Monday, October 10, 2005

Nice Jewish Girl has been kissed

Wow. Wow.

I wrote a long post describing how it was, how good he was to me and cuddled with me first and how nice that felt. I did not like kissing while we were standing up but sitting down it was much better, even though it still felt very strange.

And I wrote how in the middle of it I had to stop for a few minutes because I felt sick from all the excitement and fear coming up. I was afraid I might throw up.

And later I asked him to kiss me on the nape of my neck and he did, and how! He is a very generous man. And that was when I finally felt what this kissing stuff is really all about.

Wow.

But I decided not to post all the details. I want to save some of it for myself. It is enough for you to know that I did it, and yes we kept all our clothes on don’t worry, and he was good to me and it felt nice, and I do not feel guilty at all.

Actually what I feel is that Hashem gave me a very precious gift. In my darkest hour he gave me exactly what I needed. Never in my life have I felt as beautiful as I do right now.

132 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad it was a good experience. Don't let anyone tell you that you made the wrong decision.

10/10/2005 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Karl said...

So is that it for your blog - mission accomplished?
I hope the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and that it was worth the wait.

10/10/2005 08:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you NJG. I know others will say that I am encouraging "sin", but I am glad you finally did it.
You dont need to excuse yourself or let us know that you kept your clothes on. It is nobodys business but yours.
Please enjoy kissing time. Once one gets married, I dont think we kiss as much. At least I dont. There is nothing like those days when all we (husband and I) did was sit and kiss. You will never have quite that feeling again.

10/10/2005 08:53:00 AM  
Anonymous annabel lee said...

Oh, sweetheart, I am so happy for you. As Esther commented on your last post, you are still a Nice Jewish Girl, and don't let anyone tell you differently. May you always feel as beautiful and special as you do right now!

10/10/2005 10:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish you nothing but happiness!
29BT

10/10/2005 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous siobhan said...

How wonderful! I'm thrilled for you. Your last sentence say it all. And I totally get the nape of the neck thing :))

10/10/2005 11:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Dee said...

NJG,

Don't believe that stuff about after you're married, it's not as good. That totally depends on you.

And I've been SN and then not-SN and then SN and then not-SN and then SN again in the same relationship (the last SN part lasted for a whole year until we were engaged and then married three months later... that was the hardest year!) so although I was much younger, I have a clue about how you feel.

And I have to say I get that "I've never felt as beautiful" feeling every time I come home from mikvah and my husband grabs me and pulls me into a corner for a long kiss.

(And absolutely do not go to mikvah to prepare for a kiss... that's definitely asking for trouble, as it makes "everything else" less of an issur too. Besides, without the proper preparation, which takes at least a week, it doesn't help in the first place.)

My brocha to you is also that you should find your bashert and experience that true meeting of minds (and bodies) that one can only have with a life-partner (husband)... and may you always feel as beautiful as you did when you wrote the above post.

10/10/2005 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Esther Kustanowitz said...

I'm so happy for you. May this mark the end of your suffering, and may he continue to be worthy of your affection.

G'mar tov.

10/10/2005 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger RuchniGashmi said...

I have been following your blog silently since you started, as a single guy in my late twenties who has been "shomer" my whole life, I identify with much of your struggle, albeit being a guy.

It was such a breath of fresh air to see you posting a few days ago after not having posted for two months. All I can say is that I still have tears in my eyes after reading this post. How beautiful this must make you feel. How beautiful you must be.

10/10/2005 12:18:00 PM  
Anonymous laya said...

mazel tov!

10/10/2005 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you. May you always feel as special and as beautiful as you do now.

10/10/2005 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does it concern any of the halachically-conscious Jews who comment here that celebrating what is essentially a violation of halachah (understandable though it may be) is (a) inappropriate, particularly before Yom Kippur; and (b) encouraging others who are S.N. to relax their own standards?

Give it some thought people. There's nothing wrong with keeping your mouths (or keyboards) shut.

10/10/2005 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Chutzpah said...

sweetie, it's not supposed to make you want to throw-up, but keep up the good work!

10/10/2005 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Nice Jewish Girl said...

To the last anonymous:

I think most of the commenters are actually not frum and therefore the halachic considerations are not as important to them as it is to you (or me).

I like what Dee said. She managed to be supportive without actually coming out and saying that what I did was OK. Which from a halachik perpective it definitely was not. I am not doing this blog to excuse myself only to explain.

Ruchnigashmi:

Thank you for your beautiful comment. As a man in his late 20's who has been S.N. his whole life you definitely understand what I have gone through. I hope that you will focus not only on how good my last date was but also on how much internal conflict I had to reconcile before doing it. Stay strong as long as you can! I do not regret the kiss but also I do not regret all the suffering that came before. Being a Jew is hard work but it is worth it. (Until it isn't. . . . ).

10/10/2005 12:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NJG,

While most of the commenters may not be frum, I bet you have dozens of frum readers who don't comment.

But your words inspire them. Or otherwise...

10/10/2005 01:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's time to change your sidebar.

On a more serious note... I guess it's easier to say I'm glad you're happy.

The true question: Where do you go from here? Back to being shomer (particularly with this guy)? Continue to not be? Since you have always seemed to be very intellectually honest, I would think you would now be shomer once again, as it remains within your ideals of following halacha, and no longer do you need that 'gift of God' to ensure that your future is not filled with complete emptiness in terms of this issue.

Everything is up to you, I think everyone hopes you make the decision that is best for you - and will allow you to least regret them later on, as well.

10/10/2005 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

first, mazel tov!
(i'm a halachadik jew, i just really empethize for a veriaty of reasons with NJG's past-tense pradicament)

NJC, i think the commenter who said you may want to consider going back to be SN (especialy with him) untill you two are married was right. (my it be very very soon g-d willing so that you can deal with you're other problem and have your first baby!) you may want to consider it. i know i did (even though i'm not as old, i don't have family or anything to make up for it like you do, so i really don't know where it falls with you're experiance.) for me i wanted a cuddle and after a friend gave it to me, i chose to get stricter about the rules not less strict and really haven't regretted it.

again, wishes he should propose REALLY soon!

10/10/2005 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Yochaved said...

I am frum, and I have to say that it really disturbs me that everyone is saying "Do what is best for you." What are you people, Reform? She should be doing what is best for Hashem.

It also saddens me that she would share her first kiss with someone who obviously has absolutely no respect for her, her struggles, or her faith. He's just a user, and an agent of the Sa-tan.

Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Sa-tan is given special permisson to test us, to see if we really are sorry for our transgressions. This is the most dangerous time of year for Jews, and I'm sure Hashem is very sad that you failed this test.

I pray that by Yom Kippur you realize this, and renew your commitment to Torah and mitzvot, and live a long and sweet life under the protection of the Shechinah. May G-d grant you a bashert that will uphold Torah and your honor.

10/10/2005 03:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am frum, and like I wrote in another post, men dont get it when it comes to intimacy.
Yes, its great that you were SN for so long, etc. Most people in your situation would have given up long ago.
That being said, no matter how frum I am, I heard how painful your situation was, and I am glad you resolved the situation in the way you saw fit. I am glad you are happy.

10/10/2005 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Esther Kustanowitz said...

I just wanted to say that I could not disagree with Yochaved more. I don't think any of us can know what makes Hashem sad, but I don't think it's a kiss. And if that makes me an agent of Sa-tan, so be it. (Although if I am an agent of Satan, it's not as much fun as I thought it would be.)

10/10/2005 04:01:00 PM  
Anonymous ck said...

I'm looking forward to the wedding post. Part of me is happy for you and part of me is very deeply sad.

10/10/2005 04:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to add one thing. I dont want you to assume that because posters are glad you kissed someone they are automatically not frum. Not all frum people are SN.
Also, I see some posters are responding negatively to your having kissed somebody. I think people who talk about the greater possibility of sin during Aseres Yemei Teshuva should also think about the greater possibility of empathy and Rachmanus a person should have. No one can judge until they are in that position. I do not recall ONE 35 year old who hasnt been kissed posting on your blog. Maybe they were close to that age, but they werent YOU.

10/10/2005 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

Mazel Tov, Mazel Tov, Lechaim, so I was off by a few months...

This is gr8 news to hear I haven't been on your blog in many months now since you asked me to leave, but just wanted to express to you how happy I am to hear this news, and hopefully you will take it to its ultimate level.

Gmar Tov,
Jobber

10/10/2005 04:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Part of me is happy for you and part of me is very deeply sad.

Great way to put it.

NJG, have you thought about where you'll take it from here (as asked above)?

