Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The apple doesn't fall far....

I had an argument with my father on motzei shabbos. It was an off shabbos, and he wanted to know what I was going to do on sunday.....
Dad: So, what's your plans for sunday?
Me: Well, I'm not sure, but I might be going to Morristown tomorr-
Dad: Morristown? Isn't that where the Lubavitcher yeshiva is?
Me: Yeah....
Dad: Why would you go there?
Me: Well, there's a baal teshuvah from Yerushalayim who came into town for the week, and he used to be a guru-
Dad: A what?!
Me: A guru. Y'know, like a swami type of guy?
Dad: I know what a Guru is! Why would you want to go there?
Me: Well, he used to be the Guru of Central Park, and-
Dad: You stay away from him.
Me: What? Why?
Dad: Did you hear me? You are to stay away from him.
Me: Why? What's the big deal?
Dad: What do you expect to gain from seeing him, or talking to him?
Me: Well, I would like to hear his perspective on things, and what would compel him to become fru-
Dad: Stay away. He's not like regular baalei teshuva.
Me: Why do you say that? How do you know? Why are you judging him?
Dad: (sighs) Listen, for some odd reason, you're interested in these kind of guys, right?
Me: Yeah....
Dad: I just don't think you should be focusing on these kind of people. You might get carried away, and-
Me: I'm twenty, man. I don't think you'll have to worry about being "carried away", as you put it, dad.
Dad: Don't call me "man". I am your father. (This gives me an image of my dad dressed as Darth Vader, and I snicker...) What's so funny?
Me: Nothing, nothing. You were saying?
Dad: You might be influenced by these kind of people, and-
Me: What are "these kind of people"? Who are you talking about? Baalei Teshuva? What?
Dad: No, not regular baalei teshuva, these kind of "spiritual" types; the former gurus and Buddhists and such.
Me: What's so bad about them?
Dad: Well, a lot of the time, they are just experimenting, and their not completely sincere about it. And it's possible that they might not be satisfied with it eventually, and revert back to where they were, and so on....
Me: That's a gross generalization, and you know it.
Dad: What I'm trying to say is that their becoming religious is egocentric; they're only doing it because it makes them feel good.
Me: But dad, every single frum jew is egocentric to an extent! We all want to feel good about what we're doing, and to recieve a reward! It's only after we reach a certain level that we can actually be completely selfless and leshma!
Dad: Yes, but by them, their constantly searching, never satisfied-
Me: We're supposed to as well! We are not supposed to be satisfied with our status quo! We're always supposed to transcend!
Dad: I'm just saying that by them it stems from a personal dissatisfaction, that they feel they're not doing anything....
Me: Is it possible, maybe, that you're just projecting your own feelings of "dissatisfaction" on them?
Dad: .... I'll speak to you another time ( hangs up the phone).
That was the gist of the argument; although I feel bad about that last dig, I do feel like I had a slight victory. A friend of mine told me that I should be a lawyer, because I out lawyered a lawyer....
I dunno.
In any case, I didn't end up going to Morristown......
Originally posted Tuesday, 19 July 2005

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