Saturday, 28 September 2013

Meeting with the Mashgiach

I have a meeting with the mashgiach  - the religious commissar. Life is meaningless, I feel no attachment to God and I want to fix this. I know how the meeting will proceed. He will ask me what's wrong and depending on my response, will select a sefer from one of his shelves that deals with my concern. So if my issue is prayer, we will study a little Nesivat Shalom and finish off with some Praying with Fire. If my query relates to the role of the Jew, he will no doubt prescribe a healthy dose of Mesillat Yeshorim and recommend I listen to a recording of his weekly shiur. In his mind, the cures to all problems lie between the pages of the tomes that fill his bookshelf.
But I wonder how he will respond if I actually reveal what has been bothering me for several years. 

I am gay. I like guys. 

Which sefer will he turn to? If no sefer discusses homosexuality, does that mean he'll conclude my condition does not exist? It's a bizarre situation: I am considering baring my soul before the spiritual councellor of the yeshiva; the person charged with disseminating those cold and rigid views that are responsible for the hostility and and intolerance I sense everyday.

I do not know if I have the resolve to plead before my tormentor to accept me for the way I am. I don't know if I should. Is the victim supposed to try and endear himself with the one responsible for his misery? These questions have no answers; I might as well not exist. My impression is that frum Jews would rather that was the case too. 

I stumble back to my gemara pondering how Tosafot would tackle this philosophical conundrum: what sound does a crying bochur make if nobody is there to hear him cry?

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