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Cop out

I just had an interesting discussion with a MO friend yesterday. We were discussing (yes! you guessed it, what else?) the pros, cons, practicality, possibility of closeted OP guys staying or leaving fold. And the big question on the table of course, why do you still do it? You keep carrying on with the mitzvot, lifestyle etc. Why keep on doing what you don’t believe in?

This question may seem absurd to the veteran OP ear, but what he added after this surprised me. Claiming to have intimate knowledge of a couple of MO guys who are enveloped in religious doubts as well, yet they don’t “frie” out. They keep mitzvot, although with moderation, and most of all, their (lack of) faith is never an issue (as far as the MO community is concerned). As to why they still keep mitzvot, they claim heritage, culture, lingering doubts etc. and all types of complicated answers.

Turning the question on me he says, well, for you guys it’s easy, you have so much to lose by coming out of the closet and declaring yourself non-religious, that it’s reason enough for why you remain religious in practice only.

Which left me wondering, is this threat to our safety and well-being just a cop out for why we still keep on observing? In other words, should we take ourselves seriously that we’re not interested in the least bit were it not for the practical reasons that keep us here, or is it something deeper in our psyche that’s keeping us here? And if the answer is the first, is there any rational way to prove this?

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