Sunday, January 6, 2008

Ex-Hasid (as of yet NOT defined in Webster's)

frustrated
While chatting with someone today they dropped the following to me:

"As the Rabbi said, you can never erase the Satmar FLEK inside of you"....

(flek: translation - stain)

Whow! Ok, people - where to begin.... My head is swirling with thoughts, analysis, questions, almost to the point of mockery.... Now first of all, why "flek"... Its almost as if you are doomed right off the bat - you have a stain, now I dare you to go out and try to get rid of that.... But, ok... on that note, I will leave it at that. You think about it, chew it over... I'm sure you'll all voice your input... (looking forward!!!)

Back to the beginning. The quote came out during a discussion I was having with this individual who mentioned "your kind of people". Interestingly enough someone else said to me recently "wow, you're my only link to THAT world".... hmmm. I like my world and let me just tell ya all, "my world" and "my people" have no stains. We, as we love calling ourselves ARE "ex-hasids". There is no shame in it. Perhaps we use that term to identify us of what has made us who we are. To empower and to overcome. We do not feel stained. Apparently we are UN-STAINED. I am not ashamed of who I am. I may be ashamed of things I've done, of the life I lived, said and deeds acted on. But hey, wasn't I born with that "flek"!?!

I want to get one thing clear. See, I am a writer. I write short stories and poetry. A lot of it. I express myself and the people I love in it. Apparently, the shame of having a "flek" is not the shame we know. Our Ex-Hasid'ness is the label from the above quote. The shame perhaps is the consequence of having that "flek" that we never asked for.


I am so confused by that statement. I never disrespect. I have a lot of respect for many, very many Hasidic people. The ones who don't judge, enjoy their lives and don't have the need to "change" or "save" anyone. Don't save me. Save yourself. Save your morality, save your ethics, your "flek", stain. I respect the teachings of great Rabbi's, their wisdom, their thoughts, the books that are filled with so many amazing learning's and deep logic. Thoughts that provoke more intellectuality which in turn makes me think and delve. I love it. I respect and love my heritage. But, a statement like that - isn't it a bit over the top? Is it ignorance misquoted? What happened to one Jew loving another???


The holy Baal Shem Tov in the 17th century (disclaimer: I may be wrong on the date), began the concept Chasidism. His concept was based on self-expression, joy, singing and dancing in prayer; he would go into the woods for hours, meditate, study Kabbalah, and focus on individualism. He brought out the joy of a personal connection to God. When did it all get twisted? The definition of "Hasid" is to do "lefnim mesharas hadin", meaning "more than it is required of one to do per Halacha (law)". When did Hasidim begin fighting within each others circles, being shown on TV, on the holy days protesting their rabbinical leaders leadership??? Brothers, sons of holy Rabbi's fighting for the "throne". When did it become so forced, so narrow, so constricted, almost cult-like. What happened to the joy, the desire to communicate with God on one's personal level. That is not a "flek"! The Baal Shem Tov did not begin an amazing beautiful all-inclusive journey, a spiritual attachment through joy with the intention of generations and centuries later to have his ideals turn into a "you-tube" entertainment society, of "clips" being emailed in the underground (you're not allowed to have a computer) internet. The crowd which took on the right to decide who is "stained"?!?!?!?!

One of the worst, if not the worst sins, is Chilul Hashem - desecrating or shaming God's name. Where did they go from lefnim mesharas hadin to violating the most basic and worst of sins. Channel 5, and the New York Post posting pictures of physical fights, or courtroom battles equals lefnim misharas hadin, taking that extra step?! Now, that wouldn't be hypocrisy, would it? Take lefnim misharas hadin and do what is right.

When R' Shlomo Carlebach was alive (google him if you need to), his shul would be jam packed with all sorts of people, ranging from every corner of Judaism. Every color of the rainbow, every color garb, females, males, the who's who of all walks of life. The energy this holy man exuded was the ultimate CHASIDISM!!!! The joy in his shul on a Saturday night; a packed room would be alive as people, from the Satmar to the Lubavitch, to the Yecky's to the non-affiliated, non religious, non-jews (!!!) all sang and danced and connected with God on levels of true purity. Through song and dance, unity and soul. One of R' Shlomo's favorite words was Neshama (soul). He named his daughter Neshama; one of my best friends who's parents found Judaism as a way of life throught him - was named Shchina!!! (the presence of god through a woman.) How beautiful is that??? THAT is my Chasidism. THAT is not my "flek", THAT is my pride!

Am I stained? No. I am loved. "My" people, "My world", we go that extra mile. We surround ourselves with unity, and reach higher levels with purity, with no shame, with pride. We do not deny our history, our heritage NOR "OUR" Chasidism. We are a family, with self expression, individuality, with our connection to God in a way that we are comfortable and love him. Music, art, laughter and support is our Chasidism. We choose to serve our higher power, and believe and have faith. Heck, God has had my back. I have fallen on him, he has saved me. He has not called me a "flek". I love my Higher Power. He protects me. Nobody can transcend him and decide for me whether I am a stain or not. I am your Ex-Hasid. Not mine.

hate

You can deny me
But you cannot lock the door
You can block me
But of one thing be sure:
You can padlock
You can throw away the key
You can hate me forever
But I will still love me.
Throw me aside
Tell me I'm wrong
Listen to me carefully,
As me, you will never be as strong.
What you think you know
You sure do not
Take your label
"drop it like its hot!"

hate


disclaimer: this in no way is a hateful piece. it is one of confusion, a thirst for understanding, with the hope of finding everyone's input bringing a sliver of understanding... i look forward to hearing from you all.

The response I got from someone who read some of my work...
יזט געפערליך
וואס עט זיין מיט דיר - מאכסט מיר ליצנות פון די גאנצע אידישקייט

62 comments:

  1. His name: Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, Ba'al Shem Tov.
    Principal Teachings;

    "Ahavas Yisro'el" (Love of a follow Jew):
    An ideal of indiscriminate solidarity and love for all fellow Jews.

    "Good and Evil":
    Evil differs from Good only by degree in the hierarchy of holiness. Therefore the sinner is not completely rejected by the compassionate God, but always has the potential for self-improvement.

