I came across the above article today, and found it fascinating. In truth, it’s one of the reasons why I left modern secular culture in favor of Orthodox Judaism.
That said, I’ve even had a problem with this concept in the Jewish world. We’re not supposed to be narcissistic, of course–we’re supposed to love our neighbors and do chesed (1) and not judge and share in each other’s joys and sorrows and remember that we’re all children of G-d and nobody is perfect. But, I feel like we in the newly-frum (2) world have a problem with that. When you’re really new to all of this, it does end up being all about you, as in “Rabbi, how should I ___?” (keep Shabbos/keep kosher/study Torah/integrate into a community/find a job/find a spouse/raise my kids/etc.) But unfortunately, says one of my rabbis, a lot of BTs (3) have a hard time integrating the rest of it.
And honestly, I include myself in that group (even though I’m not actually a BT). Even this blog has largely become all about me.
I mean, to be fair, I can’t write much about other people because of concerns such as privacy and loshon hora (4) and such. And given my general audience, I’m not sure that giving over everything I’m learning in seminary would be so appreciated, so I stay away from that as well. (Also, this blog was created in part to give family and friends regular updates.)
But still. I feel like this blog is starting to become an exercise in narcissism, and that’s definitely not a good thing.
Anyone have any ideas for other blog entry topics? (And please don’t ask for pictures–in addition to the privacy problem of posting pictures of people and places on here, my silly camera is still not working.)
Thank you all for putting up with my ramblings…. 😉
(1) chesed: acts of kindness
(2) frum: Yiddish word meaning “religious”; refers to Orthodox Jews.
(3) BTs: “baal teshuva”s: people who came from a non-Orthodox background and became frum 😉
(4) loshon hora: literally “evil speech,” refers to gossip and other unflattering (and forbidden by Jewish law) conversation.