Thursday, February 12, 2009


I have noticed that almost every article I have read discussing the Israeli election or politics, and many recent articles describing Jews refers to Jews as being "hawkish." I know what this word means, and I have seen it used to describe people who aren't Jewish, but it is not a common enough word to be so prevalent in articles about Jewish people. I think it's more likely that it's used very frequently because Jews are caricatured to have beaklike noses and are often portrayed as praying on the weak (ironically).

Here are some examples of what I'm saying:

The International Herald Tribune does it 3 times in one article.

Here, the weather helps as Israelis choose their next hawkish leader.

Ooh. This time, it's in the headline.

The less religious jew makes the more religious jew appear less hawkish. If only there were more less religious jews...

Just run the google news search for the word "hawkish."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


So, what's been going on? I'm still not Jewish. I heard through the grapevine (this time, a trustworthy one) that they are waiting for law school to be finished in order to show that I am more settled.

I have been struggling with a lot of things recently. I have made some more friends within the Jewish community, some younger, single girls (rabbi's daughters, no less), and some older people who are married with children. The younger women are FFB, meaning they were born religious. It's nice to know them because they all seem really well grounded, aware, intelligent, and not as weird as my imagination had me believe. They give me hope that FFB males are equally normal. At the same time, the few married FFB couples I know, who are from out of town, belie the impression of normalcy that the rabbis daughters make. They make comments that are flat out offensive (the gays are to blame for ecological disasters, black people are poor because they are being punished because they are from such and such tribe of people who were cruel to the Jews, etc.), and seem to have difficulty grasping basic social concepts. Granted, they may be examples that the frum community has as many off colored crayons as any other community, or they may be a product of their insular upbringing.

The married friends I have are mostly BT (became religious later), and they, too, seem strange. It seems like so many of them had some tragedy, internal flaw, or other HUGE issue that was assuaged by religion. I don't know if Judaism is what helped them as much as it was maybe religion. Also, some of them seem overwhelmed and trapped by their lives now. They became religious, within a couple of years they were married, and within a year of that (Imirtza Hashem), they had a child. It's a great network for support, but it also creates a system that is very rigid in holding someone in a certain position. A married woman with children is much less likely to go on a large spiritual journey questioning the foundation of her beliefs. Also, sometimes, the married couples, both BT and FFB, don't seem really married. They seem to coexist in the same place linked by geography and four to eight children.

Such cynicism! oy vey! It's true, but that is why I am struggling. I love Judaism for it's learning and the insistance that every question should be asked and that answers are available. I'm struggling because the Jewish community does not seem set up to support that reality.

There's more where that came from, but I'll save it for later.

P.S. Someone commented that they had some questions, but I lost that comment. Just post your questions as a comment, and I will answer them. (If you don't feel comfortable having others view your questions, make a note, and I won't publish your comment, but I will still answer the questions.)