There is a common element of disappointment with the religious world. It is as if many baali teshuva (newly religious) feel they have been taken advantage of and been led down a sophisticated maze of deceit. This is generally true. That makes it hard to defend Torah when it is obviously used as a  device of deception to gain power and money. I have tried to deal with this issue in two ways. One is  abusus non tolit usum. That is a Latin phrase for "Abuse does not cancel use." {Thank you my Latin teacher in high school.} I also used The Guide for the Perplexed and the idea of Natural law of the Rambam and Saadia Gaon an the Obligations of the Heart to defend Torah. There was some essays I wrote a long time ago, but in essence I simply used the idea that there is objective morality based on Michael Huemer, Kelley Ross, and John Searle, and then the idea that this objective morality is recognizable or known to reason. For that I borrowed from Fichte and the Intuitionists--and also Dr Kelley Ross. (In that, I ignored the differences between knowing and recognizing.) (I probably could have used Hegel also if I was more familiar with his four books.) At that point, I really depend of the Rambam for the idea of the Law given at Sinai which is a step up from natural law. [Reb Nachman is also helpful in this area since he points out the abuses and does not paper over them like most try to do.]

But that is not at all the issue I wanted to deal with today. I went into a tangent but the actual idea I anted to mention is the Rivam [one of the baali Tosphot.] concerning the tithe. We know there is a rule that if the owner of the crop of grain finishes the work of tying up the stalks to sell them that he is not obligated to take the tithe. The obligation is only if he finishes the work with it in mind to use the crops for himself, not to sell. The Rivam hold that if he did indeed sell the grain that that reveals that that in fact was his original intention. We do not say he changed his mind. So it seems to me that when I or others drift away from learning Torah that must reveal something about our original state of mind. You do not say some bad things happened to make us change our mind but rather our original state of commitment was not as strong as we thought it was. We were learning Torah because we could. Everything seemed to be prepared to a make it easy. When the religious world turned out not to be all rosy and pink and fluffy, it was simple to go away.

But the further related point I wanted to bring out is מגלגלים זכות על ידי זכאי merit comes about through meritorious people and חובה על ידי חייב. I forgot the actual subject but in essence the idea is that sometimes one tends towards some sin or is destined for it in some way. But still the way it is brought about is through bad people. If baali teshuva who are basically innocent and intending good,are exposed to the negative side of the religious world then that is from negative people. That means their complaints are justified.--But it is not the whole picture. There is a another side of Torah which is precious and holy.