you have to back down and give in?