Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I think it was in 2005 that I decided that I was a "cultural jew"; so I would occasionally have shabbat dinners and lunches with my friends, celebrate holidays, but judaism didn't really make a huge day to day impact on my life. I still only dated jews though...and that year I dated a LOT...the year before I had been in that transition where i moved from NYC-NJ-current city, so in NYC and NJ i knew i would be moving soon, so there was no point in dating that much anyways, and then once I got here I was dealing with living in my own apartment for the first time, starting grad school and all the crazy amount of work that entails, and trying to start some sort of a social life in a city i had moved to knowing one other person who lived there. a lot of that social life did involve the jewish grad student network, since going to a shabbat dinner with a bunch of other grad students, some of whom i sort of knew, was easier than arranging my own social life. Anyways, the point is that I dated a whole bunch of people that year, all jewish. Right after new years I met a guy through jdate who i dated around 6 weeks...that ended when he got super drunk on valentines day and destroyed my apartment (long dramatic story there, that's off-topic for this blog). In August I met someone at a jewish grad students network trip to atlantic city, and dated him also for around 6 weeks, but that ended becuase he was a gigantic douchebag (seriously, this was the guy who talks to managers at resturuants when the waitress isn't fast enough. that's what a douchebag he was). Intersperesed with that were a whole bunch of first and second dates, a few one night stands, and a kind of ambivilance about the whole judaism thing. Oh also I had my first cheeseburge at fergie's pub downtown, which was just delicious.,and my first shrimp which I didn't like...i thought it tasted like the sea. IT was a tiny shrimp and made at a hibachi resturaunt, which is not the normal way of shrimps, but yeah.

Tonight am going to this jew young people's business network dinner thing of doom (eg, the meat market). I figure i should wear a skirt since it'll be full of jews. . .meanwhile my like 12 year old cousin is getting engaged. WTF. Ok, she's really 19, but still, who the fuck gets engaged that early?

Last night Dressed up in my pretty black skirt and sluttyish black shirt ato go to this jew dinner thing in center city. Talked to R. basically the whole dinner- cause i was feeling way too meat markety talking to stangers (the whole thing was horrible, although it sort of felt like NCSY for grown ups), and R.'s a really cool guy- except i found out he's not actually jewish (his mom isn't jewish). Sigh.
After the dinner, a bunch of us went over to the irish pub for a drink.
Then today went over to E.'s for shabbas lunch.

Also today, talked to my grandmother for half an hour, and without us yelling at each other the entire time! I also talked to b., my cousin who got engaged, and OMG has she turned into a brooklyn jew robot. She was like "Imirtza hashem [translation for non jew robots: god willing] you'll be soon." and "don't worry, you'll find a nice guy to marry soon". Um, WTF. Thanks, but that's really ok. I'm not planning on getting married for a good long time. Not like her, who is getting married at 19 to a 24 year old guy who learns torah all day and has never had a real job in his life, and may or may not take the MCATs later this year and not have money for another 8 years. And who is the third guy she's ever dated. And the first two only lasted like 2 dates each. WTF.

called R. today, but he's in texas, so won't be coming to hillel tomomrow. Sadness. Also he's still not a jew, which is sad.

Mom mailed me a box of hamentashen, which were tasty. Went to hillel for purim services, and this dude from my elementry school read the megilah, which was weird (he still has a fake israeli accent). Hillel was full of religious undergrads, which was scary. . . hillel at my undergrad was a lot cooler, in that it was a lot less religious, so i felt much more comfortable. Realized that religious jews, especailly in large numbers, make me highly uncomfortable, which is weird, in that about 5 or 6 years ago, i was one of them (going back to when I was born). Afterwards went to mad max's

went to the jew grad student dinner. B. (my cohort mate who is very black and very blatently not jewish) came with me. In fact, he showed up first, and called me and was like "hey, you should come quickly, this dude is speaking to me in jewish,and I don't know what he's saying". Turns out he was cornered by like 3 chassidic rabbies. Ha. I explained to him the begining of the meal, and the weird jewish stuff we were doing, and then he bounced and went back to the fancy howard becker reception.

last night went to a seder at chabad. Wow that building is awesome- it's one of the 100 year old houses, with beatuful wood and stained glass windows everywhere.

There was only about 20 people there. It was the first seder i've been to in all my life that wasn't run by my parents, and it was a little weird to have al the weird voodoo lubav traditions. Plus the rabbi had like 5 billions kids. Ok, only 3, but that's 3 more than i've seen since i moved here. The rabbi asked me what i was doing at grad school, and when i told him i was going to be a prof he was like "well that's good for women, cause then you can have a family and kids". WTF? first of all, who said i want a family and kids? second of all, he must have a very strange conception of how much professors work- according to this reasearch i've been doing (for my paper actually) the average untenured woman professor works something like 54 hours a week. And that's the average, so people who want to be famous professors (like me) probably are the ones working a lot more than that.

