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←  Jewish Fundamentals

Hashkafah.com

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Frum by Choice

adiel's Photo adiel 08 Jan 2012

If I could define 'frum by choice' - It would be the conscious decision to be Mekabel Ol Malchus Shamayim and live a Torah life and what is correct according the best of ones abilities.

Frum by default – might be define as one who was raised frum or lives a frum lifestyle because he/she is just going along with what others are doing in surrounding culture.

That being said - my question is:

Let’s say a person has made the CHOICE to be frum (whether they were frum by default or not frum at all). At some point, does a person have to make that choice again to avoid falling into the ‘frum by default’ lifestyle? How often should a person be making the conscious choice to be frum?
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brianna's Photo brianna 08 Jan 2012

Let’s say a person has made the CHOICE to be frum (whether they were frum by default or not frum at all). At some point, does a person have to make that choice again to avoid falling into the ‘frum by default’ lifestyle? How often should a person be making the conscious choice to be frum?

Interesting question. If a person makes the choice to be frum based particular reasons he need only make the choice again when and if he finds himself questioning those reasons, in my opinion.
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Pinchas's Photo Pinchas 08 Jan 2012

I think one has to consciencely make that choice every single second of every single day. If we don't we slip into habit.
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Snag's Photo Snag 08 Jan 2012

In halachic instances which require intent, such as gittin, writing sta"m, making tzitzis or matza, there is a rule that an expression of intent at the beginning of the work is sufficient, and all subsequent actions are considered to be with that intent, unless there was a hefsek. So too here, I'd say that one who chose to be frum, continues to have his religiosity be by choice, unless circumstances change.
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Pinchas's Photo Pinchas 08 Jan 2012

In halachic instances which require intent, such as gittin, writing sta"m, making tzitzis or matza, there is a rule that an expression of intent at the beginning of the work is sufficient, and all subsequent actions are considered to be with that intent, unless there was a hefsek. So too here, I'd say that one who chose to be frum, continues to have his religiosity be by choice, unless circumstances change.


Right... I'm talking more in hashkafic terms than halachic...
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int's Photo int 08 Jan 2012

In halachic instances which require intent, such as gittin, writing sta"m, making tzitzis or matza, there is a rule that an expression of intent at the beginning of the work is sufficient, and all subsequent actions are considered to be with that intent, unless there was a hefsek. So too here, I'd say that one who chose to be frum, continues to have his religiosity be by choice, unless circumstances change.


So is an ffb (who never went off the derech) ever religious by choice?
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Short's Photo Short 08 Jan 2012

So is an ffb (who never went off the derech) ever religious by choice?

One who thinks through his/her observance and lifestyle, yes. One who doesn't think, I suppose not.
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Snag's Photo Snag 08 Jan 2012

Right... I'm talking more in hashkafic terms than halachic...

This is one instance where I think the hashkafa should follow the Halacha. (never mind whether it always should....)

So is an ffb (who never went off the derech) ever religious by choice?

Besides for what short said, that also depends on the sugya of stama lishmah kai.
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Kalashnikover_Rebbe's Photo Kalashnikover_Rebbe 08 Jan 2012

Basically every time in life that you face a major religious dilemma you "reaffirm" your commitment so to speak....
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adiel's Photo adiel 08 Jan 2012

I've been thinking about this topic for a while now. What you're saying snag is that once a person has made choice - then everything moving forward is based on that choice.

What if we were to look at the 'choice' from a relationship point of view: If you have a couple who made a choice to be together . Do we look at them 5 years later and assume that they're relationship is perpetuating on that initial thought or can we think that they find reasons from time to time to keep their partner by choice?
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Snag's Photo Snag 08 Jan 2012

I've been thinking about this topic for a while now. What you're saying snag is that once a person has made choice - then everything moving forward is based on that choice.

What if we were to look at the 'choice' from a relationship point of view: If you have a couple who made a choice to be together . Do we look at them 5 years later and assume that they're relationship is perpetuating on that initial thought or can we think that they find reasons from time to time to keep their partner by choice?