10/10/2005 04:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Nice Jewish Girl said...

Yochaved:

You wrote that I should be doing what is best for Hashem. I think you have it backward. Hashem is perfect and does not need us. But in His chessed He gave us the Torah and mitzvos for OUR benefit as a way to be close to Him and lead holier lives. It would make more sense for you to tell me to do what is best for me - to keep this mitzva.

But anyway I must emphasize that I did not have two good choices at this point in my life. My choices were to break the halachos of S.N. when I had a chance, or to spiral in a depression. Remember that I continued to keep this halacha right through a period in my life where it (and other factors like loneliness) were causing me to feel almost suicidal. I literally fantasized about dying rather than continuing to live the way I was living. I had become completely non-functioning. Surely there is an inyan here also of "v'chai bahem". Hashem may be sad that I failed this test but I am sure He is merciful enough that He would be even more sad if I went back to the days of lying on my couch wanting to die.

I resent your assumption that the man I am with has no respect for me or my struggles or faith. You do not know him. You have not witnessed the talks we have had about this and you certainly do not know anything about the struggles he himself has had. Surely you cannot think that I would be so interested in a man who is that callous about me or about Judaism?

Finally I resent your assumption that you can tell how Hashem will judge me. In the last few weeks of dating this man (even before I kissed him) I have felt closer to Hashem and have performed other mitzvos with more enthusiasm and love than I have for a long time. It is amazing what being happy can do for one's avodas Hashem.

Perhaps before Yom Kippur you too have work to do, such as, perhaps, growing in humility, compassion for your fellow Jew, and ability to be dan l'kaf zechus.

As for myself I will be thinking long and hard about where to go from here in my observance of Shomer Negiah. What am I capable of doing or not doing while staying psychologically whole? What is my potential? How can I minimize the amount I break the law? But I was asking those questions before, not because of your self-righteous comment.

(It is interesting how other people have also said that it is terrible that I have broken the Jewish law yet there is something about the way they said it that does not offend me but the way this person said it does offend me. There is a line between standing up for halacha versus putting me down for breaking it. Yochaved crossed the line I guess).

10/10/2005 04:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let us just hope hashem has rachmanus on you (not so much for breaking the issur - but for the following):

I hope this guy who's good to you, continues to be good to you. That he realizes, if you're good enough to kiss, then you're good enough to marry.

Please do not sleep with him before marriage. It is not the way to get to the chupah.

I didn't read through all the post. Does he have a job? Is he normal?

If he's just pushing (ever so patiently) for the physical and then dumps you, well, then you will have learned a lesson regarding men and the way of the world.

Yes, of course, it would have been better if you had waited, but I'm not judging that.

You should know that the excitement of a kiss, doesn't EXACTLY remain at this level. The body pushes for more, and each progressive level gets more exciting until it's achieved, and then it's just "normal," so that eventually, all that will suffice is sex.

But okay.

I dunno. Everyone's so happy for you.

I'll be happy when you're married. Daven that Hashem understands you are only human - and that this was a sign of just being human, but that please, your beshert should arrive soon....

10/10/2005 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger Elster said...

Excellent. I remember my first kiss (it was with my wife - but if it was before or after marraige i aint tellin). I hope your first kisser turns out to be your husband - not because that somehow makes it BETTER or anything but only because you've waited long enough to find him.

10/10/2005 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger Daphna said...

First, mazal tov on making a decision. I also tend to follow the concept of an understanding G-d; not to excuse laziness but rather that G-d, who can read our hearts and minds, has got to know our breaking points. We all have them.

Second, I am not shomer negia, and I also feel nausea on kissing someone when I haven't had contact in a long time (I can go years and years between boyfriends). I think it is probably hormonal.

Hope all continues to look up for you.

10/10/2005 05:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Chantyshira said...

Awww I'm so happy for you!! :) Whether you believe kissing him is right or wrong in principle, I'm glad you did what feels right for you. Good luck with your bf, he sounds like a sweety. Maybe marriage material after all?...

10/10/2005 05:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To critics of NJG,

One is allowed to break Halachah for reasons of health. If NJG really was depressed (and we have no reason not to take her word for it), then NJG did the appropriate thing. Kissing her beau is certainly healthier than taking some anti-depressive medication like Prozac.

Praying for a proposal . . .

Anonymous New Jerseyan

10/10/2005 06:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay!

I am frum. And I am happy for you.

10/10/2005 06:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being that most of us are in a good mood today, because of the news, how about a little joke that i recently found: Enjoy...

In a small town in the Old Country, the Rabbi died. His widow, the
Rebbetzin, was so disconsolate that the people of the town decided that
she ought to get married again. But the town was so small that the only
eligible bachelor was the town butcher.

The poor Rebbetzin was somewhat dismayed because she had been wed to
a scholar, and the butcher had no great formal education. However, she
was lonely, so she agreed, and they were married.
After the marriage, Friday came. She went to the mikvah (a Jewish
ritual bath to get rid of impurities). Then, she went home to prepare to
light the candles. The butcher leaned over to her and said, "My mother
told me that after the mikvah and before lighting the candles, it's a
mitzvah to have sex." So they did.

She lit the candles. He leaned over again and said, "My father told
me that after lighting the candles it's good to have sex." So they did.

They went to bed after prayers to get ready for Shabbos. When they
awoke he said to her, "My grandmother said that before you go to the
synagogue it's a mitzvah to have sex." So they did.

After praying all morning, they came home to rest; and again he
whispers in her ear, "My grandfather says after praying it's a mitzvah
to have sex." So they did.

On Sunday she went out to shop for food and met a friend who asked,
"Nu, so how is the new husband?"

She replied, "Well, he is no scholar; but he comes from a wonderful
family."

10/10/2005 06:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a question, NJG:

If you had decided NOT to kiss this guy and posted that you were very happy with your decision to be S.N., and went on to describe how relieved and thrilled you were to pass this awesome test just before Yom Kippur--do you think you'd be receiving the same hoots, hollers and mazal tovs that you are getting now?

10/10/2005 06:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the anonymous above,

I'm the one who wrote yay above. If someone told you they never wanted to be married and were overjoyed being single would you wish them the same heartfelt mazal tov you would have at their wedding.

No?

So you'd say one choice was the 'correct' one and one was not. Actually what would happen is that one you understand better then the other.

NJG's action we understand. Had she done different, she would certainly have been respected. Heck, this whole blog until now has been mostly people offering her moral support for whatever choice she made. But I myself doubt the reaction I at least felt would be the same. I think people are celebreating because given where she is, we can very much understand her action - and sympathize with it certainly.

What of it?

10/10/2005 07:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WORD to anon above me. I think we would be supportive of NJG no matter what she does. That is why we are here.

10/10/2005 07:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Yochaved, when you clean up your foul language, ex: your home site 9/26/05 post header, then feel free to preach about the things of HaShem.) What I have read is a beautiful thing, and as a frum woman I stand with NJG. She has experienced a beautiful moment in life, and at least is honest about it, rather than taking this lightly. There is too much pretense in our communities, which makes for much worse that what has been shared here. NJG (which I am sure you are), treasure the moment, and move forward with HaShem in peace and contentment.

10/10/2005 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Rivka said...

NJG,
I am happy that you are content with how your life is going right now. I think you are right--you became a "poster child" for the frum community, the 35 year old woman who followed the laws of being shomer negiah down to the last letter. They are trying to use you as a modern example of how a person can follow Halacha, even when terribly, scarringly painful. A twenty-first century Job.

Now you have broken Halacha, and you don't regret your decision, you didn't come out crying and moaning "my God, what have I done, Hashem will turn away from me!" You did the exact opposite--you are happy, and feel that Hashem condones your decision.

I think a lot of frum people will be afraid now. This isn't the lesson they wanted other people to read, especially people who had doubts about the laws of being shomer negiah before. They wanted to see you married, or disgusted with yourself for braking Halacha.

But not contentment.

10/10/2005 07:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Jobber said...

It's insane. Those reactions do reflect the insanity of the frum world, I mean parts of it. The closed mindedness, this is the ultimate example. It would be one thing, if she had run the table, and even so, these people are ignorant of Jewish sources. The maidel who has sex is never punished to the same extent in Halacha as the male. He has to do such and such, she does not. This is both in the Torah and Gemara and in Halacha.

Let her have her moment in the sun, and let us see if her dreams are realized.

Her dreams are not (just) a kiss, but they are a heimshe family, part of the community. Perhaps this is the time for her so let us show her warmth and love not ignorance and the most disgusting aspect of the frum community, worse than the business cheating, this lack of love for the fellow Yid.

