Sunday, August 27, 2006


I guess this has been on my mind recently, and so here I am again thinking about men, women, torah, men & women & torah.. I think about the life i lead today, I think about the ife I see around me, I think of young girls, I think of myself as a young girl, I think of the sons and daughters I hope to one day I have.. and I cant help but feel that I am so fortunate for being where I am and for seeing the way things I do. I see friends who cant understand the laws of tzniut, of shomer negya... they argue with me. I know others who know its the right thing, but struggle with it continually. I know others who have given up struggling, but continue to feel the guilt.. and the pain..
It’s such a difficult struggle, and for me the key is to remind myself of the alternative.

Sometimes I feel like a terribly judgemental and close-minded person when i say these things, that I am so thankful, so grateful, so blessed to have torah in my life, but this isn’t meant to put anyone down, or to criticize or to judge. It’s just an expression of my gratitude at having found where I belong, and wanting to share it with others I come across who are struggling with issues I feel I’ve started to make peace with.

I see the guy who is giving in to his animalistic needs, unable to control the pain he causes, I see the girl who is giving in her to her emotional needs, unable to control the pain she is feeling and I just want to shake them and let them know there is an alternative..

He's a good boy, he has a pure heart, a good conscience, a loving soul, but he spends the night with her and then ..with her and then ..her.. not unlike the rest of his peers.. and he doesnt see the harm it causes, but his soul feels it, and hes tormented, but he cant verbalize it or understand it.

She's a caring girl, a sensitive girl, she lets herself get taken advantage of, objectified. She sells herself short, she doesnt know her worth and will pay whatever price for the affection and intimacy she can get, regardless of its sincerity. deep down she feels like a commodity, but she cant accept and internalize that feeling, it goes against eveything shes been told, she manages to convince herself this is the way it needs to be, this is the way it should be.

I'm alone. i go to sleep alone. i wake up alone. i face my loneliness day in and day out. its excrutiating at times, feeling so lost and not having caring arms to throw yourself into, but i make a conscious decision, today - one day at a time - to fix the damage, to learn to appreciate my value, to take care of myself, to protect myself.

They want me to be afraid of the mysogeny of my chosen path?
They have no idea what mysogeny is. parading your body as a trophy, afraid the real you wont ever be desired. denying your protective feelings, in the hopes of finding a protector. losing your inhibitions, while craving intimacy. ending up alone, in the arms of a stranger and wondering how its possible to be so close to someone and feel so empty and alone.
you lament the fact that all the women you find are damaged goods.. who do you think damaged them?
this is the mysogeny i'm afraid of. this is the mysogeny ive left behind.

i have a treasure inside of me and i dont want it to be glanced at and poked at and manipulated and toyed with. not until my worth can be fully appreciated. this is my feminism. my body is a shield to protect my soul.

im so greatful i have torah, torah that guides me when my instincts arent able to, when my brain cant understand, when my nature refuses to. im so thankful that even when i get lost in that dark abyss of overwhelming urges, i always have access to a way out.

im so greatful for the permission to be protective of myself, the permission to desire purity, the permission to accept my deeper needs.

Not too long ago, i defiantly dragged G-d into a
game of chicken. I told Him,'You fix this situation, or i wont be held accountable for my actions!'

Hashem, it's Elul again, and we meet again..
and this is my official backing down.
You called my bluff, and I swerved before we collided.
I can only thank You for giving me the strength to find the truth in me before any more harm was done.
I can only beg you to keep strengthening me and to keep reminding me that what I have worth protecting will only be that much more valuable and beautiful when the time comes.





( favorite song of the day.. and for some reason it just seems fitting... enjoy)

38 Comments:

At Sunday, August 27, 2006 12:58:00 PM, Blogger trixies86 said...

thanks. I needed that. and the reminder that its elul

 
At Sunday, August 27, 2006 6:58:00 PM, Blogger the only way i know said...

hey Mooks!
That was so amazing - so many of us need to hear it - thanks - you expressed the issue extremely well, thoughtfully, and from many relevant angles.
My friend recently sent me the song you posted - good one.
May you continue to receive strength from Hashem - and the rest of us too.