    >on a side note;
    A. Isn't Chosid?!
    B. Once a Chosid always a Chosid maybe not the crazy fanatic one or the one without the longest Sheitel & / R the biggest shtriemell, but STILL I think You represent the Best & the Real Chosid like the Ba'al Shem Tov wanted it

    P.s. "The Ba'al Shem Tov himself does not appear to have defined a framework for leadership of his movement following his death."

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  2. BShy,

    As always, youre comments are inspirational, and thank you for the point you made across.

    I'm nervous on the response on this one.... :-)

    warmest,

    JD

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  3. jaded,

    anther hateful comment from the so called perfect jews, (you do know they think of themselves as such).

    i think alot of the chassidim are missing the point, like you said, "what happened to the love?" what about the basics, "love your fellow jew"? "don't do onto others that which you dont want done onto yourself"?

    i think alot of the people that left that "farflekta (stained)" world didnt leave because they were abused (although many unfortunatly were) many left beacause of all the hypocricy they saw, not only have they forgotten the teachings of the holy baal-shem-tov, but they also forgot the soul of what judaism is based on. when asked to sum up judaism in one sentence, reb akiva said "love your friend as much as you love yourself. i didnt experience the love and i'm guessing neither did you.
    how unfortunate for them. now all they have left are the white socks worn by the likes of goerge washington, mozart, louie the fourteen etc. not alot to base a chassidus on.

    we are much better off.

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  4. GXC,

    george washington, mozart, louis the IV, now that gave me a good laugh... so true. hey, as long as their white socks werent far"flekt" they must've been satmar!

    I love what Belzer wrote ontop, reiterating the fact that chasidus, the concept is taken on a level that a person chooses to live and improve. Yes, every day of my life i work on making my life better to be a better person to the people around me, the people who support me.

    have a great day, GXC.

    JD

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  5. וואס איז א פלעק?
    ווען דו קענסט ווען א ביסעל היסטאריע, ווען דו געדענקסט די טעג ווען סאטמאר איז נישט געווען קיין וועלטס אימפעריע, נאר אראפגעקוקט און געהאסט ביי אלע אנדערע, וואלסט דו בעסער פארשטאנען.
    If you understood sarcasm or irony, if you were less defensive and insecure
    וואלסט דו אויך בעסער פארשטאנען.
    ווען די רבי ז"יע האט עס געזאגט איז סאטמאר טאקע געווען א "פלעק" ביי די גאס.
    But wtf, take it however you want.

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  6. Hey you X’s. I know that some of you may have tremendous reaction to what I am about to write, but please open your hearts to listen to the message:

    This writing comes on the heels of a class that I took on Christianity.
    When you read the history of Jesus – he was an early Ball Shem Tov. He was a Jewish Rabbi and his teachings as well as his actions were all about love, forgiveness and acceptance. Isn’t that what the Baal Shem Tov taught us too?

    In John Shelby’s book, “Why Christianity Must Change or Die” I thought that if I could just change the name of Jesus, to the Ball Shem Tov and the name of Christianity to Hassidim I would have been able to write the same book.

    It is a sad state that we all find ourselves in, being a part of a community that was founded on love and acceptance, on inclusiveness and joy, on singing and connection to the divine.. to be a part of that community and yet be ostracized because we can not live the lives of confinement that they have put upon themselves.

    Having said this, I ask each of us to pray. To pray for those still in the community and suffering, for those that feel the need to call us a “flek”.. for those that think that they have a “flek”, for those in pain and those who do not have the courage to stand up for what they believe… and most of all for the community as a whole, that they find healing, they find love, they find it in themselves to accept each and every one of us, but more importantly that they find it in themselves to love and appreciate who they are.

    Blessings
    A fellow traveler on the journey we call life.

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  7. Another nice piece good of writing. I find it amazing that so many people feel the need to force their opinion upon others. A forced love or a forced acceptance of G-d is no love at all. The best way to make someone believe what you believe is for you to believe it with all your heart and show them through pride and an example of pure goodness that what you believe is true to you. Then only when someone sees that may they want to accept it as part of themselves. And if they don't believe as you, if they do not see as you see, then it is not your place to judge them. Religion is a belief it is not just about understanding or accepting rules. Yeah there are tons of rules non of us really understand or get, but again it is about believing not just knowing. You should not need a “reason’ to believe to keep Shabbat or keep kosher or anything. Funny how we even have rules to be good people, like don’t steal… I mean don’t you think it is common sense not to steal? Lol… apparently it isn’t… anyway back you’re your “stain”… that is a very harsh thing to say. At least I think it is… even if you leave a Chashidish life style, why would they call it is “stain” seems a little odd? I would hope that people can accept if someone no longer feels connected to Chasidism (not sure that’s even a word…lol.. sorry)… the only reason to stay part of something is to believe in it… maybe what they meant is that it will always be a part of you. I agree to that, I think no matter what the experiences you had in that part of your life shaped who you are now. If they are a part of your current life or not they helped you become who you are. All experiences we have in life always remain a part of who you are… that’s just the way life is, that’s the way the brain works, the way memories are stored to be recalled to be used, analyzed and reflected upon the person we are today.

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  8. mohammed,
    thank you for sharing that. I was NOT aware of the fact that the satmar sect was different "back then"... I dont know what was meant a flek then (before my days, i'm guessing). I dont. I do know this statement was thrown at me. Unfortunately I truly do not understand that level of yiddish you wrote, but i'm guessing "imperia" means dynasty??? not sure. But, yes, i'm sure - LIKE i wrote, that somewhere along the lines it was misquoted. i just am searching of where.... its a search mohammed, NOT one of hate. a desire to accept the non-understanding... but i do appreciate you reading it and giving it input.

    JD

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  9. Empire. There was a time, before Satmar was the major chasidus it is today, right after the war when everyone was still farkisheft with the zionists, that satmar was considered a "flek" by jews who were not Satmar. When the Rebbe zy"o used the word flek he obviously meant it sarcastically, all he meant to say was that somewhere, the impressions of Satmar will stay with whoever was raised that way.
    How it was said to you, and how you choose to take it is something else altogether, but putting it in context might give you a different perspective.

