Saturday, January 28, 2006

A Rant About College, Drinking, and Being Frum

Person: Yeah, we're having the party in my suite ... Eli7, you didn't tell them you have a suite, did you?
Me: I'm an Orthodox Jew. I live with four other Orthodox Jews. I can't have an alcoholic party in my suite.
Person: All the Orthodox Jews who live on my floor are constantly drinking and smoking pot.
Me: Well, I'm a good Orthodox Jew.

On Friday night, the frum boys' suite next to mine had, well, a shabbos meal that was quite drunken judging by the banging on the walls and the yelling we heard.

I'm sorry, I didn't get the memo that said being in college is an excuse for ignoring the code of conduct frum jews are supposed to subscribe to. Maybe I just missed it, but I'm pretty sure frum Jews have better things to do than get drunk and do stupid things in their inebriated states. And I'm pretty sure that Shabbos isn't a weekly excuse to get drunk. And I think it's pretty sad if non-frum people even recognize that this is what's going on.

I mean, I shouldn't have to differentiate myself from the other frum Jews on campus to explain why I do what I do. Should I?


At 1/28/06, 5:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So judgemental. When it says basar v'yayin it doesn't mean basar v'shtickle grape juice.

At 1/28/06, 7:18 PM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

What's "good" and what's "bad" anyway. I know that for yourself you live by a code of rules that are becoming of a Bais Yaakov type girl. That is great! But... there are still very frum people out there that choose to experience a little bit of life. This can be healthy. I admire your strength and resolve but they are still really not doing anything wrong. Even if they did, it is their mistakes to make.... Life is a learning experience. It is true we have standards to live by but how can you truly know yourself if you never lte anything new in?

I think next time you get asked a quetion like that say something to the effect of "I do not enjoy that kind of thing, but if youd like we can go out for ice cream" it is a more real and honest answer.

At 1/28/06, 8:30 PM, Blogger TRW said...

Umm...there's "experiencing a bit of life" and then there's banging on someone else's walls. There are limits and there are standards, and there's something called chillul Hashem.

At 1/28/06, 8:41 PM, Blogger Stx said...

I feel the tension coming from these commenters. Instead of adding my own opinion to the mix, I'd like to suggest a parallel.

A frum man, wearing typical frum garb, cheats on his taxes. It gets front page headlines, etc. As a frum Jew, what on EARTH do you say when somebody comes up to you and says "Do Orthodox Jews think it's fine to cheat on your taxes?"

Are you being "judgemental" if you say "No, we think it's wrong. He did something wrong, and an Orthodox Jew who lives by his/her beliefs would never do such a thing"?

Fine. I did express my opinion. Now tell me, why is that opinion false?

[As an aside, "drinking" is one thing. "Making a ruckus and causing a chillul Hashem so that a guy can say that Orthodox Jews drink and smoke pot by definition" is something else entirely.]

At 1/29/06, 12:25 AM, Blogger Datingmaster, Jerusalem said...

its hard to be frum when there are so many temptations

At 1/29/06, 7:28 AM, Blogger Devorah said...

Two Words: Jack Abramoff

At 1/29/06, 8:59 AM, Blogger Eli7 said...

Pardon me for being "judgemental," but I don't think that getting stone drunk is exactly the conduct that Hashem expects out of the people who have presumably devoted their lives to Him. And it most definitely is a chillul Hashem if others realize that the frum Jews on campus "reek of pot."

Going into a bar and having a beer is something I would not do. But I wouldn't necesssarily say that frum Jews were undermining everything they stood for if they did that occasionally. But being known as the people who are constantly drinking and smoking, turning a Shabbos meal into a drunken escapade that the entire floor could hear--those are things that undermine what being a frum Jew is all about.

And back to both STX and Devorah's points, being frum means you hold YOURSELF to higher standards, it means that you have consciously chosen a life dedicated to Hashem, not to your own pleasure. Does that mean you can't do things that are fun? Of course not. Does that mean you have to be perfrect? No.

But it does mean that you have a huge potential to create a chillul Hashem, as TRW said. It does mean that when you put that yarmulka on your head, you should recognize that people are going to look at you differently--and they have every right to.

At 1/29/06, 9:55 AM, Blogger Stx said...

Here, here, Eli7 :)

What she said.

At 1/29/06, 10:05 AM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

Don't misunderstand me... I am just giving another perception to what you are saying. I don't know what actually went on... I am just saying that if someone does go to a party it doesnt make it less frum. Wow, this post seems to have hit a sore spot with some of you.

At 2/1/06, 6:09 PM, Blogger G Green said...

Why do you say they are frum jews? Just because someone may go around acting like they are, or other people think they are, doesnt actually make a person frum.

In my experience, having the age limit on alcohol at 21, just makes it more of a drive to drink - and of course they can't handle it.

To anon - it doesnt say achilas gasoh v'shikrus. Everything in moderation.

One 'frum' date recently, could not believe I hadnt smoked pot. Some stereotypes stick, and its usually the exceptions.


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