No clue as to why I am writing this to you but something pushed me to write this letter and send it to you.
I grew up in Boro Park and come from a great religious family I went to 2 great yeshivas and my parents are seriously great true people as well as my 2 sisters and brothers.
I was raised with no TV, no video, no magazines, the most id hear about the outside world would be a small amount of radio.
When I was approx. 12 years old I really started to feel the urge to leave the whole religion, seriously I would cry and wonder what is wrong with me, I would wonder what's pushing me to do bad things, and when I spoke to my close friend about it right before my bar mitzvah he told me he had the same feelings.
Now I started thinking its normal and even the Mashgiach told me its normal but what I didn’t get is why could I not win the inner fight, why was I so weak, why even with the support of my parents my family my friends I just couldn’t help myself and I got worse and worse.
By age 16 I started trimming my beard something that was a serious NO NO, the side curls I had got shorter monthly, at one point it was 3 inches past shoulder length.
A month after my 16th birthday I went to Israel with the supervision of my aunt and uncle and while we where there he decided to make an appointment with a Mikubul Rabbi Yitzchuk Kadiri.
I saw him in his private office full of holy books and I started crying and told him my problem, I explained to him I want to be a good Jew, I want to follow the Jewish laws, I want to be just like my parents my grandparents etc. but I just can’t, I try so hard but its like I feel powerless, he asked me multiple times if I am careful about kashruth, If I am careful about what I eat and how I eat, I said yeah.
At the time I ate either at home my mother would cook or we would every other week maybe order from a local restaurant or a pizza store here and there, He spoke for 10 minutes non stop about the importance of being careful what you eat, I don’t remember exactly what he told me because to be honest I was thinking to myself this guy is full of it, I mean tell me to stop looking at women clothing catalogs we would get in the mail, tell me to stop listening to bad radio stations late night but please don’t tell me “keep kosher” and “watch what I eat”.
Seriously all these years went by and I never even thought about my meeting with Rabbi kaduri.
Today I don’t keep anything no kosher no nothing, I don’t look Jewish and don’t keep the holidays, I am not happy about it at all.
The class that I was in approx 12 other kids turned out just like me and my situation of turning complete off the way (derech) has unfortunately become very very common.
A few days ago im listening to a interview (4th interview) you did regarding the recent kashrus situation in the Jewish community, and you threw in some words that to many people wouldn’t mean much but to me it meant so much, you said “and then they wonder why the kids go off “le-tarbas rue” (off the way)”.
Hearing you say this even thou you said those words rather quick in the interview just threw an image of my head of Rabbi kadiri stressing for over 10 minutes to me about being careful what I eat.
Yes I am to blame for my actions but seriously I feel the food that I ate in Yeshivah growing up was not kosher like it should be, the yeshivah just cares about money and that’s where I ate most of my meals too, and that in turn didn’t give me the proper strength to fight off the bad thought and ways.
For the sake of those kids who are still innocent and for the sake of the true people who just want to eat kosher food continue the fight and expose the liars who will do anything for money.
There is no doubt in my head that the food issue is in part what is contributing to the huge increase of kids that go off the way.
Yeah I'm sure the internet and the society as a whole don’t help, but please myself and the so many others in my class and others I know had no internet, what we did have is food that wasn't made for a kid that wants to be a strong Jew.
I call the hotline or as Rabbi Goldman calls it the cold line every few weeks I grew up speaking Yiddish 99% of the day even thou I don’t talk with my family that much because of the huge amount of friends I have just like me we I still speak lots of Yiddish maybe I shouldn’t.
This chol hamoyed sukkus I was at a rest stop in Connecticut at a McDonalds I see 4 yeshivah bouchrim there eating inside they still have the curls the clothing everything, so I walk up to them (they have no clue im jewish or anything) and I ask them politely why is it that my co-worker wont eat from m'cdonalds he says Jews can't eat it and here I see they are eating, they started laughing and saying how its all the same Jews just charge more money for non kosher meat because they add a little sticker they told me the story about finkle and claimed almost everything is corrupt.
I mean seeing hassidic people in nightclubs in these days is the norm, wouldn’t surprise me if one of those guys I see in the clubs with the long beared and side curls if for a living he gives “hechshers”.
My grandmother was a WWII survivor I remember going with her as a young boy a few times to the butcher he sometimes shechted the chicken right there she would take it home and make it kosher herself etc a long very tedious process, but I would do all that work today myself not to be where I am today spiritually.
I hope one day to be the nice Jewish boy I was once.