Friday, April 25, 2008

How to stick me in a little box (not my car)

Disclaimer: I don't need no steenkin' boxes. But sometimes people like to refer to them to help them understand things on terms with which they're already familiar, I suppose.

In the comments section of
this entry, Jewish Skeptic asked me if I'm a baal teshuvah.
I answered him then, but the question was one worthy of taking a quiz, imo.
So I took the one linked below, and my results are below that.
I had to look up what words meant in about 35% of the questions, so I'd shave some % points off of the right wing ones, 'cause if I were really right wing, I wouldn't have had to look anything up to take that quiz.
Left Wing Modern Orthodox: 55%

Right Wing Modern Orthodox: 68%
Left Wing Yeshivish/Chareidi: 47%
Right Wing Yeshivish/Chareidi: 19%

Okay, today is 5/12/08, and I just took it again, this time without looking anything up. My new results:

Left Wing Modern Orthodox: 55%
Right Wing Modern Orthodox: 79%
Left Wing Yeshivish/Chareidi: 47%
Right Wing Yeshivish/Chareidi: 18%

The Orthodoxy Test
says that I'm Modern Orthodox


The Orthodoxy  Test -- Make and Take a Fun Quiz @'s User Tests!

What I've been learning:
I wound up at that page when I looked up pshat to take that quiz.
For people who don't know me: I went to yeshiva from preK to grade 2; grades 3-7 were at a prep school, and I had a Hebrew (studies, not language) tutor in grades 3 and 4, maybe grade 5, too (I always learned with my dad); in 7th grade - the end of high school, I went to my local public school (and lost most interest in orthodoxy after I was sent upstairs to sit with the women when I turned 12; add my mom being sick to that, and I didn't believe in much of anything). I went to New College at Hofstra (U.) for five years (got a degree, felt awkward at Hillel, but the rabbi was cool; I just wasn't used to community Judaism [I grew up in the woods of western Jersey and although there was a shul, my home life wasn't functional enough to get me anywhere but school on a regular basis]. Parents try their best. And they did.).

When I was in high school, a wise rav pointed out that my dad didn't own Judaism, and regardless of issues I had with him due to the double-life-leading that having only one observant parent can lead to, Judaism is for me to form a relationship with, if I wish. So I've just learned (pretty much independently and reading online) a little, since then.

Religion isn't logical, and it's very human. I'm willing to accept both of those ideas and keep what I think is good for myself and wrestle/agree to disagree with the parts I don't like. Religion is something I find to be deeply personal.

Yes, it can be rather communal, at times. I get shy, sometimes, too. I'm happy to be here, happy to be alive and evolving. Gratitude is a large foundation, for me.


  1. Hey i saw your comment on my blog so i thought i'd check yours out. A lot of interesting stuff you write. I get the feeling you are "searching" for where you fit in judaism ( aren't we all?) Anyways i would love to chat and do a little over the phone one on one learning if your interested. No boring stuff we can dive deep into the good stuff and maybe give you a few answers about what this all about.

  2. Sheva,
    Thank you for your offer. I enjoy your blog. I referred my pal, Hanabashe, to it this morning; she may get in touch with you. I'll write more here after Pesach, and I'm always glad to learn with someone. I'm not really searching ... I'm already here, you know? It's part of who I am. I don't fit into it. It fits into me because I choose to welcome it (on my terms) into my daily paradigm. Hopefully that makes sense to you.

    I'm not worried about where I fit in or having a label. Jewish is enough. It's kind of funny when people deal in more than that. There are too many people to learn from for me to stick to just one school of thought. No one denomination for me. I'm happy to freelance all the time.

    Have a beautiful shbbbos and yom tov.