Thursday, July 21, 2011

A brief history of Abandoning Eden

A few new people have found my blog lately from the new and improved Off the Derech facebook page, and I figured that now that I've been blogging a few years it might be nice to put up a post linking to some of the more 'exciting' things that have happened to me over these past years. A brief history of Abandoning Eden if you will.

After a long and convoluted journey Off the Derech (or, out of Orthodox Judaism) I first started this blog almost 4 years ago, right after my grandmother's funeral. My father used half the eulogy to give me a musser speech about being religious since about 6 months earlier I had told him I was dating my non-jewish, now-husband, B. When I got home from the funeral I was so angry I started googling around trying to find some support group for OTDers. That brought me to the blogger Jewish Atheist, one of (if not THE) only OTD bloggers at the time. After spending like 3 days reading his blog and doing nothing else, I decided to start this one.

For some more info on my relationship with B and my parents prior to when I started this blog you can check out the reposts of several posts I wrote in a previous blog about the beginning of my relationship with my husband and here is the response I wrote to my dad back to the first of the many letters and emails we wrote back and forth while he was trying to convince me not to marry my husband.

About a year and a half after we met each other (and after a few months of living together), B and I got engaged at which point the shit hit the fan. My dad almost immediately told me they would not be going to the wedding (which they did not), my mom told me if I wanted to talk to her I couldn't talk about B after which I didn't call her again for three years, my dad asked me to ask B to convert, I refused, my little brother called to say that his rabbi had said within 1 year either me and B would break up, he would convert, or he would die (didn't happen!), my mom wrote to say that if I marry B we could not have a relationship anymore (here's my response), my cousin "stopped by" to try to convince me not to marry B, I went to my cousin's wedding where I barely talked to my mother and saw my grandfather for the last time before HE died. And then finally we got married and the crazyness all seemed to die down.

After we got married I was pleasantly surprised by the responses of some of my extended family members- and disgusted by others, such as when my grandfather tried to convince me to marry a nice jewish boy after I was already married and told me I wasn't married according to him. My parents finally met my husband for the first (and so far only) time at my PhD graduation, which coincidentally was on our first wedding anniversary.

About a month after I graduated (in May 2010) I moved to the south and bought a house here. And since moving here a year ago I haven't had all that much to blog about- the drama has died down (for now), I hardly ever talk to my father and almost never talk to my mother anymore, and I can't really go to family events anymore because they are 10-12 hours away from where I live (and it's not like B is invited to them anyway). Although I promised one of my Charedi cousins that I will come back up for her wedding whenever that happens (she is around 18 now). I suspect when we start having kids there will be more drama then.

So that's basically the current state of things.

Post script: On Thanksgiving in 2011 I called my mom for the first time in 3 years and both my parents came to visit on new years day 2012. To be continued!


  1. Thanks for the mention. I really enjoy your blog for the way you portray the personal/emotional/familial side of things.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing all this with us. It truly feels nice to know that someone has gone through such similar things as me and is living a happy and full life! I look forward to reading your future blogs!


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