10/10/2005 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger David said...

NJC,

How do you meet this guy?

just curious.

10/10/2005 07:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, because life is more than contentment. Life is about doing the right thing. Even when it's not so comfortable, even when it's not so happy, even when it's painful

searingly painful.

I'm not judging.

But it's not cause for celebration - the whole thing is sad. Obviously.

That's what people don't get - even women - it ain't about how we feel all the time. I know that's hard for people to swallow, but that's the way it is.

Everyone's so happy happy happy. I reaaaalllly hope this guy doesn't turn out to be a jerk.

That's all NJG needs - someone who's goal in life is to deflower her and then, oops, 3 months later, well, I'm just not ready to get married....

Tellin' you: Daven that Hashem understand (which he does) and that he bring your beshert soon.
(cuz girlie girl - there is NO way you're going to go back to (not) holding hands...you'll go farther and farther -

first making out. Then, well, shirt off. Then mutual pleasuring to completion. Then Oral. Then sex.

That's how it goes.
The next make out session won't be as intense. You'll get used to kissing. You'll need more. Then you'll be conflicted.

no yes no yes - etc.

I'm not judging. But that is the path you are heading down.

Get a ring and a date.

Question: It's a month plus. You're 35. He's around that age, too...

Is anyone TALKING marriage?

10/10/2005 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger respondingtojblogs said...

Congrats- just a word of support from a silent reader.

10/10/2005 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger Rivka said...

"Yeah, because life is more than contentment."

It's easy to make comments like that when the life you are judging is not your own.

And yeah, you ARE judging. AND assuming you know the future. I love fortune tellers.

10/10/2005 08:11:00 PM  
Anonymous NM said...

Wow, I only wish my internal honesty was at the level NJG has been displaying throughout this whole blog. Katonti - I am humbled.
I found this blog recently and was up till 3am reading almost every post. I see a wonderful, G-d concious person whos commitment to G-d is extremly admirable. I see a thoughtful, honest person. I was impressed that sex was being discussed openly but at the same time did not decend to an online fantasy-outlet of sexual imagery(well done to the community as well).

As to recent events, I can not open my mouth for fear of being judgemental (to either side) where I have no right to be. I'm sure you have heard (and will hear) enough cautionary tales and enough "go for it" with out my story.

I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings.
Chatima Tova

10/10/2005 08:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally understand where you're coming from, and can certainly sympathize with your choice....just wanted to let you know that i know girls/women who were older than you when they got married and were always strictly shomer negiah, as well as others who are still single and shomer. So though you have become the poster girl for SN through your blog, there are many others who do this. Sometimes it's helpful to know that you're not the only one out there.

10/10/2005 08:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you go, girl!

10/10/2005 08:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a longtime silent reader.

G-d tests those He knows can pass. You had it in you to withstand this test, and you failed. I will never judge you for what you've done, but I cannot find it in me to condone it.

But it is OK to fail. "Sheva Yipol Tzadik V'Kum", the righteous fall seven times but get back up. So I encourage you, now that you've tasted the forbidden fruit, to get back on track.

The Bal Teshuva is on a higher level than the tzadik, this is because he has been there and it is harder to withstand the attraction. Perhaps G-d sent this situation your way to elevate your suffering to an even higher level.

May we all be zoche to your commitment to prishus.

10/10/2005 10:04:00 PM  
Anonymous formerly SN BT said...

I was engrossed in your blog the last time that you were writing it, and so I was very happy for you when my friend told me on the phone that you had kissed someone. Some comments from my perspective: I'm frum and a few years younger than you, and am very sympathetic to your internal conflict that you describe (although I'm not nearly as strong as you seem to be), single, a BT who was SN for a few years.

1. I am a little concerned about the passive tone in your posts: "he" seems to be the subject. I hope that is a fluke of your language, and I hope that whatever happens in the future that you also feel like you are the one doing, not just him.

2. I am glad that you are thinking about being SN from now on. In my experience, it is in some ways harder to be SN when you know what you are missing, but in other ways easier since you can imagine being with the person.

My personal experience has been that not being SN really can end up distracting from the decision of whether or not to get married. I once let a relationship drag on and on in spite of practical, concrete reasons why we shouldn't get married, and part of why I let the relationship continue is because I felt so warm, safe, and cuddly with him that I had a hard time picturing myself without him, and our lovey feelings often made the concrete reasons seem less important than they were. Which made me realize just how valuable these feelings are: in a marriage, they can really help smooth things over and keep things together and minimize hurt, but outside a marriage they can really obscure the view.

Just my experience!
Gmar chatima tova.

10/10/2005 10:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can neither condone what NJG has done, nor condemn her for not being strong enough to be shomer negiah.

What I can and do condemn is that exuberance of frum people, who celebrate this aveirah, two days before Yom Kippur.

10/10/2005 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Balabusta in Blue Jeans said...

Anonymous: Two days before Yom Kippur, I celebrate that someone has been released from pain, and given happiness. Go ahead and condemn, and have a good and sweet year.

NJG, the same goes to you--I'm glad this went well for you.

10/10/2005 10:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Life is full of complexities, and every single person makes compromises with their observance. Most people are at peace with their compromises, and realise that it is the best they can do - and God will understand. To paraphrase the Hasidic story - when you get to Olam Haba, God will not want to know why you weren't Sarah Schnerer (or some other ideal Jewish woman) - He (or, possibly, She) will want to know why you weren't the best NJG that you could possibly be. On that test you must score at least a 99.9%.
2. I think your postings have been incredibly beautiful from a spiritual, not to say (at a lesser level) literary perspective. They are also one of the most honest, real and perceptive essays on contemporary observant Jewish society ever published, and I hope that they make their way in to more permanent print.
3. May I very gently suggest that from this moment on your private life and decisions should be your own? Just post 'milestone' announcements, as there are clearly many people who are deeply impressed by you as a highly moral person, and would like to know how things turn out ..... But I think you should enjoy privacy at this stage; you should not risk some of the censorious sentiments voiced on this blog to invade your private space.
4. I hope you find tranquility and contentment.

10/10/2005 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Wow! I have been following your story for a while. I wrote a whole long comment, and deleted it. While, I don't agree with your choice, I am in NO position to judge you. After reading your recent post, I rushed home and kissed my wife, remembering just how powerful a kiss can be. Thank you for that. Something (someone) that I take for granted everyday, you highlight how important a partner it is.

I hope this year fufills all your dreams.

BTW- Did I miss you describing the hug? For us it was much better than the first kiss.

10/10/2005 10:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"May I very gently suggest that from this moment on your private life and decisions should be your own? Just post 'milestone' announcements, as there are clearly many people who are deeply impressed by you as a highly moral person, and would like to know how things turn out ..... But I think you should enjoy privacy at this stage; you should not risk some of the censorious sentiments voiced on this blog to invade your private space. "

I wholeheartedly agree.

10/10/2005 11:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Deeni said...

I am truly happy for you. I'm in my early 30's and in a very similar place in my life-- except that there is no one around for me to kiss, even if I decided to (which I have absolutely decided to do, if anyone ever appears). Just think about where you were a few days before Yom Kippur last year and where you are now-- you have REALLY FELT something that you feared you never would. If that isn't G-d answering your prayers in the most positive way, I don't know what is.

10/10/2005 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger zemirah said...

Your life and choices are your own, and I respect you 100%, so all I have to say is CONGRATULATIONS!!! I'm so glad this all went well for you.

10/10/2005 11:39:00 PM  
Blogger respondingtojblogs said...

They are also one of the most honest, real and perceptive essays on contemporary observant /iJewish society ever published, and I hope that they make their way in to more permanent print.

While I agree, I somehow doubt this would by in ArtScroll's next season's lineup.

10/10/2005 11:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Rivka - read through the comments and you'll see that this "anonymous" is right - the other girl who went non SN

And no, I AM NOT JUDGING..you love fortune tellers - I love people who people who put words in my mouth.

There is a difference between judging and between trying to inform a person of what world they are not stepping into.

Everyone has challenges. My question here is, why are the girls not warning her of the possiblity of the pain that awaits?

Why are the women who are married, not pushing her to press for marriage, or however their relationship goes - the shadchan push for marriage...

Don't people get it? If the guy is attracted enough to kiss you - well, then, he ought to be attracted enough to mary you.

That's not a judgment of people being bad. It's my opinion, by the way. (Since when did it become so offensive to state an opinion?)