 
At Sunday, August 27, 2006 7:25:00 PM, Blogger anonym00kie said...

trixies86:
we all need it.. im really just talking to myself and reminding myself.. constantly..

towik: welcome back!! i missed all your flattering comments :)

 
At Sunday, August 27, 2006 8:55:00 PM, Blogger ~ Sarah ~ said...

firstly, good song! one of my faves this week too :)

and talking to yourself in this post again reflects some things that i've been thinking about lately too. so thank you for saying it out loud! may this Elul be a productive one :)

 
At Sunday, August 27, 2006 11:41:00 PM, Blogger Dovid said...

I liked the post....
But tell me, what on earth is with that song????? You like that??!!!

 
At Monday, August 28, 2006 12:25:00 AM, Blogger Nemo said...

Hey, no fair.... definitely the ladies' perspective that the guy is the animal and the girl is emotionaly fraught.

 
At Monday, August 28, 2006 3:37:00 AM, Blogger Chasidishe Shaigitz said...

great post!
I cant really explain it, but i know what you mean, I've felt the hurt when I have seen girls (letting themselves) being taken advantage of, and scorned the guys who don’t think of their future and worst of all the future of the girls whose lives they are ruining, Literally :(

You are never alone, just make sure you chose the right companion.

Ani Ledodi, V'L.

 
At Monday, August 28, 2006 7:03:00 AM, Blogger anonym00kie said...

sarah: finally talknig to myself has come in handy..

dovid: i love it :) not my fault you have strange taste in music :P

nemo: actuaaaaally.. i think the guys suffer just as much as the girls, but its from a different perspective. i dont consider the guys to blame and the girls as victims, i think they are both victims of the system. men feel just as empty and just as lonely..but the pain comes from a different source..

chasidishe shaigitz: nice to see you here..and you're right, 'ani ledodi..' really is the key to avoiding all this pain

 
At Monday, August 28, 2006 12:17:00 PM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Thanks really nice timely thought.

 
At Monday, August 28, 2006 12:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

xcellent post.

[ brings back memories of this blogger:
http://shomernegiah.blogspot.com/ ]

"yu cant comment to a post like that with something really brilliant and witty." sooooo troo00oo :-)


dov

 
At Monday, August 28, 2006 12:52:00 PM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

You did it again, Mooks. Your passion jumps right off the screen. i wish you to find that love asap!

 
At Monday, August 28, 2006 2:00:00 PM, Blogger Maven said...

yay, manis friedman!

 
At Monday, August 28, 2006 2:15:00 PM, Anonymous girl on the verge said...

hun this is an awesome read, with thoughts expressed in a beautiful manner. i wish i had read it yesterday, for last nite was my test of a situation similiar to the one you mapped out. and i failed it.

 
At Monday, August 28, 2006 10:45:00 PM, Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

great post...
u know I find these "deals" all backfire at the end..like Bilaam..sure Hashem might even play along for a little..but ultimately..we become pawns...for kiddush hashem
Lucky for u...u realized it now..
You'll find him THIS year..
:-)

 
At Tuesday, August 29, 2006 2:01:00 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

OMG how many were damaged!!!

 
At Tuesday, August 29, 2006 2:14:00 PM, Blogger in8paradox said...

Everybody thinks like this. You think ALL those people "parading thier bodies around like trophies" don't see the "shallowness" of thier lives? Do you think all people but the jews have this "shallowness"?

What i'm getting at essentially is, you are not the first or the last to use the shallow activities of a chunk of todays' society to corraborate your claim to Judaism.

Why point out the negative to boost yourself up? It is not as if the WHOLE world acts this way. Consider yourself normal, and them "low" - why boost your position off of thier weakness?

So "Ashreinu Ma'Tov Chelkeinu" Because your friends who aren't frum are shallow?

Your post serves merely to compliment people who aren't shallow in todays' day in age where such behavior is so prevalent etc. No relation to judaism.

 
At Tuesday, August 29, 2006 9:46:00 PM, Blogger Nemo said...

Oy, you don't give up on arguing with Judaism, do you? And your heretical point is getting very stale. If you don't like it, quit it, but know that you are depraved.

Her point was that the Torah is her reason and guide for not giving in to promiscuity and cherishing insular intimacy. In this case it is the Torah that commands it. She didn't claim that Judaism has a monopoly on modesty, she was saying that it has a reason for it. A life where lasciviousness is welcomed will degenerate into emotional hurt rather than satisfaction.

