Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Closer to Fine

One time, when I was 19, I had to drive my Rabbi somewhere. I turned the key, and The Indigo Girls came singing out of the tape deck. Well, he hit the "off" button faster than you can say "kol isha." Chutzpadik little me said, "Why'd you turn that off?" and he replied, "I don't listen to women singing." "But you're missing something beautiful," I retorted. He shrugged. "It's like trading a day at the beach for a day in the mountains." One beautiful thing gets traded for another - no big loss. I look back on that now and see the wisdom in what he said - It's all I could relate to at the time. If he had said, "I gave all that narrishkeit up to be frum," I would have really resisted. But he made it simple and sweet, he made it palatable for me.

So that's a Ba'al Teshuva life, I guess. We're all trying to trade a day at the beach for a day in the mountains. We're all trying to trade in our old lives for something more meaningful, more precious, more real.

Now when I turn the car key, it's Good Ol' Uncle Moishy.


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