Monday, October 12, 2009

The World of Choices



I often think about my more conservative orthodox neighbors...I think sometimes, especially the more traditional folks, are lucky...they have fewer choices...my life is full of choices...difficult choices...My husband and I are conservative...I tend to skew more traditional than some....but when we are sitting home on a Saturday with no visitors and no where to visit...boy oh boy that day gets long...then there is the food! I think if I lived in Jerusalem or even in a hard core area of the 5 towns (NY) I wouldn't feel so askew....
Not feeling like I fit in...
there is a street fair in town...in the past that would be a food bonanza...zeppoles, sausage and peppers, the smells remind me of my youth...but this choice of mine changed everything...I have tasted all the “forbidden” things...and to be blunt.. I used to love bacon....fired clams, mussels in white sauce....there is something that can feel isolating, separating about the food choice...that is why sometimes I fantasize that one of those more insular communities would be easier... when we were in Israel...the food thing was great!
But I live in the world...the world of choices..the world of shell fish and gefilte fish ....I made the choice to be a Jew...in the new life it is sometimes hard to be around the old life...not that I am tempted..it is just hard.....any choice, even a spiritual/positive one has a dimension of loss....change has implicit and explicit loss...and the fair.....is a living breathing mirror on how so much has changed.... and in this moment of reflection, what has been lost.....

2 comments:

Yelena said...

Dear Rachael,
I just found your blog (I'm a Yiddish speaker so the BBC documentary let me to you) and saw this post. I am from the former USSR (no religion at all ever) and now mostly observant Orthodox-ish more or less and I totally know what you;re going through - being observant in a non-observant world is a tough thing, especially when there is shrimp everywhere.

We actually walk through the street fairs here in NYC if they happen to be on the way to the synagogue on Shabbes and look at things.we know we have no money and the fair will be gone by the time Shabbes is over, so we just look at things and people and smell the pork.

As for you sitting at home with no visitors and no one to visit... We don't go visit because we live far away from the synagogue, so we make a nice lunch, crack open a a bottle of wine and enjoy each othe's company. We have grown to appreciate Shabbes for an opportunity to connect to each other without the world interrupting and demanding our attention. And we take out books about all things Jewish and read them to each other on Shabbes (I know it's nerdy, but we're nerds). I don't know where you live, but Israel can also be an isolating place and 5 Towns too.

I hope this helps even a little bit,

Yelena

Dunking Rachel said...

Dear Yelena,

Thank you for your kind and encouraging words...they are a help....I liked the idea of reading to one another, and no I don't think it is nerdy...but I may not be the best judge!...lol
once again, thanks!

Dunking Rachael

Love, Faith and Life