If things would have gone according to plan, I would be finding arguments to support the idea of simply trusting in God and learning Torah. The reason I am not avidly advocating this is I found a surprising thing. (I still advocate trusting in God and learning Torah, but with the reservation and knowledge that this does not always seem to be on the inside what it is on the outside.) It was this. When I was in the Mir yeshiva in NY, every day came a different person from Israel asking for charity to support his yeshiva in Israel where he was doing all he could so that anyone who wants to learn Torah would have a place to do so. But not just there. The Lakewood Kollel in Los Angeles were asking me the exact same thing when I was living in Beverly Hills.
Much to my chagrin and dismay, when I returned to Los Angeles--but this time without money, they did everything they could to convince my wife to leave me. So I figured at that point maybe Lakewood is just not so great. So I returned to Israel. And there I figured I would just sit an learn Torah in any Beith Midrash without asking for anything. That was after all exactly what every single person from Israel was saying anyone could do--just walk in and learn Torah and that was the entire purpose according to them for the very existence of their yeshivas. To my utter amazement every single yeshiva that had made this claim of being open for the public for anyone who wanted to learn Torah threw me out from the top of the staircase down into the alley.
It is not that I disagree with the importance of sitting and learning. After all God did not abandon me and even granted to me to learn Torah even after all that. But one thing I did see. The religious world is highly anti-Torah and wicked.
I did also have to make some modifications in my world view after seeing the astounding hypocrisy of the religious world and frankly straight forward sadistic people dressed in religious garb claiming to be keeping Torah.
But since this blog is about world view issues I do not have a lot to add, but just for public information in what ways have I changed my world view to correspond to the facts and reality?
The main difference is I have had to go with the explicit opinion of the Rambam and the implicit opinion of my parents concerning the importance of Physics, and Metaphysics. These bring to fear and love of God to the Rambam, and are in themselves the fulfillment of those commandments so I think without those two aspects of Torah, people go astray.
In any case, there is some deep seated wickedness in the religious world which causes them some kind of evil inclination to hurt others and then to look for excuses to blame the people they hurt.
The major source of wickedness however I did not see in Litvak place but rather the cults that the Gra put into cherem excommunication. It is just the sickness of those cults seems to have deeply infected the Litvak world also
As bad as the Lakewood group was, it still did not come anywhere near the shear sadistic wickedness I saw the the groups the Gra excommunicated. Little in the world can compare to the shear amount of Sadism I saw in those groups. All in the meantime making a song and dance about how they keep Torah. Frankly I think there are few groups in the world that present the astounding amount of sadism that I saw in the religious world. Hurting people from the shear delight of doing so.
So in short, despite their claims, I do not think they are keeping the holy Torah.
I believe this problem was actually seen by the Rambam himself who also wrote that using Torah to make money or as a means to making a living causes one to lose his portion in the next world and in Heaven, plus he was not shy about his advocacy of Physics and Metaphysics. I can not help but wonder if perhaps he linked these two issues in the same way I have here--that is in seeing the learning of Physics and Metaphysics as a kind of cure for the problem of people using Torah for money and thus losing their menschlichkeit human decency?
In any case I do not see the religious world as keeping the Torah at all. Rather I think Reform and Conservative Judaism are much closer to the path of Torah. Fanatic rituals do not make one righteous in the eyes of God.