I thought I was all clever a few months back when I created a new gmail account (Abanadoningeden @ gmail) and set it up to forward to my regular account. But I didn't realize until today that I actually DIDN'T set it up to send it to my regular account, which is why I haven't gotten any of your emails. And there were quite a few. Sorry bout that. I'm trying to respond to some now, although I'm going to skip ones that were sent pre-wedding that were all "good luck on your upcoming wedding!" And the one that was all "I'm a closet OTDer cheating on my wife with a non Jewish lady what should I do??" Yeah, not touching that one...
Speaking of which, it's our 3 month wedding anniversary today! Yay for quarter year anniversaries! (or something? whatever, it counts!).
Also, over the weekend I got in contact with my youngest brother E (the one who said B was going to die within a year...and it's already been like 8 months since he said that!) to say hi and what's up and update him on my honeymoon trip. He responded by catching me up on his life and then went on about something in the book of Ezekiel and how it talked about a city (Tyre) falling into the sea. Which it didn't actually do (the city is still around even), but which I apparently reminded him of when I told him about visiting Santorini and how people think it may be Atlantis- which apparently reminded him of this story in Ezekiel which he thinks might have been influenced by the myth of Atlantis.
It annoys the crap out of me when religious people try to bring the bible/Torah into EVERY conversation, but I didn't say that. Instead I sent him a link about Tyre the city, and maybe it'll encourage him to start looking up historical data to confirm biblical tall tales, and maybe he'll start thinking about which parts of the tanach might be myth. But meanwhile I'm not going to argue with him about Judaism anymore, which was the subject of a lot of our past emails.
In one respect orthodox people may have it right. I've read some advice they give to people with relatives 'off the derech' and one of the things I've read is how it's better to keep someone close to you and not discuss religion, instead of pushing them away with arguments about religion.
This is now my strategy with my super religious brother. I think it'll be better to keep in touch with him, and be nice to him, and not discuss religion, so if he ever comes to his senses I'll be someone he can come to for help. After all, he's only 21...plenty of time for him to change. And even if he never does, what good would it do to alienate my brother just because of his extreme and crazy religious beliefs (that I used to buy into)? Although I'm still going to call him out on the religious passive aggressiveness (like sending me "good shabbas" text messages every Friday...thankfully he hasn't done that in a while, since I sent him one back that said "I don't celebrate shabbas but happy weekend!").
But yeah, i feel better about that whole situation now that we are in touch again...as an older sister I feel like it's my responsibility to make sure we have a relationship, and even though the reason we hadn't talked in a while was cause he was being a total dick to me about B, I think it's just better this way. I mean, maybe he was being a total dick to me about B in part becuase I was being a total dick about him being more religious? Maybe it's just a mutual general hostile dickishness that needs to change between us.
My new motto is "you can't change other people, you can only change yourself" and part of that is changing the way I react to my family. Like for one, not trying to convince my brother that he's a fool for becoming more religious and giving up on his dreams/hobbies to learn all day in a yeshiva...even if i think it's true.
My parents on the other hand, well I haven't talked to them since before the wedding, and I kinda like it that way. I may get in touch with my dad at some point, but I gotta say...not having my mom in my life has done wonders for my self esteem.