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  10. see, there you go - now there is a way i can choose to take it. it was explained to me.

    i appreciate your comment. that was a big part of my question. sad that a chasid of satmar itself would throw that at someone in the concept of "you cant escape", when there is no desire to "escape"...

    interesting delve into history.

    JD

    p.s. - what does farkisheft mean?

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  11. Farkisheft = To strongly believe in something/one. Obsessed.
    Fargavt...Dark magic..

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  12. farkisheft=bewitched is the literal translation
    a better free translation in this context would be infatuated or beguiled/enamored
    http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/bewitched

    The Rebbe zy"o taught people to take a perverse pride in the fact that other groups couldn't stand them.
    Talk to the 50 year olds, who grew up with the Rebbe. They're proud of their "Satmar flek".
    And in a way, it's true. Until you die, you'll never be just another Jane Doe. Some part of you will always have a Satmar mentality.
    I don't know who you are or what your history is, but I get the impression you became irreligious. Can you blame a guy for thinking you're trying to escape something?

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  13. Interestingly enough, i didnt grow up in a satmar home at all...

    Escape is a good thing. It sets you free. I've escaped many bad things in life... being satmar just wasn't one of them.

    JD

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  14. being satmar just wasn't one of them

    So why you so hurt?

    I would'nt be hurt...I did not choose to be born into a satmar home..Once you leave your frum parents home you are on your own and identify yourself as you wish..flek my ass...

    p.s. I ain't stupid..I noticed you ignoring my comments..Im just curious why?? If i aint welcome ill fuck off....At least appreciate people taking the time reading your pain and feel for yah!

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  15. I've escaped many bad things in life... being satmar just wasn't one of them.
    That's true. Being Satmar is not a bad thing. :- )
    Escape is sometimes a good thing. It depends what you're escaping from and where you're escaping to. But it's your life and that's your decision.

    btw, gossip girl
    fargaft translates as open-mouthed, it has nothing to do with magic.

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  16. GG -
    whow!
    i love hearing your thoughts and i have always responded! you didnt post any thoughts on this peice at all, i was actually wondering what youre thoughts were! you simply defined some words i didnt understand...

    as for hurt - i do not carry my "hurt" as an emblem on my chest. i write because that is how i can express myself. period. i may have a big mouth, but i cannot talk about alot of things... at all. i dont sit and just moan about growing up in an ultra-orthodox home, and the repercussions that came after. poetry, is my first passion. i majored in journalism for my love of the written word. you find some of your pain in the words you have read on my blogs and poems and i am grateful for that.

    hurt, shame, guilt, sorrow, loss, death, rebirth - all of those - I'm not going to flatter RELIGION and blame it on them...

    i have lived a life that is full of regrets. i have seen alot of pain. i have seen too many kids die, i have lost too many people, i have seen things i shouldnt have ever seen, i have been places where i never dreamt i would end up being... and yes - i have hurt myself.

    i cant understand the attitude and tone youre bringing to the comment above, almost as if challenging my "hurt". ("so why you so hurt?")

    I do not have the monopoly on anyone's hurt or pain or regret. Every person's feelings and emotions are their's and NOBODY can take it away from them.... hey, read the "about me" section...

    You as everyone else is welcome. When I decided to take this blog to the next level and make it a bit personal, insted of hiding behind poetry, I made a conscious decision of allowing all and everyone to voice their thoughts and feelings, and love that people do.

    Why are you so angry???

    JD

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  17. Nematolah -

    I love the fact that you voice your input, without bias, as you just educate yourself in all arenas of life as a whole... Your comments on many of my blogs have always been thought provoking, and this one here especially, is so simple and truthful, non-attacking, just the true musings of a GOOD JEW.

    Youre a wise, good person, nem.

    JD

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  18. Sorry it is the way I talk. I'm not angry at all.

    I must have misunderstood your post. I thought you got hurt by someone who labeled you as Satmar..

    The Hasidic world consists of labeling/judging..Who made them holier than thou? In fact I think you are way more powerful going thru so much unlike those of us who hide cause we don't want to be a flek in frum society..

    Your writing is indeed amazing..You are very talented. I guess your thought provoking posts gets me going...Nothing personal towards you..

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  19. this is great stuff. thank you jaded for writing such a wonderful piece and thank you everyone for contributing and commenting.

    jaded, you can tell them to suck your flek:-)

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  20. F&L soul,
    wooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!
    First of all I'm so happy u wrote this & yah I'm proud of my name Shchina… and I do believe in the real Chasidut, not what it has become today, we don't have to have a certain rebbe, we could be Chasidim on our own, doing what the holy Bal Shem Tov used to do (of course not on his level, but the best we can) but let me tell u my friend, "flek" might mean stain, but I think you totally misunderstood the meaning of that saying, I learned Yiddish as a second language and I was the best in class… "flek" also means SPARK!!!!!!! That's what I think the person meant to tell you, unless it was a very nasty & careless person… lots more to say but it'll have to wait, I gotta get going…
    LOVE U SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  21. Wow, all of you - amazing individuals you all are!!!

    I learned Yiddish as a second language and I was the best in class… "flek" also means SPARK!!!!!!!

    Thank you BR!


    GG,

    I understand. I truly do. That is where it all began and sometimes when I write about stuff like that it DOES mess me up for the day, just cuz it takes me back and i wonder where it all went wrong... if you read the article The W again, you will see the last sentence of the paragraph "i graduated college an honor roll HEROIN addict"... I am horribly ashamed of that, but that is where I ended up. Its not something I announce to the world, but here we are annonymous, so I can just try to put things in perspective to my friends in here... please do not hold back on your feelings, this is where you can vent. you truly can. i know you are torn, that is SO hard, how you hope and dream and wonder "what if".... please allow this page to support you.

    GXC,

    Thank you for the support you give in every way. As you know, we both write to open up our thoughts and give perspective to others as to "why"... we dont need validation, but we can share... i wont attack, but my baggage does come from somewhere... a journey, is what this blog has become.. and yes, thanks to all contributing.

    -my flek is out of commission, so it aint suckable...