My "opinion," of this situation is as follows: Why is he not moving toward marriage? I don't "care" so much that they kissed. Fine. (not so fine, but okay - we deal with reality here)

Why am I the only one that doesn't see the hypocrisy, or the very possible hypocrisy, in this guy's actions?????

Yes - at 30 something, after a month of dating, if he's ready to "kiss" her - then he *should* be ready to marry her. It *should* be the same emotion...

I'm sorry for the long post - you'll alljump all over me for daring to talk. But it just seems that what we have playing out in front of us, is not so much a woman that finally got a little taste of physical love and closeness from a man - and the women are rushing to support this -

What we have, sadly, in my opinion, (kay, Rivka?) is just another woman who has, essentially, bought into what our society says is how dating should go - the big lie that being physical before marriage or at least engagement (even as innocently as this) is no block to getting married...

And yet that girl from a bunch of comments up there said exactly that!

bottom line: NJG: If I were you - and I know this will take guts, I'd say something like this:

Ploni, I think you're great. You're funny, attentive, a gentleman, caring and cute as all get out.

I realize we have kissed and it was the most special moment in my life-I will never forget it as long as I live. You're the best kisser in the world!

But I am in this shiddach to explore the possibility of marriage. I am looking for someone to build my life with. That is the reason why I am dating.

Then wait for his response. If he hems and haws, then you have your answer, my sweet girl.

If he hems and haws and says something to make you hope things will move in that direction - you still have you're answer, but you'll get more kissing and more out of it.

If he looks at you and says, you know what? Me, too! I'm glad you're saying this, because that's why I'm dating, too. And I think we could build a life together!

yes, we have to still make sure we do this with our heads on straight, but I'm feeling very good about this relationship. I like you. I like being with you. I like spending time with you. I think I could build a life with you. I want to take this to the next step. I want you to meet my parents, my Rabbi, my close friends who are married.

Well, then, that will be an answer, too.

I speak from the heart here, and I dont' care what "Rivka" thinks. What I just wrote here is the truest thing you'll ever hear about this.

And the shame is, I can't sign my name, because bloggers can be so intolerant of anyone who doesn't fit into their mold - their frum mold, their not quite frum mold, their bitter mold. ...whatever mold it is. So, I'll have to be anonymous. But girl, I'm telling you, instead of all the arguments over whether you should be congratulated or condemned...listen to what I'm saying. How is he reacting now?

10/11/2005 12:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry - the world she is "now" stepping into....

10/11/2005 12:30:00 AM  
Anonymous uncle moishy said...

I think it's great that, having taken this step, you remain level-headed and are not besieged by guilt. Because the point (if I understood you throughout the blog) was to get past the obsession over negiah and the way it was harming you emotionally and to focus on the serious business of finding the right man.

I also want to add my voice to the 2 anonymous' before me who suggested you keep the details private. This blog sprang from your personal anguish. You opened a very personal window for your readership, but as your frame of mind allows, feel free to close that window even more than you alluded to in this post. It's your call to make. And while you mentioned discussing with your boyfriend the fact that you'd never been kissed, I don't remember you saying whether or not you told him about this blog. Understanding as he seems to be, it's not clear that he wants his private life detailed for others (even anonymously).

Gimri chatimah tovah.

10/11/2005 12:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would just like to commend the anonymous who is actually analyzing the situation b/f he writes, s/t which many here are failing to properly do. And referring back to his comment regarding the situations this will almost inevitably lead to, he is completly correct is giving this warning. As someone who had slipups is this exact area within the last year, and is going through a difficult yamim noraim, I can say from my experience that s/t which starts small quite frequently will result in s/t much larger. No one can criticize him for "fortune-telling", he is merely explaining basic human nature inherent in a majority of functioning human beings. Thank you anonymous for speaking with your mind and not your heart.
C

10/11/2005 01:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C-

thank you very much. I feel validated. your words are kind, and I feel your pain.

10/11/2005 01:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

G-d doesn't care if you kiss. He doesn't want you to suffer. As long as you don't have sex or spill seed (to put it bluntly)

Enjoy it for all it's worth. even if you don't end up marrying him and you marry someone else, this will always be a delicious memory.

I am so happy for you. I know a few girls in your situation (one of them a close family member) and I feel like this is a little victory for them too even though they have never had the opportunity...

Hatzlacha!

P.S. Most of the people who comment on this blog seem like caring, sincere people so I am urging all of you to say a little prayer for NJG and all the other singles waiting...and waiting...

10/11/2005 01:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it may be helpful for e/o posting here to begin their remarks by stating (deciding?) whether or not they believe in the idea of 'halacha', and not just the personal type, but the objective one which ppl constantly strive to reach. By doing this, the readers will understand where the "yay"'s or "hatzlacha"'s vrs. the condemnations are stemming from. The disagreements in these posts appear to center around e/o's idea of the 'halacha' and whether or not it may be subservient to one's own desires and pains.
C

10/11/2005 01:54:00 AM  
Blogger Drew_Kaplan said...

to the anonymous who posted earlier in response to Rivka-
If the guy is attracted enough to kiss you - well, then, he ought to be attracted enough to marry you.
...after a month of dating, if he's ready to "kiss" her - then he *should* be ready to marry her. It *should* be the same emotion

I've got news for you, brother, just because a guy wants to kiss a gal, it doesn't mean he wants to, or even is ready to marry her. Not even within the societal context of "frum" culture (I do grant that it's weird to picture kissing within the frum dating context.) is someone ready to marry after or when they kiss. Furthermore, though it "should" be the same emotion, again, it's not. Glad I could help.
Also, I hope I don't fall too far afield of your mold, as I choose to remain not anonymous.

10/11/2005 03:08:00 AM  
Blogger Yochaved said...

I was under the impression that if someone was about to commit an avera, that Jews were OBLIGATED to warn them about it. That doesn't make you judgemental, that makes you genuinely concerned for their soul and wellbeing.

I'm no tzaddik sitting up on a pillar waggling my finger at you, I'm a BT, I've had a very secular life, and I have deep, deep scars to prove it. I'm just sad that now you are possibly due for some very unpleasant experiences if this guy dumps you.

Being Jewish is not about what is cool, liberal, hip or popular. It has nothing to do with "current cultural climates". Look at the great Prophets and Sages in the Torah. They never had it easy, either, but look at how great their rewards were. We are not perfect, but we should constantly be trying to move FORWARD in observance, not backward.

If Hashem wants you to be married, then you will be married. If you are depressed, you should talk to your rabbi, a therapist, get your thyroid levels checked, and get checked for hormonal balances. You may or may not need antidepressants (I do). They are not evil. There are many, many options out there besides breaking halacha just because you *want it* so bad. Don't you have any girlfriends to give you hugs? I'm a big fan of hugging girls. (Platonically, of course.) Oh, and guess what, kissing someone does NOT cure clinical depression in the long run. You're just in a state of pheremone and oxypitocin shock. When the hormones wear off, the same underlying issues will still be there.

BTW, when you do get married (please G-d to this man), how are you going to keep T'H? Will you have the faith and inner strenght to be SN with your husband 2 weeks out of every month? Suppose this pre-nuptual smoocher decides that he doesn't want to keep T'H after a while? Just what exactly is his commitment to Torah and mitzvot anyway?

The reason I'm reacting so strongly, is because I've been down this road, and I know where it's heading. I also have a young daughter, and if she came running to me with this news, I'd be just as, if not even more, upset. I'm not hating on you, I have nothing personal against you. It's actually the other way around. I DO care, and I felt like I had to say something.

Delete me, flame me, ignore me. At least a few of us here are looking at the bigger picture, aren't afraid to say so, and I won't apologise for that.

10/11/2005 04:09:00 AM  
Anonymous ZSJ said...

No, YOU'RE not looking at the bigger picture, Yochaved or any of you anonymous detractors. You are just projecting onto NJG all of your personal halachik issues and baggage and forgetting that this remains a deeply personal issue between NJG and Hashem. Just because she's chosen to share this with the blogosphere doesn't entitle you to condemn her. Those of you who wag fingers and forbode that she'll be sleeping with him tomorrow after one kiss or fret about how she'll possibly keep to Taharat HaMishpacha when she's married are clearly -and tragically- clueless about strong, frum women, hormonal or otherwise!

Reality Check! SHE hasn't actually violated any halachot per se- that responsibility lies with the guy she kissed: Who sounds ADORABLE, NJG! You enjoy! Don't pay ANY attention to these insecure cries of "a month is time enough". You take it at your own pace, girlfriend, and rest assured that the commenters who care about you will support you 100% through whatever you choose to share about what happens in the future, with him or whoever else.

