Monday, January 29, 2018

Farshprung Aroys

Once I met a Mennonite young woman and learned that they have an optional getting off the derech - vorsprungen, something like that, which i understand in my Yiddutch as an advantageous leap, rather than going off.
I immediately thought of a wayward spring that my twin boys dragged in off the kibbutz' village-like road. There is no subject or object that I can think of as a centerpiece of blogging for now - but this spring - and it symbolizes my own Farshrpung-Aroys. One of my wigs - from my frum past. Just to think of it - a young woman gets married, and her head gets covered with a wig - shudder.
Now the response to the last comment.

Maybe all this stream of disjointed consciousness is toward helping you get married, like another angle on life, from a wild religious girl who offers a bissl of life wisdom? I also don't want to add to the negative baggage that you mentioned from your family. Maybe Im trying to help you move ahead closer to having naches from your own family - by trying to show you to make realistic insights and making decisions, like the father of my son Nathaniel.
I'm always thinking about shabbos - trying to capture the elusive dream - as if - of my life. What I can shorten my disappointment to is formulaic life especially during shabbos that actually - DOES NOT bring on the One and affection within a family. The father always hurries to the shul or learning or some rabbinical partying, or sleeps and - shouldn't be disturbed. Mother already tired from Friday itself. Kids are forced to have plans of their own. Daughters forced to go to the shmiras halashon parties since age 8 - it's like a huge forced social activity with lawtsa rationalized fun.
Then what we daughters remember is many men coming to visit our Dad - we are very good at serving coffee tea and cookies - and we are very sharp. We remember these men asking stupid questions - to make Rosh koton just to spend some time with a talmid hohom - who admits to being too busy with helping others to maintain that talmid hohom learning! Then seeing these men at shul, at our dinners or on the street with their families - and thinking to ourselves: OMG, there should be a name for this show! And we are supposed to watch and smile and nod and pretend like some heilige mitzvos are getting - albeit naively - done.
Then we remember inside our own family - our Dad always busy with the saintly clowns, mom has the stove and oven full of burnable projects, smaller kids in the bathtub, brothers nagging about unfindable clothes. We were too busy to get really brainwashed into anesthesia - my older sisters had it hard growing up but kinda handed me down some of the tips for sane frum living. I had the privilege of their experience, but still remember extremely early childhood moments -3 y.o. - having to whine for daddy-mommy affection to outcompete my siblings, to eat chicken patties while on my daddy's right knee while my brother on the left knee had a sort of a iluy exam.

Another conversation that was crucial to some of us. This nice bachelor guy-kid in his 20s that just could not past first shidduch dates. Nice looking, starker learning, parents behind him supporting 100% - he’s very self-assured, outspoken - but to my father he said -in a brave voice - “maybe the problem is fear of not knowing what to do with the kalla after the wedding” My father told him to just do what all the guys would want to do with their kallas, forget everything else. We didnt get to hear the rest of the conversation.

I don't think I've seen affection in my childhood family setting. I havent seen it in other families. Husbands and wives, brothers and sisters always have been sitting separate at all family simchas. Personally - I never grew up thinking they are simchas - especially for us girls, who voiced having an interest watching boys hop around trying to dance. Maybe I was born too sober to see through and outside of the dry formal bubble.
I'm able to give affection to my kids though - and I'm in a setting where paradoxically to me - even the kibbutz grandparents are of the doting kind.
My twins appear as double trouble, but really very loving, - a lawt more than their uptight frum cousins who have little regard for public property or littering. It's enough for one of my boys to huddle-hug a cousin to cause him to push off in disgust and shriek to his parents. I don't make any issue out of this - but make sure to shrug silently to my siblings to underscore my point - I once made by asking - when would a frum child have time to give or receive affection? Is it the token pat on the head for a boy, and almost nothing for a girl? My children look forward seeing their non religious uncles and aunts because they have unlimited license to rough house and girls to laugh and applaud a dance move without being exiled to a girls playroom.
My Brother Bs (the “Chicago” brother) has always been acutely aware of the spiritual dead end our siblings ran into - but he is the only one who excelled to adjust and come out positive on all aspects. His solution was to actually do military service, so after getting the rare rejection on the unexplained grounds, he bucked the system, and proved worthy - and used the IDF melting pot of egos to learn how to succeed. His totally non religious service buddies love stopping by whenever he’s in Israel to play with his kids. So he ended up like me with the same Victory ;-) but through very sober-gritty sense of realism to the accomplishment.
My Brother E. overcame our challenges too, but is mostly withdrawn. I see that kind of a sibling in every large family. Really honestly I never see him as my brother first. He is like a perfect buddy, the kind who can’t be the father of your kids, but is surely 100% your soulmate. So good that he is mostly withdrawn and into his comfort life. I dont know much else about their daily news. They had a child since.
The last wedding all of us siblings attended was modern orthodox with mixed seating. We ended up sitting together, with all of our spouses - we took up two tables though, the second table with a sister and our young teens. Maybe for the first time in our lives at a wedding - and we quietly smiled at each other and enjoyed it, and then an older brother made a point of saying in French - that how we never enjoyed sitting apart at super frum weddings. I am glad that he said that, and not me. I still can't find a redeeming value in a family sitting apart. The reality of it all - as we discussed later in the fresh air - we live too far apart from each other to sit apart and only to hop on the planes and be apart again - we are too worldly, too experienced to pretend we could live in a frum ghetto.

Another lesson in facing the realism is in Nathaniel’s father’s decision. He understood that our son is way better off with me, even though he had a very generous visitation rights, since there is no divorce. The court stepped in for the “dept of social services” and reaffirmed his rights. I was very amicable-amenable to whatever his status would be - but it was clear that he could not be seen raising the kid in his small hovel with an astronomical rent overpriced by a real estate sharks - all the while having a microscopic income. So he made a decision of his life - to move to our kibbutz, to work as a regular employee and be around our child to enjoy an alternative to the Jerusalem life - to living in a ridiculously overpriced hovel, to shiver in winters, to collect returnables jsut to subsidize the meager kollel stipend. He explained his need to the kibbutz committee, offering himself and his potential, and the generally non-religious kibbutz - of course wanted to preserve their humanitarian principles, and now he lives in the kibbutz bachelor townhouses, for nominal rent, and respectable wage - be a general upkeep handyman, and see his son daily! No shul or kollel though! - For many miles around! For this reason I respect him as someone who is religious and naturally carries his religiousness even into an empty - but very surprisingly accommodating world - to solve his life’s challenge. That’s what I wanted to hint at for you. Nice?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Surgeons and Thugs

I don't know where my photos are. I have been away from social web life - for  years, for really long time, for the time it takes to have another baby - and see it graduate to pre-kindergarten! 
I no longer take pictures of ourselves or anything around us - gratuitously. 
The last photos I took - for a surgeon in Switzerland - were about my marks of excellence for having this many babies - varicose veins! How ironic - most of me still looks like my kids' babysitter. My veins look like I am supposed to be a grandma already! It could be soon - my oldest daughter is maturing into a young woman.
I stayed in Israel for the holidays, and we are back in Switzerland. It is a neat place, - all safe from the Great Hordes of refugee thugs, and good vantage point from where I can read news headlines and watch digests on YouTube. All I can say, is that I am a late comer to Ben Shapiro, - because in Europe he is respected and feared for irresistible intelligence and instant surgical command of English! So I can reveal - I have been watching Ben Shapiro Thug Life!