Thursday, January 6, 2011

cup o' coffee and a whole lot more.....

This is post replying to the comment on  SWF, 41 hasn't given up as I have.

As I've said before, the guys have it easy. First it wasy BeeZee, now it's Cup O' Coffee. Sometimes, I think I should date someone I don't like just so I can tag along with him on Shabbos and holidays and not have to sit home by myself. I'm constantly getting comments like I shouldn't be upset or whatever and this is the way it is. However, what you men are not understanding is that I'm not the only woman who is upset. Many BT women go back off the derech and site their reason as the fact that they didn't feel like they fit in the community. They didn't make friends and no one invited them for Shabbos. It's always the men who say, "I don't know what you're talking about, I have no problem getting Shabbos meals." Of course you don't!!! You are a man and men don't have these problems. Before people piss and moan about the skyrocketing intermarriage rates they ought to look to see if they've done any little things to try to make the Jewish world better for those inside it. Inviting someone over and being mean to them or not inviting people over contributes to intermarriage. My blog is here to try to connect the dots for those thick-headed Jews out there.

I really doubt going to your friends would be any better but where do they live? If I can stay by my friend, maybe I'll make an attempt. That's another thing. Even when I make friends with women it doesn't matter, because their husbands don't want me being friends with them. Husbands expect their wives to make friends WITH OTHER MARRIED WOMEN only and don't want some intruder coming for Shabbos. They want a wife to have friends who go their own way on Shabbos to their own family. Yet these same men want to invite all their friends and even without asking their wives first.

Most non-Jewish friends are no where near as nosy as Jews and there's this concept of a friendship UNFOLDING as you ask more later on. I just don't ask people a lot at first. Generally, you're sitting and talking to people and you start exchanging stories and you get to know each other that way, not by machine gun firing questions at someone making them feel like they are being mocked.

The idea that you have that people expect chesed for chesed makes what their doing no longer a chesed. If you invite someone over to make them feel uncomfortable, then you're not being kind. A chesed implies that they should not expect from me. However, your theory is flawed as sometimes the person picking on me is another guest. Also, it has happened when I've brought packaged food gifts with me. Also, it is more than my conversion story that people want to know that is out of line. I guess in the Jewish world they don't follow regular manners, but when non-Jews ask things like how much money you make, no one disputes that they are out of line. Sometimes, too, it's not that they ask anything soooo personal but more that they fire question after question at me and refuse to tell me about themselves. I actually went with a convert in the process to someone's house and they did it to her, too. They called me, "the one that keeps Shabbos" and they repeatedly harked on her throughout the entire meal that she needed to move somewhere she couldn't afford. Actually, I had a guest in my home who had the unmitigated gaul to start in on a mutual friend at my table about why she didn't like a certain rabbi. Then she started on me about why couldn't I make more money. She said I could make $50/hour. When she got a job and moved out of her grandparents' house I ran into her one day at the store and she had to put back some of her groceries because she couldn't afford them. Apparently, it wasn't as easy as she thought it was! Only in the Jewish world is ok to demand that someone explain to you why they are poor. For all the emphasis they put on "socializing" kids in the Jewish community, something has gone wrong, as they are not properly socialized. Being socialized means you know better than to ask these things.

I don't understand how "feeling the waters to see if they want to have you over again" justifies the sort of behavior and lines of questioning that I've been exposed to. I have been to some good people however, more than half of my experiences have been really bad. It's enough to make me afraid to try to go to people for Shabbos.

What I see is that the Jewish people want to sweep their flaws under the rug and not fix what's broken. It's not only this but there are many other issues and I"m not the only one in the Jewish blogger who feels this way. I think perhaps a double standard is being applied that I, as a woman, am supposed to be more nicy nice. However, the men are allowed to criticize, many male bloggers do.


  1. ゴリラ ゴリラJanuary 9, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    I am a guy and when I was a single, I was cognizant that women had a harder time get invited anywhere. But I always thought that the wives of the ba'al habatim felt threatened by them.

    As far as guests picking on other guests, all I can say is -- what has
    been seen, can't be unseen. At one place, on Shabbos, one guest
    called me an "ignoramus" at the table. "Shabbat Shalom" to you, too.
    In a normal place, the hosts would have at least pulled him aside.

    In another place, again on Shabbos, I quoted something I saw in a
    sefer that happened to have been published in Yiddish. Some
    wiseacre asked, "Does your mother speak Yiddish?" Ha, ha!
    How clever, I get it, you wanted to broadcast your belief that I'm
    a Ger Tzedek (I am, but it's lashon hara for you to tell).

    Again, on Shabbos, speaking in English I used the word "Amen"
    in the course of the conversation. Someone, I believe in order to
    demonstrate that he is so "frum" asked, "What does 'Amen'
    mean?" I replied, "You mean you have spoken English your
    entire life and you daven three times a day and you have never
    heard the word, 'Amen'?" And he replied, "No."

    And finally, this involves my wife, who happens to be a BT. It's
    Shabbos, and it's time for the traditional point in the meal to make
    someone feel like crap on the Day the Lord Blessed and Sanctified.

