Monthly Archives: September 2015

The day I stopped caring

One of the things which has been drilled into my head from a very young age is that I must always worry and care about what other people think.  We are taught that as a religious Jew you have a great responsibility to act and dress in a befitting  manner so that you don’t cause a bad name for the Jewish people.

One of the hardest yet most rewarding part of my frumless journey was to break away from this mindset.  This was extremely difficult as it really meant changing the process of my thoughts. This was something which took me many years to accomplish.

I had known for a long time that the ultra orthodox ways were not for me. I knew that they were unhealthy for my wellbeing, however, I felt as though I had to act religious for fear of what others would think. I felt as though I was two different people; one who was perceived as being extremely religious and another with my non religious/ non jewish friends some of whom I never told I was jewish. Those years were very difficult. Its so hard to know what you want to be yet fear so much what others will think.

One day I had enough. I was emotionally drained from having to put on the religious facade. I thought to myself why do I still care?  I thought about the worst thing that would happen if I showed the world my frumless self. I figured that the consequences of  being openly non religious were easier to live with than having to pretend. I thought that maybe people wouldn’t want to know me when they realized that I wasn’t religious and I just didn’t care any more. If peopl didn’t like how I dressed I didn’t care. If people saw me driving on shabbat I didn’t care.

That day I stopped caring what others thought and started living my life completely frumless with no religious persona was a feeling of absolute  freedom. Finally I was free to live the life I wanted to live. Free from strict, rigid rules. Free to make my own choices about my life and how I wanted to live it. Finally I was free.

I  wish the ultra orthodox world stopped teaching people to care so much what others think. It’s so unhealthy. Instead they should teach them to do their best and when they make a mistake it’s ok. We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to be someone who we are not. The most important thing is to be able to accept people how they are and not try to mould them into something their not.

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Women and Judaism

Raised in the ultra orthodox world I was taught that women are valued and have a unique role. I was brainwashed into thinking that women had rights. As I grew older I saw the role women play and how discriminatory the Jewish religion is to women.

There is a blessing in the daily prayer which men say which translates as “thank you god that I am not a women “. This blessing says it all. A women’s version of the blessing is translated as “thank you god for making me as I am”. A women is not allowed to thank god for not making her a man. (I have always wondered what blessing a transexual would say.)

I was taught from a young age that despite this very obvious discriminatory blessing, it’s only because women are so special that the blessing is the way it is. That men have so many more commandments to keep because they need to constantly remind themselves of God.  Women however were created so much more complete that’s why they only have 3 commandments to keep.

As a child I believed what I was told, especially because it came from brainwashed older women. Now I have broken away and I can use my common sense. The reason why there is this blessing is because the prayers were written by men. Women didn’t know how to read for ages in Judaism. (Although women in judaism did learn to read prior to women in secular world) Women didn’t need to pray because that’s not their role. Women looked after the home and the children and the men made the rules.

Men were glad they were not a woman because they had authority. They were the boss. Even today when women are more equal the men in judaism are still the boss. This is shown by every  single ultra orthodox rabbi being male. A female can not be a Rabbi in the ultra orthodox world.  Only the men can make the laws. Only these male rabbis can answer questions even about women’s issues.  There is no female  voice within the ultra orthodox  rabbinical world. The Beth Din (Religious court judges) can only be male judges. This can be so traumatizing for a women who needs their help and must be judged by three male Rabbis.

So we live in a world where women can be anything they want  (even a man if they desire) yet a women can never be an ultra orthodox rabbi. The ultra orthodox world is still run by men and women voices are unfortunately not heard.