Gmar Chatima Tova.

10/11/2005 04:42:00 AM  
Blogger Yochaved said...

I am PROUD to have "halachic issues". All Jews should have halachic issues. That's what we're here on this earth for. I was hoping that by giving some advice, that she would avoid collecting some of the "baggage" that you accuse other of having.

She may have not broken a Torah prohibition, but she sure had broken a rabbinical one. (Then there's the whole issue of yichud, unless they are making out in public.) Are you suggesting that the Oral Torah and rabbinical prohibitions are not valid?

Better yet, why doesn't she just limit her posting availablity to people who she knows will agree with everything she says?

You'll excuse me then, if I had mistaken this as a place for people to exchange the pros and cons of the (very publicly) posted issue at hand. Perhaps if she isn't ready to hear both sides of the issue, then maybe she isn't ready to put it out there in a forum that can be read by every person in the world with internet access.

G-d forbid that any Jews read this, and think that they, too, can justify giving in to things that tempt them.

10/11/2005 05:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the Anonymous "life is full of complexities ....now perhaps retreat into your own privacy" - suggestion to Haloscan: Number comments sequentially!

Take this discussion away from NJG for a moment. In a sense this is about contemporary Orthodoxy, and the tensions it creates in perfectly wonderful people by raising the bar of orthodox practice beyond the reasonable for average people, not just tzaddikim. Firstly, anyone married before the age of 35 should think carefully before they preach to NJG. I am not sure that males of any age [I am a married male] have any right to preach to NJG. Why? Because the practice of halachah in our times has become obsessive and mathematical, taking it beyond any consideration of human beings. Look around you - whether it is the discussion elsewhere of expelling school students in Lakewood or London because their mothers wear this or that, or the horrific agunah situation in Israel and elsewhere, or a dozen other examples. Our grandparents and great-grandparents did not live like this. Judaism is being reduced to a tiny, highly-controlling and controlled group whose rules resemble more and more China in the Cultural Revolution.
Just as frightening (as other commenters have noted) are some of the attitudes displayed towards relationships and sexuality in some of the comments. They are emotionally primitive, and show the sort of non-understandings that cause huge emotional stresses (and worse) in the orthodox community. A man and a woman IN THEIR 30's , neither of whom have found emotional security or love, kiss. Shimu shamayim v'haazini aretz! It is not the first, or the only, compromise with halachah made by a frum person, and if you don't understand that, look around and ask around. Have some realistic understanding; admire this lady for her strengths until now; stop preaching as if she is a child; and wish her well in her search for personal religious/emotional equilibrium. And NJG - may I repeat my advice - now is the time to return your emotional life to privacy.

Have a good year.

10/11/2005 06:42:00 AM  
Anonymous panasait said...

kisses from me (dont think you remember :))

a nice jewish girl from Israel wish you good year and just happy things for you.

kisses.

10/11/2005 06:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yochaved: Again, clean up your foul language (see your site; 9/26/05 post header), and then preach. Right now, you need to focus on your own blemishes, as a woman of God should not use such filthy language as is found on your site. An outward kiss... beautiful. But a truck driver mouth, which indicates what is in your heart? Well...

10/11/2005 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

I am praying for you that this relationship w/ out w/ out whatever, will lead to your Chuppah, and children that you so truly deserve.

10/11/2005 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous PP said...

Allow me to interject momentarily amongst this pageant of self-righteousness: Woohoo!! Nice going NJG! Stay beautiful...

10/11/2005 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Rivka said...

NJG,
I think there is a big difference here between the people who condemn what you did, and how you feel about it, strictly because it went against Halacha; and the people who don't see the Halacha issue so much, but still worry that you are making a mistake.
To the people who see a woman who broke Halacha and is still, OH NO!, feeling content and fullfilled with her life, and would pounce on her for it, I say, shame on you. Would you really rather she had posted something to the effect of, "I broke Halacha, I am a slut, I sinned, I should kill myself"? Would that have fitted better in your grand scheme of how Judaism works? That ONLY through following Halacha can a person be truly happy? I think it's admirable, NJG, that you apologized for stepping off these people's pedestal, but the apology was completely unnecessary.

To the people who genuinely fear that NJG will regret kissing this guy later, because she will feel used, or wish she had waited--why do you assume she will think so? Yes, some girls do regret being physically intimite with a person before marriage. But many do not. Some, OH NO!, are actually happy with the memories they have of their pre-married lives.

Sorry this is so long. P.S.--I don't know about you, but I can't keep all the anons straight anymore. And I got a kick out of the guy who put my name in quotes--I am a real person, you know, with a real website and email.

10/11/2005 12:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Rivka" - you would blog with your "real name?" Hey, That's as smart as actually kissing a guy before marriage and then thinking it will be happy memories!

Here's the point> Yes, of course, people have "happy memories" of kissing and more before marriage...

Let's assume those memories - when they are happy, end around 25 or 26 years old.

After that, it begins to get old. It begins to be "relationships" that don't lead to the next step of human development, which is, yes, marriage.

And that's for secular people, who dont' see it as assur - in fact, it's a mitzvah in their eyes...fine.

But for "frum" people to have "happy memories" of messing around, well, the same: if it's when their young and hormone-stupid, well, okay...

But after a certain point, then the memories dont' get so happy.

And as for NJG - well, she's 35. I dont' think she has time for "happy memories," exactly....

I still remain shocked at the women here who aren't pushing NJG to get this guy to marry her.

And to the person who said, just cuz a guy wants to kiss, doesn't mean he wants to marry - ladies, are you listening?

That is the voice of the male. He likes you. Of course. He cares for you. He'll be nice. He'll be sweet. Of course he wants to spend time with you. He's not an animal, of course not. (no sarcasm intended)...but he also wants to be physical with no strings attached.

And so...marriage? What's that? Oh no. Physical, yes. Sure. That's just natural. But marry you? Nope. I'm not *ready* yet. Can you wait? Just a little while. Oh, I dont' know, six months, a year, two years, maybe more...and then....

Here's the secret about guys: Please listen, ladies, I do so know what I'm talking about:

When they want to marry you, they will push through heaven and earth to make damn sure they ask that question. And they will ask. They'll be impulsive about it, even. Unless he's a limpster...

A real man will feel something. He'll decide: You are the girl for me. I want you. I want to build a life with you. I want to build a family with you. I want to get married. Will you marry me?

It's only because we live in a society of wimps now (no jobs, no money, no nothing, just yearning and wanting and expecting - and here come all the comments in defense of wimpy men...uhm okay)

And the women allow it. Because they "hope." They hope the men will change. They hope they'll be different.

NJG - I hope this guy is a man. Not macho, but a man. Knows what he wants. Responsible. Assertive. Backbone.

I'm still not hearing: Did he start to discuss marriage? Did he say: I really liked the other night. I think we could build a life together?

"Rivka," you know what - "supporting" a woman by saying, oh it's so nice for you. You're feelings are the most important. No one should pick on you. No one should say anything. You just be who you are in eyes of Hashem. Oh how special for you. Oh, it's your business. Oh, dont' listen to anyone that tries to tell you differently. Oh, they all think they're God, and they're not.

That's not helping the person. I don't say we all have to scream "sinner!" But just blindly thinking how wonderful it is that she finally *kissed* someone is stupid.

Okay, whatever. I tried.

let's her from NJG - did the guy start talking like a guy who wants to get married, or not????

10/11/2005 12:21:00 PM  
Anonymous shanna said...

Yes, of course, she should marry this guy just because she kissed him. That definitely makes him her bashert, and anyway she's totally tainted now and nobody else would have her. And for sure this won't be anything like those shotgun marriages where couples divorce after a few years leaving a trail of miserable children in their wake, all because they were pushed into marriage because it was "the right thing to do."

/sarcasm

Those of you advocating marriage to this guy, after only one month of dating (not staged courtship, but just casual dating) - are you actually listening to yourselves?

10/11/2005 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Me said...

I know this is really not your problem, but I feel sad that you were unable to hold out. I guess for some of us less righteous single, non-shomers out there, you were an idol, someone to look up to, an ideal. But I do understand that you do not have to be a martyr for the rest of us. I cannot condemn your decision in any way at all, because I myself could not hold out and I am much younger than you. I do envy your strength and your beliefs in what is right, regardless of your choices.
But can this mean that to stay shomer until marriage (especially if it takes a long time) is virtually impossible?

10/11/2005 01:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shanna -
let's look at the facts: 35 years old. Dating forever. Another guy in 30s, too.

Supposedly a person goes into dating for the purpose of getting married - at least in njg's world.

