I was raised in a modern orthodox household – I went to Yeshiva day school for 12 years, I even went to Yeshiva for a gap year after high school.
Yet…for much of that time I felt I was living a lie. By the time I was in 5th grade I remember thinking HaShem was “made up” – after all, how can God be real when evolution is so clearly true? Other arguments swirled in my mind: even if god is real what are the odds that we amongst all the religions have the right one? The archaeological evidence for the Exodus is scant and contradictory.
I’m not writing this though to talk about why I don’t believe in God. I’ve made many different arguments over time, some more convincing than others. The point though, is that I don’t believe in god. Naturally, by the time I got to college I stopped going to Shul. I used to lein at our Hashkamah Minyan weekly, now I don’t even go to Shul on Rosh HaShana. Even “worse” than any of these – my girlfriend (of 5 years) who I love dearly is Catholic.
I say all this to demonstrate how far OTD I’ve gone. Yet, still the Jewish community is EXTREMELY important to me. While I don’t believe in a historical Exodus, I truly believe what we say on Pesach – that HaShem took ME out of Egypt. I am a staunch Zionist, I love our rich history and culture.
I want to try and reconnect with my religious side. It’s not a matter of not being educated or not knowing enough – I speak Hebrew, I’m motivated and I was fortunate to have an upbringing that educated me about our culture. Yet…when I go to Shul I feel out of place, awkward. I no longer have any religious friends. My friends are either non-Jewish or so unaffiliated it’s only a box on college and job application forms. This is understandable- why would frum people accept me when I openly and unrepentantly love a Catholic girl.
But I want to feel like I belong again. I want to fit back within a community. I don’t know where to start. I’m not sure if I need advice, a friend or something else. I do know that I need help.
Please someone help me. I want to return.