Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Inspired? Not.

I'm going to post this even though it may be controversial. I'm posting this for a very good reason. I promise. I don't mean to hurt or offend anyone, but if you're going to subject me to something this stupid by forwarding every idiotic email you get, this is what you can expect.

So if you're the type to get offended easily, stop reading. If not, read, like, dislike, whatever, but DON'T, I repeat DO NOT use my comment section to turn this post into a back and forth forum and discussion.

This is MY blog. MY opinions. NOT yours. You're welcome to them but if I have to referee I'm going to shut down all further comments for this site.

Now. *deep calming breath*

I received an email the other day:

I heard a beautiful story in a shiur given by Rabbi Avrohom M. Alter that is available online. He said the story in the name of Rebbetzin Kanievsky.

In March, someone packed a car with 100 kilos of explosives and parked it at the CineMall in Haifa. It was parked hear a supporting pillar. Had it exploded, not only would it have destroyed that pillar, but other cars in the lot would have caught fire causing the gas tanks to explode. In that very popular mall, the consequences would have been too horrendously tragic to contemplate.

The explosion did not happen. A passerby spotted some smoke coming from the car and alerted the police whose sappers were able to come and defuse the explosives.

Even Ehud Olmert recognized this was a miracle, although he attributed it to the alertness of civilians.

Here's what really happened:

Several weeks before this event, a girl in Haifa who had been sick and went for tests was told she had stomach cancer. The tumor was so big, and had metastasized, and there was nothing the doctors could do. They told her to go home for her final weeks.

This non-religious girl and her non-religious parents pleaded with the doctors to try. They begged them at least to make an effort. The doctors finally agreed and told her to come back the next day for surgery.

She was assigned a young, inexperienced surgeon. They felt it would be good practice for him, and since there was nothing that could help her, it didn't really matter.

The night before the surgery, this non-religious girl pleaded with Hashem. She said to him, "HaKadosh Boruch Hu, when we had the Bais HaMikdosh people could bring you korbanos to plead their case. Now we have no Kohanim, we have no Bais HaMikdosh. But I still want to bring you a korban."

She went to her closet and took out all her immodest clothing and took it out to the yard and burned them. As the her clothes went up in flames, she cried out, "This is my korban."

The next day this girl went to the hospital in her nightgown. She had burned her entire wardrobe and this was all she had left. She had the surgery. The giant tumor had not metastisized, as was previously believed. It was totally contained. It was easily removed. And it was benign.

She told all her non-religious friends about the miracle. When the girl had recovered enough to get out of bed, her friends brought over all their immodest clothing and made another fire.

Left with nothing to wear, the girls needed new clothes. When that bomb was supposed to explode at the CineMall, these girls were inside buying themselves new, modest clothing.

A miracle that a civilian saw some smoke? Or a reward for tznius?

Now instead of ranting at the idiocy of the above story, I'm only going to post some discrepancies a friend and I found and sent back and forth in email. There are more, but you can do the rest yourself.

Okay you know this was made up, right? Because of course Reb Kanievsky spoke to the girl and knew exactly why she was in the mall. Oh, and were all the friends there in their nightgowns too?

Yes, I know that email was made up. I mean, have you, or anyone you know been told, "I'm sorry, your cancer is too advanced, we'll give you the young, inexperienced surgeon to practice on you?" I haven't. And if this girl was takkeh left with no clothing bec they were all untznius, does she sound like the type to have a tznius nightgown??? Still puke-worthy. Just because you stick in the part about her cancer, all of a sudden, we're all supposed to tzitter.

It just makes me nauseous how people make up stuff like this and then go and repeat it and think that we're supposed to like do teshuva over it etc and then the worst part are those girls that actually forward it because they DO believe it and they get all inspired and emotional lol.

And lol about the part about her owning a tzniyus nightgown- I didn't even think about that but really duh- im FRUM and I didn't own a tzniyus nightgown until i got married. *rolls eyes*

Yuck, cant stop thinking about that story, its like a bad Yair Weinstock book.

Yeah, I thought of another problem in the story- SINCE WHEN can you find tzniyus clothing in ISRAELI MALLS??? They should have been in Geula. Plus a bomb scare in Geula would have been a much better story anyway.

The whole story makes me queasy so I won't dwell on it any longer. Also, I didn't verify that Reb. Kanievsky really said the above- I'm just reprinting it the way me, and the 600 other girls on this friend's contact list got it. I doubt any of them verified the origin of this story either so I'm not going to feel too bad. Also, I don't even believe Reb. Kanievsky said such a story. But I'll leave that for you to decide.

Let me tell you what the WORST part of this whole thing is.

THIS is why I grew up with such an attitude.

When a girl sits for fifteen years in a school system where stories like THIS are the bulk of the "inspiration" her teachers pump into her for life- what is she supposed to turn out like?

This is utter fantasy. Supersized garbage. Bombs, explosions, promises to G-d, hidden spyware and teenage heroes. Oh, and of course the requisite ba'al teshuva aspect.

Where's the real inspiration?

I grew up hearing this stuff in class thinking "This is all nice and well for the people G-d loves and shows such wonderful open miracles to. Maybe Hashem doesn't love me as much and that's why He doesn't send such inspiring incidents my way?"

I'm almost tempted to say that when I was diagnosed with cancer I jumped off the doctor's table and did a happy dance because I just KNEW this proved G-d loved me and that now I was finally going to see open nissim.

I would say that, but firstly it's not true and second, if I did say that I'd be just as bad as the teachers I couldn't stand.

Where are the real stories? Like the kid who was nice to the retarded girl in her class that smelled.

My favorite sample of real inspiration comes from the book "Dovid Meyer" that I read growing up. It's the part where Dovid Mayer, an au pair for a non-religious family, ties his gartel (belt) to the baby's bassinet and the baby falls asleep to his singing and rocks along with his shuckeling as he learns a blatt of gemara.

Where are the simple, real stories that people can identify with?

Stories like the one in that email are big mistakes. We're desensitizing our kids from recognizing the real inspiration in their own lives. I want my children to grow up feeling that Hashem is with them EACH DAY. Not just in Haifa at bomb sights while He's rewarding some girl for throwing away her clothing.

I'm too worked up to even write more rationally. I think everyone gets the point.