Friday, September 3, 2010

CONFIRMED!!! Queens Jews have been running their mouth on me!!

Well, a kind person from Queens found out a while back and they just told me that they were told by a reliable source (which was also disclosed to me) that people in Queens have been running their mouth on me. Now, I spent two years in the process and I'm nearing my two year anniversary since my conversion and the phone calls just stopped this summer when someone point blank asked me if I was observant. Apparently, someone decided that I wasn't sincere and ran their mouth to people who ran their mouth and so on. The rabbis apparently joined in the listening and speaking of lashon hara.

It's interesting, here I am, with my life on my blog but, they'd rather listen to each other tell my business.

Yes, I've been turning more and more sour since my conversion. I imagine that Hashem weeps some big fat giant tears as they rip me apart. The Jewish people are supposed to be "priests unto the nations." To me, that means an example... a good example. I have really seen some horrible sides of people.

We hear that story over and over again about the guy who gossiped and then was instructed to open up a feather pillow into the wind. Then he is asked to go and collect the feathers. I know you've all heard or read this. This is a story about why you shouldn't speak lashon hara. The absolute important point of this is that you shouldn't speak ill of others. If for some reason, it turns out that you are wrong, you can never get that back because the person you told has told others and even if you go to them and say that it turns out you were wrong and the gossip wasn't true, first off, they've already told others, second of all, it will always be there in their mind.

You've all seen it here on this blog. Time after time, I have had these tribulations in the Jewish community. I'll be honest. They have really soured something that was once sweet that was inside me. For those of you who have contributed to it, I hope you're proud of yourselves. It's good thing Jews don't shave with razors because it should be awefully hard to shave without looking yourself in the mirror. Of course, somehow, I think the people in that category prance around and pat themselves on the pat. They probably thing they are good and innocent. Destroying another person, though, through your words is serious business. I'm quite sorry that no one seems to be able to impress that upon people.


  1. After the destruction of the first temple period the higher light that had been shining on Israel went into exile. Then eventually a small part of that light returned as is containing in the Talmud bavli. But the light that returned was only the lowest of the higher lights. So it is not strong enough nor complete enough to turn people towards the good. For that reason the Rambam tried to combine Reason with it but even if that would have worked one would still be lacking the other 8 lights to complete the circuit. -So to put it simply Orthodox Judaism is broken. It is like a clock that once worked fine but now has stopped being able to tell people the difference between right and wrong.

  2. There's a book- I think it is called, Off the Derech- and the writer takes a sociological approach to understanding why people go OTD. The number one reason why is... wait for it... other frum Jews. Not a crisis of faith, not a longing for, idk, strip bars and pork ribs, but other frum Jews who, over the years, have treated them like crap. Its not antisemitism, it is something within the community-- it is hate and mistrust and just treating each other like garbage.

    Get the hell out of Dodge. I know you're in uni now, but you need to be in a community that will nurture you and while there is no perfect community, one that is less gossipy will only serve to benefit you in the end.

    There are a lot of lovely communities out there where converts are embraced. I live in downtown DC and you cannot go more than a few days in this community without meeting a new convert. I also lived in Atlanta (Toco Hills) about 10 years ago and it was lovely and warm (and I actually met my husband there). I'm sure there are others. My impression is that there is a nice community in Denver and several nice ones on the West Coast.

    For me, I felt much better in my "second community." Not the community where I became a Jew but the one I walked into as a Jew. I decided at what point in the conversation I would mention my conversion status, or if I would at all. If I felt uncomfortable, or I felt is would be gossipy, or I was just too tired to get into it, I'd be purposefully vague and turn the conversation around to the other person (people love to talk about themselves).

    Maybe you could make a consorted effort over the next year or so to shop around for a new community. If you need to transfer universities, then you can plan for that too. If you're too far along, you may need to take classes at another uni and transfer them back into your current uni- talk to your advisor.

    Take recommendations from others and visit, visit, visit- and not just on Shabbat... see what's going on during the week too.

    I feel for you, I really, really do. I know exactly what you are going through; I know how hateful people can be. What I discovered that it was often about jealousy... people jealous of you, of your journey, of your freedom to choose, of your life experience, of the way you look and dress and carry yourself, of your confidence and sense of self.

    Hang in there.

  3. Yeah, well, leaving college again is just not an option. It's easy to say that but, also, I'm going to freaking ruin my life because someone here WHO DIDNT KNOW ME FROM JACK ADAM decided to run around and say I wasn't serious about my conversion with no founding. Furthermore, I think it would follow me to any Jewish community I would go to. As for right now, I have really very few frum Jews in my life. Most of my friends are either not Jewish or Jewish but, not religious. Asking me to leave college is outrageous. I am not in the position to take any classes somewhere else. You can't just do something like that. Besides which, I'm studying for a career that means I need to be in NYC. It's outrageous that I should move somewhere else, re-establish residency and graduate about 3 or 4 years later.

  4. I don't think you understand how college works. You don't leave after a semester has started. Fall semester has started. Furthermore, I'm not transferring with one semester left. I guess after everyone pressured me into trying to go to college and build a career, now, everyone wants to gang up on me against it.

    The solution is for people to learn to shut their mouthes and not talk about people and obtain critical thinking. Seriously, someone should have pulled me aside before I converted and told me that no matter what I would do, everyone would be against me. I seriously wish I never converted.

  5. That is truly hearbreaking. People need to be reminded that Avroham, Rivka, Rachel, and Leah were all converts. Moshe Rabbeinu married a convert. And the Mashiach will be descended from a convert.
    Something tells me that they are insecure about their own sincerity to Yiddishkeit and would rather spread lashon hara about you than to deal with their own spiritual issues.

  6. Michal,

    So sorry to hear what a mess this has been.

