I began the teshuva process slightly over ten years ago. B”H, I had the fortune to attend a wonderful yeshiva that emphasized, amongst other things, always being a kiddush H-shem. Now that I have been out of yeshiva for a number of years and have lived in frum kehilos around the world, I have had the chance to implement this teaching in practice. Frum kehilos are, I think, amazingly special places with incredible people and institutions. Nevertheless, there are always challenges (especially in chutz l’aretz) – not speaking in shul during davening, not speaking devarim betaylim in shul, keeping a learning seder kovayah, being involved in tsarchey tsibor, making a kesher with a rav, being socially involved, etc.
My current community presents a new challenge. It is a special place, that places a great emphasis on socializing. Kiddush after davening on Shabbos lasts for an hour and lunch after that for the rest of Shabbos in the winter and until 500 pm (or even later) in the summer. Weekday activities are much along the same lines — very heavy on socializing. As much as we love to socialize, we are starting to wonder what is the appropriate balance of activities.
Does anyone out there feel that his/her frumkeit is in danger of too much socializing? Please don’t get me wrong . . . I love being with people and socializing. But that is the problem – it is so tempting to sit, schmooze and socialize that other things, such as family time, learning, tsarchey tsibor, etc., can be compromised.
I truly believe that friends are of paramount importance, but I never thought we would be overwhelmed by too many socializing opportunities. Now we are suddenly thrust into this situation and we like it alot, but we’re trying to find the balance. Does anybody else have any thoughts about this issues?