    It's time to bentch, and some woman, decides that because my
    wife is a BT, she cannot read Hebrew -- which was nonsense --
    and refuses to give her a bentcher.

    Incidentally, my wife was a 71M in the Army and an AIT Honor Grad
    for that MOS. She wasn't Orthodox, but grew up active in the
    Conservative movement, so it's not like she hasn't always been
    interested in religion and Judaism.

    While everyone is bentching, she proceeds to dig through a massive
    drawer of about 300 bentchers looking for one in English. While
    the woman's back is turned, I hand my bentcher to my wife and she
    bentches and finishes up on time with everyone else, at which point
    the woman turns around, after 5+ minutes of digging, triumphantly
    holding the last bentcher in the drawer that was published in English.
    One with a greenish cover and dotted with dime-sized brown spots.

    These days, my wife and I rarely go to friends houses on Shabbos,
    we much prefer our own place, where we are in control. And guests
    have never been put through the "Inquisition" in our nearly 18 years.

    We would probably go out more, but it is not polite to ask the host
    or hostess who else is going to be there and then make a decision
    based on the guest list.

  2. In my opinion midot (good character) is the thing that matters. But that is just the thing. I most versions of yidishkeit there does not seem to be much emphasis on good character and even in places that there is there does not seem to be much effect of good character. [don't get me wrong. It is not that i am saying that good character is all there is but rather that without good character nothing else can start.] For that reason i tend to feel that only in a place like there Mir yeshiva where i saw good character taught and practiced can there be real spiritual development. But that option seems to have disintegrated over the years. I have also considered the teachings of rebbi nachman and yet he seems to be predicated that there are already good good character and then spiritual practices can start. And the trouble is most people that get involved in rebbi nachman do so without very much in the way of midot to start out with.. I don't have any suggestion for you but i am just reflecting on the fact that i have noticed the problems you are seeing for many years and i doubt highly if there is any correction for such things.However since you are in brooklyn perhaps it could be an idea to go over to the Mir and ask for Rav Nelkenbaum. He is a real talmid chacham and I have great respect for him. Perhaps he could help out in some way--[or shelomo berger who learns at the Mir]. If you are close to chayim berlin i you might try to meet and old friend of mine Shelomo Haliua. He gives the shiur for the forth years students as far as i remember

  3. Oh, yes the, "do you need a bentsher in English?" is really annoying. I tell them, "I'm Jewish, I read Hebrew." It's amazing that they think we spend 2 years actively studying day and night for a conversion and we can't read Hebrew or know brochos.

    I agree with you that in a normal place, hosts would pull someone aside or as I do, just never have them back. It's like the Nebach singles get catered to and the singles who are normal sit home by themselves. A woman who I used to go to actually put a comment up here that I'm a bad guest because I complained about one of her guests on here. I didn't name names. I'm actually surprised she knew that this guy spilled gravy on my dry clean only dress at HER house. I didn't complain about it. I tried to give the guy a dirty look but he wasn't looking in my direction. He was mad because I asked him to hold the plate an extra couple seconds so I could make rooom for the food that was coming out. He said, "sure" and then just dumps the serving plate on top of my plate.

    WTF is wrong with the parents that they don't teach their kids manners?

  4. I'm so glad others have these experiences, too. Not because I want people to go through this too, but the FFBs would have you believe it's just me or that I have a bad attitude.

    I have tried. Believe me, I have tried. I don't even have the ability to try to give new people a chance anymore. It's just not there in my try reserves. They are all dried up.

  5. (I told you it would be long lol. Below is the rest.)

    As an aside, my mother told me a few weeks ago that a BT (we'll call her Sarah) who she learns with asked my mother if she'd mind hosting 7/8 girls for a Shabbos meal. My mom went ahead and did it: catered to a vegan and a vegetarian aside from what she usually makes when she has guests. My mother got a call this week from Sarah that one girl had called her up and said that she had enjoyed my family so much that she wanted to bring over a whole new group of friends to my family for a Shabbos meal. Not to put my mother on a pedestal (although she is an amazing woman lol), there ARE people out there who are a blast to go to, and I hope that you'll find a slew of them very soon.

  6. Man, Michal, next time you reply to something I write, break it up a bit lol.. I saw your post a little after you wrote it, but the size, man the size! Anyway, I'm going to try to reply to every point you made, but it might take a little back-and-forth between us until we get to every one. And in advance, this first comment probably will be long, so consider yourself warned :).

    When I offered to set you up with meals, I wasn't offering to go with you, just give you a few phone numbers of people that I know are amazing and non-intrusive.

    I don't recall saying that you shouldn't get upset. Of course you should and undoubtedly I wouldn't go back if such a thing occurred while I was there. I don't believe I said that it "is the way it is" either. All I said was: "don't give up." I also don't recall saying that I thought that you were the only one who feels this way. Maybe you're quoting someone else, but no, I did not say that.

    Please, forgive my ignorance. Why don't men have these problems? Because married women don't want single women in their homes? I'm honestly not sure so please, for the sake of the "thick-headed Jew" (honestly, you're the first person in the past 5 years who has called me anything but intelligent, but whatever...) here, fill me in because I honestly don't know.