Sometimes they just keep on by inertia, but thy is usually wen circumstances have changed so as to remove the original reasons they had for getting together. In cases of changing circumstances, we wouldn't say al daas rishona hu oseh either.
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Pinchas's Photo Pinchas 08 Jan 2012

Sometimes they just keep on by inertia, but thy is usually wen circumstances have changed so as to remove the original reasons they had for getting together. In cases of changing circumstances, we wouldn't say al daas rishona hu oseh either.


I think it's good to keep saying I love you rather than assume G-d knows it...
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Snag's Photo Snag 08 Jan 2012

I think it's good to keep saying I love you rather than assume G-d knows it...

Of course it's better. That's why in matzah bakeries there's someone always calling out lsheim matzos mitzvah. But that doesn't mean that if you /dont/ then it's just by rote.
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LoveToLaugh's Photo LoveToLaugh 08 Jan 2012

I think it's good to keep saying I love you rather than assume G-d knows it...

(this is a good rule for marriage too......:))
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Pinchas's Photo Pinchas 08 Jan 2012

(this is a good rule for marriage too...... :))


I'll make a note. :)
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LoveToLaugh's Photo LoveToLaugh 08 Jan 2012

I'll make a note. :)

Feel free to refer to her as God too :p

Kidding aside, its actually a really good relationship to base the one with God on. We know there are countless comparison's to the marriage of man/women and that of God-us. This is a good example of where its appropriate. Just as our relationship takes time and constant reaffirmation, I think the one with God does too. Its not enough to be in love on your wedding day and initially do nice things for your spouse and tell them how much they mean to you. If you don't continue it, at least to a point, the relationship will fizzle out. We all know of relationships like that where people just fell out of love and/or lost something that they used to have. They often become glorified roommates and/or business partners or worse decide to separate. And the sad part is, its often preventable with hard work and continuous introspection of things are going and what we can work on to make it better. I think its the same for our relationship with God.
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Snag's Photo Snag 08 Jan 2012

Feel free to refer to her as God too :p

Kidding aside, its actually a really good relationship to base the one with God on. We know there are countless comparison's to the marriage of man/women and that of God-us. This is a good example of where its appropriate. Just as our relationship takes time and constant reaffirmation, I think the one with God does too. Its not enough to be in love on your wedding day and continuously do nice things for your spouse and tell them how much they mean to you. If you don't continue it, at least to a point, the relationship will fizzle out. We all know of relationships like that where people just fell out of love and/or lost something that they used to have. They often become glorified roommates and/or business partners or worse decide to separate. And the sad part is, its often preventable with hard work and continuous introspection of things are going and what we can work on to make it better. I think its the same for our relationship with God.

Yes, like G-d, she often seems capricious and vengeful, but you must have faith tht she has your best interests at heart... (but she's always a woman to me :guitar:)

And you're right, ltl, the seforim do compare the marital relationship to the one between man and G-d quite a bit. In fact, that's one interpretation of the Talmudic dictum "if a man and woman are worthy, the shechina rests between them" that if they managed to work out a way to make their marriage work, they are that much more likely to be at peace with G-d as well.
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int's Photo int 08 Jan 2012

Besides for what short said, that also depends on the sugya of stama lishmah kai.


What does that mean?
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Snag's Photo Snag 08 Jan 2012

What does that mean?

Sorry - there's a machlokes whether if someone does something with no intent at all - neither specifically for the mitzvah not specifically not or it - if we say that the default is lishmah. Basically there are sometimes when we do say that, and some where we definitely don't. Some factors are Maasav mochichin= of his actions obviously indicate an intent (e.g. If someone goes to shul to hear Megillah, even if he then doesn't specifically have in mind to be yotzei we say stama lishmah), and if the intent cannot be default (e.g. A get, which needs to be written lishmah, cannot be stama lishmah, since stam isha lab legerushin kayma= a woman is not presumed to be getting divorced by her husband).
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int's Photo int 08 Jan 2012

Ah ok thanks..

A get, which needs to be written lishmah, cannot be stama lishmah, since stam isha lab legerushin kayma= a woman is not presumed to be getting divorced by her husband).


How can we get inside the mind of the sofer - to determine if it was lishma or not?
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