I didn't say right now. But - it should be yes, moving in that direction. Remember, she's not 18.

Again - all these women - I guess the idea is: you dont' like your men so much. Or you dont' have one yet, either. so why should anyone get married to just anyone...

He has to be perfect..he has to be everything. Why should NJG get married?

Unless, I'm missing the point of everything, here. She's been crying to get married. Not to get kissed.

If all of this was just about getting kissed, then being shomer negiah was basically a dodge, and she should have dropped it long ago.

NJG's "problem," is that she's not married and hasn't yet started a home. He "problem" wasnt' that she hasn't been kissed.

yes, after a month of dating, there should begin to be thoughts of, can this be the one. After a couple months, it should begin to be clarified, even more...

Assuming we are dealing with mentally healthy, normal, functioning people. At this age, assuming they do their homework- go see a counselor or Rabbi before, to see if there are major issues, conflicts, etc...something like that...

But assuming people are doing due dilligence, so to speak, then, why should they be waiting that long...

But if we're dealing with cracked people, well, then, it doesn't matter anyway, and it's all a little game, and then, really, what it's all about is as I mentioned, people just wanting to break free but not having the guts just to be frei.

10/11/2005 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous 29BT said...

NJG,
I wish you strength as you read some of these messages.... I agree with the poster who suggested that you may want to keep more things private, from now on. I am frum and I am happy for you. Also, I think that it is ridiculous to say (as did a previous poster) that if a guy wants to kiss you then he should also want to marry you. Major gap there! Polygamy is out last time I checked! I am now going to stop reading the comments here because they may make me feel bad about becoming a baalat teshuvah (resentful of the Orthodox world).
All the best and my prayers,
29BT

10/11/2005 02:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NJG: Good for you. The whole sex thing is too much in the forefront of your mind. Get used to it so you aren't preoccupied with it and then get on with your life.

10/11/2005 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

NJG don't let these frummer than thou dopes bring you down. Know that many people are very happy for you, and only hope that your current happiness continues and grows to its ultimate conclusion, and if not w/ him, then w/ the next one. We look forward to hearing only Simchas from now on, from NJG.

10/11/2005 03:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/11/2005 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/11/2005 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

29BT and Needsabetter job -

I really dont' get it. So, if I understand correctly, guys should just want to make out, sleep with girls, and maybe they'll get married and maybe not. And the girl, now 35 and counting, will just go along with it and maybe get married and maybe not....

I'm not being frummer than thou, and I resent being told that I am. I am actually trying to be helpful...and if you say, well who asked for my opinion, well, this is a blog, you know. NJG put it out there....now, suddenly, on the internet, we should respect privacy???

But the point, again, is: In the frum world of dating, if a guy likes the person enough to move toward being physical, he *should* like the person enough to get married?

What am I missing in that equation?

Unless, we've all just decided that there are no real rules at all in dating, and the only difference between frum and non frum dating is just, well, the frummies keep shabbos and listen to shlomo carlebach...

This "anonymous" - is not condemning NJG - I had one ally up there a while ago. I'm simply, actually speaking up on her behalf.

Why don't people want NJG to marry this guy? I dont' get it.

Also 29BT -why can't people have opinions? Why must everything be so sweetly, blindly supportive of everything in order to "justify" your decision to become frum?

Why must orthodox people be some kind of version of the disney land hi ho hi ho it's a small world after all in their thoughts and opinions in order for YOU to feel like your decision to become frum is correct?

What happened to accepting diversity? So they have opinions? You're allowed to have yours, too...I dont' get this. As if any dissent and strong feeling is "assur," because why? Because someone might not feel so good -

The gemarah is full of people arguing things out for truth. That's the way of the jewish people...but no, you dont' like disagreement...I'm confused.

Honestly. Blogs big waste of time. Meanwhile, yes, it's all so fascinating..

I still don't get why no one thinks this shiddach should be moving toward marriage? I didn't say everyone who dates and kisses should get married.

What am I missing in this equation?
And don't tell me "other people's feelings..."

I'm talking about how life goes. Why shouldnt' NJG have enough backbone and respect for herself to sieze this moment and make her thoughts and feelings clear to her beaux?

When did women become so passive about getting what they deserve in life?

10/11/2005 03:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/11/2005 03:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you go to the mikvah first?

10/11/2005 04:01:00 PM  
Anonymous The Hedyot said...

So happy to hear that you've finally had this wonderful experience. May you be blessed with more a thousand times over.

To all those judgemental frummies who can't stop being critical, I wish you'd all realize that halacha is not the end all and be all of life. It's a guide, a framework, a system to help most people live a proper Jewish life. But it's not a foolproof, absolute guarantee to produce the right results for every person, in every situation. A halacha might be explicit and irrefutable, but it doesn't mean it's the right thing all the time for every person. Not every halacha is meant to be kept at all costs. Additionaly, almost every such situation involves a trade-off where other halachos are being violated at the cost of maintaining this one. A person is allowed to make a judgement call when certain halachos seem to be inappropriate for a specfic situation. That's one of the reasons why people ask shailos. So NJG didn't actually ask a shaila. But it's perfectly reasonable to give her the benefit of the doubt, and trust her when she says that she couldn't bear the burden of this halacha anymore.

Please, Yocheved, Anonymous, and all the other frummies, I beg of you, get out a bit, and discover that Jewish life, and halacha, is not as closed-minded as you've been led to believe.

Once again, NJG: So very happy for you, and relieved to hear that you're feeling confident about your choice, secure with your partner, and wonderful about yourself. May the good feelings never end. Chag Sameach.

10/11/2005 07:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And there you have it: Hedyot knows all!

10/11/2005 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

Anonymous, you have not been handed a badge by Hashem, to be his policeman. You don't want to get that this is her decision. It is not yours. But you want to argue to ruin her moment of happiness. Because you have signed on to something, that you made up, called the Frum Rules of Dating. But she hasn't. What about the 70 faces of the Torah, have you heard of that?
The rules are completely arbitrary they change from year to year, from community to community, from generation to generation. You are a pioneer. (don't you love standards, there are so many of them to choose from, lol).
I respectfully urge you to try to see life not as a set of rules, some of which you know, some you don't, some you accept, some you don't (you know, your minhagim).
The system you are so afraid is going to break, is not going to break, trust me.
This woman, waited more than enough. You are not in her shoes in any way shape or form, so you have absolutley not one right to admonish her. Nothing.
All you do w/ your ranting is create ill will in the world.

I do wish you a G'mar Tov, and you should merit to expand your knowledge base. I fully understand where you are coming from, and believe me, I would not choose to live that lifestyle, but I am not judging you, and you should not be judging anyone.

"ut the point, again, is: In the frum world of dating, if a guy likes the person enough to move toward being physical, he *should* like the person enough to get married?

What am I missing in that equation?

Unless, we've all just decided that there are no real rules at all in dating, and the only difference between frum and non frum dating is just, well, the frummies keep shabbos and listen to shlomo carlebach..."

10/11/2005 08:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Needs - dont' assume you know anything about me, my friend.

I don't understand these blogs: it's like: If you issue an opinion, suddenly you're hashem's policeman.

I didnt' say anything of the sort. I never judged NJG. If you read through what I did say, assuming you can figure out which anonymous I am, then you'll see I'm pointing out the reality of the situation, meaning, okay - so now what?

There's this weird attitude on the Jewish blogs - not at all tolerant, by the way. Only tolerant of people falling by the wayside.

Not at all tolerant of opinions that may be pointing out that not everything is a smart or wise choice in this world, not to mention the halacha.

I never really discussed the halacha, Needs. I discussed the emitonal psychological reality of NJG's situation vis a vis getting married.

Ruin her moment of happiness...

Here's a controversial one: A guy comes home: Mom, I've met the woman of my dreams. I'm happy. She's not Jewish.

(yeah, here we go - anonymous is now intolerant of intermarriage)...

This isnt' about "moment of happiness..."

It's about 35 years old, and she still hasn't really grown up, and that is the real issue here.

But the blogs - it's like this insane asylum, a place where people with issues can collide.

And also, it is like, really clear that the blogs basically take themselves way too seriously. I mean, like way way too seriously as they wrestle with such weighty issues.

Oh well. I guess it's a good thing I'm fairly obsessive - no, actually, I'm not rigid. I just keep coming back to put my stupid two cents in...

only to have "rivka" and 'needs" and other tragically hip, troubled individuals just not want to hear it.

Thing is, I know what I'm talking about. I say: NJG - you need to be thinking about where it's heading, etc. or whatever and you guys go:

You're judging...you're rigid you're a rules freak...like, what?

