Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm Free


I’m free. I can do whatever I want. I don’t have to listen to anyone, I don’t have to care what anyone thinks of me. (Except for TCO, but then we agree on most things, so that works.)

I savor it. My short period of freedom.

I’m not in school, ducking into a store when I see a teacher or a classmate in the distance, anyone who will report my long jeans skirt, strictly forbidden by my Israeli Bais Yaacov.

I’m not in Seminary, I can’t get kicked out for speaking a boy. (Not that I ever did.)

Best of all – I’m not in Shidduchim.  I can go to a wedding with no makeup, I can be unfriendly to annoying yentas, I can even make shocking and controversial statements comparing the Shidduch scene to an auction.

We live in a mixed, non Charedi, neighborhood.  I could do cartwheels in the street and nobody would care. I wear a baggy old skirt and glasses to the supermarket. I never go to anywhere just to “meet people”.  When I try to decide if my outfit is tznius, I only have one criteria – God. Not the shadchans, not the rabbis, not society.
I should enjoy it while it lasts.

The cycle will start again. Maybe we'll move to a religious neighborohood, and start caring about the neighbors.We’ll need our kids to be accepted, first to Cheiders and Bais Yaacovs, where they’ll check the length of my Sheitel and if I wear black tights, and do we have internet at home. The next stage is Seminaries and Yeshivas, an especially tough scene in competitive Jerusalem. Some mothers stop driving, some fathers change Shuls, anything to pass the test. Then our kids will be in Shidduchim, by which point we’ll need to pray we are millionaire saints, living the holy kollel lifestyle in style, with enough money set aside to buy eligible son in laws.


It’s easy to tell me I should always do what’s right, never listening, never caring. But there’s the right way, and the smart way. I’d rather be smart.

But meanwhile –I don’t have to be anything I don’t want to be. I’m free.

8 comments:

  1. this post made me really sad for you. sad that instead of living your life the way YOU would like to, you feel compelled to listen to "the smart way"- basically, compelled to live according to peer pressure and other people's idea of "the smart way". this period of your life could be more than just a period if only you had the courage to let it be..

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  2. Darling - if you don't care now, no need to care later! I'm in the same situation (I dorm in college in a place where there are very few jews) and my only criteria is G-d when making decisions. But I don't think that will change when I leave. Don't let people with pathetic criteria dictate the way you live your life - you want mechutanim who will be cool and original like you :-)

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  3. It takes a lot of courage, but you can lave chareidiville behind and embrace being a bas yisrael who is shomer torah umitzvos with a real connection to haShem - without having to conform to the faceless powerful "them".

    you can do it. i did.

    be strong, and remember - hashem asks u'bcharta b'chayim l'maan tichyeh - choose Life, so that you may live it. living in fear and as an automaton with no choices of your own isnt Life. Life requires choice, requires expression, requires a self - u'bacharta b'chayim.

    so choose life and dont look back. :)

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  4. Behaving properly has nothing to do with dating. For instance, even if I don't like someone I still have to be pleasant. And I don't think, "Once I'm married I don't have to be!" That's not how I see things. I have to be proper because I have to be proper.

    And as for planning ahead of time to be held hostage by public opinion? I am sure there are communities or establishments available that will not make that necessary.

    And enslaved life is not one at all.

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  5. To all those who seem to think that only in charedi society there is "the right way" to behave act and socialise. Think again.

    As a matter of fact, regardless of nationalty, religon or race, the higher the class- the more rules of conduct it imposes. The tighter the community, the more scared it is of gossip and negative things that can be said.

    That is a fact. Is it a good thing? Probably not, yet it is there, and one must deal with it, unless you are a duchess in a trashy novel that decides to live the peasant life in Wales with her true love.

    By the way I'm not Charedi, I live in a Dati Leumi yishuv. and trust me the fact that I am gay and liberal makes me very concious to the implications that what people think of you makes. I'm glad I chose the smart way

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  6. B"H

    To Anon May 2, 2012 12:45 AM.

    Nothing was said about leaving the Charedi community. For those who aren't apart of this community or don't know much about living within this community there is the expectation to conform.

    It might not be for everyone. But as a frum woman living within this community I wouldn't have it any other way.

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  7. What a pathetic way to live one's life. I know, because I've been there and done that.

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