Anyhow, all good in any other religion or philosophy is essentially that of the Torah.... but it would take a believer to believe that.

 
At Wednesday, August 30, 2006 9:09:00 AM, Blogger anonym00kie said...

swfm: thanks!

dov: yup.. its a struggle, apparently im not alone..

frumgirl: amen!

maven: ive only heard him speak once and read that book, but i was blown away both times!

girl on the verge: thats in the past. its a struggle we can all relate to. make a small commitment for the future and build on that. email me if you'd like.

david in the lake: amen amen amen!

limey2001: lets worry about the fixing instead of the damages..

in8paradox: nice to see you here. i hear what youre saying, and youre right, there is no need to put others down to elevate oneself. like nemo said, that wasnt my point thought. first of all youd be surprised how many of those poeple dont see the shallowness, dont understand the damage. my point however was not to put them down, it was to explain how torah has helped me realize those things and if i am putting anyone down, or blaming anyone, its the system that teaches these young girls and guys that more experience, hedonism, lack of modesty are positive things. so many poele are suffering because theyve never been taught an alternative way of viewing relationships, modesty, intimacy.. and thats what makes me sad.

nemo: no need to give up on arguing.. it means theres still a little flame there hoping to be reignited..
and youre right, that was my point, beautifully summarized :)

 
At Wednesday, August 30, 2006 10:09:00 AM, Blogger in8paradox said...

"stale", ah? Is that the word used to describe a true idea repeated several times? in that case your religion is definitley stale.

My point is, simply, that frum people think that they have a monoploly on morality and all that is good and just in this world.

Hence they constantly cite cases of other, shallow people to make themselves feel better. I think that is plain foolish and irrelavent.

Let your lifestyle be right in and of itself, not compared to shallow people you see around you.

Another point, for anonym000kie, many of these people do in fact realize how shallow thier life is but see no other alternative. They aren't religous and don't believe in g-d and all the the "moral" and "ethical" people they know of are corrupt politicians and lawyers etc..A higher level of shallowness. We are all shallow, some of us act upon it and others resist, but we are all equally as shallow.

O, and nemo, those last three lines of yours (if I understood them correctly) are complete and utter bullshit.

 
At Wednesday, August 30, 2006 3:46:00 PM, Blogger Scraps said...

[thumbsup to m00ks]

I can feel myself getting lost again--not that I'll go "off the derech" in actions, but my soul is wandering and tired. I need to reconnect...

 
At Wednesday, August 30, 2006 4:08:00 PM, Blogger the only way i know said...

in8para..
i actually think that frum people are very hard on themselves, and feel very far removed from perfect and far from holier than thou and far from above all the rest.

Mooks was pointing out one of the hardships in wanting to follow the torah's instructions - but not always succeeding -
which can be very painful for the frum person who knows and believes in the Torah's beauty.. but is still drawn to daily temptations..and does not always overcome what they have been taught and what they believe is actually the right behaviour.

I also strongly disagree with what you call Nemo's bullshit..
So much stems from the torah-i find it silly to deny it - it would be a good debate to have with someone knowledgable and also one in which you'd likely be defeated

 
At Wednesday, August 30, 2006 4:56:00 PM, Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

There is so much beauty that a lot of individuals Unfortunatly have not been shown. And there are many great lessons that we could all use. When you think about it, where do concepts for example, charity come from? - G-d put it in the Torah to teach people about helping other people.

one good example, is this family who truely knows how to share beauty with others. here

 
At Wednesday, August 30, 2006 10:02:00 PM, Blogger Nemo said...

The Torah is the absolute {divine} moral compass and it's guidelines are the guidelines of the world. Therefore:

1} All good that can be found in any religion, school of thought or belief must be in consonance with the Torah. If it's not, it is categorically not good {though not necessarily bad, but no digressing please}.

2} When someone needs guidance in a moral dillema {i.e. the temptation of the "shallow people"} they must look to the Torah for direction.

 
At Thursday, August 31, 2006 12:08:00 AM, Blogger in8paradox said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Thursday, August 31, 2006 1:13:00 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

Wow. You are beautiful, amazing, and have probably expressed this idea better than I have ever seen. Thank you, I needed to hear it.