Left around 12:15. Tonight is the meat market seder at hillel, for 'graduate and professional students' ie. 'people who are desperate to get married already cause they're old.' Ha. Why am i going you ask? Well it's either that or chill with the chabad people again.

went and met up with E., and then headed over to this jew 'young professoinal' dinner thing. I met this really awesome girl named e. who is now going to be my friend- i invited her over to the jew dinner i'm having next friday night, and i totally hope she comes. Also this really really creepy guy came and started talking to me and kept moving his seat closer to mine until i was like "um, i have to go check on my boyfriend" and then walked away over to t. Cause T. is my surrogate boyfriend in cases of creepiness.

Dear Orthodox Judaism,
I think i figured out why we don't get along. Besides the whole 'treating women like crap" thing. I just never felt like I belonged. People were in this whole "orthodox jew" club, which apparently didn't accept women who wanted to have a real job when they grew up (instead of being a hebrew school teacher, or a housewife), and had actual opinions, and questioned some of the stuff they hear. Cause sersiouly, sometimes you just make no sense. Most of the time actually. But yeah, it's not going to happen. It's totally not personal- it's not that i don't like the whole religion thing, it's just that i don't like orthodox people.

we walked to this jew havdalah thing at some park on the way back to --, just cause none of us have done any of these jew things all summer. We sat around and acted like jews (which any passerbye would probably think is mad wierd)

so I'm thinking of having a friday night shabbat dinner/housewarming party a week from friday at my new place, and inviting pretty much every jew I know in the area, in addition to a few select un-jews

rabbi dad.
yeah so my dad got smicha today, which for those un-jews amongst you, means he's now a rabbi.
(clearly I need to become a cokehead now)

When I decide to go to (specific grad school), my housewife aunt says "oh, it's good your going there- there's a lot of jewish boys there, and you can find a nice jewish husband". This past summer, after acing my first year, and getting an NSF besides, my grandmother calls me to say "I was just watching the view, and they were talking about how kids are rebellious and mess up their lives because they had a childhood trauma. It made me think of you". Seriously. I can't make this shit up. Why am i messing up my life? Oh, cause I'm not orthodox like she is, and because I had an eyebrow ring (i took it out since then, but had one for a few months). "but grandma!" i protest "I'm doing really well at school! i got this great grant, I got straight A's this year, I had an article accepted for publication in a peer reviewed journal, and I have another one I'm submitting soon" Her reply? "All that stuff means nothing to me! What boy is going to want to marry a girl with an eyebrow ring? Besides, boys don't like girls who are more educated then them, so you're already at a disadvantage".

Speaking of things that have been ingrained in me, i'm begining to think this whole "dating only jews" thing is overrated. Think about it- Jews only make up about 2% of the US population. Of those, 50% are men. Of THOSE, about 90% are douchebags. That leaves about .1%. . .and say of those about 40% are gay, and 50% are married. So that leaves me with .01% of the US population who is datable. that's .0001 x the approx 2 million people in the area= 200 datable people. 200! And of those i've gone out with at least 20. Leaving me 180 datable people in the area. And how the fuck am I supposed to find those people? Cause they sure as hell aren't hanging out in the sociology or demography departments. Chances are that those are the ones who I'll never meet anyways.

There ya go peoples, MATHAMATICAL PROOF that I should start dating people who aren't jewish.

(and just cause i love deconstructing my own arguments, the assumptions made in this proof are: 1) the distribution of jews in the area is the same as the distribution of jews in america 2) 90% of jewish men are douchebags 3) 4% of jewish men are gay and NOT douchebags 4) non douchebags have a 5/6ths chance of being married 5)the remaining 1% of jews are of an acceptable age range for me to date 6) It is necessary for me to date at all)

I was reminded of this one time in 11th grade. See, in high school i used to doodle naked people all the time, cause i thought they were beautiful and fun to draw. One time in 11th grade I had to get up in Navi class to give a presentation or something (don't really remember) and the teacher sat down in my seat while i was presenting. Now, this teacher really didn't like me; they had these yellow slips they sent home when you were doing badly in school, and I would get at least one a week from her. Not from doing badly in class (which i did), but because I thought she was wrong on just about everything she said, and I would argue in class with her about why she was wrong. This was around the time I started realizing that religion was a bunch of bullshit, and started questioning just about everything that was told to me. At some point she stopped sending my parents yellow notes and started sending them whole letters- that was around the time I stopped going to that class entirely. So anyways, she sits down in my seat, where my notebook with my naked people were, and she starts making fun of me too the whole class. Like "OMG, what are you drawing, you other guys have to come look at this, this is just messed up". This went on for a good 5 minutes. It was entirely humiliating...she made me feel like there was something wrong with me cause I doodled naked people. Like I really was a fucked up person. For doodles! In college I learned that some people enjoy doodleing naked people so much, they actually take figure drawing courses. . .but no one told me about those back then.

Yeah, that was my high school experience summed up in a paragraph, right there. And people wonder why i hate orthodox jews (with the exception of the very few cool ones who are my friends, and by few I mean 2). Stay tuned for more fucked up high school stories. . .i have millions.

