I am taking the reader through the uncharted territories I traversed during my voyage of discovery. Only after I have taken the reader through the many mountains and valleys will I be able to reflect on my journey as a whole and attempt to articulate my holistic re-visioning of Judaism. I am guided by the Talmudic method of argumentation where ideas are raised and discussed; sometimes these ideas are accepted, while other times, they are rejected. There are instances where a final determination is never reached. At other times, the debate might suddenly continue many pages later or may even resume unexpectedly in a different Talmudic tractate altogether. It is in this spirit that this contemplative Autobiography is written.
After living in the Orthodox community for some years, I became deeply disturbed by the fact that many Orthodox Jews were not spiritual in the slightest. They were secular Jews who happened to be observant. These were all very nice people, but they were guilty of religious plagiarism. One religious day was identical to the previous day, without any new encounter with the Divine and the Torah. Everything was “under control,” to the point that any novel spiritual and intellectual struggle was completely absent. But most disturbing was my realization that I myself had become guilty of this!
This new extensive autobiography, divided into short chapters, is not a book of memoirs, but a window into my soul. Besides the request to write it, it was also an assignment I had to undertake because an inner voice told me to do so. I could not escape the challenge.