 
At Thursday, August 31, 2006 7:40:00 PM, Anonymous happy human said...

in8para-

i agree with your first and main point. it definitely does seem like we feel smug with the torah by contrasting it to standards of our choosing, which is not really fair. though, i dont think its true that that smugness translates into "proof" for anybody.

nemos last 3 lines would have been bullshit, had he not qualified it at the end, by saying it would take a believer to believe that. he essentially set a safety net by saying that; on what value system will you fault him?

anonymookie- nice post. though i think youve taken a very one-sided view of things.

 
At Thursday, August 31, 2006 10:47:00 PM, Blogger anonym00kie said...

in8paradox:

in8paradox, I hear everything you are saying, but I really think you missed the point of my post. The point was that people very easily give up on what is most intimate and special because they don’t realize the harm it causes them -because they haven’t been taught that. I am simply stating that I AM personally grateful that I found my way OUT of that secular mindframe. Im not putting anyone down, if anything, I feel really sad for friends of mine, and for my old self, for having been lied to and made to believe that more experience and less inhibitions nd less boundaries was good for me. This has nothing to do with being shallow, and it has nothing to do with putting anyone down. Its simply an observation of the way of the world, and my being grateful for having found a system that allows me and teaches me to protect my modesty, my capability for intimacy.

scraps
that’s the way of souls, they dont sit still, if you aren’t feeding it nutritious spirituality, it starts to get weak and lazy. If you feel ureself get lost.. and don’t want to.. don’t let it happen, grab the situations with both hands and do something about it. you deserve to be happy.

the only way i know
I think youre right that frum people are hard on themselves but I also think that sometimes when people don’t want to put the effort into doing the right thing, they choose to focus outwardly and put others down to make themselves feel better.
Personally I dotn think that’s wat I was doing in this post. Like I told in8paradox, the whole point of this was comparing my old self to my new self, comparing life choices and being greatful for the wisdom ive found.

lvnsm27:
those are truly amazing people. there really is a lot of beauty of you open your eyes to it..

nemo:
I hope you don’t work in kiruv :)

comment deleted:
why?

jessica:
Thanks :)
and we all need to hear it.. trust me..

happy human
why isnt it fair to compare your standards or your choices to others? If you follow the torah blindly and you never actually chose to make it your own, then youre right, there is no reason to compare it to anything.. you can just do it..just because. but if you want to accept the torah and makle it your own, then youre going to need to make choices, comparisons.. or else why choose it? making a comparison doent mean criticizing someone else, it just means choosing a logic, a way of life, an explanation, a perspective that appeals more to you.
youre right tho.. this isnt about proof..
its about making personal choices.

“anonymookie- nice post. though i think youve taken a very one-sided view of things. “

whats the other side?

 
At Thursday, August 31, 2006 11:08:00 PM, Anonymous happy human said...

mookie- this might be a tad long; i apologize in advance.

about comparing- i meant that you cant feel smug about the truth of torah because you compared it to a shallow culture and it triumphed; it says nothing about the truth of the torah.

which is why its good that your point is not about proof. i do understand your point, and i do not think in8paradoxs point, which i agree with, negates yours.

you say- "but if you want to accept the torah and make it your own, then youre going to need to make choices, comparisons.. or else why choose it?"

choose it because its true. if it was chosen as a result of being the best of all comparisons, then you cant be secure in its truth until youve compared it to everything, which we know is not a premise that the torah is based on. ergo- you do not need to make comparisons, in principle.

the "other side" i was referring to, was that your point seemed true with regard to one angle of the birds-bees phenomena. namely,
to the girls trying to attract boys, boys trying to feel good by using girls, etc.

but another angle which i felt, perhaps erroneously, that you had lumped together with it, was a true, normal, run-of-the-mill boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. the girl likes the guy, the guy likes the girl, and they are close.

true, both girl and guy are hormonally involved too, but thats ok. they know it and acknowledge it; its mutual, and they enjoy being the vehicle of each others fulfillment. i dont think thats shallow or cheapish. thats life, and thats ok.

i do understand that that angle is part and parcel of the other, fair enough.