    BR,

    You are a true example of "SCHINA"... I love that you wrote about your yiddish learnings, cuz i do know your yiddish SUCKS, lol, yet you remember that. I love the way you embrace your chasidic life, you are a true example of the bal shem tov's teachings and of course everyone is torn sometimes, yet your attitude towards god is so joyful it is an inspiration.

    thank you all,

    much love to this room...

    JD

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  22. JD,

    I'm curious why my frum "Satmar" friends associate drugs & alcohol with "your kinda people"?? Which is spoken about with scorn and stigma.

    I've never done drugs or alcohol (not my thing). I assume having those addictions makes it way more difficult in the aftermath of leaving the frum community??
    Is it your very strong ambivalence about the rules and details of the Hasidic lifestyle that got you addicted? Or does that have nothing in common with you leaving?

    I hope i didn't offend you in any way. The quotes and pictures you post are so are target..

    "Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable,
    and remove yourself from the unacceptable."

    Have a great day!

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  23. blessed rose,

    the yiddish word for spark is "fink".

    gossip,
    i think because the rules in the community are so strict, when one leaves the community there are no rules. drugs, sex, whatever feels good. there are no rules.

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  24. Just a nice guy (not Goy)January 8, 2008 at 9:02 PM

    Hi
    I am new to blogging, I am not an ex-Chusid (HASID, CHOSID OR CHASID, HOWEVER YOU WANT TO PRONOUNCE IT)I am within Chasidus yet different, I think different, act diff., speak different and love different.

    I love people, I love life and most of all I love al of Hashems children.

    I cant concentrate now to write much, but wanted to say, "just because u need/want to be different doesnt mean that the whole torah must fall by the wayside". Me

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  25. Thanks GXC, I actually looked it up on an online Yiddish dictionary, and as JD said, yap my Yiddish's sucks... it has bean 14 years since I stepped out of my last Yiddish class...OK nice try, I guess the person said what he meant... ouch!!!!!!!!
    but I do agree there's a spark in every one of you/us.
    LOVE to all

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  26. Just a nice guy (not Goy)
    You say

    "I think different,
    ..act diff.
    ..speak different
    ..and love different.

    Does not sound like it @ all
    cause this whole topic we R
    talking about Ba'al-Shem-Tov's way of Chasidus!
    Were size of T beard / color of stocking / type of Sheittel / I can go on...

    Me not following 2 T letter >> YOUR << definition of Yiddishkeit doesn't mean Yiddishkiet is going 2 B going "fall by the wayside"

    in a summery U r talking like them U thing like them U probably Love & Act like them to which makes U 1 of them ...

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  27. just a nice guy,

    i'm glad you are appriciative of your frumkite/judaism. it might be "because" you grew up differently than we did, that you can enjoy it. if you had grown up with everything being shoved down your throat and at the same time saw all the hypocricy around you, you just might have a different view. if you had our experience, you probably would have been venting on this page as well. or you might have been to drunk or stoned to do so.

    belze shaygetz,
    hi there, i love belzers, especially the ones with the black stockings.

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  28. gec
    U mean T ones without any stocking'
    Right?!
    lol
    I Love u all keep it up
    I rather vent here from my close quarters than @ a ...

    ReplyDelete
  29. wow, i've been missing out...

    Dear GUY.

    Welcome. first of all, i am curious about your name... "just a nice guy (not goy)" - why the need to add that?

    loving all of god's children AND the torah has ZILCH to do with the "ex-hasid" peice... especially if you read or have read some of my other blogs or poems, acting different, speaking different, et al, is THE point. One should and can choose how to act, not be FORCED or COERCED.

    the whole topic does not mention the torah at all. "needing" or "wanting" to be different? Please read the poem "...and I'M different???" that may give you a bit more to dwell on... i'd love to hear your thoughts....

    GG,

    Its actually funny that a big percentile and alot of "MY" people associate SATMAR with the drugs and sex... especially the kids nowadays...

    having addiction does not become more difficult in the aftermath of leaving a hasidic lifestyle, i dont think. for me, i started when i was a teenager in williamsburg and i only got help (after hitting VERY rock bottom) years later in the secular world. while i know some people (adults, my parents age) who have families in frum communities who have addictions, i.e. alcohol, cocaine, pot - but cant get help because everything is so taboo... know what i mean? you cant exactly go to rehab, a woman would first tell her "friends" her husband has cancer before saying he is in rehab... hmmm, food for thought for us, eh? interesting point...

    i dont have an answer for all addicts and i'm not gonna delve into my whole story, but yes, maybe with the way i grew up turned my actions into impulsive addictive behaviours... i always replaced one with another, to bury my feelings and emotions... i will share on that later, you will appreciate it... i really appreciate your deep thoughts, it makes me think!

    GXC, and BSHY,
    are you two in cahoots now, lol? shvartzeh zuken versus white ones??? hmmm, how about we have a match right here???

    But BShy, you are right. and that is what i keep trying to stress - yiddishkeit, or Judaism is NOT chasidus.

    love the venting. you guys are great. i'm having a rather hard week as it is a week with alot of family and things are taking its toll... i am all out of motrin and besides the fact that my feet are killing me, so much stuff keeps coming up, just from a parent throwing a comment and walking away, while i am left standing there helplessly, once again the little kid - not wanting to dissapoint and be a failure... or to be the embarassment, although when in Rome i sure as hell do as the Romans. (hey, did they ever wear white sox, no no no - they were the ones with the little boy sex slaves.... oy, my history is all confused now...) so to come back here and see you all... its a safety net...

    you are all good good peeps.

    warmly,

    JD

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  30. J--
    This look into your life always leaves me filled with questions. i am a christian. i know nothing of the jewish faith or hasiddic faith or any of that. but i know one thing. God is love. Love is God. that's what it is all about right? live your life girl. run your race. keep doing what you think is right. much love.
    dupree

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  31. DUPREE!!!!

    Wowser, you know me before all this crap started flying, huh? what happened to the dark poet, lol.

    Hasidic lifestyle is just the one i know, you being christian - very observant or not, i believe can still relate - in every culture, religion etc. things are blown out of context and labeled and judged. yet your belief's are always simplistic, which makes it seem so much easier. "god is love, love is god"....

