Anything about JUDAISM
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Bnei Akiva Posted - 21 June 2010 15:35
Hey guys,
I need your help.I'm an Orthodox teenager just like everyone here. Need help and advice however.
This summer I am doing an internship at a Jewish program. It's not religious, but my friends and I decided to do it because it will help us and give us money and SAT tutoring to get into college. Problem is, they get office jobs in good environments. I was left to work at Camp Ramah. Camp Ramah is a pluralistic, cultural camp. They think of Judaism as a culture, as a theology, not a religious based on binding Halachic laws. I tried to avoid this ,but end of story is I have to work here. So please keep comments about the job to yourself.
My dilemma is what do I do. I have already worked out that I will be unable to daven with them, as boys and girls daven together without a Mechitza, and girls put on Tefillin and Tallitot(I know, I'm borderline throwing up right now)But we're all Jews right? I will not be eating at the kitchen, because it's a conservative Hechsher. The main problems I have figured out. My main issue is my appearance and staying myself in this kind of setting. I wear a kippa Sruga and sometimes a velvet(Yes, to me a Kippah does NOT define a Jew). However, I need to distinguish myself from the other Jews because I am a different person inside. I am. So how do I? Do I keep my Tzitzit out? Do I wear my velvet Kippa? Do I dress black and white? Please, help me out.
I do not need condemnation of my summer plans at this point; I need some strong chizuk to help me get through this.
PLEASE RESPOND!
taon Posted - 27 June 2010 22:02
First, I know you said we shouldn't comment on your job, but when someone says I shouldn't comment on their choice of physical injury, I can't sit by then either. i can't let someone hurt themselves. What can we do to help you out of this? I'd gladly raise money to keep one yid from getting hurt. True, their also Jews. SO are, unfortunately, some criminals and "Jews for J". I'm not making comparisons, just pointing out that just because someone is a fellow Jew, doens't mean you should hop into their environment alone. maybe a closer analogy (again, not a comparison) would be someone who is mentally deranged and dangerous, though it isn't their fault. Still, don't be alone with them without training.
But if you wont listen, I still want to help you as best I can, . Or rather, be a shaliach of Hashem as best I can. With Hashem's help, maybe you wont get as damaged spiritually. First, speak to a Rabbi. See if it's even halachically permitted to do this in the first place, and all other Halachic concerns. Find a minayn to go to before camp starts, there should be vasikin or earlier somewhere. bring along sefarim, particularly mussar and haskhafa sefarim. Rabbi Miller's would be helpful, you'll need sefarim that don't compromise or apologize. spend breaktime away from the campers, especially meals. Train yourself not to look at immodest dress. Don't get involved in debates without speaking to a competent authority first, no matter how friendly and non-judgmental and non-pushy the discussions are. The yetzer hara is very strong in this, we can't trust ourselves or our powers of speech. Remain in close contact with religious freinds and Rabbeim. Come here more often, perhaps. Dress and act more like your image of "chareidis", you'll probably see one of the reasons why people attach importance to certain modes of dress. Try not to socialize much, if we;'re not supposed to speak excessively with women, all the more so....
bring extra food and drink, just in case, so you don't get sick because you can't eat there. At least take off For Shiva asar btamuz and Tisha bav. read He Who Loves Does Not Hate by Rav Schwab zt"l for a proper hashkafic perspective: http://frumteens.com/topic.php?topic_id=19528&forum_id=38&topic_title=He+Who+Loves+Does+Not+Hate+-R%27+Schwab&forum_title=Notes+from+Moderator%21&M=0&S=1

We have a tradition from the Vilna Gaon that apikorsim tend to seem kinder (someone explained possible reasons why elsewhere) so read gedolim stories and books about amazing things "regular" Jews do. Think about the Yomim Noraim, perhaps bring a machzor. Maybe try Cheshbon Hanefesh.

All this and more, but you're jumping into a plague ward trusting your natural defenses, you can't expect to stay the same. And once things start in that direction... oy, please update us on how you are doing so we know you are okay. I know I sound really worried, but I have good reason, and bad memories, I know what i speak of. Why do you have to go there?


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