A new day

Writing a new blog feels rather overwhelming. Where do I start? What is it’s purpose? I haven’t written in several days, since my first inspiration to begin writing. So now I must begin again. I was inspired by a sudden access to an audience of people who have been on a similar path to mine. That is, we started out as religious “orthodox” Jews and have made our way to new identities. I didn’t actually start out orthodox. I am not FFB, although very close to it. When I was young, I remember eating out at authentic chinese restaurants and asking the waiter what the chinese symbols meant. I remember cringing as my parents chose a lobster from a tank to be cooked and eaten. Shrimp was a treat for me, I loved the smell of bacon. We were definitely not kosher. Until one day, my mom put up a wooden sign “I have a kosher Kitchen” or something like that. So still we ate out wherever, whenever, but I had to eat my cooking class creation out on the front steps. It happened slowly and one day I was having my last cheese burger, I think I was seven. I knew it would be my last, because my mom told me it would be. Suddenly, friday night became “family time” instead of hanging out with the other kids on the block. We started attending shabbat services in a decrepit but grand old synagogue that had once been filled from top to bottom. By then me and my older brother were attending a Jewish day school, and we both started to feel embarassed by our family’s driving on shabbat. I remember driving through monsey when my parents wanted to attend their friends’ daughter’s bat mitzvah and crouching down in the back seat, so no one would see me. I think that was the last time I rode in a car on shabbat until, well, that’s a another story.

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How do you start a blog? I used to be a writer, before I owned a computer. Journals, poems, hopes of one day writing a great novel, that was 15 or so years ago. I almost paid good money for a graduate degree in writing, but decided to study Hebrew literature instead, with a stipend and tuition free. I thought I would be a professor, but after three years my studies ended with a masters degree. I should say I got my MRS degree since grad school is where I met my husband, but I didn’t take his last name, so I don’t think I will ever be a Mrs. We’ve been married for 9 years, we have two little children, who are now my chief occupation.

I should have started with: An orthodox Jew and a reform Jew meet at a dance… Why are orthodox Jews against premarital sex? It could lead to mixed dancing! No really, my husband did pick me up at a Hillel dance, and being that I was orthodox, I probably shouldn’t have been there, but I love to dance. Yes, I love to dance so much that I walked several miles through the snow one friday night to perform at a dance recital (actually after the performance. I first took the subway, attended kabbalat shabbat services nearby with leotard and tights underneath my shabbat clothes, did my dance and then walked across town to my cousin’s apartment to spend the rest of the shabbat).

It’s rather late and my little ones will be waking me up before long, so I’ll have to write another day…