    Hey, how are ya managing with all that hebrew thrown in? see why you should be living in the melting pot of new york???

    hows the peanut butter cup?

    JD

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  32. "but i know one thing. God is love. Love is God," yap dupree, when u love someone you want to give him all he asks for, what is it he wants from us as Jews/christian??? that sould be our focus...
    from a dictionery:
    love: devotion, fondness, passion
    do we do this for God????????

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  33. Blessed,

    Excellent and very wise point... Although, I do have to play a bit of devil's advocate... Each person has a connection with what they call "god" on their level. To some God is found through children, or music, or nature... but i really like the integration of yours and Dupree's comments...

    U guys are great.

    JD

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  34. If you had grown up with everything being shoved down your throat and at the same time saw all the hypocrisy around you.

    LOL! Here I am screaming those same words yet I go thru the motions of a relig woman like preparing for shabbos, lighting candles etc. yet it means nothing to me. I do it cause I was told & of course for my family, friends, neighbors.

    In other words I am a coward myself cause I haven't left. I am repeating the same BS I have seen all my life.
    Funny how I feel content where I am at in life, I do not feel bind to all the rules yet I hate the hypocrisy. I guess it is harder to leave when one is truly welcome in the community, has a great marriage for the most part & non judgmental friends & family.

    Question:
    Is it possible to be content with such a lifestyle? Or does one need to despise G-d/ortho lifestyle all the way to move ahead in the secular world? (which I'm very much part of).

    Again I am truly lucky and blessed where I am at today despite the fact that I am here venting :) That is why I have that little spark (G-D).

    CONFUSED? Forgive me...

    JD,
    Don't even take your parents harsh words to heart. Live in the moment without any grudges..You won't believe how exciting a brand new day can be..Befriend those who get you..Life has more meaning when you look ahead instead of drowning in your past sorrows. I know its easier said then done, one thing i have learned..People just shoot shitty words without thinking. I have learned (working on it lol) not to take everything to heart & do what's best for me..

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  35. GG,
    first of all thanks for the kind words in your last paragraph... its one parent... its a whole mess... oh well.

    My attempt to answer: (I hope others will as well)
    "Is it possible to be content with such a lifestyle?"
    You seem content, good family, good marriage, all your words... you probably have a couple of kids... etc... but let me ask you a question, when you do light the shabbos candles- what do you feel inside? is it just a motion, or do you feel a connection to god? do you feel a connection to god at all? the core here, is it spirituality lacking - which IS NOT RELIGION, or is it a feeling of curiosity, - to see the world, OR a feeling of being trapped... I see the three in your comments alot...
    NO NO NO - one does not at all need to despise God/ortho lifestyle all the way to move ahead in the secular world!!! once again, lets separate god from "religion"... i mean, blessed rose and dupree both wrote really neat concepts of love and god... there are plenty of people in the corporate world who are observant... in parent's you wrote
    "which i'm very much a part of" - do you mean the secular world? but do you despise the ortho lifestyle?

    lets take a break for a moment, try to express it. you are so conflicted from paragraph one to two, my heart goes out to you... you are torn, out of love (prob your kids, dunno your spousal situation), loyalty (family, friends), fear ("thrown out of the community") and you feel as though you are missing something...

    its hard for me, as i cant even begin to understand that balance. as i told you i was left with extreme impulsive behaviors... only in the last few years have i been able to balance some of my life, with still many downfalls - relapses (not drugs, necessarily at all)... I ran. I still run. but no matter what, the cruel reality of life always wins the race...

    are you sad? do you feel lonely? i'm asking about those times when you are alone, without friends, etc... do you find substance in anything? one thing i DO want you to know is that you and everyone else contributes to a great environment... all i need to do is bang out my thoughts and its amazing how every walk of life touches one another here....

    thanks to all of you over and over again....

    JD

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  36. I do not have a couple of kids. That is why I am judged sometimes. I am content with one. I do not want to have more like my friends who have 10 under the age of 10..I am the career obsessed type of woman.

    I don't really feel alone. My husband is my best friend who is so supportive of me and my BS. We do have a fun life...I do not feel any connection to G-d when I light candles. I don't despise relig. I hate the double standard..(im part of). My words make no sense just because I am starting to notice my confusion with chassidishness verses relig.

    Instead of boring you with every detail I will just say this.

    "I think my religious issues stem from questioning my sexuality."

    GXC, If you weren't gay would you still have left?

    As for being trapped nobody is forcing me to stay. Me going back & forth in my head is killing me inside.

    JD.. You are just amazing..Thanks for your time.

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  37. gossip girl,

    i left before i realized i was gay. unfortunatly i went through hell. starting from my parent to teachers to classmates. i was alone, lonely and depressed. there were many times i wanted to give up my life. i had to leave to find myself and find meaning in my life in order to find a reason to live.

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  38. GG,

    sorry, didnt mean anything by "couple of kids"... see i may have been assuming and judging... but one sounds great!!!

    is your hubby aware of your sexuality issues? i mean, i'm pretty sure you mustve sent some kind of message that youre bi, by now...

    trust me, many of the people in here are gay... the stigma is there... first of all - what can i tell you, going to an all girls school, hey, shit will happen, lol... of course not to mention the mikvah with the boys... (all said with humor...)

    but truly, sexuality is a hard thing to come out with... GXC, i think we both know very many people who are observant and religious and are in gay relationships... its a very difficult situation, but GG - i truly believe, i really do - that at some point you will get "out"... and by that i dont mean, running away and making hell... but if you are gay, which you be - eventually i hope and pray you find a partner who will satisfy you... sometimes you may make love to your husband while fantasizing about other stuff... which is ok, but PAINFULL. actually, email me at jadeddreamer.com - and i may be able to go into some more personal details with you...

    as GXC wrote... sometimes you are so torn and hurt to begin with, you cant even find the core of it all - but thankfully GXC finally had some peace of mind and was able to find some serenity, just by realizing and identifying his sexuality.

    homosexuality is by now a big accepted part of society. my second year at Boston U, a new class was presented and for the absolute hate for science i signed up for it - it was new on the prospectus and called "the history of homosexuality"... it was the best class i ever took in four years of college, i still have the notes! homosexuality has been around since the begining of time... of course there are all the arguments of nature vs. nurture, but its bullshit.

    you just need to find yourself... whatever it may be, you ARE trapped. and i dont mean the fact that you were told not to drive... (tho thats kinda sucky). you are trapped in your heart and i'm sure GXC can comment some more on that...

    yes, i agree - religion is just another factor. things are kicking up in you, and you really are welcome to bring them up in here, i believe you get support here...

    perhaps others can throw in some thoughts. everyone keep in mind, judging someone by their sexuality is ignorant and narrow... so if there is negativity in your response, please keep it to a minimum, although i believe everyone in here is pretty NORMAL and ACCEPTING, just for the fact that most of us have been labeled and kicked in the ass plenty.

