The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

What? Me Bitter?

I am delighted (I think) to have been included on Velvel's Jewish Blogroll. His description of this blog follows:

"MOChassid is a bitter Modern Orthodox man who has some good rants. The world was first introduced to him a week ago by the Hassidic Musician. He likes to point out what's wrong with everybody else and what they should be doing. But somehow, I love to read his stuff. We also happen to be in the middle of an inter-blog discussion. MO-C, you bastard, you rock." (emphasis in the original)

Coming as it does from someone who prefers Bourbon to Scotch, perhaps I shouldn't take it so hard, but his description of me as being "bitter" smarts. I am not bitter. I am a zealot. there is a difference.

Being bitter typically implies that you are unhappy with your lot and are jealous of others. Baruch Hashem, I am extremely happy with my lot. Hashem has blessed me with a beautiful tzadekes for a wife and four wonderful children. Though far from wealthy I make a comfortable living. Over the past few years as my family has moved from a traditional MO existence to a deeper and more spiritual observance of Yiddishkeit (based, in part, on the teachings of the students of the Baal Shem Tov), I have become more serene and fulfilled. I have a very long way to go but at least I feel that I am on the right path. I have very little to be bitter about.

My belief in that path is what makes me a kanoi (zealot). I believe that this type of approach to MO observance can be very rewarding (and, in some cases, transforming) to many, many people (I know not everyone). It pains me that despite the obvious problems in the MO and Yeshivish worlds, not enough institutions or Rabbanim are questioning or challenging the status quo and are going merrily down the road to nowhere.

That's what this blog is largely about. If I am coming off as bitter, I suppose I need to tone it down. Not.

Finally, thanks to Velvel for his technical help over the past few days. (I'm probably much older than most bloggers and I can barely turn on my computer without assistance from the Help desk at my firm.)


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