Saturday, October 11, 2008

Why I'm still single- as a Chutznik

Some guy asked me that, one moonlight night, when I thought he was about to propose. Anyway, you, dear reader, didn't ask me this romantically, under the stars, but here's the answer all the same.
Aside from G-d, and his plans (yes, I'm sure he features heavily in the equation, I am religious after all) and aside from me being kind of picky (no, shadchanim, I didn't really admit that, this blog is ANONYMOUS), I'd account a lot of it to falling between two worlds.
We, chareidi children of Olim, are neither here nor there.
We can choose to be Israeli, but that means giving up so much. Thinking for ourselves, for a start. Accepting others, educating ourselves and our children, and so much more than that. I don't want to tar and feather all of Israeli chareidi society, but yes, that's what it would be to me, if I married one of the Israeli boys I've dated.
And Americans? Making aliyah was a struggle, learning the language, figuring out how to make it here. And this is our land, the Jewish land. I want to live here, stay here, raise my kids here. I don't want to go back. Not many Americans have the same dream, they usually want to "see how things go". They are tied to the hamburgers and the easy life. Plus easy lives make for immature men..
So that's me, caught in the middle.

2 comments:

  1. so your single because israeli men arent smart enough for you and american men arent mature enough for you? i dont think your picky, i think your full of yourself.

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  2. Anonymous,

    You completely misunderstood her. You have to understand the difference between Israeli and American haredim.

    Regarding Israeli haredim, she said that marriage would entail giving up "Thinking for ourselves, for a start." What she means is that Israel haredim are far more extreme than American haredim; the Israelis demand a defenestration of one's cognitive faculties, an unequivocal and absolute submission and acquiescence to "Daas Toyreh".

    American haredim, by contrast, are far more educated and cultured. Now, as for myself, my soul belongs to the German Neo-Orthodox and to the Judeo-Spanish Sephardim, so in my eyes, the American haredim are still woefully undereducated and uncultured. Nevertheless, I have to admit that the American haredim are much better than the Israelis. The Americans have to interact with non-Jews, they have to go to college, they perforce must earn a livelihood in a gainful occupation, etc. There's at least some leaven in the dough, even if not enough by my own personal standards. The bread is at least rising to some degree or another. But the Israeli haredim are matzvah; there's no intellectual creativity, no interaction with the world. They yield to Caesar what is Caesar's and to G-d what is G-d's. Very Neo-Platonic, actually (like Christianity), and a direct repudiation of what it says in Bereshit, that He saw "it was good". (Haredism already adopted Catholic papal infallibility and ex cathedra rulings, so should we be surprised that they adopted Christian Neo-Platonic dualism as well?)

    Rebbetzin Toby Katz, the daughter of Rabbi Nachman Bulman, once said to me, in the name of her father, that the American haredim unwittingly follow Rav Hirsch's Torah im Derekh Eretz (TIDE), even if they don't realize it. This is a gross oversimplification of what TIDE is, given that TIDE is really more of a weltanschauung of anthropological-theonomy, i.e. it is more a hashqafa of the entire world and all its fullness being under the aegis of G-d, in direct contrast with Neo-Platonic and Haredi dualism. Thus, one can follow TIDE even if he has no job and has never been to college (like myself), as long as he recognizes that all the world and all knowledge is G-dly and divine and holy, capable of sanctification and upliftment. But Rabbi Bulman had a point; the American haredim, even if their epistemology is gravely flawed from a traditional Jewish perspective, they at least some degree of derekh eretz, even if not to the Hirschian extent. By contrast, the Israel haredim have nothing.

    And she's not being picky about the maturity of the Americans. If they're too materialistic to recognize the mitzvah to live in Israel (see RambaN's hasagot on the RambaM's Sefer ha-Mitzvot), then they certainly are lacking. Besides, she cannot marry someone who lives in America while she lives in Israel.

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