10/11/2005 10:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Congratulations--I'm happy for you that you've been able to feel this love and affection. It is indeed a beautiful thing. I'm not religious, not even Jewish, so I can't and won't comment on what you 'should' have done. I'm just happy that it was such a wonderful experience for you.

10/11/2005 10:59:00 PM  
Blogger Drew_Kaplan said...

needsabetterjob,
In the frum world of dating, if a guy likes the person enough to move toward being physical, he *should* like the person enough to get married?
What am I missing in that equation?

Look, coming from a guy, I can take one look at a girl and want to get physical, but that doesn't mean I want to marry said random female. And even if you're discussing frum dating, I think this rule applies little less.
PS. To those who referenced my idea above, I actually did post my name (no 'anon'ning here), so feel free to ref it in the future.

10/12/2005 01:15:00 AM  
Blogger MC Aryeh said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/12/2005 02:13:00 AM  
Blogger MC Aryeh said...

NJG - Please do not take anyone else's judgments to heart. This is between you and the guy you kissed and HaShem. No one else is in your situation. I know how hard it is to stay shomer negiah, and cannot imagine what it must be like to reach 35 and never touch someone of the opposite sex in a romantic way. I'm sure there are people who have been able to do it, and there are others who have not.

While I can't say I am happy that you broke a d'rabanan, your post did bring tears to my eyes, both of joy for your happiness and of frustration for all the pain you have been through that would bring you to such a place where you had to make such a difficult choice.

Wishing you a year full of love and good choices....

10/12/2005 02:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I don't get what's the big deal?

The whole point is that the laws were made to encourage marriage at a YOUNG age, and encourage procreation early.

Not being Frum, I guess I don't understand this whole issue. I guess if people live in this type of society (which I'm not knocking), the arranged marriage idea is the best thing to get people from living a life of being guilt ridden.

Kissing is not sex. but then again, in today's "modern post Clinton era", neither is foreplay... Ah the confusion...

Enjoy life while you can, just know when to say no.

Guilt is no way to enjoy life.

10/12/2005 08:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Bathroom Reading said...

I don't know what the right thing to have done was, whether you did anything "wrong." And it's frankly not for me to say even if I did have an opinion. Telling me something happened isn't the same thing as posing a shila to a Rav (and I'm not a Rav besides).

All I'll say is, have a gmar chasima tovah and a gut g'bentched yahr.

10/12/2005 11:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drew - I know that guys can want to kiss a girl without wanting to marry her, that's kind of a no brainer.

I'm saying - if you're willing to take that step, you should be man enough to take the rest of the step. That's all...

And I"m talking in the world of s.n. dating, frum dating, obviously....

Otherwise, then, no, one should not kiss the girl, because it doesn't necessarily get you to the chupah any quicker....

10/12/2005 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger grumpygirl said...

there was an article in this week's new york times about an orthodox man who needed a new heart valve. the doctor told him that he had two choices: a mechanical one, and a valve from a pig. he asked the doctor which would give him the better prognosis, and was told it was the pig valve. the doctor expected resistence, but instead, without hesitation, the sick man chose the pig valve.

here's how he explained it to the doctor (i'm paraphrasing): that it's more important to god that he's alive than if he keeps kosher.

NJG, if this kiss has made you happy, and helped along the process of lifting this veil of depression, then it's more important to god that you are alive. a lot of people don't understand depression, that it's as much of a disease as diabetes or needing a new heart valve. i've suffered much of my life, and i know what it takes to get up some mornings. i also know how something as small (at least to me, i'm not religious) as a kiss can bring me quickly into a happier place.

you go girl. don't give a dang what anyone says. this is between you and your god. he/she wants you to be happy.

10/12/2005 08:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It occurs to me that the really ugly posts are the ones that sound the 'frumest' and the posts brimming with kindness, empathy and love all make no mention of religion. Not really much of an advert for orthodoxy. In what sense of the word can someone be religious when they are deaf to another human being's pain.

Shana Tova

10/13/2005 09:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Thinking Jew said...

Anon above,

Not true. The "religious" posts are not deaf to the pain. But what they see here is two sides of a struggle. They have all given NJG enormous credit and support in her struggle.

The posts that are "brimming with kindness, empathy and love" don't really see a problem with a kiss in the first place, so there's no reason to bring in notions of conflict, struggle and resilience.

Ah but there's the rub! In giving high-fives and calls of "you go girl," what most of the posters are saying is that they never really understood NJG's convictions in the first place.

Not really much of an advert for secularism.

10/14/2005 01:50:00 AM  
Blogger mnuez said...

My friend, Nicely Done. In my opinion the only thing that could make this "wrong" would your deciding that it's wrong.

Now that could come in one of two ways: The first would be that you soon meet the man of your dreams and (whether owing to his feelings or your own), you wish that he were the first man who ever kissed you. That feeling of regret though would more than make up for the kiss as the very fact that you're suffering over it would make your relationship with your (real) man as good as if he were your first.

The other possible regret though may come from some religious upsurge, entirely unrelated to any human relationship. should that happen... CRUSH IT! :)

I think that it's AWESOME that you had that physical/emotional/spiritual pleasure of having been kissed and I'm truly very happy for you that you decided to wait no longer and to get that pleasure. You go girl.

Zei gezunt un a gut gebentched yur ~

mnuez

10/14/2005 05:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Thinking Jew said...

"should that happen... CRUSH IT! :)"--mnuez

Again.

Another comment that demonstrates a lack of appreciation for who NJG is, who she aspires to be, who she has fought so hard to become. Now why, praytell, would a religious upsurge be a bad thing for a self-described religious woman?

Regret, as opposed to irrational feelings of guilt, is an important component of the teshuvah process. Of course, that presupposes the notion that one believes in the concept of teshuvah, rather than the "I'm okay, you're okay; do whatever feels right" philosophy.

Re-read the blog people. This is a woman who is in love with Hashem, not her body. She chooses--chooses--to follow His laws as much as she can. She--in her own words--describes this kiss as a kind of failure.

All the calls of "You go girl," not to mention the "Crush it!" above, are simply disrespectful of her background, her beliefs, her strength and her perseverance.

10/14/2005 04:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to comment on a response that Njg made to Yochaved. I you were at the point of suicide because of not being kissed you obviously had a few others things that were wrong in how you were living your jewiish life. Your life should never be so depended on another pperson especialy one that didn't exist that you can't go on living. Life is much more than the sum of one area.

10/14/2005 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger grumpygirl said...

anonymous, et alia, if you understood for one minute the searing pain of clinical depression, you would advocate doing ANYTHING to make it better.

the NJG took her life into her own hands and consciously made this choice shows a deep resepct for both herself and an understanding if her emotions.

no god worth his salt, or worth worshipping, would wish a devoted follower to live with pain and suffering. that the "holier than thou" people writing comments here don't understand this only shows a complete misunderstanding about the whole nature of religion.

10/15/2005 01:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Thinking Jew said...

Charlottevale,

Why is it that certain people can't have a rational conversation without resorting to name-calling?

With all due respect, no one, least of all I, is acting "holier than thou." We all have deep respect and admiration for NJG, and have always made that point first and foremost in our comments. Our argument is that commenters like you do not share that same respect and admiration because you are celebrating a viewpoint of "choices" that NJG, in her own words, does not subscribe to.

As for your final paragraph--if it were true, then the Holocaust proves their is no god. So sixty years after Auschwitz, you really only have two choices: (a) not to believe or (b) to recognize that their are situations where "devoted followers" do "live with pain and suffering" and we just don't understand why.

10/15/2005 09:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lets not bring in the shoah to confuse things..

10/16/2005 03:40:00 AM  
Blogger Tzemach Atlas said...

I am very happy for you. Mazal and Love will greet you forever! Mazaltov!
Did you meet him because of your blog?

10/16/2005 08:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear NJG

I think it's fine that you posted this during aseret yamei teshuva.

There are all types of teshuva.

If teshuva is going to mean anything, it has to be about the whole year, not just aseret yamei teshuva.

One thing that I thought about this aseret yamei teshuva, was that perhaps it is more difficult and more meaningful (dare i say better teshuva) to live life normally rather than being artificially good for only a few days, knowing that it won't last. This year I tried to think about how I could realistically be a better person (and Jew) not just during aseret yamei teshuva but all year.

Also, aseret yamei teshuva is not just a time of self nullification. We ask Hashem to be compassionate and merciful toward us. In Likutei Moharan, Rebbe Nachman of Breslav suggests that in order for Hashem to be compassionate toward us, we need to be compassionate toward ourselves.

