Thursday, April 07, 2005

A Few More Different Things

There are many things in the comments I want to respond to. I am trying to compose my thoughts.

If no new issues come up in the comments then I have just three or four more posts to write and then the blog will be done.

The blog will not be taken off the internet. It will stay up for people to find and read in future. Just I will not keep posting. Perhaps I will write updates now and then if something major happens like if I get kissed or married or am institutionalized or something (I am half joking about the last thing).

A few things I can say now:

Yes I have tried internet dating and continue to.

Yes I have moved to another city – more than once.

Yes I am in therapy and it is helping very very slowly.

Yes I am considering dating Conservative men who are at least somewhat observant but do not want to marry someone who is a Conservative rabbi because then I would be a Conservative rebbetzin and since I do not believe in Conservative ideology then that would probably not be a good idea now would it. It is one thing to make compromises within my home so that I will have someone to love and will not be lonely anymore, but it is another to make a public statement by virtue of my husband’s communal position that I think Conservativism is OK as a religious outlook. It is a hard choice because I know that in their lifestyles Conservative rabbis are often indistinguishable from Orthodox people. But how could I be the rebbetzin of a Conservative synagogue? For me it would be like moving to Mars.

No I have no desire or plan to sleep with women to try to solve my problem. Forget the halachic issues I just find it disgusting, the very idea. But uh thanks for the tip.

To the person who emailed asking whether I am S.N. now because it is halacha or because I have no opportunity to not be, I think it is the second but it is hard to say. It is all very confusing. I wish I could say it is because it is halacha but I would be lying. I think it is more because when I break the halacha I want it to be with someone who cares about me so it will be worth it emotionally and spiritually and I do not know when I will find that.

There are other things I want to say too but they have to wait because I have to compose my thoughts.

29 Comments:

Anonymous maybe said...

Here's a game i used to play, in the many years I was trying to have a baby*: If I know that next year everything I want will happen, will it have been worth it? and the answer was always yes, it would be well worth waiting for. The hard part is when you stop believing it will happen, or that it will be so wonderful that the suffering will have been worth it, then the burden is too heavy to keep on carrying.

*(I should mention that I had a problem with halachik infertility, also suffered several miscarriages, and finally had a baby who died several hours after being born.)

4/07/2005 08:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear you on the question of whether you are SN because of halacha or because you don't have someone not to be SN with. I find myself in the exact same dilemna, having in a lot of ways given up on SN, but not wanting to break it with just anyone who doesn't care or who I don't care about. It is NOT just about having fun to me, it is about an emotional connection. So while I don't neccesarily consider myself SN anymore, I have been de facto because I haven't found anyone I care enough about to want to break it with. It is circular reasoning, and very frustrating, but I think more common than many would think.

4/07/2005 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

NJG and others,

My heart breaks whenever I read your posts (though please don't stop). I'm not sure how relevant it is whether you don't touch now because of specifically Halachah or also because you wish to save yourself. Either way, the choice you made is incredibly admirable, difficult, virtous and worthy.

As for the good-looking man, it is totally understandable, we should be sensitized to human touch, it is a wonderful thing, but do be careful please.

Happy birthday, whenever it is. Your age is only an external method of counting time. Your choices, your compassion, your thoughtfulness - that is for eternity. That is the value of every good decision you make daily.

I also do not believe your soul is scarred. You are struggling with Hashem, in the dark of night, but there will come a morning, when you will receive a berachah, and your name will become Nice Jewish Wife.

TRK

4/07/2005 09:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Eesh Aish said...

In a flash, you will attain happiness. You must be bold and you must do your hishtadlus. Fix whatever needs to be fixed, do Chassodim, learn Torah. Mi KiAmcha Yisroel, look how many Yidden are touched, are with you, are supportive. Imagine how much people would do if they could, IF you would print your name, of course you won't but see my point.

4/07/2005 09:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I stumbled across your blog yesterday and want to tell you how touched and moved I've been by your posts. Your story breaks my heart, but I greatly admire your strength and your evident self-respect. It is incredibly hard to maintain self-respect in the midst of loneliness and depression, and you amaze me. You are obviously someone gifted with great inner strength and great inner beauty. Please continue to love and cherish yourself. You deserve it (and so much more.) I wish you the best.

4/07/2005 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Admirer said...

I was wondering if there was a story in the T'Nach to rival yours, and I found it in the Book of Judges, Chapter 11, and especially verses 30-40. It tells the story of Jephthah who made a rash vow to sacrifice his only daughter (read the story and weep). She said ...'lament upon the hills and there bewail my maidenhood'. And later..'.she had never know man'. In a sense you too are a victim of a system that denies you your natural feelings, and you get sacrificed.
I do want to add that I am touched by your courage and openness.