    GG, please dont thank me for my time... you (all of you), we are (hopefully) learning alot about ourselves and each other, as i wrote before - different walks of life...

    either way, i am so glad i have all of you here, sincere therapy...

    GXC, i have seen you in so much pain, i commend the life you have set yourself. you are true, honest and live with yourself comfortably, which even i have yet to do... you are an amazing person.

    love to you all... and to those of you missing out on the weekend action (teasing a few of you - shabbos) have a nice time with your family....

    Blessed, GG, enjoy your shabbos...

    love to you all...

    p.s. - BShy, the music video you posted a couple of weeks ago on the shabbos topic really touched me, whatcha gonna treat us with this week?

    love to you all, another freakin shabbos event for me. one more pair of 4 inch heels and skirts and i may really hit my head into my computer screen.

    a hug for each of you (and i expect one back!!!)

    JD

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  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  40. GXC, I feel for you. It must be hell for one to want to take their own life...You come across as a very strong character.

    JD,

    Lol I love your sense of humor..
    The issue is not if I'm gay or bi. It is be being ortho & having such thoughts. Of course my husband knows and so do many. I am absolutely not ashamed of it.

    I don't even know why I mentioned my sexuality, when my desire to leave the ultra "frum kick" in yiddishkiet overrides everything else.

    Have a great shabbos.

    HUGS,
    Gossip Girl

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  41. the way we were

    last night we went to a broadway show of Mamamia, was amazing.
    i met a person from back in the days we were trying to talk about the good times there were so few & far between
    i'm not going to say i understand your pain because no one can ever do we can only relate to
    although i've not had contact with my family since i left 13 years ago sometimes i envy you guys that you have a chance to so even if...
    life is a roller-coaster there is good bad & in between
    i've learned to cope with what i have
    to be content with what i see
    and to except & expect nothing less for what it is worth
    life must go on so i'm going to make the best out of it whenever i can

    to all my fellow UOJ Git Shabass
    to all my fellow OJ Shabat Shalom
    to all my fellow friends Have a Great Weekend

    & 4 u JD i think that is an appropriate them song / video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQZD0n_Gy9w&feature=related

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  42. Dear GUY. Dear Dreamer

    Welcome. THANKS!!!!!!!!first of all, i am curious about your name... "just a nice guy (not goy)" - why the need to add that? Simply, because some (note I said "some") Ex-Hasids would read that as GOY

    loving all of god's children AND the torah has ZILCH to do with the "ex-hasid" peice... especially if you read or have read some of my other blogs or poems,I MUST ADMID I HAVENT.. BUT WILL acting different, speaking different, et al, is THE point.DUH!!!!!!!!!!!! One should and can choose how to act, not be FORCED or COERCED.THAT IS A POINT I WOULD LOVE TO GET INTO, the MEANING OF "FORCED and/or COERCED", when does the forcing begin and when is it called simple "Upbringing" all societies religious or not, have so-called "Standards" does a parent have the "Right" to tell/FORCE a 15 year old to go to school??? how about a 12 year old??? when and where does it begin or end????? when is it called "RULES" in the house and when is it called "FORCE/COERCION"????

    Theres soooooooooo MUCH to schmooze and discuss BUT I like to call a Spade a spade.




    the whole topic does not mention the torah at all. "needing" or "wanting" to be different? Please read the poem "...and I'M different???" that may give you a bit more to dwell on... i'd love to hear your thoughts.... U JUST HEARD SOME. SHABBAT SHALOM. ME

    PS Maybe I should call myself the SPADE LOL

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  43. BeSHY,

    U go first, cuz now I officially love you. Bad girls is one of my favorite shows... LOGO rocks!!! GG, do you have the LOGO channel (gay channel). AMAZING... that show breaks me, i love the way the music video opens with Helen... Nikki and Shaz are my favorite characters... I think everyone here would relate...
    (in case anyones wondering its a BBC show... - transferred to America)

    ok.... wow, i just came back from a lovely shabbos family event. ah, the joy... the irony, within the whole gamut of shtreimels, beeber hats and the clean shaved, some bounced at 9 p.m. and are in the city now.... love it. how we live for others... i tell myself i do as the romans do, but am i a hypocrite? should i just not attend because i cant attend in jeans or slacks with a killer cleavage showing shirt? am i really a liar, or am i honest - i dress with respect to the environment... i believe i dress to respect them, but then again one may think i am a hypocrite and should avoid the events all together... BeShy, i do see my family, but with what a price... i come from a pretty dysfunctional family (ahem, understatement of the century) and the stress takes such a toll on me, that i am physically sick whenever i do see them, and have to deal with parents who hate each other and other spouses and all that jazz... i am just so protective of my siblings... ok, what a confusing run on paragraph... nuff about me.

    like BeShy said, good shabbos to y'all... i wanted to pop in and say hi, and GG and SPADE i wanna re=read what you both wrote, but my head is all over the place now... just feel so self-destructive now... fight the demons in my head...
    run run run away
    demons in my head do play
    my heart is heavy
    my chest is tight
    i want to get rid of the pain
    i dont want to fight
    i want that fix
    i want if fast
    my scarred flesh
    i want to slash
    i want to hide
    i dont want to feel
    but i must face myself
    and see whats real...

    i'm tired folks. just so tired.

    love ya all.