I am frum.

10/16/2005 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

quote
"v'chol darchayhu darkai noam"
end quote
nuff said

10/16/2005 01:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck to you. I hope that he is the right one and you find the happiness that you so truly deserve.
yns

10/16/2005 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger grumpygirl said...

i really hate it, thinking jew, when people make comparisons to god and jewish laws in regard to the holocaust.

jewish law clearly states that LIFE and HEALTHINESS are more important than certain judaic laws. see my posting, above, about the dying man and the pig heart valve. life comes first.

10/17/2005 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Charlottevale-

As far as I know, the only prohibition re: pigs in Judaism is against EATING them. I'm not sure that there is ANY reason not to have a pig valve in one's heart; the doctor was making assumptions about Jews' views of pigs that may have been incorrect to begin with.

I'd love for a rabbi to weigh in on this. But from what I know myself (which may not be much), I don't think the man in that article was weighing one halacha vs. another, since there wouldn't be a halacha against using the pig valve ANYWAY. Am I being understandable or confusing?

10/18/2005 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah,

Word from a rabbi - you are correct. There is no issur whatsoever in transplanting a pig heart valve into a human. It is mutar lechatchila even without pikuach nefesh.

10/19/2005 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well,now that njg has had her kiss for the moment there isnt much more for her to say. ill miss the updates. your struggle has been so bittersweet and so honest.thank u so much for your blog im single , frum and a little older than njg
bayla

10/19/2005 10:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Formerly SN BT said...

Earlier I posted a note about my own experience of having stayed too long in an unsuitable relationship because we weren't SN, and someone used me as an example for why NJG should stay SN. On the contrary! If I had married the previously-mentioned unsuitable relationship guy after a few months, I would have talked myself into marrying him despite apparent problems; even if we had waited longer to get engaged, I could have talked myself into marrying him out of some idea that things would improve afterwards.

It is a really sobering thought whenever I think about this, because I wonder how many other bad relationships there are out there, where people got married because they had love and sweetness, but ignored serious issues. I know some people marry others who have serious known mental illnesses (e.g., bipolar with history of psychosis) because they convince themselves that the mental illnesses aren't that big of a deal if you really love the person.

Going into marriage ultimately requires a leap of faith, but too much longing may make the leaper not judge the situation correctly. It's a tricky balance. I'm sorry that my earlier post emphasized only the other side not to get too caught-up in the coziness: there is definitely a balance to maintain!


Back in the 1930's-1960's when the current generation of Centrist Orthodox rabbis got married, they danced together at their local Young Israels, held hands, and probably kissed.

10/20/2005 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

will you be able to stop with kissing? whats next? once you go on to the 'next', its very hard to go back to holding hands. will this guy marry you or add a notch to his belt?

10/23/2005 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Lyss said...

A dance and a kiss! It's been a good month.

:-)

Mazel tov on your new experience. I am glad that you enjoyed it (I do know what you mean about how it's better sitting down as I feel the same).

10/23/2005 10:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The important thing is that you are happy. I understand how difficult it has been for you to break your principles. But, having that one kiss will pose no greater (or worse) sin than would be any other "Al Chait" you said during Yom Kippur. Lashon Harah, Sinas Chinam. There are so many other sins that even the frumest people with the best intentions can't help but break once in a while. One kiss. Not a biggie. Hopefully, you'll see it that way. But now the hard part will start. Will you kiss him again. Or more? Thats where the struggle will be.
I am a non-frum guy, and I would advise you to be strong and not let temptations rule. If this man is indeed your bashert, he will understand your wanting to be SN once again. If he doesnt understand, its a bad sign and he is not for you. Yes, there is nothing more blissful than touching someone who you love and/or lust after (two different things mind you). But I imagine that now that you know what its like with him, waiting until marriage will be the utmost bliss. I slept with my wife before marriage, but we both agreed that we would not sleep together during our engagement period (about 4 months), so it would be that incredible once we were married. And you know what - it was.

10/26/2005 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Treifalicious said...

It is said that during the Chagim, the gates of Heaven are open for HaShem to receive our prayers, and close at Ne'ilah at the end of Yom Kippur.

It is only befitting that He heard your prayers and gave you this gift - right before Yome Kippur, it seems.

All I can say is AMEN. Stories like this reaffirm that G-d does exist and he does look out for every one of us.

10/30/2005 04:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thinking Jew - if you re-read the posts again, plenty of "Secular", Modern Orthodox and even non-jewish people understood NJG's plight and convictions. The High-Fives, as you call them were because she sounded so happy.

Don't use this as proof for your own insecurities about orthodoxy versus secularism.

33, Frum but not SN

10/30/2005 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Chutzpah said...

Just because you kissed him doesn't mean you have to marry him. I hope it works out for you but don't feel obligated now and don't let it cloud your judgement about his other attributes. Two things: 1) life is not a frum contest; 2)if you always try on a pair of shoes before you buy them, then same goes for men, both are difficult to return after you go to a wedding.

10/30/2005 11:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/31/2005 03:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Girl said...

Mazal Tov!!!
Mazal tov, mazal tov, mazal tov!!!!!
I am so so so so happy. I'm not 'happy for you' - I'm just happy. Yay.

11/08/2005 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger Nice Jewish Guy said...

I'm glad that NJG has finally been kissed.

And while we should not mitigate the religious ramifications of that, let's not overstate it either; kissing is not sex. There is no violation of Torah law.

It's also nice that everyone is wishing NJG gets a marrieage proposal-- after all, that's what everyone eventually wants-- but speaking as someone who is not SN, and as a divorced man-- I think physical contact (NOT necessarily full sex) is an important part of getting to know someone. It is important to explore if two people are physically compatible. How many people have gotten married young because their physical urges for each other were powerful, only to discover after a while that that was all there was? How many couples have divorced after they realized that great sex (which cools off) can't compensate for incompatible personalities?

Point is, I don't think we should be condemning people for experimenting physically with the person they are in a relationship with. Certainly not for kissing.

11/14/2005 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger the graduate said...

nice jewish guy!go back to the books you are wrong.
according to some it is a violation of torah law(rambam).

11/15/2005 01:07:00 PM  
Anonymous toughing it said...

let get this straight
if i'm depressed then i can run to burger king (tm) and eat a whopper
after all what kind of god is worth praying to if he doesn't understand my hunger
and i guess for 'medical reasons' i can go to a warmer climate (there's a good nude beach i heard about)
gimme a break, this is begininng to sound like a reform convention
are you a practising jew or not
no one ever said its easy, on the contrary "l'phim ztarra agra"
get a grip

11/25/2005 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well said, toughing and the graduate and nice jewish guy, get a life.

12/06/2005 10:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every girl should have a great memory of her first kiss. I'm glad that now you do :)

12/11/2005 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Sweettooth120 said...

For those of us who are married or who are in term relationships, what you just described is what we all wish we could all rediscover again. The butterflies in the stomach and the pure bliss.

1/04/2006 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger ידל said...

I didn't read the whole post or comments but I have to comment on one thing.

Some one mentioned that not all 'frum' people are SN, that doesn't change the fact that we have a Chiuv to keep these mitzvot, no matter what people are doing around us. There is no argument that SN is a chiuv, it is not a chumrah as some people think.

3/27/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Zoya Shu said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12/09/2007 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Zoya Shu said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12/09/2007 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NJG, I just came across your blog and it is very inspiring that you have been so honest and open about your depression. I too am suffering from clinical depression and know how hard it is.

I am not frum but I'm practically SN and know that I would be able to be. However, I know how much depression messes with your head and emotions and how easily one particular negative thought about yourself can make you feel suicidal. Therefore I'm sure in the eyes of Hashem you have done nothing wrong, as he would rather you live and live less painfully than otherwise.

I can see the other points people are making about where to draw the line etc. but depression is an illness and can lead to uncontrollable thoughts and actions and its like saying to someone with anorexia that they shouldn't have a non-Kosher burger, if it was between that or them dying.

In regards to this man you kissed, of course it would be great if you got married and lived happily ever after, but the reality of it is its YOUR life not anyone elses and you should marry someone who you love and who loves you back equally (whether it is this man or not). You deserve to be happy!

Also, you shouldn't feel guilty as you have done your best to keep Halacha whilst you were in a healthy mental state and I admire you for that.

Wish you the best for the future.

3/28/2010 07:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So nu, are you still available? If so, I might be able to help. I am here to help. Post something as to your current situation. Mazal Tov.

1/07/2011 03:42:00 PM  

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