 
At Thursday, August 31, 2006 11:58:00 PM, Blogger anonym00kie said...

happy human:
i agree that in8paradox's point doesnt negate my point, i think hes bringing in a diff issue.

i hear what youre saying about following the torah because its true and not because its better..
what i meant tho about making it your own is about internalizing the messages. of course i keep the torah because its the truth. thats the premise, the obvious nature of my adherrence. but thats just the first level..to go a step above that, to really make the torah your own, i think its important to figure out how it adds to your life, to understand WHY you follow it, why you do what you do..
and THATS what this post was about.

in terms of the 'other side'.. thats a completely different discussion. this discussion wasnt about shomer negya, it wasnt about the validity of torah, it wasnt about comparing.. it was just a PERSONAL expression of gratitude for having found a system that teaches men and women to value themselves, their bodies and their relationships.
obviously a loving couple (whos not married) is a different situation than a one night stand.. im not lumping it all together.. but like nemo said, if its not the way the torah prescribed it to be.. then there are other issues to consider.. and thats a whole other post!

 
At Friday, September 01, 2006 12:08:00 AM, Blogger in8paradox said...

Anonym00kie-let me be clear here, I meant only to address basic implications and indications of you post - no, I may not be addressing the meat and bones here, but the idea is obvious throughout your post.

Happy Human - you have a very good point.
The problem is, though, that Frum people DO use it as "proof".
I speak here of people who are born Frum, hence, the proper word: corroboration (proof to an EXISTING claim) - as used above.

It serves as a real-life proof to these people that the ways of the Torah are true. And I was merely pointing out that it shouldn't; or isn't.

 
At Friday, September 01, 2006 12:21:00 AM, Anonymous happy human said...

in8- fair enough. if, as you say, people use it to advance/ corroborate their existing lifestyle, in terms of validity, then i would agree with you.

mook- im sorry if this is frustrating you. you wrote a very nice post, a personal reflection, and a bunch of analytical jews are slicing it up to pieces. fine. your post stands as a reflection of how you feel about the torahs system. you presented it very nicely, and i identify with those feelings you expressed.

we took a turn on a tangent, and being an interesting digression, we pursued it. its not aimed at your post directly.

au revoir.

 
At Friday, September 01, 2006 12:23:00 AM, Blogger anonym00kie said...

happy human, you make it sound like i mind..
i dont :) au contraire.. im enjoying!

 
At Friday, September 01, 2006 12:28:00 AM, Anonymous happy human said...

well, in that case....;)

 
At Friday, September 01, 2006 4:58:00 PM, Blogger Eshet Chayil said...

I just wanted to say I had to comment that this post was amazing. I love the picture you posted with it too. I wish I could think of something more to say but I'll just say it was amazing.

 
At Saturday, September 02, 2006 7:54:00 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

It's a tough world we live in.
May it only be easy for you.

 
At Sunday, September 03, 2006 10:42:00 PM, Anonymous yoniqua said...

anonym00kie -
i want you to know that you wrote this beautifully... because u really meant it. its what u feel inside...and you express it well.
i like the ELUL acronym and "Ani ledodi v'dodi li" connection. very appropriate!

My feelings on this post of yours...
First of all, this is very brave of you. You are putting yourself out there (maybe some ppl know who u are, but i do not) and really being truthful. whereas i would just say, "oh me? im better off anyway. i dont need guys! guys are big ****s anyway.." :) but u did well...

You wrote, (quote) "Sometimes I feel like a terribly judgemental and close-minded person" i tell you - its the most nerve-wracking thing. i see friends doing things I myself have done or at least now know the truth about it...and i feel ambivalent about saying anything. if i say something like oh cmon u know its not whats good for you, theyll be like, cmon u did it shutup u just feel guilty yadayada... and if i dont, im letting my friend do something i know i can prevent. and she should have her fun, right?

the truth is - the only way a person will listen is if you actually and truly tell them for THEIR OWN GOOD and not with yourself in the picture at all. its tough. but when u truly love a person, and you can prove it to them, they will listen.

the best of luck to you...
kol hakavod.

 
At Sunday, September 03, 2006 10:43:00 PM, Anonymous yoniqua said...

oh lol and on a lighter note, if u want a laugh check this out...
http://www.crownheights.info/index.php?itemid=3001#c

 
At Tuesday, September 05, 2006 5:53:00 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

Strong post, it’s incredible that what some consider a burden or a limitation is experienced by someone else as the solution to that very problem.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Who links to me?