    (i am not going to even review what i wrote here, but i'm sure tomorrow i'm going to wanna make a million changes... so bear with me...)

    JD

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  44. Hello Brooklyn!

    (and the rest of the world not on this planet....)

    GG, Nematolah forwarded something fascinating to me this morning, which will FREAK you out... I will post it soon, i'm trying to find my zone... regarding judaism, religion and (YUP!) homosexuality...

    you may have mentioned your sexuality because maybe deep down thats where you belong and thats that driving push... knowing that no matter what it aint gonna happen in the place you are right now... so what is your spouse's thoughts on all this?

    Non GOY,

    ok, i see we are into the cutting and pasting thingy, its a bit difficult to read... lets give it a shot...

    YOUR NAME: Simply, because some (note I said "some") Ex-Hasids would read that as GOY

    My Response: as bad as the education is, i honestly dont think ANY (note i DID not write 'some") Ex-Hasids cant read the difference between guy and goy .come on...

    FORCED/COERCED... yes, a kid should be forced to go to school, meaning knowing as Nem said - why do there have to be rules not to steal??? - to learn the proper rules of society and civilization. A kid should NOT be instilled with fear, or bribed or shamed into doing something... but of course many more aspects to this... it is a powerful expression, and one of many different stages, and situations, but its all open to observation.
    Standards vs. Rights, that is very gray as well... ouch, my head hurts, i cant even analyze this, any of you readers got something???

    But I still dont see where you are seeing a spade and calling it one... (therefore i have yet to address you the SPADE)

    p.s. - am i the only one having a bizarre day??? or is it just in the air....

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  45. How come your email in your profile does not work?

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  46. JD, I missed all the action over the weekend… lots to catch up on… well I love that little poem u naturally put into your comment, you are a born poet since the beginning of time… I think it's great u keep up with your family, blood's not water!!!! With all the hardships I still believe it's worth it!!! And for the hypocrite part of it, who of all of you is not an hypocrite at one time or another?!
    GXC, I just found out yesterday, a good friend of main tried to take her life, she is not so observant now, (doesn’t cover her hair, dose not dress "tznius" but keeps Shabbos) she got divorced, fell in love and remarried, when she told me she had a BF right after her divorce, I was like what's the rush? She said, you don't know I can't live without him… well now she tried to commit suicide… I feel so bad for her, what do you tell a person in such a situation? I thought she finally found her way in life & was happy with it… I don't want to call her & say the wrong thing…

    Anyway as for all of you great people, GG, JD, and everyone else in this wonderful place, I live in a totally diff environment where most people are BT's or converts, where FFB people are an exception, so here people were not shoved their faith down their throats, but came to believe in God and become observant out of free will… so their look at their religious lives is very different, as for me I'm kind of in-between BT & FFB, my dad's a BT, my mom a convert, in yet I was born into a religious environment, went to very religious schools, but had my eyes open to the world, it was not a conflict for me… I was taught especially from my dad how wonderful it is to have a good relationship with god, he would take me to the forest almost every week (when I was very young) and he would say: "now you stay here, I'm going to talk to Hashem" and I too had time to meditate & speak to Hashem in my own words… so I thank God for having such a great childhood & I hope & pray I'll give my kids the same…

    Keep it up peeps
    Love is in the air…

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  47. BLESSED ROSE.......

    Its amazing how we think we got problems, and I see how often on your end of the world things are just the same... people in love, people broken, hurt, in pain... the universe just doesnt always deal anyone a great hand at cards...

    I'm so sorry about your friend... Wow, love conquers all, huh??? to the point of death.... I wonder how your community responded... Here it would be a big secret, and the woman would be labeled forever... Obviously, my circle in a situation like this, would all be pro-active and help each other, but to all of you -

    I remember when I was a teenager in Williamsburg the following happened. A 21 year old daughter of one of the Chasidishe rabbi's took a walk onto the Williamsburg bridge with a twin carriage, with two of her FOUR kids, left the carriage on the bridge and jumped to her death... The story blew up like a raging wildfire... The bottom line, she had post-partum depression (21 and FOUR kids???!??!?!) and the family let out on the streets that she had "nervous" problems, and that she was mentally ill from the get-go. No she wasnt. I remembered her from camp, she was a few years older than me. She was the spunkiest girl, such life in her... What happened? Did she cry and beg for birth control and was denied!?!?! I DONT KNOW. was her body wreaked and she couldnt handle it anymore??? I DONT KNOW. i could assume, but this actually kind of answers Guy (NO GOY's) comment on Forced/Coerced...

    I dont know what made me think of it now... As i said, since starting this blog so much is kicking up in me...

    You know BR, in a way - I am so jealous of the lifestyle you were raised in... I remember I met you 12 years ago, we were from two diff countries, but we couldve been from two diff planets. i hated the IDEA of organized religion yet you were so chilled - it was never pressure on you... its amazing that FFB people are rare in your area, i mean you live in a beautiful holy city and the way you express your life, and how I would DREAM to have my father take me to the forest, knowing he was going to communicate with god, in PRIVATE, not shaking and screaming in a shul so other people can see how "holy" he is, and be left with my thoughts and beauty... Myself, as a creative person finds peace, solidarity and love in nature, (specially that I'm such a New Yorker)so I can only imagine how wondrous it was as a child to be given that gift...

    Your words are eye opening...

    FORCED/COERCED.

    Spade, now thats what i call calling a spade a spade. the answer is in BR's response. I think she made a phenomenal point and it should be read, especially since the base of this entire peice began with the concept of Bal Shem Tov...

    Have a great day y'all. Off to work. How i wish i could just sit on my fire escape in the rain and continue to write for hours.... but as Virginia Woolf wrote, "for one to be a writer, one must be rich"...

    Stay warm...

    hugz all around.

    p.s. - BShy, you didnt share the experience of your second Bar Mitzva yet.... This is how it all began, please let us know where youre up to with all of it, and if it already passed - where is our update????

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  48. WOW..Deep comments..Whoa...

    Blessed you are a blessed rose indeed...Lucky you...

    How dare I complain after reading so much horror..Shame on me LOL!!!

