Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Guess what?

OTD is just another box. If you let your anger control your behavior, the people you are rebelling against are still controlling your behavior. It's all the same f'n' derech; OTD is a myth perpetuated by people who can't deal with people asking questions and thinking differently than they do.

I was raised that if you're not asking questions, you're doing it (being Jewish) wrong. Not that I didn't go through a ton of anger and stuff, anyway... eventually I realized that some folks are blind. And further down the road, I became able to approach them with compassion, as I would any other disabled person, because the use of religion to divide, and thinking that's okay, that's a severe handicap. It's not easy. It took years to reach that point.

I hold my tongue on a lot of blogs, 'cause who am I to say anything? OTD (the blogger), my going off isn't directed at you specifically, just the concept. You seem nice enough. My heart overflows with compassion for all the people who are hurting, and I hope everyone who needs some peace finds it soon.

My opinion is just my opinion. I'm not looking to fight. If you disagree, that's okay. I'm not smarter than anyone else. If I'm smarter than I was yesterday, I figure that's great. :)


  1. Totally with you.

    Also, the term OTD bothers me... why define a person based on what they are not doing? People should have an identity, not lack of one.

    Makes me sad.

  2. You are correct, but there seems to be a notion of quickly silencing any form of descent or negativity towards the orthodox world by quickly pointing out that the person is angry or bitter. Yes I am angry and bitter at times and I have full right to be.

    If you met a survivor, of anything, would you immediate tell that person to stop being bitter? Is that a nice thing to do?

    Orthodox Jews espouse compassion and kindness seem to limit it to only within the Torah way.

    That being said, anger is truly a terrible thing and it should be distinguished, your Rabbis even compared it to Avoidah Zara.

    Gud Yum tov

  3. Additionally, OTD is an identity anti-identity, but considering how deeply orthodox Judaism affects you, you must go through that OTD anti chrysalis stage before figuring out your next step in life.

  4. Unsure Unfrum, this [Orthodox Jews espouse compassion and kindness seem to limit it to only within the Torah way.] (though I will say some, not all, though even one is too many, imo) is an issue I have with OJ (though it's not as much OJ as it is people taking it and using it as an excuse to circle wagons and exclude [and I certainly realize some texts say many things with which I disagree; I've been letting go of/ignoring the stuff with which I disagree for the better part of two decades, now].

    Without recognizing anger, would we recognize peace? I think it has its purpose, but in excess or shortage, harm can come (for example, physical violence or someone staying in the wrong relationship for too long).

    I realize you weren't necessarily referring to me; please don't ever think that my noticing your anger is an attempt to silence it. I spent a long time being angry (and just last week, worked through my post-shtiebl realization that I never should've been raised in the men's section, so I wouldn't be missing it. I don't post much about my anger, but it happens. I tend to take a few minutes to cry/deal with whatever it is, then try to get back to my day to day.

    As far as any rabbis being "my" rabbis, I have no idea to whom you're referring. I saw a rabbi at a weekly gathering in the city the other night, but he's not mine; I just like his open door.

    I get literal about Hebrew; I think there's something to learn from everyone, so everyone can be my rav. I'd love nothing more than to see the chessed in chassidus, rather than to read about folks hurting. Your blog especially, UU, my heart bleeds for you. I have felt pain like that. My family has mellowed out a lot, but I remember growing up lying to one side all the time, afraid I'd lose their love if they knew the truth about my life (both for religious reasons and how sick my mother was, but what kid is going to abandon her sick mother?). I wear pants, you may wear a bekishe (?), but I know that fear, that pain, that ostracism, that anger, that sitting and daring G-d to kill you now, before your bite into that treif food and realizing G-d doesn't care what you eat; it's up to you to care or not.

    I'm not big into science. I don't really care if the earth was created in six days or from a big bang. I don't care if the burning bush spoke or if Moshe had a seizure disorder and hallucinated it (or maybe he ate some funny cactus, and that caused it). I don't think everything's necessarily literal -- how do you fit five books on two tablets that already have 10 commandments on them? Who cares? Judaism offers a pretty nifty (imo) ethical paradigm. There is some cool stuff and some totally bizarre stuff in the Torah. Add all the other texts to learn from and there's plenty to choose from. I choose what works for me and try to mind my own middos. Occasionally, I feel like I'm doing okay at it.

    There is a Native American saying that the whole world is a library (add Judaism, and it's a library on a very narrow bridge :) ). I think there's always more to be learned -- from joy, from anger. Avoidah Zara doesn't bother me; it's not my cup of tea. What's worse? A parent disowning a child for living a different lifestyle (as far as observance goes). Gut yom tov to you, too. I wish I were going to shul, but I'm not. Maybe next year. I will be with good, healing people, and that is good.

    I agree that OTD is a reactionary identity. And how deeply OJ can affect people. It influences a lot of how I live, like blood courses through my veins, even though I don't put the ritual in spiritual very often.

    I am the kid (now a woman) who will run to do a mitzvah as long as I can wear pants while I'm doing it. And I do. I find good to do in this world with people who let me be me. I helped build a sukkah, last night. It was awesome! I helped my father build his sukkah, too, but this one was an open door/come as you are sukkah, and that's wonderful.

  5. I'm sorry if you feel any of my comments have been out of line or anything. Please know that eventually the anger can decrease, if you want it to. Your have every right to be angry (or not); eventually, it will become a choice, not a reflex.

    Feelings are feelings; it's what you do with them that matters. I wish you and anyone else dealing with difficult family situations strength and the best of what life has to offer.

    I haven't given up hope. I have too much love in my heart. (and, yes, I get so angry when I see people take the Judaism I love and not be nice to others or litter or spread lashon hara; there will always be more work to be done.

    Change for the better starts with me, one day at a time. Want moshiach now? Put the chessed back in chassidus. Could it be that simple? I believe a little can be a lot. Not that I know anything. :)