An essay on my experience as an orthodox jew for two weekends

Women in his books were at times little more than objects of desire and rage and The Village Voice once put his picture on its cover, condemning him as a misogynist.

An essay on my experience as an orthodox jew for two weekends

I had grown up Jewish, and was always engaged in my faith, attending Hebrew school and synagogue, even teaching my own Hebrew school classes when I was in college, but my practice had always been more liberal and sporadic.

But after my older brother became more strictly religious and my parents and younger brother followed suit, I began to consider the idea of engaging in a stricter practice of the faith in which I was raised.

When I met my husband I was in the midst of this transition, I taught him what I knew of my faith and he embraced it, not only converting to Judaism but committing himself to Orthodoxy as well. When my husband graduated school we had moved to New York for him to pursue his rabbinic studies and I taught English at an Orthodox Jewish high school that separated the classes by gender.

Now, all these years later, I considered the possibility that although my resume and interview were sufficient to land me the job, I no longer fit in the world I had left so long ago. During the seven years we were Orthodox, I did not read fiction, except the literature I was required to read to teach it.

If I read for pleasure, it was from the tales of the Chassidic masters — which were claimed, in fact, to be faithful retellings of actual occurrences.

The Orthodox Rabbi Who Set Out to Turn Postmodernism to Jewish Gain » Mosaic

They blessed barren women with children, poor men with riches, and punished those who did not keep faith with the lord. I read the Bible, too, of course, but I did not consider that fiction. The truth was that I had always feared what reading and worse, enjoying stories about women would say about me.

Beyond my choices of reading material, I actively sought out friendships with boys that would place me in proximity to their real life experiences and identities which were, to me, the experiences and identities that seemed to be worth writing and reading and thinking about.

As I grew, the boys did too, and more than once they crossed the permeable membrane between my world and theirs in a way that left me feeling broken, betrayed, and confused.

An essay on my experience as an orthodox jew for two weekends

When my husband converted to Judaism and we became Orthodox, it was, for him, an acceptance of the yoke of heaven, but for me, it provided something beyond that — a layer of protection from the world of men.

My hair had to be covered, as did my arms, my legs, and everything between, lest I drive a man to impure thoughts. I could not touch men nor could men touch mebut beyond that, during my menses, I could not even touch my husband — a barrier within a barrier, holding my body tight against every man, even the one who loved me.

I could not sing in front of men, or dance, since this too could lead to them having impure thoughts. My acts — and the acts of every woman — were the object of these restrictions. The men, we were meant to understand, were beyond help.

The religious world is not the only place where women are told such stories about themselves.

How Jane Eyre Helped Lead Me Out of Orthodox Judaism

Based on my experience with men up to that point, his thesis seemed sound enough: I left the room sobbing, believing that I — not the man in the movie, and not the men who violated me — was somehow at fault.

Believing, too, that there was nothing I could do to protect myself from it happening again. And I was right.

Even in the Orthodox world, with all its boundaries and barriers and protections, I was not safe. I retreated to the bedroom at the back of the apartment, but it was a small space and I could hear the men talking from across the rooms. Three rooms and my protective husband stood between me and this man, and yet I felt his hot breath in my face, his hands on my arms, I felt myself being held to the bed, helpless.

I saw in that moment that my demons chased me, and that they could slip through the bars of any cage I fashioned for myself. I could actually feel it happening to me, but I welcomed it, in keeping with my desire to bind up my life within the security of such a prison.

An Essay on Contemporary American Jewish Life

Without fiction, you begin to lose the ability to see beyond your circumstances. And more, you begin to believe those ancient explanations of the failures and limitations of humanity and, by extension, of your own failings and limitations.Free judaism papers, essays, and research papers.

My Account. Your - Hasidic Judaism is a branch of Orthodox Judaism established in Eastern Europe during the ’s that put spirituality and a connection with God through mysticism at the forefront of its beliefs.

- Judaism and Islam are known to be two of the main religions that are. In Orthodox Judaism there are prohibitions against working on the Sabbath, and taking a photograph is considered work. There are also taboos against making completely solid images that could be regarded as icons to be worshiped, but there are no specific restrictions against being photographed.

Orthodox Judaism is the most religiously stringent of the three main streams of American Judaism.

An essay on my experience as an orthodox jew for two weekends

Its adherents believe the Torah was given to the Jewish people in a mass revelation at Mount Sinai and that the rabbinical tradition (known as the Oral Law) is a faithful elucidation of divine rules for Jewish living that are obligatory upon all Jews .

Indeed, from my limited experience of teaching in the U.S., Modern Orthodox Jews there, too, are at least as much exercised by the relevance of Talmud study as they are by the effects of postmodernist thought on Jewish faith—and American day-school and yeshiva students are as apt to feel alienated as are their Israeli counterparts.

- Sabbath in the Jewish Home and Synagogue The Sabbath (Shabbat) is the most important festival of the Jewish calendar and is celebrated at least fifty-two times a year.

When I stopped restricting my fiction reading, I realized how many stories were possible

Jews celebrate the Sabbath because it is believed that God rested on the seventh day. Michael A. Helfand, an Orthodox Jew, describes how his experience at a Christian university has given him a window into how faith-based institutions successfully promote religious diversity.

An Orthodox Jew describes his positive experience at a Christian university (essay).

How Jane Eyre Helped Lead Me Out of Orthodox Judaism