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  49. Jaded, let me tell you I used to be jealous of you… I remember 12 years ago (was it that long ago?!) u used to brag about your parents, how they r so young & they take you ice skating etc., my parents were much older…
    Anyway, that is really sad about that young woman, 21 with 4 kids, OMG!!! What a sad ending, my friend is in a very open community, I hope she's getting the help she needs, as I said , I didn't call her yet, I think I'll text her as if I don't know about it and see her response, yes, I know her from the same place I know you, only at a different time… we were very close, she dose not live in the same city I live in, she visited me shortly after her second marriage (about 2 months ago), she lived with my parents for a while… & she's very close with my sis , since they were both divorced at the same time … I hope she'll be OK…
    My friend didn't jump, she swallowed pills, you know that crap…
    oxoxoxox to you!!!!

    GG, don't be ashamed of your complaining, everyone's suffering is relative to their strength, & although I think you are very strong, it dose not mean you are not allowed to complain, take it easy & day by day…

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  50. JD sent me the link to this powerful video, I think you'd all appreciate it.
    JD, I still love this peace...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb6-aGm7jKk

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  51. BR,

    I hate when this happens, i posted a response and it didnt post!

    i will try to reiterate... yes, first of all the video - i love it, cuz i can apply whatever i feel out of it to myself...

    yes, those were the days... the days that we painted the portrait of the perfect family, with raging violence and hate behind closed doors...

    GG,

    BR is right... i cannot stress enough (after years of INTENSE therapy) that your feelings are yours. Nobody has the monopoly on pain, hurt, or any emotions. Those are yours, nobody can take away your feelings... i truly believe you will find peace, as long as it may take, to find yourself and fight out the conflicts and demons in your head and heart...

    great day...

    JD

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  52. In reply to … > p.s. - BShy, you didnt share the experience of your second Bar Mitzva yet....
    Well on Christmas / Kratzmach eve 1994 I crossed the bridge and never looked back (for the sake of wanting to turn back)
    I went out to a pub/ bar met some people I shouldn’t have and before I knew it was two year latter and the roller coaster didn’t stop there…
    trying to blend in with a society that is the worst of worst as I was always told for the most of my life so that’s what I found doing practically everything and anything just to fit in, as I grew older I realized its not they way, I went to University for 3 years while working a part time job @ 55 – 60 hours a week (not a month) well I’ve learned a lot in life but one thing is sure the grass isn’t green either side of de fence unless you really work hard on it.
    each flower has to be treaded single handedly even a wild Cactus Tree has to be treaded with once respect
    whether it is a cactus, sharp knife or any think you myth presume danger if handled with care and respect it will feed you, help you and keep you safe
    life takes a mix of things to get something right a tfila / prayer, meditation and a shoulder to lean / cry on

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtFQTjGJ83c

    would like to wish all a great day

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  53. The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
    George Bernard Shaw

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  54. Hey Chanie R, welcome to the blog!!!
    deep words, I think a man should do both, that's more reasonable...

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  55. ref. chanie r.
    "the reasonable man..." (you meant 2 say woman, right?)
    Define reasonable?
    U probably define reasonable~~~George Bush invading every corner of this world so "HE" can get rich enough that not a single person in his family will ever have 2 work in their life time
    i will define reasonable Fidel Castro & Cuban Government
    i will define reasonable sleeping 5 hours a night
    i will define reasonable reading a book a week
    i will define reasonable knowing as many languages as i can (thus far seven)
    i will define reasonable helping people whenever i have the means and/r time, and not only when the people & media is around!
    “adapts himself to the world” (you mean living my life a lie so I can look good when I’m around you)
    like in the middle east living under a Hijaab because someone things that’s what Muhammad meant 2say;
    like in Williamsburg living under a Shppitzel because someone things that’s what Ba’al Shem Tov meant 2say;

    p.s. B R
    how can you do both ~~~ I called that a double faced __________

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  56. Well B Shyg,
    Maybe I AM double faced in a way, what I meant to say was that a person should do the best he can but not give up if not everything goes the way he wants it to …

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  57. Reply to Belze S (sorry can’t bring myself to call you shygatz! :-)
    from Chanie Ravitz)

    Sorry for a very delayed response. I decided not to use this commenting board as a tool to correspond but rather to comment. However, you seem quite intelligent, well read, and knowledgeable, couldn’t resist to respond to some of the points you raised and will do so in chronological order:

    “the reasonable man” man refers to persons in general where sex is totally irrelevant, and in general that especially applies when it’s a quote. Besides, wouldn’t want to alter its authenticity by changing anything- that’s idea of quotation.

    Have to confess, totally don’t understand what you mean with your list of definitions for “reasonable”.

    Regarding “adapts” and lying- I believe that you are confusing the word “pretend” with “adapt” and therefore responded the way you did about lying. Adapting is a process, one that can be very healthy when necessary, whereas pretending is very unhealthy and destructive to our psyche.

    This quote can be read in many differnt ways. The way one reads and comprehends it is a reflection of one's experiences, fears, inclinations, and general state of mind. Hundreds of people can read a quote, and each can read something entirely different. That's the beauty of it- it's personal when it's not. When I read it, I thought of it as powerful and inspiring.

    Wishing you all the best!

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  58. BShy,

    You've established yourself a little fan.... My eyebrows are just twitching in a "HUH" response, trying to find the connection, and even trying to excuse the intelligence attempt at some sort of psycho-analytical determination.

    Either way, I think you can start saving your $150 an hour therapy!!!

    How have you been? Its been quiet, long cold winter is a good time to hide?

    JD

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  59. @readers of this essay.

    wow... has anyone's perpective changed in the past two years?

    JD.

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  60. i didnt read all the comments as that too much for me. you ask what happened to chassidus and chassidim? Intrestingly de divre joel himself writes that ways of the baalshemtov are forgotten these days(end of the first part of divre joel..nishtakech derech habaalshemtov)its soo true that essence of chasidismus is long forgotten and what we see today in general as chassidim has not much todo with the holy baalshemtov. but its also true that there some true chassidim outthere somewhere that dont judge that love you just the way you are

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  61. All this talk of acceptance and love.... Many people on this site don't accept that I don't want to be accepting!! Why can't you accept that?!

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