10th grade again. I was friends with one of the 9th graders. We hung out on the school shabbaton (weekend sabbath retreat in a hotel type thingy), where she found another party in the hotel we were staying at, and went there to get stoned. She was so fucked up she fainted and fell out of her chair in the middle of lunch. She also danced around on her bed with her roommate, in their underwear. Someone saw this and told the principle.

About a month later this girl came in to school one day with bandages on her arms and cuts on her face. She ran out in the middle of one of her classes that day, and got sent to the library to calm down. I had a free period then, so I sat with her in the library.

A week after that she was gone. She had been expelled. Rumor was it was becuase she was a lesbian (becuase of the dancing in her underwear thing; incidentally this girl is now married. to a guy). But we all knew it was becuase she was too much trouble cause she was a cutter, and the school didn't want to have to deal with her.

in high school I had a double curriculum, being that i went to jew school. Meaning that each term i would have like 12 classes or something. A lot. I had class every day from 8:45-5, until my senior year when I only had class from 8:45-3:15. I can't believe I ever sat through that much class. well I didn't, especially in my later years. Anyways here are all my grades from my hebrew classes (years seperated by slash marks)
Chumash (Torah): 76, 76/ 82, 78/ 80, 70/ 73, 68
Halacha (Jewish law): 73, F/ 65, 60/ 79, F/ INC, 88
Jewish History: 80, 83/ 85, F/ 65, 65/ 72, 65
Hebrew Language: 70, 62/ 65, 70/ 65, 53/ 76, 76
Navi (um, later part of the old testement?): 60, F/ B+, 75/ 69, 48/ 63, 78
Parsha (weekly torah portion): P, P/ none/ A, 94/ 95, 88
Mishnah (part of the talmud?): C-, B/ 71, 85/ 65, 50/ 77, 98

Yep. Contrast that with college; I had a 3.945 GPA. Hard to believe I was such a fuck up in high school. IN fact they made me retake a bunch of finals my last summer so that I could graduate (Finals which involved stuff like memorising jewish prayers). I think it was just that I was sooo miserable there, and I didn't believe anything that anyone was telling me, so I didn't bother with trying to do well on tests of doing hw, or showing up to class.

so when i was home this weekend, i picked up all the yellow slips my mom got. When i was in high school, they used to send these yellow sips to your parents whenever you fucked up. I got quite a few. . these are not all of them, cause towards the end of high school I started intercepting them in the mail, and throwing them out. anyways here are some highlights:

(Navi)" Abandoning eden got 30/100 on her test. she was totally unprepared and does not pay attention in class. "
(Navi)"Abandoning eden failed the test I gave recently- a 42. She is capable of so much more but continues to disrupt the class. and exert no effort in her studies. Please call me to discuss my concerns"
(Navi)"Abandoning eden missed class today without permission. Students are told that they need to request permission before leaving. What concerns me is- doesn't Abandoning eden need to be in class if she consistently is failing every test? Points will be deducted from her final average for this offence. Abandoning eden recieved an F last marking period"
(Navi)"Abandoning eden received a 50 on the navi test she recently took. she also fails to hand in assignments. This lack of effort on Abandoning eden's part is hurting her grade"
(Halacha)"Abandoning eden recieved a 56 on her Halacha test. She has been working nicely in class. I hope her tests will improve over Pesach"
(hebrew)"Abandoning eden received a grade of 59/100 on her hebrew language and literature exam"
(mishna) "Abandoning eden's overall behavior and participation has improved significantly over the last 1-2 months. She recently failed her mishna test. She immediately expressed concern and has committed herself to additional work"
(navi)"the purpose of this progress report is to document Abandoning eden's preformance for this quarter. Abandoning eden is at risk of failing for the following reasons: 1) 5 homework assignments were given out during the course of this marking period and Abandoning eden has failed to hand any of them in. These assignemnts are a significant portion of her grade. 2) for the 2 tests given this marking period,Abandoning eden recieved grades of 48 and 33. 3) Abandoning eden often is a disturbance in class. Not only has Abandoning eden's performance in the above been less than desirable, but she has never approached me to request additional assignments to raise her grade or show any effort on her part

Disturbance==asked questions that the teacher couldn't answer

Most of these are from 11th grade.. .seemed i stopped going to class entirely that year, and when i did I sat in the back talking to my friend, or argued with the teacher about what a dumbass she was.

me and m. are making latkes for this hippie new years potluck after-concert thing, which are truely delicious.


  1. The break up letter to Orthodox Judaism on 5/27 was hilarious. To pharaphrase "It's not you, it's me. Well... no, actually, it you."

    I am insterting the phrase "brooklyn jew robot" into my vocabulary. Hilarious!

    To get my own thoughts out I've started my own blog here.

  2. Man Rel you really struck on something here! You're in good company it seems too.
    Yay you! :)


Anonymous comments are enabled for now