4/07/2005 06:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Z said...

There is a saying (Kotzker Rebbe I think) 'ein sholeim mileiv shovur' - there is nothing more whole than a broken heart.

Similarly, a scarred soul, like you are talking about may be very whole and holy actually.

4/08/2005 02:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Z said...

I saw someone referred to 'the magic touch' by Mrs. Manolson. I think it's a great book.

Also, Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald of NJOP says that the older singles get, the more at risk their Yiddishkeit is (or something like that).

4/08/2005 02:51:00 AM  
Anonymous someone said...

"It is incredibly hard to maintain self-respect in the midst of loneliness and depression, and you amaze me."

Also in the face of a general culture that validates values almost opposite to NJG's.
I am most impressed by how strongly you hold on to your value that sexual contact be meaningful in such a permissive and promiscuous society.

4/08/2005 03:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Rabbi Eesh Aish said...

She is not the only one, but she is to be congratulated for maintaining her Yiddishkeit. We should hopefully soon see much nachas from all of this.

I heard a story about visiting a place in Israel called Amuka. There was a Rabbinical student who was visiting Israel a few years ago, who had gone to Israel to meet a woman for the purposed of a Shidduch. It did not work out and he was going back to the USA in a few days. He took a cab
to his hotel in Yerushalayim. He was in a pensive depressed mood and the cabbie asked him what was wrong, so he told him. The cabbie urged him to visit Amuka immediatly, and the Rabbinical student said sure, go ahead, why not. He visited this grave actually, as a Kohen, he went near to it only. At any rate, the next day, he got a call for a Shidduch meeting, and yes, she became his wife.

4/08/2005 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Rabbi Ariel Sokolovsky said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/08/2005 09:43:00 AM  
Anonymous b,h,&e said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/08/2005 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Rabbi Eesh Aish said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/08/2005 10:14:00 AM  
Anonymous EeshAish said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/08/2005 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Lyss said...

Did someone really suggest that you try to solve this problem by trying out lesbianism/bisexuality? Wow, some people really don't get it.

4/08/2005 03:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you could say I am SN by default, at this point, as you probably are too. Meaning I grew up observant and was basically SN, and now I just have not dated anyone yet who I even want to kiss, so it helps that they assume I am SN.
Jenny

4/08/2005 05:06:00 PM  
Anonymous cloojew said...

Wow. Lulei demistafina, you sure are deleting a lot of comments--including two of mine.

Since Eesh Aish seemed to have been the target of your ire earlier, I'm wondering why you didn't delete him. Perhaps you found the give and take helpful.

In any case, I'm guessing that my harsh criticism of Aish is why you chose to delete them (since my comments are otherwise brilliant). Please let me know if I'm right. I'll be happy to tone it down.

I hate being banned. It feels so...Slifkin.

4/08/2005 06:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Living a complicated life is a wonderful way to avoid changing it....good luck with finding your soul mate...you will be such of delectation with your intelligence.


-Clev-

4/08/2005 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger Daphna said...

Not sure why IDT came up, but if you are talking about IDT in J'lem--you actually don't have to know anyone. You apply, you are hired (or not), you go through training and you work. The jobs are pretty basic-sales and customer service, but theoretically they could buy a person time to learn Hebrew and/or find another job.

4/09/2005 05:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Chuppah u'maasim tovim said...

What a fascinating blog.

Although I dabbled in being SN myself for only about two years (Israel and beyond) before finally buckling with the first post-Yeshiva girl who came along, I can sitll empathize with your plight. Because although I have long since discarded adherence to the holy and supremely difficult standards you hold yourself to, I still maintain one commitment...to virginity. When I was 15, 16, 17, 18 years old, surrounded by wholesome, Torah-true Jews who were committed to saving themselves until marriage, that vow of abstinence was not such a big deal. But now that I'm pushing 30 myself, and the vast majority of my friends, both male and female, have long since gotten married, and even those who haven't have long since given in to the temptations of sex, I find myself uniquely...alone.

Like you, I find myself thinking about, contemplating, even obsessing over sex far more often than I should. I too have considered hiring a prostitute and 'getting it over with'. I wish I had just gone ahead and done it when I was 15 or so. Then I would've probably done it repeatedly since then and gotten over the nagging, overwhelming urge.

