ahh 2003. In 2003 I got engaged to my boyfriend, A. on July 4th. We had a vort(engagement party), with tons of family coming out of the woodwork to attend. We started planning a wedding. Throughout the process we got along less and less, and I became more and more dissallusioned with Judaism the more I learned about the wedding rituals I would have to go through, which directly conflicted with many of the feminist principles I had started to believe in. I was told I couldn't talk during the ceremony, I would be signed away in the tanaim by my dad, I had to walk around my groom 7 times for reasons no one had an adequate explenation for, and I couldn't even give him a ring under the chuppah. In orthodox weddings, women are given a ring, the man says the hebrew equivilent of "with this ring I thee wed" and women say nothing at all. and then they are married. I felt more and more like property. To my suprise, when I said I did not want to walk around 7 times, my fiance (who at the time was actively violating the sabbath with me on a weekly basis) flipped out and said he wanted that part of the cermony. Meanwhile, I was applying to graduate school, and was full of dreams of moving out of the NJ/NYC area to pursue my career, while my fiance wanted to stay in NJ at his job. In November, he ended our engagement. The shabbas afterwards I stayed in my dorm, drank wine, and watched movies all saturday long with a friend. In November I ate non-kosher meat for the first time (chicken nuggets), although it wasn't until the next year that I would try non-kosher beef.
So here are some excerpts from that year:
"in my classical social theory class we're reading Nitzsche's "Thus spake zarathustra". This is an amazing book. He uses the work "verily" all the time (woo!) and he doesn't believe in god, only a dancing god, which is his little metaphore thing for art. this book is freakin awesome. :) "
"a. talked to my dad about us getting engaged. they decided i'm worth 4 camels. if i had 10 camels like my dad originally wanted, i could start a camel farm. i could have camel rides,and the camels could plow the farm and fertilize it with their spit. . . . .here's my secret doubts- am i making a mistake by getting married? i've never been on a blind date, never been set up with someone, never gone out for drinks with a new guy i've never seen before. I wonder about all the possible futures i could have had if i hadn't met him, all the possible relationships i could have had. what could have been, and all that shit. going off to grad school by myself, being lonely, being set up, being able to persue weird crush things. i suppose its normal to have doubts."
"today is purim, the jewish holiday of drinking and eating and remembering that we're still not dead. I gave o. shaloch manot (food that we give to people) and she thought i was trying to jewify her. Last night (when holiday began) i went to the hunter reading of the book of esther, had some chinese food, and then went back to the dorms wherein me and e. split a bottle and a half of wine whilst watching "save the last dance". a movie which was so predictable, i figured out the entire plot within the first 5 minutes."
"went to synagogue yesterday for the first time since july."
"Today is exactly 4 years since we started dating. Yay us!
Yay a. I remember when i met him, sitting in a circle at jew cult land, when they were singing their cult songs. ahh, the days of yore"
"this weekend was ok. . . it was this jewish holiday thingy. My parents had this party on saturday night and a. got really really drunk"
"so yesterday (saturday) me and a. went to get a coffee table for his house (yeah, we're the best jews ever)."
"I don't care if the holloween parade is on a friday night. It's my last year living in NYC and i want to go dammit! "
"Happy Holloween Everyone!!!!
A. is bringing me my wings, so at the parade, i'm going to be an evil goth fairy . . .with blue hair and black wings. . .
This is my favoritest holiday of the year. . . ."
"from my friend's away message:
"Religion has actually convinced people that there is an invisible man living in the sky, and he has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these things he will send you to a place full of fire, and smoke, and burn and torture forever and ever 'till the end of time.... but he LOVES you. And he needs money"
Hahaha, so true"
"was supposed to go see a floyd cover band at bb kings. drove there with brother and brother's friend. stood on line for an hour, but the show was sold out before we even got there. Finally gave up, and went to applebees across the street, where I had unkosher chicken for the first time, like the bad jew I am. "
"went to spanish resturaunt place with soc club. the food there was sooooo good, the chicken like melted in my mouth and the fried icecream was just awesome. It just makes me glad that i don't keep kosher anymore. "
"My really jewish cousins are here for the sabbath. Despite their jewishness, they are really quite cool.
So over lunch we (me, my cousin and his wife, and my parents and older brother) Had a long debate about assimilation within judaism, and also how orthodox people think that they're the shit, and think that people who are conservative, reform, etc, are not 'religious' and that they're not really jews or something. Which my cousins don't agree with cause they're awesome, and which my parents agree with cause they're bigots.
(yesterday my mom was like "I know you're going to start dating new people now, and i just want to let you know, if you bring home people who aren't orthodox then you can go live somewhere else." This led to lots of fighting, during which time i was like "I'm not orthodox and don't ever want to be so why the hell would i want to date someone who is?" and also told her off for constantly threatening to kick me out of the house whenever she opens her mouth, especially cause I don't even live there anymore. And she was like "well if you don't live here anymore why do you come home every weekend!" to which i replied "becuase abba said if i didn't then he wouldn't pay for my dorm room!" Yeah, that was my day yesterday by the way."
" went to this chanukah party today at my cousins' house. So yeah, first of all, my uncle asked me to edit my cousin's college scholorship essay thing. Oh my god my cousin can not freakin write! The jewish educational system fails! This guy is 19 years old, and he doesn't know simple writing skills, like, say, writing an essay about one topic instead of writing 4 paragraphs that have nothing to do with each other. Gah!!
Also - told my dad again that I'm not orthodox. As you might recall, i told him the same thing two weeks ago. He doesn't remember. This makes the 4th time i've told him that i'm not orthodox, and he's forgotten the first 3 (and has probably repressed today's conversation already)"
So in sum, it was around the time i broke up with my ex-fiance that I started eating not-kosher chicken, and started identifying myself as non-orthodox to my parents. I love that little comment she had made about me having to move out if i dated someone not orthodox...ha. She would love for me to be dating a nice conservative or reform or even unaffiliated jew nowadays :)