Sunday, December 27, 2009

Abandoning Eden...In Print! (real life print!)

Frankly I've been hesitant to post this, in part because it contains a bit more identifying information than I have shared before on this blog. The Rockland Jewish Reporter recently published an article about jewish blogs/bloggers, which they interviewed me for. They quote me several times in the article.

It's not a very well edited article, some of the info is inaccurate (for instance I was raised right-wing modern orthodox, which is close, but not the same, as "ultra orthodox") and the author yanked a photo from my blog and printed it without crediting me or asking for permission (which I believe is against copyright law and it was a photo I had only posted for a few days before taking it down).

I also want to state for the record that I had stopped being religious before I ever started blogging, so the journalists' portrayal of blogging as contributing to me being less religious (which I think is what she meant, although it's a bit unclear) is inaccurate. I have another (private) blog that I started at the very end of 2001, while I stopped keeping fully keeping shabbas and kosher in 1997ish (although I continued to partially observe holidays and shabbas and kosher for years afterward due to living with my parents). The subject of my private blog was never exclusively judaism, although I talked about it on rare occasions (excerpts from my private blog are compiled in the first few posts on this blog- I tried to repost everything I said about judaism in my private blog, although I just noticed that I seem to have forgotten 2004, the year I completely dropped observance of almost everything Jewish except a few holidays here or there).

I only started blogging about Judaism in earnest when I started this blog- which was shortly after my grandmother's death in 2007, when I was dealing with my anger over my father using 2/3rds of the eulogy to talk about how he has to honor his mother's memory by making sure his children turn out to be religious. At that point I had already been dating my (non-jewish) husband B for about 6 months, which my parents knew about (and they knew he was not jewish), and my parents had known I was not religious for at least 7 years.


Since I found out this article was In Print and has a picture of me, I've been rethinking whether it was a good idea to agree to be interviewed. The newspaper/newsletter/whatever it is, is distributed in jewish venues around rockland county, and my father frequently is in rockland county for business purposes, and frequents kosher restaurants where they carry this newsletter. It's possible he will see it, or a friend will see it and forward to him, and as a result he will find this blog.

On the other hand, it's damn cool that someone thought my blog was significant enough to write about in an article In Print, even if it's just the Rockland Jewish Reporter.

If he does find this blog I guess my message to him is: A lot of things in this blog are unflattering to my parents and to my family. I stand by everything I have said here, and while he may not agree with my depictions of events, or remember things going differently, I write them the way I remember them, I do my best not to exaggerate in any way, and I try to say my feelings as I truly feel them. On the other hand, I don't want to intentionally hurt anyone. I didn't write this blog to hurt my dad or my family, but to deal with his and the rest of my family's reaction to me going OTD/starting to date B by writing about it, in an effort to work through my feelings and reach out to other people having similar experiences. My dad and members of my family were never the intended audience.

It's also possible that as a result of this newspaper some people from my high school years will find this blog, since it's published in the county where many of them live. If so, hello! I've changed a lot since back then, as you can probably tell. But I would love to hear from you if you're reading!

If anyone is coming over here after reading that article In Print or on one of the other blogs that posted it, hello! Feel free to ask whatever questions you would like! I'm thinking of putting together an FAQ at some point soon, since I get asked the same questions over and over again, so if you want to ask some of those questions you would actually be helping me to compile them.


And now for something completely different:
The hubble telscope advent calandar. 25 pictures from the Hubble telescope, very cool.


  1. wow - there's a lot of personal info in that article.

    If your parents find your blog, it might be bad, but not horrible. From the perspective of the frum community they live in, they've done their utmost to keep you "in the fold". They probably will be sympathized with by their peers, who probably agree with their idea that cutting off a child who intermarries is the right thing to do. It's sad, but that's the way most people in that community think.

    BTW, what will your folks say to your brother about his relationship, which you said they don't know about?

  2. what a shoddy piece. I am truly disgusted.

  3. Is the person standing next you, B? He looks like a real nice guy. Your parents don't know what they're missing.

  4. rabba- I don't know what they will say to my brother. They have always been more lenient with him though, so it would not surprise me if they were more accepting of his gf- for instance he lives at home and drives to work on shabbat, and they are shockingly ok with that. While they made it clear to me that I should not move home after college because I was a "bad influence" on my brothers or something- and I never openly violated shabbas or kosher in front of my family.

    Then again they may realize that if they accept his gf they are giant hypocrites, so there's a distinct possibility they would disown him too. Or maybe they would be like "well we can't lose 2/3 of our kids, so if 2 of them are not marrying jews, we might as well not be a dick to all 3!" One can only hope...

    They did meet a former (non-jewish) girlfriend of his when he brought her to one of their parties, and my mom completely ignored her and made her feel very unwelcome (and he didn't even tell my mom they were dating, just that she was his friend).

  5. NOP- Yep, that's a picture from our wedding ceremony :) (that manila envelope in my hand has our wedding license in it, which I carried in lieu of flowers)

  6. Beautiful picture. Looks like the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie.

  7. heh, maybe one day I'll post the picture with us in basically the same pose, but with all the guests peeking out from behind the trees :)

  8. The photo is likely within acceptable fair use guidelines. Although putting the photo up when you keep your name hidden isn't the brightest move on their part.

  9. Uh, to clarify that last sentence applied to their putting it up, not you putting it up. It occurred to me after I commented that might not be clear from the phrasing.

  10. They had one thing right: the importance of your blog.

  11. I read the article, and my opinion:

    I cannot believe this person got a job writing and I have not found one in seven months. Wow, was that painful... like tutoring an ESL student.

    I also feel she was trying to explicitly out you, though I think you should out yourself and not hide where you live or who you are. No one has the time or energy to come after us. Even if they did, I'd be just flattered (even if you weren't).

    You aren't really Jewish anymore; you can drop the paranoid delusion that everyone is out to get you. Besides, if anyone hurt you, the last thing they would feel on this Earth would be my size 13 foot on the back of their head when I curb stomp them.

  12. Curb-stomping doesn't solve anything (as much fun as the thought might be), and Judaism doesn't come with the paranoid delusion that everyone is out to get you. That said, I totally hear you re: the article's lack of writing quality.

  13. Hurting people is more of a hobby, not a problem solving technique.


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