i reeeeeeeeeeeally want to read this book: “unorthodox: the scandalous rejection of my hasidic roots“, by deborah feldman. being from NYC, you’re around a ton of different cultures. where i’m originally from in queens, you rarely see hasidic jews, and when i moved out to brooklyn for the first time a few years ago, i moved to a heavily hasidic residing neighborhood (midwood). it was a strange experience for me because i knew nothing of their culture at all, aside from the way that they dress and the fact that the women wore wigs for a reason…
one friday when i had come home from work, a loud, wailing (and spooky) siren started going off at sundown. the first thought going through my head was that NYC was about to be in another crisis because of terrorism (no, not even joking). my roommate at the time never told me about the siren that went off on friday evenings, as a warning to go home for the arrival of the sabbath. i recorded it from my phone, to send to my mother that first time, because i was like WTF? then the next day, my ‘hood was like a ghost town… there was NO ONE around. i couldn’t believe it. i think it was within the next two weeks that he told me the deal.
in the dunkin donuts two blocks from my apartment, i would go in and hear the 15/16 year old girls talking about their wigs and upcoming husbands and stuff, and i was in awe. at 15/16, i was playing super nintendo, started going to concerts and had my first real boyfriend. it was kind of a culture shock for me, and i felt really ignorant for automatically thinking that they were odd, so i started googling more and more about hasidic culture. why they had to cover all of their skin, the deal with the curls, the strings around their waists, etc.
i guess now i have better understanding of why some of those things are done, and not that it’s my place to try to “approve” of it, but i can’t. i try so hard not to judge it or mock it, but i can’t say that i have come to terms with it. some of the rules are out of this world.
i’m not a super-religious person to begin with, but i am catholic – and i thought the rules that we have to live by are ridiculous and strict… this is seriously a whole other level.
and not to sound like a total dick, but it’s 2012. with the modern world surrounding all of these young people, how do they not feel pressured to live a “normal” life?
i’ve read a couple of websites that had articles about the book that deborah feldman wrote, and it stated that they’re raised to be scared of “normal”/non-hasidic people. i think that’s absolutely fucked up, because as odd as i think the culture may be, i wouldn’t ever discriminate or be rude to a hasidic jew JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE HASIDIC. i think that’s awful, if that’s true.
i don’t want to turn this post into how i “don’t get hasidic jews” and seem like an ignorant/judgemental asshole, my point was that i wanted to see the point of view from someone that has converted. i wondered if there were younger people in our generation that broke free because of curiosity, and the outcome. i’m super excited to add this to my book queue.