    I know people all over the place: Kensington, all over Flatbush, Borough Park, Far Rockaway, Queens, Lawrence, Marine Park, Crown Heights, etc.

    I guess I'm just clueless about these matters (which wouldn't surprise me), but I'm pretty sure that my hostess' have female single friends. Maybe, maybe (maybe, ok? I don't know, so I'm saying. May. Be.) you're going to younger couples while I'm going to slightly older ones...?

    Agreed, agreed and agreed. I don't know where you're meeting these non-Jews, but there's a difference I think. When you meet someone on the street, you DO ask a lot of questions. That's how you know if you want to keep in touch or say "It was a pleasure to meet you, take care." This is just a more intense version of that. Yes, it is inappropriate, and they should not do it, but I don't think it's impossible to understand.

    *sigh* No, you see, you're not reading what I wrote. I didn't say that it's perfectly fine that they're doing it, I said it is understandable. I'm not going to defend something that I believe is wrong and yes, the questions that you've mentioned are very inappropriate and the situations you observed are very disheartening to read.

    It doesn't. There is no excuse to ask highly personal questions. No excuse whatsoever. But I think some questions are fair.

    I don't know if you're including me into this group of Jewish people who want to sweep their flaws under the rug and not work on their problems, but I can tell you that I am not one of those people. Not in a million years. I'm an FFB that at various times has included myself into virtually every group of Judaism out there. If I haven't been a part of the group, I've seen it around me. I know all the flaws, probably better than you. Without blinking an eyelash I can think of at least a dozen things that need to be changed. I'd blog about them all but I think there are enough people bashing Judaism.

    Again, I'm not trying to sweep anything under the rug. You complained about something so I'm trying to help you. You bash Judaism from your perspective and I try and defend it from mine. Your experiences have hurt you and disenchanted you, so I'm hoping that maybe we can ameliorate that by showing you what a true Shabbos should be like.

  7. Since I had all this to say is why a) I didn't blog this right away and b) made it it's own post.

    I feel like you're backing down from your position that you previously held. My position is that I can't take the chance of putting myself in another situation where I'm trapped on Shabbos feeling like I'm being mocked. I'm glad to see that others know what I'm talking about.

  8. Nope, I don't think I'm backing down at all lol. I'm not sure what position I'm supposedly backing down from, but I think everything I wrote above is congruent with all of my previous comments on the earlier post(s).

    Ok, that's your decision to make. I know you have no reason to trust me that the people I've eaten at will be better than the meals you've suffered through, but from one out-of-towner to another, I DO know what it's like but I still didn't give up. I know how to bake and cook and if I really wanted to, I could also shut myself off from the rest of the world. Maybe I got luck- actually, I know I got lucky. The families I go to are insanely special people. But the times that I've had awkward meals, uncomfortable co-guests, bad hosts, terrible food, etc. haven't turned me off from trying to meet more people. I'm actually going to someone I've never been to before this Shabbos. Yikes! Anyway, I really hope you take me up on my offer to meet some of the people that I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt are amazing.

    By the way, you didn't answer my question lol.

  9. Look, you are not the first person to INSIST that YOUR people are different and better and I doubt you will be the last... but anyway, ****WHERE**** roughly, do your friends live? Do any live near the border of Flat and boro?

  10. I hadn't thought that my trying to help you and "insisting" that I knew people who were nice while being ignorant to the fact that others had already told you so meant that you should "yell" at me. Honestly, do you REALLY think that you're being appropriate? I offered to do you a favor and you scream at me? Wow.....

    You didn't reply to most, if not all, of the points that I made which also is pretty rude. You also didn't answer me when I specifically pointed out that you hadn't replied to a question I asked. So, you want me to answer your questions when you don't have the courtesy to reply to mine?

    I answered your question earlier, so again, why the heck are you capitalizing and putting in half a dozen asterisks when asking your question? Have I missed a SINGLE point you made that all of a sudden you think I can't read? Really, you're talking about how everyone else has no manners when you seem to have forgotten them yourself. As well, don't you think it's a bit um, ridiculous, to get all upset over something I couldn't possibly have known....?

    I don't know how you define the "border of Flat and boro" to answer that question. All over Flatbush means just that- all over Flatbush. Avenue I, J, L, M, P. East 14th, E 11th, E 4th, E 21st, E 23rd, E 18th, etc... In Borough Park, 13th, 20th and probably a few more that are escaping me at the moment.

  11. You keep accusing me of not answering your questions. I have no clue which these are. If they are so clear, let the other readers clue me in. Ok guys, what questions did I miss?

  12. I think I've given the "guys" enough time to figure out that ending a sentence with a question mark implies a question, but apparently they suffer from the same ineptitude with regards to English as you apparently do. Or they just figured it was so obvious (it IS pretty obvious), that they wouldn't bother wasting their time.

    1) Honestly, do you REALLY think that you're being appropriate?

    2) I offered to do you a favor and you scream at me?

    3) I answered your question earlier, so again, why the heck are you capitalizing and putting in half a dozen asterisks when asking your question?

    4) As well, don't you think it's a bit um, ridiculous, to get all upset over something I couldn't possibly have known....?