I truly think there’s a serious problem of dishonesty in the frum world. I’m not talking about people lying to or cheating one another (which is not to say they’re not problems too). I’m referring to the fact that people are not honest with themselves. More specifically, people are not honest with themselves about how they feel about Yiddishkeit.
We all know that there are certain basic tenets of being a good frum Jew. One of those vital, yet unspoken, creeds is that we’re supposed to love being a frum Jew. It’s supposed to be something that we’re proud of, something we would wear as a badge, a mark of honor. Something that we would gladly give our lives up for. But the truth is that for so many of us - I’d venture to say the overwhelming majority - being frum is not something anyone’s particularly excited about. We try to tell ourselves how grateful we are that we have this lifestyle because it’s what’s keeping the ills that plague modern society from affecting us (as if that’s true), or we point to the various aspects of our societies that we are justifiably proud of, but I’m positive that most frum Jews, if they were able to be truly honest with themselves, would admit that they really would prefer to not have to put up with all the annoyances and restrictions that halacha imposes on them.
On occasion I have met people that truly do seem to love being frum. They love the Torah, halacha, the whole frum lifestyle, and even though they admit that there are often times that halacha is a burden, they appreciate the whole package enough that they are more than willing to pay that price. I’ve met such people and I truly am impressed with them. And incredibly jealous too. Ironically (or not), almost every person that has such a view (and that I believe is authentic) is from a home that was more open and modern than the typical yeshivish, chareidi, black-hat one. The typical product of a yeshivish home, while more than committed to his halachic lifestyle, is more than likely to view it as a heavy burden, while of course telling himself (and the rest of us!) that he just loves being a Torah Jew. We all know that story with R’ Moshe, right? The one where he hears a guy kvetch about how hard it is to be a Jew, and he tells him, "No, it’s wonderful to be a Jew!" Wow! It’s like magic. Say it’s wonderful and all those annoyances just disappear! (Not to belittle R' Moshe, I've heard he was truly a great man. But yes to belittle those who think that saying a few words can magically change anything.)
I think it’s time that frum people started admitting that they don’t like things about halacha. It doesn’t mean that they have to stop doing these halachos. But stop lying to yourselves, and be honest about how you really feel. After all, the first step in solving a problem is admitting it. And isn't it a problem?
Anyone want to start telling us what they can't stand about halacha? C'mon, out with it!