    Any idea what sparked the smear campaign? (I'm wondering if some of the ill-will you've gotten has been jealousy because of your looks?)

    Have you had any followup with the rabbis you worked with initially?

  7. I work at a major university in DC and I've worked in college admissions my entire adult life. Its not all that complex to transfer out, but I don't know the particulars of your situation. I'd not suggest you leave uni all together, nor would I suggest that you leave mid-semester... that's why I suggested that you plan for a move and not move immediately.

    If you're graduating in May, forget it. Stay put and plan a move around a job search or grad school.

    I understand what you mean when you say you wish you had never converted. I understand 100%.

  8. I stumbled upon you blog a few months ago.

    I am a queens resident and frankly I have never met you or heard anyone talk about you. People generally talk about things you would expect them to, Sports , Their Kids, Yeshivas, stock Market, Politics (ill assume the women talk about clothes, makeup receipes and stuff like that as well)

    The only things I know about you are what Ive seen in this blog, Like you are from Buffalo and a convert.

    NYC can be a hard place to move to. It is an unfriendly city and its hard to meet people. Most people get their friendships in College, through their community institutions or through their kids (They meet the parents of other kids).

    I do know from your blog that you are unmarried without kids (I think) and first attending college in your 30's. So It can be hard to meet people

    I know a few people from "out of town" who moved to the city and many of them have had trouble melting in, I am sure there are others I havent had any contact with and I am sure they couldnt hack NY and went somewhere else.

    The difficuties of living in NYC have infected the jewish comminuty of NY all those things I have said about NYC are certainly true of Jews in NYC, they are insular and hard to break into the "tribe"

    Especially if you do not have any "in" like you grew up together or you have kids.

    Being a convert I am sure doesnt help. People are always wrapped up in their own drama

    All that being said, I am not sure a blog is the place to air out your trials in life, everyone has trials in life and many are hard to deal with, We've all made choices and some we've regretted.

    You might say something on a Blog that you relize you will regret later, Unlike talking to a counselor this is open for everyone to see and statement cannot be taken back as easily.

    I do not know your financial situation, but I do know the colleges usually have some sort of counseling, Perhaps you can discuss your situation with a counselor on campus.

    Sometimes discussing the problems with a live human being is important.

    The internet is very impersonal and its a shame that in the 21st century its being the way people interact with each other

  9. I think you should just be strong and trust in God. We all make mistakes but the main thing is to pick ourselves up from where we are and start anew. Don’t worry if others speak badly about you. They can't hurt you. Only God controls the universe. You are not dependent on them but on God.

  10. Just remember, "Nobody kicks a dead dog around!"

    I just dropped my daughter off for 11th grade high school in Norfolk, VA and the people she's boarding by seem to be gerim. Also seems like a lovely community.

  11. Baby, why don't you contact me (i emailed my # last night) and discuss how to deal with this kind of rubbish, before you do anything stupid. I been a convert longer than you. For hell sake i hope you got a cell phone.

  12. Anon from Queens,
    You have a whole bunch of details wrong about me. For example, I am not first attending college in my 30's. As I have stated other places on my blog, I have gone back. My education was disrupted because some things happened that I didn't expect and I was working several low-paying part-time jobs at once. Also, I don't know what part of Queens you live in, but, there is also the possibility, people didn't talk to you about me because you're not in the same area as I am or that you didnt' ask anyone about me. Perhaps you are not in the gossip and ruin people lives circuit. Usually those are women and rabbis who control these things.

    I don't need a counselor. I need people to shut their traps. The reality is that I had friends before I started this whole thing and even if I didn't, I didn't need them. I also want to point out that I have plenty of non-Jewish friends right here in NYC. However, Jewish law has all these requirements like you have to go to shul to hear the shofar. If I am not welcomed at any shul in walking distance from me, I'm at the mercy of others to put me up.

    The most important fact is that people are not supposed to be talking about others. I thought maybe that something was up. What has been going on has been above and beyond the trials of someone who has to meet people in a new community. I noticed that I would meet people and they'd have me over or whatever and then a couple weeks ago things would go sour. I suspected it and now it's confirmed. They would mention to someone this new person they met (me) and when they would mention it to people in the loop of against Michal, those people would run their mouthes.

    The fact is that when the shul secretary comes up to you on the street and tells you that you should move and does so repeatedly, it crosses a line. When a rebbetzin invites you over and tells you to move before skhiah even hits, it crosses a line. They use the excuse that I should move because there aren't any men to date in this neighborhood. It just doesn't make sense when I know a girl who was my age that converted in this neighborhood who didn't get the mistreatment I got. In fact, they were quite welcoming. Unfortunately, I found out after I converted. If I had found out during my process, I would have realized that lashon hara had frozen me out of the community, I wouldn't have converted. Why would I convert knowing full well, there was absolutely no chance whatsoever of my ever being accepted AT ALL, no matter where I live.

    People went around saying I wasn't sincere and who knows what else. I want people to stop and think about this, when you hear others speak lashon hara about someone, before repeating it, maybe you should have critical thinking skills. I'm supposedly not wasn't sincere... yet, there are convert women in pants married with uncovered hair and no one has frozen them out. I'm not asking anyone for anything anymore, not meals, not overnights, nothing. I will no longer accept anything from anyone in the orthodox community.

  13. That's heartbreaking. Really.
    I hope we will still be seeing you over Sukkos.

  14. Can u b more specific about rabbis participating in the lashon hara?

  15. Rabbis are speaking lason hara and listening to it.

  16. Michal,

    I converted in 1999 in LA. I have visited shuls in Colorado, Kansas (BIAV in Kansas City is my favorite), and various parts of California.

    Trust me. NOBODY outside of Queens gives a crap about the gossip in Queens. I would consider moving to a different state to get away from that community, which sounds toxic to the max.