My situation is different than yours in a significant way, though...as I *DO* indulge in other proscribed activities...the 'everything but' philosophy (increasingly uncommon at this advanced age among other frummies, to my surrpise). I have been on the cusp - literally - of sex innumerable times, and always pull away...whether because of fear, commitment to halachah (such as it is), or just a fear of altering my increasingly unique 'status'...or perhaps some combination thereof. I don't know if bringing myself to the brink of indulgence and then pulling back makes my deprivation harder or easier to deal with than your complete abstinence. I can tell you though, that as someone who has indulged, repeatedly, in everything else...and who obsesses over it probably just as much as you, it ain't all that it's cracked up to be! Enjoyable sure, pleasurable absolutely..but worth having your mind dominated and controlled by the thoughts and temptations 37 hours a day? No way.

I know it's hard to believe. I know you're probably thinking 'well, at least you have SOMETHING!...I've never even had my cheek caressed'. But the 'grass is greener' philosophy that is endemic to all aspects of human psychology is doubly true in relation to self-inflicted denial of one of man's greatest pleasures. Great pleasure though it may be, it's still a fleeting, ephemeral sensation. When I finish a 'session' as it were, with a girl I care little about, finally enjoying ALMOST as much 'activity' as I obsess about nite and day, my reaction is almost always..'is that it? Is this what I'm so obsessed about?' It's really quite laughable...and depressing. Not that 'man's greatest pleasure' ain't so great, but that so much of our lives -- both 'normal' people, and those of us who, whether because of adherence to halacha or some other reason, deprive themselves of this pleasure -- are devoted to obsessing over something that is just...something...to the exclusion of so much else in life.

Easier said than done, and I for one certainly don't follow this advice in my day-to-day life...but I nevertheless believe it to be true. Better to think about, worry about, and yearn for other things. Sex, when it comes, is and will be great. But too much anticipation, build-up and obsession ruins both the life leading up to the act, and yields great disappointment in the act itself.

4/10/2005 12:56:00 AM  
Anonymous MN said...

I guess this is kind of a response to what Chuppa U'Maasim Tovim said, that after "activities" there's a question of "is that it?"

I tend to agree, and I just wanted to say after reading some of the posts here, I think it's very important to remember that fantasy is not reality. One can get herself all lathered up with the perfect wild fantasy with the perfect partner who has just the right look, just the right touch, the kiss that melts you into a puddle on the floor, and it gets better and better from there, but that has nothing to do with reality. Reality is . . . well . . . real, with a real person, with his own issues, flaws, shortcomings, habits, and a fantasy life of his own that could conflict with yours. Chemistry is not a given, intense passion is not that common, and you just plain won't know what your libido really is and how large a role you'll want sex to play in your life until you're in a relationship, a real day-to-day relationship with another human being – sharing time, space, ups and downs, sickness and health, the bedroom and the bathroom.

I sympathize with your situation. I can only imagine how nuts I could have driven myself if my imagination was running wild for 20+ years about sex, without ever finding out what it was really like. But it's important to remember, the odds of an encounter living up to all those years of imagination and fantasy is highly unlikely, so keep that in mind before you decide to take the big leap. I hope you'll be blessed with the right man soon so you won't have to worry about this much longer.

4/10/2005 07:19:00 AM  
Anonymous cloojew said...

Chuppah u'maasim tovim, yours is a valliant struggle. Lulei demistafina, I don't think there is enough credit given to people who stuggle and fail, or even to people who knowingly violate certain halachos while drawing the line at others. It is the toughest of challenges, and you should never feel that you ought to throw in the towel.

Personally, I don't think "getting it over with" will, well, get it over with. Once you've had sex it is even harder to hold out. I think that frum divorcees (both men and women) have a tougher time than frum kids who have never had sex. Nonetheless, it's hard as hell on anybody.

Also, I don't know why you think that those who are having sex aren't obsessing over it just as much. Give them a couple of weeks without it and they are as obsessed as you. Only they can't blame virginity for their obsession.

Stay strong.

4/10/2005 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenny,

What means "by default"? Is it that you didn't want to kiss them or they didn't want to kiss you or they wanted to kiss you but thought you were too frum?

Do you present yourself as a BY girl? or a BT?

ken

4/10/2005 01:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI, the amuka thing is something recently concocted, so I wouldn't rely on it.

4/15/2005 01:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not true. That is to say, it has had a positive result for some people. Not for all. It may be more of a Kabbalistic type of thing. Contrary to popular belief typical frum people do not reject Kabbala out of hand. Sephardim for example, typically have a set of the Kabbala in the home.
Don't let the Hollywood types hijack what is yours.

4/15/2005 10:43:00 AM  
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