Thursday, September 20, 2007

Friends from a past life

One of the unintended consequences of leaving judaism, is the part where you have problems with friends from the past who still keep Jewish laws. Not problems in terms of disagreements, but just logistical problems in hanging out when you no longer keep the laws.

Now I don't have this problem with most of the people I grew up with. Maybe I was naturally drawn to other skeptics, or maybe I was just in the "bad" crowd, but most of the modern orthodox kids I grew up with are no longer religious by any stretch of the imagination. I've spent saturdays at festivals with people I first hung out with at NSCY shabbatons...only this time we were cooking on saturday,going to music, not following laws of kosher or shabbas. At a recent festival this summer I hung out with no less than 5 such people at once, while we were all not keeping any of the traditions we had grown up with. As many as 15 of my close friends in high school are people I have now actively violated traditions with. In fact, just today I noted that on one of my old friends' profile under "religious views" she had put "Jewish- Without the god part"

Of course I have unintentionally (although to some extent deliberately) put distances between myself and those "old friends' who continued to be religious. Partially because some of them don't want to associate with people who are no longer religious. Although I haven't really found that to be the case in general...even my old Satmer friend (who is still just as satmer) still calls me every rosh hashana to wish me a happy new year, even though we don't really hang out on a regular basis. I also moved about 200 miles away from where i grew up after I finished college, which means only the strong friendship survived.

I still have those 1 or 2 friends though who are still religious though. And hanging out with them is just HARD. Why am I ranting about this? Well a few days ago a friend I grew up with (who went to the same synagogue as me), whom i have kept in touch with through all the years, called to tell ask if we could hang out and if he could crash on my couch tonight, since I'm halfway between where he's coming from and where he's going, He should be here in about 2 hours. And he's one of those friend's who remained religious.

So now I have all these problems like...what is he going to eat? Ok that's really the only problem in this case, but it's making me a bit worried. I haven't kept kosher in years, so obviously he can't eat off the plates in my house,even if we go to the grocery store. But not only that, I have no idea where any kosher resturaunts are in my city. The one time my parents came to visit me down here we went to this place way out in the middle of nowhere. I know in theory that some must exist, since there's a significant jewish population in this city. i just have no idea where, or how to go about finding them. I don't even know anyone in this city who keeps kosher, who I could ask.

But hey, at least this guy is one of the "cool" jews (I refuse to hang out with the other kind). He knows my boyfriend is not jewish, and still wants to meet him. So that's good at least :)


  1. That's the entire point of those traditions: boundary maintenance.

  2. Do you feel sexually attracted to him? Perhaps your anxiety covers some deeper feeling that you have.

  3. nope, not at all. he's like a younger brother to me. Actually he was friends with my younger brother before he was friends with me...

    My anxiety probably covers my anxiety. I have a lot of anxiety in general. Like last night I had a dream that I forgot my lesson plans for the class I'm teaching today and had to fake the doesn't mean i'm sexually attracted to my class :)


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